TU students were engaging with Gilcrease’s collection during the After Hours event. photo by Nora Bethune

Gilcrease After Hours brings art lovers together

Gilcrease’s game night theme allowed the community to play games, eat and view the collection.

On Jan. 31, the Gilcrease Museum hosted Gilcrease After Hours, a fun, free social event for the Tulsa community to come together to play games, drink, eat and look at art. This month’s theme was game night. The turnout was impressive: the crowd ranged from college students taking a break from their busy schedules to families wanting their kids to learn about the arts to people in between wanting to hang out with friends and colleagues they wouldn’t normally see after work.

Aside from this, people were mingling with each other, making new friends as they spoke about the art before them, playing trivia and games. There were photo booths to capture fun moments and bright corners filled with happy people eating free Andolini’s pizza talking about how their week went and their plans for the upcoming weekend.

During After Hours, the museum opened up the exhibits for people to walk around and appreciate the art that has culturally and historically defined both Tulsa and Oklahoma. It was astounding to see how modern American art and Native American art complemented each other; works from different time periods never competed with each other. It flowed amazingly.

Over the course of the event, people were weaving to and fro from the games and to the galleries for quiet time. With their time alone, people were able to notice intricate details and colors put in the art. I could see the emotions and hear the voices of the history surrounding not just Tulsa, but Oklahoma as a whole.

One comment that stood out was a man telling his wife to take a closer look at a painting in the hallway leading to the Vista Room. He exclaimed just how beautiful the “reds and the blues swirling into each other” were and the tiny details on the art piece. He and his wife slowly walked to see the other small paintings in the area and consider how they compared. Before he left, he came back to the first painting, taking it in one more time before leaving. There were people who reacted the same way to different parts of the museum; it was inspiring to see these pieces being discovered, making the Gilcrease even more special than it already is.

Throughout the event, there was never a dull moment. The most excitement was found among the chattering, live jazz music in the Vista room, where most of the games were. The event brought the community to the museum to enjoy a night of art and to end the work week happily, form friendships and forge a deeper appreciation of the arts.

Post Author: Karelia Alexander