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City Arts Center changes name to Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center

by Brandy McDonnell Published: February 19, 2013
From left, James Pickel, Mary Ann Prior, Mayor Mick Cornett and Christian Keesee pose with the new signage for Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center.
From left, James Pickel, Mary Ann Prior, Mayor Mick Cornett and Christian Keesee pose with the new signage for Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center.

City Arts Center is pleased to announce a change in name from City Arts Center to Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, effective immediately.

With assistance from Saffron Brand Consultants, the strategic brand consultancy, the new brand was developed following a six-month project aimed at increasing Oklahoma Contemporary’s profile as a cultural destination.

The Oklahoma Contemporary Art Center brand is focused around the idea of “creative connections,” speaking to the role of Oklahoma Contemporary in connecting the local community with contemporary art, connecting art with the individual, and hosting the conventional alongside the unfamiliar. This spirit of connection is reflected in the new visual identity that allows for the work of exhibited artists to take center stage, while projecting Oklahoma Contemporary’s unique personality.

The identity will be brought to life across Oklahoma Contemporary’s communications and their built environment, including a new stunning building due for completion in 2016.

Mary Ann Prior, Executive Director of Oklahoma Contemporary said in a news release, “Our ambition is to create an art center where everyone can engage with art on their own terms, one where those who want to learn and create are given the tools and opportunities to do so at their own pace. The launch of the Oklahoma Contemporary brand is a key part of our vision to form creative connections within our community, and we are looking forward to an exciting time ahead, launching new exhibitions, education initiatives and even a new building under our innovative brand.”

Mayor Mick Cornett echoed the sentiment, adding in the release, “We have long been working on the Tenth Street Corridor and also on Broadway. Now very near that intersection comes possibly the most magnificent investment of all.”

Look for my column about Oklahoma Contemporary’s first exhibition to open under its new name, “Bryan Adams: Exposed,” including an interview with music star/photographer Bryan Adams, on Friday.

About Oklahoma Contemporary
Oklahoma Contemporary, formerly City Arts Center, is a regional nonprofit organization that encourages artistic expression in all its forms through education and exhibitions. Founded in 1989 by businessman and philanthropist Christian Keesee and Kirkpatrick Foundation Director Marilyn Myers, Oklahoma Contemporary offers contemporary arts exhibitions throughout the year, free to the public, as well as youth art camps, adult art classes and workshops, lectures and independent film screenings.

For more information, go to


by Brandy McDonnell
Entertainment Reporter
Brandy McDonnell, also known by her initials BAM, writes stories and reviews on movies, music, the arts and other aspects of entertainment. She is NewsOK’s top blogger: Her 4-year-old entertainment news blog, BAM’s Blog, has notched more than 1...
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