Norman Living Guide: Firehouse Art Center emphasizes art education

Norman Living Guide: The Firehouse Art Center offers more than 30 art education classes for children and adults every year.
BY SARAH LOBBAN Modified: September 13, 2013 at 12:47 am •  Published: September 25, 2013

Anyone driving south on Flood Avenue can't help but notice the Firehouse Art Center, just south of Symmes Street adjacent to Lions Park. For one thing, the building is larger than its residential neighbors. And a gallery-style room filled with art is visible through the front windows.

Even if those things fail to catch your attention, you can't miss the giant statues of a fish, a girl's head with a ponytail and two rubber ducks on the lawn.

All of these are outward indicators of the creativity that is ongoing inside the art center.

Every semester the Firehouse offers 30-plus classes for children and adults. Drawing, painting and sculpture are offered, as well as courses such as fiber art, ceramics and jewelry.

“The most important thing I could tell anybody about the Firehouse is that it is a place where we want you to create, to innovate, and to play,” said Executive Director Douglas Elder Shaw. “A lot of people say ‘I can't draw a straight line.' Well, we won't ask you to. We want you to draw a line according to what you want to say.”

Children's classes are especially popular, with about 500 aspiring artists attending each year. Every class includes a free museum trip, where students can find inspiration for their own work. In 2007, the Firehouse implemented its Creating with the Masters, art-oriented leaning that meets Oklahoma's Priority Academic Student Skills standards set for schools.

Firehouse Art Center

For more information, call 329-4523 or go to

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