Gilcrease Museum opens temporary shop on Route 66 | Arts & Theatre

The first of what may be a series of temporary sites showcasing aspects of the Gilcrease Museum will open Saturday at the Shops at Mother Road Market.

Curations by Gilcrease Museum is a new retail and exhibit space that features merchandise and art that reflect the museum’s internationally acclaimed collection of American art and history, along with works by contemporary artists and makers.

This includes a display of prints by Tulsa artist Kathleen Neeley; books about portions of the Gilcrease collection, such as its extensive holdings of Locust Grove artist Willard Stone; turquoise jewelry; and craft food items, such as locally sourced honey.

The space also includes an art-making station, where visitors can take a playing card-sized canvas and create their own image that they can take with them or leave to be put on display in a “tiny art gallery.”

“We want to give people things they might expect from Gilcrease, along with things that might not be traditionally associated with the museum,” said Melanie Rosencutter, director of visitors services and the Museum Store at Gilcrease, who also oversees Curations.

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“Not everything we have here will have a direct tie to the museum, but we are working to make sure everything for sale and on display has a connection to Tulsa and Route 66.”

Gilcrease Museum officially closed in July, and the original buildings were leveled to make room for a brand new facility on the same site in northwest Tulsa. Curations also includes renderings of how the new facility will appear when it opens to the public in about three years.

Curations fills the area that previously housed the Graham Collective and Felizsta.

“We had received offered from places downtown, offering us to set some kind of presence in their buildings’ lobby,” said Frank Mulhern, Gilcrease’s senior director of development. “The only problem is that we would have to install the fixtures in order to display anything, and that was just too expensive.

“But here, the fixtures are already in place,” he said. “So when this opportunity arose, we knew we couldn’t pass it up.”

Mulhern said the space also gives Gilcrease the opportunity to showcase local, contemporary artists in a way that wasn’t often done at the museum itself.

One such artist is Dawn Tree, who will create an interactive mural centered around imagery of Route 66, the so-called “Mother Road,” which Curations faces.

Rosencutter said Curations will remain at the Shops at Mother Road Market at least six months.

But “we’re hoping to be able to stay here for at least nine months, because that way we could take advantage of the holiday shopping period,” she said.

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Anita Shire

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