Since its founding 75 years ago in a graceful 1920s mansion, Philbrook Museum of Art has grown to become one of the preeminent art museums of the central United States. The cornerstone of its permanent collection is its wide-ranging survey of Native American art, from traditional basketry to 20th-century paintings. Other highlights include Renaissance and Baroque paintings from the Kress Foundation and an American art collection including 15 paintings by Andrew Wyeth.
Outside, the museum's 23 acres of grounds includes a lush garden whose trails run alongside native Oklahoma plants and plants that relocated to Oklahoma after college. An architectural addition features an auditorium, restaurant, library, and education studios, many of which host the Philbrook's interactive, enlightening programs and events. In the summer, these include daytime art camps for six- to 12-year-olds and a nighttime film series that screens features in the garden. The Philbrook's growing modern and contemporary art collections can be found at a satellite campus in downtown Tulsa, which also contains the Eugene B. Adkins Collection and Study Center of Native American Art.
What began in 1965 as a traveling exhibit from the Jewish Museum in New York transformed into a permanent space for art pieces that encompass various aspects of Jewish life. The museum now bears the name of its first curator, Tulsa native Sherwin Miller, whose dedication to Judaism and art embodies the museum’s mission to "preserve and share the legacy of Jewish art, history and culture."
To cultivate its educational environment, The Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art maintains permanent collections such as the Jewish History and Culture exhibition, in which visitors can peruse fine art in the form of brilliantly colored tapestries by Israeli artist Reuven Rubin and archeological artifacts from the Middle Bronze Age through the Iron Age. Other displays include the Kaiser Holocaust Exhibition on the first floor and the Oklahoma Jewish Experience, which tells the stories of immigrants and showcases memorabilia from Oklahoma synagogues and families. In addition to its collections, the museum also showcases rotating exhibits of visiting works of art and seasonal educational displays with craft projects geared toward specific holidays.
Safety comes first at New Heights Rock Climbing Gym. Before strapping in at the gym’s top-rope climbing course, all guests have to complete a training lesson that teaches them the skills needed to safely surmount the gym’s walls. Students learn how to tie weight-bearing knots, help friends safely ascend and descend the walls using belaying techniques, and recognize the difference between rocks and Styrofoam coolers that just look like rocks. Once instructors deem them ready, students can then latch onto the colorful rocks sprinkled throughout the climbing space, using their upper-arm strength and path-finding skills to surmount the vertical obstacle course. The angled bouldering course rises over padded mats, allowing guests to safely climb the inclines while working against gravity pulling down their own body weight. The gym opens its doors to parties of all sizes, with one designated instructor for every eight partygoers to ensure climbers stay safe and agile.
Students at Dance Dynamics, a registered member of the Canadian Dance Federation, may recognize the director, Herb Clarke. The veteran dance teacher and Dance Saskatchewan board of directors member has starred in his own teaching series on Shaw Cable and has appeared alongside Juliet Prowse on PBS’s Championship Ballroom Dancing. He harnesses his fleet-footed expertise and choreography experience to lead students of all skill levels through lessons in a variety of dance styles, such as rumba, salsa, swing, and waltz. In doing so, Clarke and his teaching staff help students reap the benefits of dance, such as stress relief, weight loss, and the ability to summon Fred Astaire by whispering his name into a candlelit mirror.
The newly renovated Oilers Ice Center provides visitors with a regulation-size indoor rink designed for ice hockey, figure skating, curling, and public skating sessions. Four curling rings sit beneath the frozen carpet, which is kept smooth with frequent passes of a zamboni blasting classic R & B hits from its stereo. The venue doubles as the official practice space for Oklahoma’s Central Hockey League team, the Tulsa Oilers, and offers adult hockey leagues throughout the year. Busy families of dexterous ice veterans can take advantage of the center’s flexible hours, and adventurous couples can spend Friday nights using their skates to trace the shape of hearts or prenuptial-agreement fine print into the ice.
With an emphasis on safety, Oklahoma Safety & Security Source's owners Bart and Donna Batman seek to educate the Tulsa community on the fundamentals of firearm ownership and operation. Their instructors teach courses on various subjects, including the operation and maintenance of firearms, as well as NRA-certified courses. The team's professionals also advise law-enforcement agencies and consult on personal and business security needs. In addition to the gun and airsoft-gun range, they also host bouts in an indoor paintball facility.