The City Sentinel, Staff Report
As Oklahoma’s first arts district, the Paseo Arts District continues to grow with restaurants, galleries and retail. The community is invited to the First Friday Gallery Walk every month, rain or shine. Galleries and shops stay open late, and the evening marks the opening of new exhibitions each month. This month’s walk is Friday, August 2, 6 to 9 p.m.
The Paseo Art Space presents “Tour de Quartz,” an exhibition of artwork created by Oklahoma high school students during the 2019 Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain. Students are selected for this exciting opportunity through statewide auditions. At the institute, students learn from nationally renowned artists and are able to improve upon their skills. Each student is represented by one piece of artwork in a variety of mediums such as photographs, prints and drawings.
“We are always excited to see what the students do each year. Their talent is far beyond what you would consider high school level,” said Amanda Bleakley executive director of the Paseo Arts Association.
Tour de Quartz will be on display in the Paseo Art Space from August 2 to 31 and will then continue to tour throughout Oklahoma.
Featured at the red “Flamenco” sculpture in the center of the district 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. is musician Stephen Salewon, a singer/songwriter who grew up in Lagos, Nigeria and relocated to Oklahoma City with his family at the age of 13.
Influences from his African roots, Red Dirt Music, and the likes of Jack Johnson, Mumford & Sons and Coldplay lay a foundation for the melodic and soulful tunes he considers Indie Folk. His tales are such they could mend a broken heart or cut like a knife; he expresses the attributes within the spectrum of our innate desires.
And dinner? Check these out: Mekong Spice food truck will be serving authentic Thai and Lao cuisine. Egg rolls and pork satay are a couple of menu favorites, so don’t miss out. The Big Friendly Beer Bus will be pouring COOP Ale Works until the end of the night. Also, stop by Growe Flower Truck to create your own summer bouquet; 10 percent of their proceeds from the evening will benefit Rainbow Fleet. Country Girl Kitchen will also be here selling her delicious homemade loaves of bread.
Named by Forbes as one of America’s most transformed neighborhoods, the Paseo is a vibrant, self-sustaining arts district, which was the first of its kind in Oklahoma City. As the catalyst for this neighborhood’s revitalization, the Paseo Arts Association established the monthly First Friday Gallery Walk, where galleries offer special exhibitions, refreshments, guest artists and a variety of live entertainment to the public. First Fridays are one of several ways the Paseo helps to bring the arts closer to the lives of its community members.