Jenks Arts District Introduces Lectures

Managing Editor

Making art more accessible. That is the concept behind the creation of the Third Thursday Lecture Series. The series is the first endeavor by the arts council, the governing body for downtown Jenks’ arts district, which encompasses Main Street.
The idea for the district began early last year as a way to expand artistic servings in Jenks, says Jenks Communications Director Nick DeMoss.

The arts district includes Jenks’ long-established antiques district, therefore, its full, official name being the arts and antiques district. “We are focused on enhancing what we already have on Main Street and that includes our antiques district,” he says.

Once the arts district was formed, the idea for the lectures came about soon after that.

“It gives people the opportunity to see art who might not otherwise,” he says.
The free presentations are held in the Dr. Kirby A. Lehman Center for the Study of Mathematics and Science on the Jenks High School main campus, 205 E. B St., at 6:30 p.m.

The first event, on Jan. 16, nearly filled the 120-seat planetarium and featured images from the Sistine Chapel and a subsequent discussion with AP art instructor Jill Flummerfelt and planetarium Director Dan Zielinski.

“Art doesn’t mean just paintings or sculptures,” says DeMoss. “It’s also technology, performance art, dance.”

On Feb. 20, Ken Busby, executive director and chief information officer for the Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa, will speak. Busby has also worked as the director of development for the Tulsa Zoo and with the Gilcrease Museum. During his time leading the Arts and Humanities Council, Busby has overseen tremendous growth in the downtown Tulsa arts community and continues to be a leading voice for the arts in Oklahoma and beyond.

The lecture series will continue through May. Other speakers will include flute maker Nelson Harjo of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and State Poet Laureate Nathan Brown, a distinguished musician, photographer and poet.

DeMoss expects the lecture series to become a regular occurrence that will correspond with the fall and spring school schedule. The series is planned to end in June and resume in September.

Next for the arts district is the completion of an arts incubator near 1st and Main Street.

The building was previously used by the Oklahoma Aquarium and will be refurbished and turned into a gallery and studio space for artists.

“We are currently in the phase of looking at what other art incubators have done,” DeMoss says. “We are not yet sure what it will look like yet, how much space will be devoted to gallery and how much to studio space.”

Completion of the arts incubator is planned for later this year.

Updated 02-05-2014

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