Liggett Studios in Tulsa, OK
When it comes to art in Tulsa, Steve Liggett is a household name. But similar to the aesthetic of contemporary art, his path into the art world was non-linear and somewhat out of the norm. “I came to Tulsa to go to Oral Roberts University (ORU) and while I was building a kiln on campus there, I was told by God to get out of business school and into art” says Liggett.
This paved his way as a pioneer in the contemporary art world of Tulsa and, though he claims to be retired, he is still very much creating and curating art.
Having been the director of the longest running contemporary arts organization in Tulsa, Living Arts, for almost 3 decades, this eventually led him to become the
curator of his own space, Liggett Studios. “Since I retired from Living Arts, I started doing monthly shows at Liggett Studios. It’s an exhibition space with mainly local artists where we also occasionally do concerts and performances.”
Steve explains, “I’m not a commercial gallery in the normal sense, I’m kind of still doing what I was doing at Living Arts in many ways, but only more visual arts rather than multidisciplinary artwork, although I do some of that, too.”
The Gallery at Liggett Studio lives in a historic building in the East Village of downtown Tulsa and is open to the public 10 months out of the year on Thursday evenings, Saturday afternoons and sometimes for first Friday art crawls.
Having been in the contemporary art scene most of his life, the artists he features resemble his experimental, diverse and often non-conventional approach to life. Every year he hosts a She Makes Art show that is open to any female artist within 50 miles of Tulsa, plus his Objets D’Art holiday show in November, which is the ideal place to buy affordable, local gifts for the holidays. Most items in his gallery range from $250-$500 but he also welcomes pieces that might be $5 up to $10,000. There is truly something for everyone and when it comes to buying art, Steve advises, “buy what you like and what you can afford.”
Steve is more than just a gallery owner, he is a vehicle, an incubator, a teacher. His curations reflect evolving ideas, powerful themes and engenders new arts forms and social change.
For the art curious, his encouragement and wisdom of collecting is relatable and inspiring. He says, “look for work that is going to take you further than what you already know. If you have a piece of art on your wall that is just pretty, you’re gonna get bored with it. You need something that stimulates thought, something you don’t completely understand. Ambiguity is a good thing in art, because it keeps you coming back saying, I thought I understood this piece, but what is that person smiling about? What is that in the clouds? Is that a shark? Or is that a helicopter? It should be something that’s going to sustain you, so you will enjoy it for a long time”.
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How To Become A Featured Artist
For each artist he chooses to feature, they host a monthly gallery exhibit as well as an online gallery displaying the work for purchase. His process for choosing artists is akin to his own art, a bit abstract and deep with meaning, “I look for artists who are doing individualized work so you can see who the person is. It has nothing to do with anything else other than I like to show people that can show me who they are, what they believe in and have it together enough so they can create a body of work.”
He takes proposals once a year and gives every artist a chance to include what they would like to create in his gallery space. “I am all about giving opportunities for artists to be able to express themselves how they want. “
Ready to Plan A Visit?
Find Liggett Studios at The Gallery 314 S Kenosha, Tulsa, OK 74120 or visit their website here: https://www.liggettstudio.com.
Local Hotels & Restaurants
While visiting Liggett Studios, you will be in the heart of the East Village in downtown Tulsa. One block away holds some of the most eclectic and delicious restaurants.
- The Goat, a Mediterranean eatery turned club after hours, 222 S. Kenosha.
- East Village Bohemian Pizza, a local hotspot for the most creative and mouthwatering pizzas and cocktails, 818 E. 3rd St.
- Hodges Bend, an upscale coffee shop by day and swanky cocktail bar by night, 823 E. 3rd St.
- Lowood, a California style high-end bistro with a world class in-house Sommelier, 817 E. 3rd St.
- For hotels, Steve shamelessness plugged his spectacular Airbnb that he owns in the historic Heights District. It is the quintessential artist experience, as his Airbnb is a gallery in and of itself where he also offers pottery lessons for his guests.
- Hotel Indigo 121 S. Elgin.
“Western Movements” with Rea Baldridge at Liggett Studios
The exhibit recalls what brought many early Oklahomans to settle in the area, according to Gallerist Steve Liggett. The series of work showcased in this exhibit focus on this movement of settlers but also highlights the beauty of the cultures that were usurped.
Your Land is My Land II
A piece reminiscent of Woody Guthrie song, says Liggett.Read More
The Purple Sage
The work has an intangible quality where you’ve felt like you might have “seen this somewhere or there is something about this,” says Liggett.Read More
Chicks & Ducks & Geese...
Baldridge again emphasizes the movement and commotion with her brush strokes.Read More
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