The Henry Zarrow Center for Arts Education is open to the public.
Today was the grand opening and ribbon cutting for the facility, which occupies the east third of the old Tulsa Paper Company.
Renovations on the rest of the building, which will also be part of the new arts complex, continue.
Operated by the University of Tulsa and funded in part by the George Kaiser Family Foundation, the center is named in honor of Henry Zarrow. Today’s celebration served as a tribute to him.
“We’re thrilled to be able to honor Henry Zarrow, and to do it in a way that reflects several of his philanthropic interests,” said Dr. Steadman Upham, president of TU. “To have students from Zarrow International School here today, working in the classrooms and participating in art education classes, really … closes the loop. It’s a dream fulfilled. To have Mr. Henry here to see it is really, quite emotional actually.”
Those Zarrow Elementary students are among the first to enjoy the new facility. They’re on the second floor, which houses classroom space.
Programming will include summer art classes for elementary and high school students.
Today the students are creating sculptures out of colored wire. They also have a sense of Zarrow’s contributions to their school, and say they feel lucky that Zarrow visits regularly.
The first floor of the facility is a large gallery that serves as an extension of the Gilcrease Museum. Right now it displays Thomas Moran watercolors.
“They were from the Gilcrease archives,” said TU spokeswoman Kayla Acebo. “There is a vast amount of art, artifacts, in storage at Gilcrease. Because of space limitations, they’re not able to be put out on rotation a lot. This space … will allow an additional venue to display some of the treasures at Gilcrease.”
Finally, the third floor houses studios for TU’s MFA candidates. One student, John Bryant, says that his old studio on TU’s campus was a small fraction the size of the new room.
“I didn’t have any windows in my studio,” he said. “I felt like I was underground in a bunker. So all this light—is a big deal.”