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Philbrook Museum of Art announces The BIG Show: Work by Young Artists

Nearly 3,000 Young Oklahoma Artists Featured in Radically Inclusive Exhibition

(TULSA, OK. Feb. 14, 2022) — Young artists are a BIG deal. Taking over the entirety of the Museum’s Helmerich Gallery, The BIG Show highlights the creativity of nearly 3,000 young artists across Tulsa and Oklahoma who responded to an open call for submissions. All artworks were accepted as long as they met one simple condition: works of art must be 12×12″ in size or less (or 12×12×12″ for 3-dimensional works). The exhibition runs March 12–May 8, 2022. 

To reach the broadest audience possible, Philbrook partnered with schools and organizations throughout the community to encourage submissions, provide paper and materials, and create in-person opportunities to make work and turn it in on the spot. Within months, thousands of young people ages 4–18 responded, turning in drawings, paintings, photographs, textiles, sculptures, and more.

Inside the gallery, visitors will not only have an opportunity to view work by young artists but also get to know some of them through candid video interviews. “Nobody can take your creativity from you,” says Chandni, age 10, “because it’s a part of you.” 

“The visual impact of so many of the works is just astounding. And through speaking with artists, it’s clear that each artist has a unique creative vision. We can’t wait to share these remarkable works with the public,” says Jenny Fisher, Manager for Youth and Family Audiences.

Philbrook has always prioritized artistic experiences for young people, but the challenges of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic lend urgency to the timing of this groundbreaking exhibition. Seeing these works all together in one gallery is a particularly powerful thing, as many young people have been separated and isolated from one another.

“This project centers the voices and creativity of young people from across our state,” says Tracy Truels, Bernsen Director of Learning and Audience Engagement. “These works and the ideas behind them are powerful. Our hope is that The BIG Show will both immerse and inspire visitors, who will have a chance to get creative themselves in the space.” 

Ultimately, The BIG Show celebrates and encourages moments where everyone, including young artists, can find joy in self-expression, connection, and calling upon their own creativity to make the world a better place.


About Philbrook Museum of Art

Philbrook Museum of Art is committed to being Tulsa’s most welcoming and engaging cultural institution, providing a unique trifecta of experiences: a historic home, world class art museum, 25 acres of gardens. 

Philbrook Museum of Art opened on October 25, 1939. The addition of a 70,000 square foot wing in 1990 turned the historic home into a modern museum complex. A major garden renovation in 2004 cemented the Museum’s reputation as “the most beautiful place in Oklahoma.” 

Through bold action and strategic investment, we create a space for new ideas, diverse stories and perspectives, and social connection. The Philbrook Collection features more than 16,000 objects with a focus on American, Native American, and European art. Serving over 160,000 visitors annually, Philbrook shines a light on Tulsa’s storied and complex past while building a diverse and creative vision of the city’s future.