#KeepTulsaCreative at ahha Tulsa
I don’t know if I mentioned it here, but Joss entered the ahha Tulsa Mayfest Youth Art Gallery this year. It was somewhat of a battle. Every time he started to draw something, he got frustrated. Eventually, he turned a potato into a “potato catapult” and photographed it. I printed it out, we submitted his entry, and a couple weeks later it was on view! It probably helped that everyone who enters gets selected 😉
But the best part about being part of the Mayfest Youth Art Gallery is that all kids with work on display get free admission for themselves and one guest throughout the duration of the exhibit. Awesome! This is, in fact, the primary reason I really wanted Joss to enter. (Entry into the Youth Art Gallery itself is free, by the way.)
Now that the exhibition is over (and Joss’s potato pic proudly hanging on his bedroom wall), I may need to get an ahha membership. Because THE STUDIO, located on floor 3, is amazing! One wall is full of recycled materials that you can use to build whatever you can imagine. In another space, they have books, puzzles, magnatiles and other fun activities for younger kids. Crafters can set up shop at several tables in the middle of the room. And all of this means that your kid can go crazy with creativity, and your own home won’t end up a wreck.
In addition to recycled materials, you can also ask for help with paints, using a sewing machine and other more specialized equipment.
If you need inspiration, there’s a gumball-style machine near the elevator full of plastic eggs. Turn the lever, grab an egg, and open it. Inside is a sheet of paper with a creative prompt. Joss LOVES these eggs. Our prompt on this recent visit was “make some flowers and wear them on your head.” I don’t usually feel very creative when it comes to art, but I’m pleased with how my floral fascinator turned out!
Joss “planted” his flower in recycled plastic and colorful cloth “dirt” 🙂
The main reason we went this past Sunday was because they were having a special alcohol ink session. They supplied canvas, rubbing alcohol, paints, gloves and hair dryers. This is a really fun, open-ended way to paint, and Joss was thrilled by the whole process. He had fun coming up with his own techniques.
Also, there is always at least one ahha Studio Ambassador in THE STUDIO to help with whatever you need. Demonstrating a technique, finding an elusive material, etc. Or even just talking to your very friendly kiddo while you finish a project, ha.
Other Places to Play and Learn
If you want to take a break from creating indoors, head onto the large balcony. There are oversized building blocks, giant Connect 4, etc. Plus, great views of downtown Tulsa!
I previously wrote a blog post about THE EXPERIENCE: IMAGINE. It’s an immersive, interactive art installation on the second floor of the building. Because time passes strangely quickly in THE STUDIO – I only meant to spend an hour on Sunday, but it ended up being 2-3 hours! – I haven’t taken Joss here yet.
On the first floor, you’ll find a gift shop and THE GALLERY, which houses rotating exhibits. CRYSTAL Z CAMPBELL: NOTES FROM BLACK WALL STREET (OR HOW TO PROJECT YOURSELF INTO THE FUTURE) is currently on view through July 25, 2021.
Summer Camps and Classes
Check out ahha’s Summer Camp lineup if you’re still on the hunt for summer camp. I’m a little sad I didn’t sign Joss up for Circus Camp or Tiny Camp, but he was all about doing science camps this year 🙂 They have a ton of options for younger kids through teens that all sound incredible.
While adults may not be able to attend summer camp, they do offer classes and workshops like 4th of July Floral Arranging, Short Prose Writing, etc. Not to mention, a darkroom, lighting studio, metals and printmaking lab, etc., for those wishing to really explore a particular medium. Learn about scheduled and guided access to these spaces here.
Address: 101 E. Archer St.
Hours: 12-9 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 12-7 p.m. on Sunday; Closed Monday and Tuesday
Admission: Adults, $12.75; Children (3-12), $8.75; Free for members and ages 3 and under
Membership: An Individual membership is $75. This includes one guest per visit, so would be perfect for Joss and I. A Dual/Family membership is $125 and includes 2 named adults and 4 kids. A Contributor membership ($225) includes four guest passes. All memberships come with unlimited free ahha admission and lots of other perks. See details at ahhatulsa.org/membership.
COVID Policies: ahha is currently limiting admission numbers and recommends reserving tickets online in advance. Masks are no longer required but are recommended for unvaccinated visitors. Learn more on this page.