Cindy McKinney light show

“Light Show” by Cindy McKinney is part of the “Assignment Tulsa” exhibit.

A new exhibition featuring local photographers and a fresh look at Tulsa will be on display at Gilcrease Museum starting March 5.

“Assignment Tulsa” is a collaboration with the Photographers of Tulsa Oklahoma Group (PHOTOG), a nonprofit photography club with members whose experience ranges from novice to expert.

The photos on display are the 49 winners chosen from five months’ worth of photography. Starting in July, club members took photos based on a different assigned theme each month, explains Mark Dolph, Gilcrease’s curator of history. At the end of each month a three-person panel of judges, unaffiliated with PHOTOG, selected the top photographs.

Though the exhibit was planned before the pandemic, it turned out to be an ideal project for the current times.

“Many (photographers) said to me, ‘This was just a godsend, getting me out of the house. Instead of sitting on the couch, watching the news and becoming more and more depressed by the day, it gave me a sense of purpose to get out and take photographs,’” Dolph says.

Photographers submitted 50-100 words describing their photos.

“With those descriptions, you really get a sense of how these folks think about Tulsa and their love and respect for being a Tulsan,” says Dolph, who was surprised by some of the entries, which taught him about new Tulsa icons, people and places to go.

The exhibition is a continuation of the partnership between Gilcrease and Tulsa community organizations. Over the past three years, Dolph has planned other local photography exhibits — two with photos from a class with landscape photographer David Halpern and one with Mazen Abufadil, who is the art teacher at Holland Hall School.

Gilcrease Museum, 1400 N. Gilcrease Museum Road, is scheduled to close some time in 2021 for renovations. Dolph says it will be later in the year. — Blayklee Freed

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