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High Society

The Society gives thanks for its first two years with an ‘epic’ art show that looks to the future.

Louis Fowler August 7th, 2013

Made for Moore
7-11 p.m. Friday
The Society
1609 N. Blackwelder

Greg Simkins
When Jerrod Smith opened The Society’s doors two years ago, the Plaza District venue was meant to be a community-driven art space that would also function as a studio for himself and a couple of other artists. But, to be honest, he wasn’t sure it would last one year, let alone two.

“I don’t just go and do any idea,” Smith said. “As a creative person, you have hundreds of ideas and not all of them come to fruition. But if I bring an idea to fruition, I’m going to make it work. We’ve kind of become this central hub for artists and creative people to be connected, to feel like they’re part of something. 

There’s a strong push and desire for that in Oklahoma City. It’s kind of a built-in audience, but I didn’t know I’d find great friends and a great community.”

This sense of connectedness has him and the rest of The Society turning their second birthday into Made for Moore, a benefit for the victims of May 20’s EF-5 tornado.

“We decided to make it a twofold deal: a two-year anniversary that’s one of the most epic art shows in Oklahoma City in 25 years and to help out an extremely important cause,” Smith said. “Namesake and pride have been put aside to raise funds.”

Audrey Kawasaki
Friday’s party will feature the works of nationally renowned artists including Greg Simkins, Audrey Kawasaki, Emek, Mike Mitchell and Drew Struzan, illustrator of iconic movie posters for the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises.

Local acts Jacob Abello, Chrome Pony, Jabee and Crystal Vision will perform live music.

“Sixty-plus artists and galleries are represented,” Smith said. “This isn’t just Joe Blow from down the street who was pulled from the coffee shop; they’re probably some of the best living contemporary artists in the nation. It’s pretty shocking who is in here.”

With two years behind it, The Society gang is focused firmly on its next two years. Future projects include opening a retail shop on N.W. 36th Street and Western Avenue that will carry artwork from national talents. In the meantime, the focus continues on its Plaza District home and art community.

“What we strive to continue doing is to put proof in the pudding that if you want to do creative things in Oklahoma City, there isn’t a better place in the nation to do it,” Smith said. “Creativity here is not just something we all just sit around and think is fun to talk about; it’s something we believe is a way to rehumanize and change culture. We’re just going to keep doing that in order to inspire and encourage people to continue in their creative endeavors.”

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