An inside look at the finished Oklahoma Contemporary arts center in downtown OKC

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – It took $30 million and hundreds of donors to create the new Oklahoma Contemporary in Automobile Alley. This week, it will officially open its doors.

“This is 12 years in the making getting to this point so staff is just tingling with excitement,” Eddie Walker, Executive Director for Oklahoma Contemporary said.

A host of events are planned with the art center officially opening Friday.

In one year, Oklahoma Contemporary has quadrupled its membership.

You may remember City Arts Center at State Fair Park. It opened in 1989 and is a stark difference from the new 54,000 square foot space.

“With the new facility the mission has not changed. The vision has not changed. It’s expanded. It’s magnified. It’s amplified,” Walker said.

The nonprofit focuses on performance, exhibition and education.

Much of it is free but will also offer paid camps and classes including photography, ceramics, dance and more.

“We have a robust exhibition and public program menu and those are all free. Always have been and we envision always will be,” Walker said.

The art inside is wrapped around architecture inspired by Oklahoma’s beautiful sunrises.

“Wouldn’t it be great if we could make a building that could capture that light and change during the day and be this incredible symbol and optimism and change and variety?” Architect Rand Elliott said.

Architect Rand Elliott used recycled aluminum for the exterior.

Symbols of the state are woven into the entire building’s design.

“The building is filled with these interesting ingredients that tell you a little bit about what arts education is about,” Elliott said.

A building where light outside reflects over automobile alley– and programs inside allow the Oklahoma arts to shine.

The ribbon cutting and grand opening is 10 a.m. Friday.

It will be open this weekend until 9 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

For more information, click here.

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