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OKCMOA opens single-painting exhibition to remember Oklahoma City Bombing

By Caroline Sellers/KFOR,


OKLAHOMA CITY ( KFOR ) – The Oklahoma City Museum of Art has opened a single-painting exhibition to remember the Oklahoma City Bombing.

According to OKCMOA, the exhibition is centered around Cynthia Daignault’s “Oklahoma”, a painting that honors the memory of the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. “ Cynthia Daignault: Oklahoma ” will consist of the artist’s black-and-white painting.
Cynthia Diagnault: Oklahoma. Image courtesy OKCMOA.

“At first glance, this may feel like a reproduction of the well-known newspaper photograph of the bombed building, but as you get closer, you can see that Daignault used loose brushwork to confuse the image into almost chaotic lines.,” said OKCMOA Director of Curatorial Affairs and Audience Engagement Rosie May, Ph.D.

Officials say the painting was initially created as part of Daignault’s “What Happened” from 2018, which compiles the last one hundred years of American culture. Daignault revisited the art in 2021 to develop “Oklahoma”. She was a senior in high school in Maryland when the bombing happened, and the event has stayed with her.

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Diagnault wasn’t interested in creating a huge painting, she wanted to make something people were going to think about, according to OKCMOA.

“It’s not a grand gesture … creating a monumental painting didn’t feel right. I wanted to create contemplation, quiet thoughtfulness, and sadness.” Daignault said.

The Museum says guests are encouraged to reflect on what happened, and the piece provides a response wall for visitors to leave notes and think about the shared impact of the tragedy. Also, the layout was designed so visitors do not see the painting at first, but instead gives guests time to see it when they’re ready.

“In the days following April 19, 1995, art became a source of healing,” said Kari Watkins, President & CEO of the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. “The Oklahoma City Museum of Art was gifted this painting to remember what happened. We are pleased to partner with them to encourage the learning of this story at the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum and to see the artwork in person at the Art Museum to ensure an understanding of the senselessness of violence.”

The painting will be on display on the second floor on the Museum from now until December 31, 2023. OKCMOA is teaming up with the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum to honor a $2 discount on general admission when visitors show their same-day ticket at the other museum.

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