OKLAHOMA CITY (Free Press) — Have you ever wanted to combine the intellectualism and emotion of enjoying fine art with the simplicity and comfort of drinking some beers on a Saturday night?
Then, boy, does the Oklahoma City Museum of Art have the event for you.
For 17 straight years, the museum presented a night of ARTonTAP, inviting local breweries into the museum space to provide art patrons the opportunity to sample loads of different flavors and styles while enjoying the museum’s artworks and exhibits. It quickly became an annual favorite, generating interest not just among thirsty art fans, but also among more and more local brewers as well.
And then, of course, COVID hit and made the fan-favorite event impossible for 2020.
Luckily, with OKCMOA now fully reopened and reporting nearly pre-pandemic visitor numbers through the summer, they’re ready to reintroduce one of their own most beloved annual events when ARTonTAP returns this Saturday night, October 23rd, albeit with a bit of a new look and location.
“This year, Couch Drive will be transformed into the ARTonTAP Block Party,” said Kimberley Worrell, OKCMOA’s Director of Development. “Moving the event outdoors allows us to gather together safely while still offering an opportunity to support our local brewers and the museum.”
The decision to move the bulk of the event outdoors is an obvious one, as the museum is still operating under timed ticketing and requiring masks and distancing indoors to help mitigate the ongoing pandemic, but the move also allows for some new additions to the festivities.
“This year’s event will be a little different than in past years, with live music and live art demonstrations,” said the museum’s Marketing Director Becky Weintz. “Our goal with ARTonTAP has always been to support our local brewery scene and the museum’s exhibitions and programs. We are thrilled to bring it back.”
Of course, the real stars of the night will be the beers themselves.
While OKC’s largest beer supplier, Capital Distributing, will be hosting a Beer Garden showcasing some nationally (and possibly internationally) renowned brews, the biggest draw will always be the locals.
Oklahoma’s brewing community hasn’t stopped exploding, even throughout the pandemic, with new breweries opening all the time and many of the most well-established reporting record production numbers. Local breweries both young and old rely heavily on public events like ARTonTAP to get the word out about new offerings and to hopefully make a notable space for themselves among the numerous OK beer options.
“Beer and art have infinite parallels. Showcasing them both in an event like this is a great way to share in those parallels,” said Shaun Wright, one of the head brewers at OKC’s Lively Beerworks. “As artists and brewers, we are both trying to convey something to the consumer.”
Brewing, Wright said, is as diverse and creative as any other art form.
“Some brewers are traditionalist and love to put their spin on the European styles that have been around for hundreds of years, while others may be more interested in finding the limit of how many pounds of Twinkies is too many to add to a beer,” he explained. “Artists exist in the same manner, from realism to abstract, along with a diverse history to learn and lean on.”
Art and beer
It’s easy to see the lines blurred between art and beer when talking with the people that make it. When asked for descriptions of some of the brews that will be available at ARTonTAP, the responses come back full of talk of complementary flavors, base notes, harmonies, effervescence, and more. The way they describe their work is no different from a painter detailing his creations.
Case in point: Maurice Perez. As both the head brewer at OKC mainstay Anthem Brewing and a successful local painter and artist with multiple OVAC events and showcases under his belt, there might be no one more familiar with the intersection of art and brewing.
What Perez loves most, though, is the freedom and time that he’s allowed to create in both worlds.
“This job has been quite a pleasant experience of combining the science and craft of making beer while also allowing for moments of spontaneity and quick decision-making similar to being in front of an easel with a paintbrush,” he said. “Those moments happen all the time, and the results can add quite a lot to the final product.”
Whether drafting recipes and brewing beer or creating a visual masterpiece, it’s always all about taste.
The 18th annual ARTonTAP at Oklahoma City Museum of Art takes place Saturday, October 23rd along Couch Drive in front of the museum from 6 to 10 pm. Tickets can be purchased at okcmoa.com/events.
Last Updated October 22, 2021, 7:56 AM by Brett Dickerson – Editor
(this story/news/article has not been edited by PostX News staff and is published from a syndicated feed)