In 1929, the Paseo was developed by Oklahoman G.A. Nichols as the first shopping district north of downtown. The arts have always been apart of the Paseo. The Elm’s, a resident art gallery and studio was built in 1920, and located at 27th and Walker. It was the first artist studio and gallery in Oklahoma City. In the 1950s, the Paseo was home to small businesses, student partying, and jazz clubs. The ‘60s brought the counter culture with it’s creativity, and free spirit.
It wasn’t until the 1970s that the Paseo began its transformation into an arts district. The first annual Paseo Arts Festival was held on Memorial Day Weekend in 1977 and the Paseo Arts Association was formed in 1982 to further organize and energize Oklahoma’s first arts district.
Today, the Paseo is home to 20 galleries and more than 70 vibrant artists all within walking distance of each other on the curved, two-block street that has maintained it’s Spanish revival architecture with it’s original stucco buildings and clay roof tiles. Intermixed with the galleries are several restaurants, art schools, boutiques and other businesses.
The Paseo Arts Association is a non-profit, 501 c 3 organization.
The mission of the Paseo Arts Association is to foster and maintain an environment for artistic growth in the community. The Paseo Arts Association provides the opportunity for cultural exchange between artists and the public through exhibits, performances, festivals, and educational programs.