700s Leads To The Oscars, Or K. K. Barrett Went To The Library

extremely loud and incredibly close

In a February 28th, 2014 Tulsa World article, painter, West Coast punk rock band drummer, award-winning music video and commercial designer, Academy Award-nominated film production designer, opera creator, and former Memorial High School student K. K. Barrett remembers Tulsa's 70s music scene, its local improv, and his time at the downtown library, "I went to Tulsa's downtown library and taught myself about fine art and decided that was my future."

Barrett adds, "I think I was in Oklahoma at a very good time, with a lot of forward-thinking people and ideas at the time, and what I did ultimately was just take some of those ideas with me and head further west."

We welcome you to use our 700s collection to teach yourself about fine art and become a famous artist (it's free!), but if the Academy Awards are not in your future, you can view and appreciate Barrett's work in these films available from our library: 

Lost in Translation

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Where the Wild Things Are

Being John Malkovich


Marie Antoinette

I Heart Huckabees

(thanks, Johanna!)


I literally held and thumbed through if not read every book on modern art and architecture in the Tulsa library in the evenings of 1969-71. It was the place I realized that when you are ready to learn about something you can start by teaching yourself. A driving curiosity is the best teacher. It makes you ready to engage in any conversation and keeps you fearless.

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