Although born in Omaha, Nebraska, Ed Ruscha began his artistic career in Oklahoma. Literally. In 1956, at the age of 19, Ruscha set out on Route 66 from Oklahoma City (where he had lived for 15 formative years) to Los Angeles. It was the first in a series of drives that took him past the sites that would form the basis of his 1962 book Twentysix Gasoline Stations (above, middle) and reappear in his later images of hotels, parking lots, swimming pools and the grizzled glamour of the Sunset Strip.An exhibition opening today at the Price Tower Arts Center proves that Oklahoma’s significance in the contemporary art world goes far beyond that tidbit of Ruschian trivia. The state has also bred and/or trained such artists as David Salle, Joe Goode, Larry Clark, Joe Andoe and Carolyn Brady. “Out of Oklahoma: Contemporary Artists From Ruscha to Andoe" features about 35 of these artists’ paintings (including Ruscha’s “Black Hollywood" ), sculpture, photographs and works on paper in an exhibition that ranges from Pop Art, abstraction and minimalism to photorealism and new figurative painting. According to Richard P. Townsend, who curated the exhibition, the show “reveals a little known-and little suspected-aspect of later 20th-century American art" while spotlighting Oklahoma’s “innovative spirit and pioneer attitude." It’s a fitting way to celebrate the state’s centennial.