A Refreshed View Visit the Museum’s second floor galleries and see old favorites presented in a new light. Explore the freshly painted and re-hung European, portrait, and British art galleries, whose highlights include works by Charles Willson Peale, Sir Thomas Lawrence, and Giuseppe Maria Crespi. In our opinion, these spaces have never looked better. Photo by Jim Meeks
Inside at a Glance
Inside the Artist’s Studio: Jason Peters Georgia Kotretsos, who resides in Athens, Greece, introduces contemporary sculptor Jason Peters.
Oscar®’s Tent Gets Bigger According to Film Curator Brian Hearn, a banner box office year has changed the Oscar®’s for the better.
Docent Spotlight: Betty Abowitz Meet one of the many volunteers that provide guided tours of the Museum.
EGGFINITY See photos from the Museum’s most egg-cellent event.
News, Awards & More Harlem Renaissance exhibition honored by OHC, Roman Art wins 2009 RedBud Award, and talk about traveling to Savannah, supporting the Museum, and staying informed
Alfonso Ossorio: Gifts from the Ossorio Foundation Curator Alison Amick discusses eleven works by artist Alfonso Ossorio, on display in late February.
Mission The Oklahoma City Museum of Art enriches lives through the visual arts.
Photo by Jim Meeks
Dear Members and Friends Executive Staff Glen Gentele, President & CEO Rodney Lee, Finance Director Jack Madden, Facility Operations Director
Editorial Staff Alison Amick, Curator for Collections Chandra Boyd, Senior Associate Curator of Education Jim Eastep, Senior Development Officer Nicole Emmons, Editor & Publications Coordinator Brian Hearn, Film Curator Leslie A. Spears, Communications Manager
Board of Trustees Officers Frank D. Hill, Chairman Virginia A. Meade, Immediate Past Chairman Elby J. Beal, Chairman-Elect Leslie S. Hudson, Vice-Chairman Duke R. Ligon, Vice-Chairman Judy M. Love, Vice-Chairman Peter B. Delaney, Treasurer John R. Bozalis, M.D., Secretary Frank McPherson J. Edward Barth *James C. Meade Katy Boren Frank W. Merrick William M. Cameron *Charles E. Nelson Teresa L. Cooper Cynda C. Ottaway Theodore M. Elam Christopher P. Reen *Nancy P. Ellis Marianne Rooney *Shirley Ford Robert J. Ross Preston G. Gaddis Amalia Miranda Silverstein, M.D. David T. Greenwell Darryl G. Smette Julie Hall Jeanne Hoffman Smith Kirk Hammons Denise Suttles Suzette Hatfield Jordan Tang, Ph.D. K. Blake Hoenig Lyndon C. Taylor Honorable Jerome A. Holmes Wanda Otey Westheimer Joe M. Howell, D.V.M. Charles E. Wiggin Willa D. Johnson Marsha Wooden Penny M. McCaleb Katie McClendon *Lifetime Trustee
Donald W. Reynolds Visual Arts Center 415 Couch Drive Oklahoma City, OK 73102 (405) 236-3100 Fax: (405) 236-3122 www.okcmoa.com Readers’ comments are welcome. E-mail email@example.com. Requests for permission to reprint any material appearing in this publication should be sent to the address above.
It is always such a pleasure to have the opportunity to communicate with you through the Museum’s newsletter, as we proudly reveal our newest edition. Titled CONNECT, the publication’s updates not only include a fresh look and name change but also extended pages and a pull-out calendar. This first issue covers approximately four months and initiates a new publications schedule, with three issues a year. Look for the next installment of CONNECT in late April. This important publication provides a platform for ongoing dialogue with you, our supporters, and provides a snap-shot of the wonderful programs and events produced by the Museum in realizing our mission. I would like to tell you more about our mission in a moment, but first, I want to update you on the Omelette Party 2010, and our Saxum Step Up Grant. If you attended the Omelette Party on February 6, I hope that you had a fantastic time! I certainly did. The food was awesome; the chefs were absolutely fabulous to watch, as they created their culinary magic; decorations were lively and beautiful; and the place was packed! The Groove Merchants performed all night, and everyone had a great time. I want to thank the board for their amazing support and the staff for their excellent work producing the Omelette Party. I would like to extend special thanks to our Omelette Party chairs, Betsy and Dub Brunsteter, and cochair Adrienne Nobles, along with the entire Omelette Party committee for being so generous and amazing in making this event spectacular! As reported several months ago, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art received a $50,000 grant from Saxum Strategic Communications. Over the past 6 months, we have been working with them on media training, logo designs, marketing, and Web site redesign. This collaborative effort is advancing quite smoothly, and we are all very excited about the progress made thus far. Developing greater fluidity on the Web site that will enable us to incorporate video-blogs, online education class and camp registrations, museum store purchases, and more flexibility overall is the goal. The new site will provide us with broader ability to manage it internally as well, which is critical. We look forward to introducing more about the Web site and to phasing in the various components noted above over the course of the next several months. The mission of the Museum is to enrich lives through the visual arts, and to accomplish this, we actively engage in the following guiding principles as an institution: • Collect, preserve, and interpret works of art in the permanent collection and on loan to the Museum as a vital part of our ongoing work to bring forth and share knowledge about the history of art and the art of our time. • Provide educational resources and opportunities to children and adults in the community to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of art and culture. • Produce exhibitions of art and of the moving image that engage audiences and serve as a catalyst for supporting artistic experimentation and intellectual endeavor. • Engage the community in museum activities by providing a broad spectrum of special events for the public to enjoy and be inspired by. • Develop institutional collaborations and financial resources to better serve our constituents and to improve and enrich the quality of life in the region. We deliver these guiding principles through our core program areas of exhibitions, education, and film, which are supported by operations, visitor services, and security. Together, they fold into our mission and evolve from it in creating a cultural legacy in art and education that current and future generations can experience at the Museum and carry with them throughout their lives. This is literally at the heart of the Museum and evident in all of our work to provide excellent museum stewardship, programming, and resource development in service to visitors locally, regionally, nationally, and from around the world. Thank you for your part in supporting the Museum and for helping to build a thriving cultural community.
On the Cover Jason Peters. Visceral Paradigm, 2010. Photo by Paul Farmer
Glen Gentele President & CEO
CONNECT | Vol. 2010, Issue I
Inside the Artist’s Studio: Jason Peters by Georgia Kotretsos, an artist and writer based in Athens, Greece
Jason Peters. Seduction of a Muse, 2010. Photo by Paul Farmer
Jason Peters is an artist based in Brooklyn, New York. Over the years, he has discovered his muse in found objects—whether they are tires, buckets, or another material that allows him to manipulate it in vast quantities. He is a builder, a maker, and a worker who often turns trash into precious and delicate structures by using modular elements, which he then interconnects like building blocks to create entirely new forms. Peters’s large organic, illuminated structures are playful and light. Somehow they seem easy, as if the artist simply gestured with his hands in space. I’m rarely drawn to works that seduce my eyes and I never quite trust them, but in Peters’s case, there is a quality that made me reconsider this. It can easily happen to you too, if you view one of his light sculptures in person. You’ll instantly feel like you’re 5 years old all over again and carefree. You would not realize it right away, but after a few moments passed, you’d be able to hear yourself softly gasping with astonishment. You’d be convinced you’re inside some computer game, where a suspending glowing structure is shapeshifting as you walk around it. Today I’m introducing you to Jason Peters. Let’s consider the limitations an emerging sculptor is faced with early in his career, and how these limitations currently work to his advantage. Georgia Kotretsos: How important is having a studio for your practice? Jason Peters: To begin with…having one would be nice but not having a studio has never stopped me from creating work. It was a combination of things in college, where I first began making large works—realizing that material manipulation comes at a cost. This is when I started using found objects in large quantities. As this process evolved, I had no desire to accumulate or store materials. I only wanted to build the sculpture, document it, and move on to the next project. Also, I had nowhere to store my work or
[sustained] interest in it per se, because the art market hadn’t yet value assigned value to my work. So I would either throw the works out or I’d put them back where I had found the materials in the first place – in the trash. As an artist, I feel that the potential to create is within oneself. The times I had the opportunity to work at a studio were due to being an artist-in-residence. It has been great because it allows me to create 2D works. Being able to create without worrying is a wonderful thing. Living in Brooklyn, NY, I have a 40-60 hour-a-week fabrication job, which is how I survive. I have a place in my house where I make work, but it is not a studio setting. I make work when I can, and I do not particularly worry about making work all the time, since some days I get close to making a work and others I feel like I could lose my mind. GK: Basically, you’re telling me you create in-situ installations, which are built directly on-site. Where do you usually show? What are the conditions that allow you to work at a given location each time? JP: My works are the products of a systematic process consisting equally of conceptual, formal, and practical elements. I show at places that want to give me a chance. My first large-scale project was at the Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe in 2004. It was my first self-produced solo show. I was brought there by the curator, Kathleen Haniggin, on whom I relied heavily to help with gathering access to materials and volunteers. I went there with a few ideas, but I knew that all could change depending on the material I would find (which would dictate what I could build). The works I build are site-specific because I rarely move any of them around. Recently I did [move my work], for [a project at] The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts in St. Louis, MO; I will talk about that later on. Basically in Santa Fe, I came across buckets driving through the countryside. What is curious to me here is that I had chosen to collect
400 buckets, while somebody else had decided to thrown them out. One person’s trash is another’s treasure. Having found my material under time constraints, a toy I played with from my early childhood came to mind. Remember those wooden snakes that you held by the tail and they moved? Well, the inherent properties of the physical shape of the bucket contributed to the creation of the first bucket piece. This show was entirely possible because someone offered me the space and invited me to create a sculpture—it was an opportunity to manipulate space. In 2006 at the Mattress Factory, I was given full license and funding to create anything I wanted. The environment that Michael Olijnyk and Barbara Luderowski have created is amazing and [it] allowed me to grow and evolve by [enabling me to] make my first light sculpture (structure). I came up with a simple solution to highlight my initial material by presenting it floating in negative space. I figured if I lit the work from the inside and created a black room (background), I could remove it from the site itself. This gives you an experience but also make you aware of your other senses by default. Somehow the illusion of infinite space is created, which further impacts viewers emotionally while they remain physically grounded. For instance, when working with White Flag Projects in St. Louis, MO in 2008, Matt Strauss gave me only two weeks to install a two-day show. Most would say that was crazy for a 3000 square-foot space. The show did happen somehow and I was very pleased with the direction and the dimension my work was taking at the time. To this day, the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts has given me the biggest opportunity. I created a light sculpture in a 20,000 square-foot field for a show entitled The Light Project (2008). The challenge was, how do I build something that does not look like we just plopped a sculpture down on the lawn? It had to compete with the buildings around it, and I needed to construct a structure of some sort to support the light piece. Since I had always loved scaffolding, I incorporated it into the piece to facilitate my artistic needs, by building a 32 x 32 x 24 square-foot structure to juxtapose the curvilinear and linear elements against each other.
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Jason Peters. Visceral Paradigm (detail), 2010. Photo by Paul Farmer
Before I can get to this point, the most important aspect of my work are the people who come forward to volunteer by assisting the making of each work. Without them, nothing could be done. I usually have tons of ideas; I think most artists do. But time, money, and opportunity do not always align perfectly or simultaneously. I could always have more of everything, but I like to start with what can I get. Donations of materials are always of great help, since that is half or more of any budget for a show. What I have learned is to find the boundaries of what is offered to me—in terms of money, time, and space—start with what I have, and adjust the project to each set of limitations. It is the worst when you are shot down at every turn, so I now ask, “What are you willing to donate?” I have always made what I wanted and I feel my work represents me in the best light. Nonetheless, without thinking twice, I would never undertake a project if I thought it could not be done within reason, or if insufficient support is offered while unreasonable expectations are projected. GK: You live and work in New York. Do you feel like a New York artist? What does it mean to you to identify as one? JP: Most of my shows have been outside of NYC. What is that label really all about? Most artists are from somewhere else; NYC somehow makes us look better on paper. Personally, I grew up in Munich, Germany, and once I was finished college in Baltimore, I had to go somewhere and NYC was the city on the East Coast. So I moved here and am giving it a shot. It has now been 10 years and counting that I’ve lived in NYC. Only now do I call myself a New Yorker: a New York artist, more so than an artist living in New York. The competition is crazy; NYC has so many artists competing for the same venues, it’s like Rome during the gladiator days. Continued on page 7
Oklahoma Community Service Commission
CONNECT | Vol. 2010, Issue I
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In the Galleries
NEW FRONTIERS: Series for Contemporary Art Jason Peters, Anti.Gravity.Material.Light through April 11, 2010
Jason Peters in front of Seduction of a Muse. Photo by Christina Hicks
And more keep coming. I think you have to have a really thick skin and the mental capacity to enjoy this kind of challenge. When people ask whether I like being there, I [tell them I] cannot see myself anywhere else at this point; I love it here. What I have created is a great network, which in the end will pay off. I have established my sources; I can find and get anything at a moment’s notice either on the street or from a supplier. I can leave the city when I want, and for any period of time. I can always find someone to sublet [my apartment] and cover my costs when away. I always have a job when I get back and I can make a good living when I am working for others. The goal, though, is to make a living from my work, which I will see in time. For me, this city is the one of the most amazing place I have ever visited; I just have to watch out and take care of myself. It is a city where anything is possible; it is what you do which makes it so—or not. I would not be where I am today if I hadn’t moved here. The city has affected me. I feel like an artist first and foremost, and I would be one anywhere else I would have chosen to live. NYC is just a location— expensive, yet filled with potential.
The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States through May 30, 2010
Alfonso Ossorio: Gifts from the Ossorio Foundation February 25 - July 11, 2010
GK: Where would you ideally like to install one of your pieces? JP: The ideal place would be an interesting and challenging one. I am attracted to spaces that have a powerful presence. Some are naturally lit and others are artificially so. Spaces where things are maybe not expected to be. For example, when I was approached by the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts to do a piece, they said it has to be in this place ,which was a 150-foot by 120-foot field. It would not have been the space I would have chosen, but it pushed me to do something I had never done before—which I am grateful for. Places that have inspired me are: interiors of churches, rooftops, billboards, and shipping container boats or the lots that store the empties (like the exit in Jersey off I-95 going into the Lincoln tunnel). A space that has intrigued me a lot is the atrium of MoMA. The museum has so much space, but the biggest is the multi-story space in the heart of the museum that has not been yet challenged with a work of art. It would have to be huge to have an impact on the space.
Tour de Quartz March 25 - May 9, 2010
And that’s a wrap! This interview is taken from Georgia Kotretsos’ July 31, 2009, Art:21 Blog post and is reprinted with permission of Art:21 Blog. Jason Peters’ current exhibition, Anti.Gravity.Material.Light, is on view at the Museum through April 11, 2010. The first exhibit of the Museum’s NEW FRONTIERS: Series for Contemporary Art, Anti.Gravity.Material.Light presents five large-scale installations. Indicative of Peters’ work, the installations use objects, such as buckets and chairs, to create something extraordinary from everyday items.
Dale Chihuly: The Collection On View CONNECT | Vol. 2010, Issue I
Alfonso Ossorio Gifts from the Ossorio Foundation By Alison Amick, curator for collections
American artist Alfonso Ossorio sought to create a
Alfonso Ossorio (American, 1916-1990). Untitled, ca. 1950. Ink, wax, and watercolor on paper, 22 1/2 x 29 in. (57.1 x 73.7 cm). Gift of the Ossorio Foundation, 2008.122 © The Ossorio Foundation, reproduced with permission
Alfonso Ossorio (American, 1916-1990). Untitled, ca. 1950. Wax and watercolor on paper, 20 1/4 x 26 1/2 in. (51.4 x 67.3 cm). Gift of the Ossorio Foundation, 2008.124 © The Ossorio Foundation, reproduced with permission
Alfonso Ossorio (American, 1916-1990). Ritual Feast, 1950. Watercolor and wax on paper, mounted on board, 22 3/4 x 31 7/8 in. (60.3 x 81 cm). Gift of the Ossorio Foundation, 2008.121 © The Ossorio Foundation, reproduced with permission
connection between the spiritual and the material in his work. Of his largescale assemblages, he called “congregations,” Ossorio said, “…one of the things I try to do is to infuse into the inanimate a reference back to the whole hierarchy of human experience beginning with the material, using objects instead of just paint.”i Alfonso Ossorio: Gifts from the Ossorio Foundation will display eleven works created by the artist between 1949 and 1984. The exhibit includes eight ink, wax, and watercolor paintings, a collage, and an etching, as well as the major assemblage piece, INXIT. The works were donated to the Museum by the Ossorio Foundation in 2008 and will be exhibited in the second floor galleries from February 25 to July 11, 2010. Ossorio was born in Manila, Philippines, in 1916. The son of a wealthy sugar refiner, he attended boarding school in England and the United States. He studied printing and wood engraving at St. Dominic’s Guild in Sussex, England, where he spent several summers. In 1934, Ossorio enrolled at Harvard, where he studied fine arts and explored interests in medieval art and anthropology. After graduation, he completed additional studies at the Rhode Island School of Design. New York gallerist Betty Parsons offered Ossorio his first solo exhibition after meeting the artist in Taos in 1941. While in New Mexico, Ossorio completed a number of watercolors and drawings, including portraits and imagery inspired by his desert residence. Later, he completed medical illustrations and Surrealistinspired works, while enlisted in the military during the Second World War. Ossorio’s work was significantly influenced by artists Jackson Pollock and Jean Dubuffet. In a 1968 interview, Ossorio discussed his impression of Pollock’s work, saying “…I suddenly realized the so-called drip panels had an intensity of organization, had a message that was expressed by its physical components, was a new iconography.”ii He purchased his first Pollock in 1949 and became close friends with the artist and his wife, Lee Krasner. Pollock and Krasner urged Ossorio to visit Dubuffet, whose work they greatly admired, in Paris. Dubuffet’s interest in L’Art Brut, or works by “primitive,” untrained artists, such as children or the insane, as well as his use of assemblage and incorporation of materials such as sand and pebbles in his paintings, inspired Ossorio. In the early fifties, Ossorio housed Dubuffet’s collection of L’Art Brut at his estate in East Hampton, known as The Creeks, and it had a profound impact on his work, particularly on his later, large-scale assemblages. Ossorio began experimenting with assemblage in the late fifties, and by the mid-sixties, he was applying the term “congregations” to such largescale works as INXIT. The Museum’s INXIT has been described by art historian Betty Friedman as “the culmination of a decade’s work” and was at one time installed in the artist’s residence at The Creeks.iii INXIT consists of a door– which may be opened or closed–in a frame surrounded by objects, such as glass eyes, bones, horns, dominos, marbles, nails, shells, and more. Ossorio’s congregations were carefully conceived and the materials purposefully selected. One historian observed that, “His vast studio looked like a cross between a taxidermist’s workshop and Merlin’s laboratory.”iv Ossorio was concerned with issues related to spirituality and the arts throughout his career. The topic of his Harvard thesis was “On Spiritual Influences on the Visual Representation of Christ,” and his murals for the Greek Orthodox Church in Manhattan (1939) and the Chapel of St. Joseph the Worker in the Philippines (1950) explored this interest. He had a prolific period of creativity while working in the Philippines. His paintings from this period, including the Museum’s Ritual Feast and both untitled works, reflect the influence of Pollock as well as Ossorio’s interest in Freud, the subconscious, and the Jungian concept of the collective unconscious. Even the term he gave his
Alfonso Ossorio (American, 19161990). INXIT, 1968. Plastic and various materials on wooden door and frame: door and frame that opens with glass door knob, broken mirror, mountain goat horns, deer antlers, bison horns, animal bones and jaw with teeth, human skull, hat blocks, glass eyes, cork, shells, marbles, nails, metal and plastic rings, painted metal eagles, poured plastic shapes, plastic disc, dominoes, petrified rock, sawfish nose, metal relief stamps, piano string bridge, lobster claw, wooden letters and Plexiglas, 96 x 76 1/2 x 22 in. (243.8 x 194.3 x 55.9 cm). Gift of the Ossorio Foundation, 2008.129 © The Ossorio Foundation, reproduced with permission
assemblages, “congregations,” has a religious (or spiritual) connotation. These large-scale pieces have a splendid, awe-inspiring capacity that reflects the artist’s desire to, as stated earlier, “infuse into the inanimate a reference back to the whole hierarchy of human experience beginning with the material, using objects instead of just paint.” Alfonso Ossorio interview, 1968 Nov. 19, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. The major source for biographical information on Ossorio in this article is B.H. Friedman, Alfonso Ossorio (New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1972). ii Alfonso Ossorio interview, 1968 Nov. 19, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. iii Friedman, Alfonso Ossorio, 89. i
Klaus Kertess, Alfonso Ossorio: Congregations, 18. See this source, which contains contributions by Ellen G. Landau and Leslie Rose Close, for an extended discussion of Ossorio’s congregations and their influences. iv
Ossorio’s works have been widely exhibited in the United States and abroad. His work is in the collection of institutions such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The National Gallery of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Four years after his death in 1990, the Ossorio Foundation was established in Southampton, New York, to preserve and educate the public about the artist’s work. For additional information on the artist, visit ossoriofoundation.org.
CONNECT | Vol. 2010, Issue I
Oscar®’s Tent Gets Bigger by Brian Hearn, film curator
As we enter the new year and decade, the movie business is in a state of tremendous flux. Despite the nation’s economic woes the domestic box office was up nearly 10% in 2009, which seems to confirm that Americans do still like going to the theater even when times are tough and competition for free time and disposable income has never been greater. Now the movie awards season is picking up steam but a couple of major changes to Oscar® have come down from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences this year. First, the event itself, broadcast live on ABC and hosted by Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, moves to Sunday, March 7, giving us an extra week for screening nominees in the Noble Theater. Second, the much coveted Best Picture category is open to ten nominees, up from a maximum of five. Not since 1943 has the Academy selected ten nominees for Best Picture, not only to be more inclusive of different types of films but also to ensure that a larger television audience will tune in to the live kudocast on March 7 at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood. At press time, the official nominees have just been announced and the ten Best Picture contenders appear to be a fair balance of independent art house films and big budget blockbusters. Surely we must begin with Avatar, James Cameron’s stunningly expensive film that was more than a decade in the making. With a price tag estimated at $300 million, this science-fiction epic is being called a “gamechanger” in the movie business. Not only has Cameron pushed the boundaries of cinema technology, seamlessly integrating digital and live-action characters and sets, but also the use of stereoscopic cameras to create an intense 3D IMAX version of the film, which adds a spectacular new dimension to the viewer experience. Regardless, Avatar will be another billion dollar film for Cameron and is impossible to ignore on Oscar® night.
In contrast to the mega-blockbuster, An Education is a wonderful British coming of age story about a precocious teenage girl growing up in London in 1962. The film is a vehicle for a rising young star named Carey Mulligan, who has a notable on-screen presence reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn. She is very deserving of her first Best Actress nomination. Peter Sarsgaard, Alfred Molina, and Emma Thompson round out the strong supporting cast. The clever screenplay by Nick Hornby earned the film a third nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay from a memoir by British journalist Lynn Barber. Bucking the trend of most recent Iraq war films, Kathryn Bigelow’s gripping drama The Hurt Locker, about a U.S. Army bomb disposal unit in Iraq, has been well received by both audiences and critics. The independently financed film earned a total of nine Oscar nominations, equaling Avatar. Adding to the story lines, Bigelow is just the fourth woman to receive a Best Director nomination, rare company with Lina Wertmüller, Jane Campion, and Sofia Coppola. She also happens to be formerly married to fellow director James Cameron. Quentin Tarantino also delivered a distinctly unorthodox ensemble war film with Inglourious Basterds. Top lined by Brad Pitt, the film follows two plots to assassinate the Nazi political leadership in occupied France. The film received eight nominations with Cristoph Waltz appearing unbeatable in the Best Supporting Actor category as the eccentric Nazi colonel. Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire is a heart wrenching independent drama that will benefit from a larger tent for Best Picture. Precious is an obese, illiterate teenage girl living with her abusive mother in Harlem circa 1987. Despite suffering horrific abuse at home, at school, and on the street, Precious refuses to give up in the face of her many obstacles. In her first film role, Gabourey Sidibe gives an unforgettable performance as Precious, while Mo’Nique is the leading nominee in the Best Supporting Actress category for her role as the mother.
OKLAHOMA ART WRITING AND CURATORIAL FELLOWSHIP The Oklahoma City Museum of Art is proud to partner with the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition (OVAC) on the new program for art writers and curators, Oklahoma Art Writing and Curatorial Fellowship, along with the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Oklahoma. The year-long program was created by OVAC to encourage contemporary art
Disney Pixar’s latest computer animated film Up also benefits from the larger tent. It’s extremely rare for an animated film to receive a Best Picture nomination; it’s only happened once with Disney’s Beauty and the Beast in 1991. Up is the charming tale of an elderly widower voiced by Ed Asner and an overeager wilderness explorer named Russell who fly to South America in a floating house suspended from helium balloons. Pixar again finds that perfect mix of humor, pathos, and gorgeous animation, launching it beyond the Best Animated Feature category to compete with the big boys. George Clooney is back in fine form as corporate road warrior Ryan Bingham in Up in the Air. This intelligent contemporary comedy-drama features outstanding supporting roles by Vera Farmiga and newcomer Anna Kendrick. The film reveals the heartlessness of corporate America and Bingham’s struggle to meaningfully connect with the people in his life. Jason Reitman’s writing and directing both deserved nods. In somewhat of a surprise, the remaining Best Picture nominees were long shots, like the innovative sci-fi action film District 9, in which a large spaceship of extraterrestrials descends on Johannesburg, South Africa. The Coen Brothers are back with their dark period comedy A Serious Man, which doesn’t have a serious chance of winning. And if you believe in Hail Mary passes, the football drama The Blind Side scored a nomination on the strength of a big box office and Sandra Bullock’s crowd pleasing performance. The film is now the all-time top grossing American movie with a female lead. In conclusion, Oscar’s experiment this year appears to be a healthy change for the better in a banner box office year. It will be interesting to see if the larger tent of nominees attracts more eyeballs to watch the prizes handed out on March 7, the biggest night in the movie business.
writing that is informed, articulate, and inspired and engages audiences in contemplating the art of our time. “The Oklahoma Art Writing and Curatorial Fellowship is unique, highly competitive, and brings together a sophisticated group of mentors from around the nation and ambitious fellows from throughout the region. We are thrilled to be able to partner in this prestigious program,” said Glen Gentele, president, Oklahoma City Museum of Art. There will be three public panel discussions as part of the program in February, March, and September of 2010. Two of the panel discussions will be held at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art/Donald W. Reynolds Visual Arts Center, and one will be held at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art/University of Oklahoma. Each session will feature respected members of the national art community who will also be serving as mentors in the Fellowship program. “The program will investigate and contribute to the discourse about the contemporary criticism, the curatorial role and relationships among living artists, communities and institutions,” said Julia Kirt, executive director, Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition.
PANEL DISCUSSION − FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC PANEL DISCUSSION #1: Writing About Art in Museums and Academia WHEN: Saturday, February 20, 2010 WHERE: Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art / University of Oklahoma/Mary Eddy and Fred Jones Auditorium PANELISTS: Frances Colpitt, Professor and Deedie Potter Rose Chair of Art History at Texas Christian University, Ft. Worth, TX; W. Jackson Rushing, III, Eugene B. Adkins Presidential Professor of Art History and the Mary Lou Milner Carver Chair in Native American Art in the OU School of Art & Art History, Norman; Emily Stamey, curator of modern and contemporary art, Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita State University, KS MODERATOR: Shannon Fitzgerald, [Program Lead] independent curator and writer, Oklahoma City, OK PANEL DISCUSSION #2: What does a Curator Do? Three Curatorial Models WHEN: Saturday, March 27, 2010 WHERE: Oklahoma City Museum of Art/Donald W. Reynolds Visual Arts Center/Noble Theater PANELISTS: Margo A. Crutchfield, senior curator, Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland, OH; Tom Eccles, executive director, Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY; Kate Hackman, associate director, Charlotte Street Foundation, Kansas City, MO; Catherine J. Morris, curator of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY MODERATOR: Shannon Fitzgerald, independent curator and writer, Oklahoma City, OK PANEL DISCUSSION #3: Criticism, Critique, and Publishing WHEN: Saturday, September 18, 2010 WHERE: Oklahoma City Museum of Art/Donald W. Reynolds Visual Arts Center/Noble Theater PANELISTS: Tracy Abeln, editor, Review Magazine, Kansas City; Tyler Green, founder and editor, Modern Art Notes, Washington DC; Eleanor Heartney, contemporary art critic and contributing editor to Art in America, NYC MODERATOR: Shannon Fitzgerald, independent curator and writer, Oklahoma City, OK Seating for all panel discussions is free and open to the public on a firstcome, first-served basis. For more information, please visit write-curate-art.org. The Oklahoma Art Writing and Curatorial Fellowship is sponsored in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, Oklahoma Humanities Council, National Endowment for the Humanities, Oklahoma Arts Council, and Allied Arts.
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Friends welcome speaker Helen C. Evans On February 17, the Friends of the Oklahoma City Museum of Art will host Helen C. Evans, Ph.D., the Mary and Michael Jaharis Curator for Byzantine Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Dr. Evans will speak on her exhibition, The Philippe de Montebello Years: Curators Celebrate Three Decades of Acquisitions. De Montebello, who served thirty-one years as director of The Met, is responsible for increasing gallery spaces and nearly doubling the size of the Museum. Under his tenure, significant emphasis was placed on building the collection, resulting in more than 84,000 acquisitions. Additionally, de Ralph Earl (American, 1751–1801). Elijah Boardman, 1789. Oil on canvas; 83 x 51 in. (210.8 x 129.5 cm). The Metropolitan Montebello’s Museum of Art, New York, Bequest of Susan W. Tyler, 1979 (1979.395) leadership inspired the development of state-of-the-art conservation labs and enhanced scientific research, an expanded research library, electronic resources, and roster of educational and public programs, acclaimed publications, as well as ambitious and widely-popular special exhibitions. In celebration of these achievements and more, The Met’s Forum of Curators, Conservators, and Scientists worked together to organize a special exhibition that showcased 300 masterpieces from this legendary period. Evans, a specialist in Byzantine Art in The Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters, served as coordinating curator for the exhibition, which took place from October 2008–February 2009. “The Philippe de Montebello Years: Curators Celebrate Three Decades of Acquisitions was an exciting opportunity to work with all departments of the Museum as we sought to express our admiration for Philippe’s contributions to the Metropolitan Museum,” said Evans. “My talk will seek to describe developing the exhibition, what it was like to work with Philippe as he reviewed his past, and how the works selected represent the ongoing importance of the museum’s expansion under his directorship.” Friends’ lectures are free to Museum members at the Friend, Friends, and Sustainer membership levels. Seating is limited to 250, and reservations are recommended. NEW PRICES are $5 for general membership levels and $10 for nonmembers per ticket. For more information, contact Jim Eastep at (405) 236-3100, ext. 215.
Docent Spotlight: Betty Abowitz The Museum’s docent program currently is made up of more than 50 volunteer art enthusiasts, who have dedicated themselves to at least 50 hours and one year of service. These individuals guide visitors on informed tours of the Museum’s permanent collection and temporary exhibition galleries. They are an essential part of the Museum and greatly appreciated for their time and efforts. Join Associate Curator of Education Amy Young as she finds out more about one of these exemplary volunteers. Amy Young: Tell us a little about you background, such as family, career, and hobbies. Betty Abowitz: I grew up in Chatham, New Jersey, a small Revolutionary-era town about 25 miles west of New York City. I remember it as an idyllic time, with visits to the town library, summers at the municipal swimming pool, and winters skating on the river. I left after high school for nursing school in Philadelphia, followed by some night classes at the University of Pennsylvania. I met my husband, Murray, who had just graduated from Penn, and we moved back to northern New Jersey to accommodate his work at Mobil in NYC and attendance at Seton Hall Law School. I worked as an orthopedic nurse in Overlook Hospital in Summit, New Jersey, and put my college career on hold. Our first daughter was born just ten months before we were transferred to Oklahoma. We arrived here on a blistering hot July day just after a tornado had ripped through northwest Oklahoma City. Our second daughter was born in 1972, and Murray finished his law classes at Oklahoma City University and has had his own law firm for over 30 years. I’ve volunteered in several areas over the years, most heavily in the elementary schools that my children attended. I found myself as the school librarian and coaching Speech and Drama classes and relished every minute of it. I have also served on the boards of the Oklahoma Foundation for the Disabled and the Visiting Nurses Association, where I worked at the yearly flu clinics. I’ve also volunteered at our Catholic Church. Gradually, most of these responsibilities ended. My children were in high school and college, and I was able to resume my own college studies. Six rewarding years later, I graduated from UCO with a B.A. in liberal arts and business.
Partnerships flourish in education Both daughters went “back East” to Penn, then on to various graduate studies. Our older daughter is a now a partner in a Boston law firm, and our younger is the executive director of an 80-bed, skilled nursing/acute care facility in Cambridge. AY: How many years have you been a docent? BA: I’ve been a docent since 2005 and still smile at my good fortune in coming here. AY: How did you get involved in the Museum? BA: I don’t have an art background. I was 35 before I ever entered a museum, but that museum was the Louvre, our first stop in our first foreign city. We were stunned by the experience, and then I was “hooked” by the drama of a Caravaggio on our second stop in Vienna. We’ve been “looking” ever since but without much understanding... When I read the ad for the Museum’s New Docent class, I thought that I could finally learn to see what I was looking at. And did I learn! Artist as Narrator was my initiation as a docent, and I’ve learned to do my homework well, wear comfortable shoes, and remember that no two tours are ever the same! AY: What has been your favorite exhibition at the Museum so far? BA: Roman Art from the Louvre was my favorite special exhibit—such a wide scope of art media and history! AY: What do you find most rewarding about being a docent? BA: I relish the study and preparation for our new exhibits and can always treat myself to a “refresher” on the Museum’s permanent collection. Docenting is far more than merely sharing art knowledge; most rewarding, perhaps, is the opportunity to give children another way to succeed by expanding their social and educational experiences, making them welcome, and encouraging them to take “ownership” of “their” museum. They are its future. They teach me to see anew through their eyes, and it’s a rare and poor day that I don’t learn something from my tour groups. Deeply rewarding, too, has been the gracious welcome, inclusion, and encouragement by my fellow docents and the Museum staff.
Betty is just one of the many docents that provide guided tours of the Museum. If you or someone you know would like to join her, please call Amy Young, (405) 226-3100, ext. 212, to find out more about the program and how you can help.
Betty Abowitz (right) leads a tour of the Museum’s second floor portrait gallery. Photo by Jim Meeks
The Oklahoma City Museum of Art has developed many relationships with community organizations, and these partnerships are especially strong in education. From serving families and children to college-level students and adults, these joint ventures are fulfilling OKCMOA’s mission throughout the Oklahoma City metro area. In 2009, Museum educators provided outreach activities to branch libraries within The Metropolitan Library System in conjunction with the exhibition, Harlem Renaissance. And for a number of years, the library staff has presented themed-story times to complement the Museum’s special exhibitions as part of its Family Day events. In January, children’s librarian Rondia Banks, from the Downtown Library, joined the Museum in launching Gallery Story Times. These monthly, one-hour programs, held at 2 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month, weave together stories about art and artists through a variety of themes, such as “Museum Manners,” “Animals in Art,” and “Lines and Shapes.” Gallery Story Times are free with paid admission, and no advance registration is required for parents and children to participate. Families can bundle their fun by also participating in Drop-in Art hands-on art activities, offered every Saturday from 1-4 p.m. Another thriving partnership includes the Oklahoma City Philharmonic and the Oklahoma City Orchestra League. The Museum’s Family Days often feature musicians and the Instrument Playground provided by the Philharmonic. In return, the Museum has presented artist-led, pre-concert activities for the Philharmonic’s Discovery Family Series. Past projects have included Russian architectural drawings for Hold the Cannons! The Story and Glory of Tchaikovsky and the 1812 Overture; outer space collages for Space Rocks!; and mixed-media masks for Something Spooky at the Symphony. “The Oklahoma City Philharmonic and Orchestra League have enjoyed a partnership with the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. All of the arts are related, and by combining mediums, we can enhance the overall experience. The Museum of Art has been nothing but a joy to work with. The staff is kind, as well as creative, and our partnerships have greatly enhanced our activities with the Orchestra as well,” comments Katie Kucharski, education coordinator for the Philharmonic. For more information about the Discovery Family Series, visit okcphilharmonic.org. The Museum School at OKCMOA also offers noncredit courses, as well as courses for credit, through a collaboration with the OKC Downtown College and the Oklahoma City Community College. Classes have included Art Appreciation, Museum Studies, and Understanding Art in OKC. New this season is a 16-week course in Figure Drawing taught by Jeff Stokes, executive director at Individual Artists of Oklahoma. Additionally, a three-year partnership with Integris PACER Fitness Center has created popular The Art of Yoga classes in the galleries. On Saturday, April 10, the Museum will expand its educational partnerships through collaboration with the Chickasaw Nation’s Division of Arts and Humanities to offer a workshop on Native American Beadwork. To view a full listing of winter/spring 2010 classes or to learn more about the Museum’s exciting educational programs, visit okcmoa. com.
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Catering | Fine Dining | Brunch | high tea
Monday 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday 11:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. High Tea Tues. - Thurs. 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. Sunday Brunch 10:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. For more information, call (405) 235-6262. Make reservations or view menus at okcmoa.com/cafe
In focus @ OKCMOA portfolio day
Shannon Fitzgerald, Glen Gentele, Andrea Claire, exhibiting artist Jason Peters, and Ernesto Sanchez at the Members’ Preview for Anti.Gravity.Material.Light. Photo by Paul Farmer
Representatives from area colleges and universities evaluated the artwork of 161 Oklahoma high school junior and senior students at the 2010 Portfolio Day held at the Museum.
Melissa Scaramucci and her daughter, Stella, participate in hands-on art activities at Family Day.
Curator Ian Dejardin discusses his exhibit, The Dutch Italianates, at the preview lecture. Photo by Jim Meeks
Native American Cinema Showcase, November 7, 2009. L to R: Brian Hearn, film curator; Julianna Brannum, filmmaker; Charles Kennedye, filmmaker; Leslie Gee, filmmaker; Gena Timberman, executive director of American Indian Cultural Center & Museum. Photo by Kim Rodriguez
Visitor contemplates Jason Peters’ installation Visceral Paradigm at the Members’ Preview for Anti.Gravity. Material.Light. Photo by Paul Farmer
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Durward and Caroline Hendee with Suzette and Kim Hatfield.
Mike Turek, from Old Germany Restaurant, with Susan Phillips and Sammie Shahan.
The Groove Merchants.
Shannon Cornman celebrates winning the Rosie Leonard painting with committee member Jordan Young.
Ray Lees, Diane Glenn, Lisa Lees, Becky Robertson, and Crystal McLaughlin.
The dance floor was full all night.
Katelyn Blanchette, Beau Stephenson with BIN73, Lori and Dave Cathey.
Marty and Hoffie Smith with Joe and Tracey Shannonhouse.
Chef Ken Bradford of Chef’s Requested Foods (left) and Chef Bruce Rinehart from Rococo flies to “Eggfinity and Beyond.”
Ron and Alyce Page
The Groove Merchants
Whitney Cross, Jeffrey Moore, Erin Kozakiewicz and Randy Eckert.
Virginia Meade and Polly Fleet.
Shannon Fitzgerald, Glen Gentele, chairpersons Betsy and Dub Brunsteter with cochair Adrienne Nobles.
Donnie Duncan with Picassoâ€™s and the team from the Skirvin Hilton. Renate and Chuck Wiggin with Lyn Adams.
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E-News | Facebook |Twitter Follow Us and Stay Informed The Museum provides several different ways to stay informed. Distributed every Wednesday, the Museum’s E-news provides the latest in exhibitions, films, education programs, events, Cafe, Store, and more! Dual members often only submit one e-mail address. Please feel free to submit more than one address per membership to jeastep@ okcmoa.com. You can also join OKCMOA’s Facebook fan page and follow us on Twitter @okcmoa. These social networking outlets provide the latest happenings at the Museum. Don’t miss out. Follow us today.
It’s not too late Travel to Savannah, Georgia with OKCMOA Join the Oklahoma City Museum of Art May 3-7, 2010, as we journey to Savannah, Georgia. Enjoy southern hospitality and beautiful, historic scenery. The trip includes round-trip airfare from Oklahoma City, four-night stay at the Mansion on Forsyth Park, round-trip airport/hotel transfers, luggage handling at the hotel, all taxes, and a day trip to Charleston on May 5. This daylong excursion will include a tour of Magnolia plantation, box lunch, guided city tour, free time in Charleston, and dinner at High Cotton Restaurant. The cost is $1,799 per person, double occupancy, and $2,199 per person, single occupancy. A $500 deposit is required with final payment due February 20, 2010 (non-refundable). Space is limited, so please contact Brenda at Journey House Travel, (405) 483-5811 or 1-800-728-0051 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
AWARDS Harlem Renaissance exhibition honored by OHC The Oklahoma Humanities Council (OHC) named the Harlem Renaissance exhibition (held February 5−April 19, 2009) as a 2010 award recipient. The exhibition is being recognized as an Outstanding OHC Project, which honors a project made possible by an OHC program or grant. OHC Executive Director Ann Thompson stated that the awards underscore the importance of the humanities across the state. “Individuals, education programs, and communities are providing cultural programs—often with little funding—that inform how we see and interpret the human experience,” said Thompson. “Today, it is essential that we understand the varied cultures of our state and the world. The Oklahoma Humanities Awards recognize outstanding accomplishments that broaden our perspectives and enrich our lives.” Alison Amick, curator for collections and exhibition curator, will attend the March 4 awards ceremony at the Oklahoma History Museum to accept the award.
Roman Art wins 2009 RedBud Award The Oklahoma City Museum of Art’s Roman Art from The Louvre won the 2009 RedBud Award for Outstanding Temporary Exhibition. A record number of Oklahoma’s tourism professionals gathered to honor fellow tourism industry leaders with RedBud Awards in 13 categories at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism. Lieutenant Governor Jari Askins and Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department Executive Director Hardy Watkins announced the winners during a special gala held on Oct. 19, 2009, at the Renaissance Hotel in Tulsa. “RedBud Awards represent the highest honor given in the Oklahoma tourism industry,” said Watkins. “This year, we received more than 70 entries on behalf of tourism efforts from all across our state.” Entries were evaluated by out-ofstate judges based on criteria such as customer service, marketing effectiveness, media relations, variety of audiences reached, value, and overall creativity. The Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department partnered with the Oklahoma Travel Industry Association to present the annual RedBud Awards. Visit otia.info to view a full list of 2009 RedBud Award winners.
OKCMOA FACILITY RENTALS
Host your next business meeting, educational program, wedding reception, seated dinner, and more surrounded by the beauty and sophistication found in the galleries and spaces at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. The success of your next event is just a call or click away.
GREAT SPACES | GREAT ART
Donald W. Reynolds Visual Arts Center 415 Couch Drive | Oklahoma City, OK 73102
Phone Numbers Main: (405) 236-3100 Cafe: (405) 235-6262 Store: (405) 236-3100, ext. 232 Membership: (405) 236-3100, ext. 215 or 200 Adult Tours: (405) 236-3100, ext. 286 School Tours: (405) 236-3100, ext. 213 Facility Rentals: (405) 236-3100, ext. 286 Fax: (405) 236-3122 Toll free: (800) 579-9ART
For availability, contact Matt Thomas at (405) 278-8286 or e-mail email@example.com Visit online okcmoa.com/facilityrentals
Your Support is Invaluable As a nonprofit organization, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art relies on a variety of funding sources for programs and activities. This support enables OKCMOA to share its mission to enrich lives through the visual arts with thousands of visitors each year. The Museum offers people of all ages, as well as future generations, access to our nation’s cultural heritage and has a special role in public education centered on its ability to provide an interactive place to better understand our community, our nation, and our world. Your support of this endeavor is crucial. Please help the Museum to fulfill its mission and remain a viable cultural institution. There are many ways to give to OKCMOA. • Become a Member • Give to the Annual Fund • Attend a fundraiser through sponsorship or ticket purchase • Become a Corporate Season Sponsor • Join the Business Partnership Program • Make a Memorial or Tribute gift • Provide a gift through the Planned Giving Program • Support the Museum with an In-Kind Gift We thank our members and donors for their loyalty and enthusiasm and look forward to working with new friends as we build for the future. To support the Museum, visit okcmoa.com/supportokcmoa or call the Development Office at (405) 236-3100, ext. 215.
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General Admission Members: Free | Adults: $12 Seniors (62+): $10 | College Students (with ID): $10 Military (with ID): $10 | Children (ages 6−18): $10 Children (ages five and under): Free Tours (15 or more): $7 per person Senior Tours (15 or more): $6.50 per person School Tours (15 or more): $3 per person Film Admission Members: $5 Adults: $8 Seniors (62+): $6 College Students (with ID): $6 Museum Cafe Sunday Brunch: 10:30 a.m.–3 p.m. Monday: 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Tuesday–Saturday: 11 a.m.–10 p.m. (405) 235-6262 (Reservations & Catering)
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OKCMOA offers docent-guided and self-guided tours to pre-scheduled adult and school groups of 15 or more. Call (405) 236-3100, ext. 286 (adults tours) or ext. 213 (school tours) for details.
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Support the 2010 Annual Allied Arts Fund Drive! Visit alliedartsokc.com