Page 1

ArtOFocus k l a h o m a

Okl a ho m a V i s u al A r ts C o al i t i on

Vo l u m e 2 4 N o . 3

May/June 2009

Deborah Brackenbury A Norman artist’s interest in natural history and science influence her photography and mixed media works. p.4

f ro m t h e


Drawing by Emma Ann Robertson

The Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition sees as a part of its larger mission the importance of improving and encouraging the infrastructure of support for artists within the state. This includes supporting the people and organizations that can affect the careers of artists such as writers and curators, among others. In this issue of Art Focus Oklahoma, Cathy Deuschle has written a feature story about the role of the curator in the making of exhibitions and art. I hope that her exploration of the topic will answer some questions you may have about the curatorial process, as well as bring up new questions that can become a part of the ongoing and everchanging conversation. More directly, I asked Cathy to write this story as an introduction to a new program that OVAC is planning – the Art Writing and Curatorial Fellowship, to begin early 2010. This year-long program will offer twelve participants interaction with visiting scholars and experts in the art writing and curatorial fields. Over the year, each participant will work towards a final project in their chosen area, to be completed with the help of a grant from OVAC. Through the Art Writing and Curatorial Fellowship, OVAC hopes to encourage writing about Oklahoma artists and quality curatorial projects about living Oklahoma artists by both established and emerging curators. OVAC has already secured funding for the new program from the National Endowment for the Arts and OVAC’s founder, John McNeese. Long term, we hope this will elevate the reputation and visibility of the artists of Oklahoma overall. The call for participant applications will be available this summer. Please let us know if you have questions about this exciting new endeavor.

Kelsey Karper

Art OFocus k l a h o m a Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition P.O. Box 1946 • Oklahoma City, OK 73101 ph: 405.232.6991 • e: visit our website at: Executive Director: Julia Kirt Editor: Kelsey Karper Art Director: Anne Richardson Art Focus Intern: Maria Glover Art Focus Oklahoma is a bimonthly publication of the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition dedicated to stimulating insight into and providing current information about the visual arts in Oklahoma. Mission: The Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition supports visual artists living and working in Oklahoma and promotes public interest and understanding of the arts. OVAC welcomes article submissions related to artists and art in Oklahoma. Call or email the editor for guidelines. OVAC welcomes your comments. Letters addressed to Art Focus Oklahoma are considered for publication unless otherwise specified. Mail or email comments to the editor at the address above. Letters may be edited for clarity or space reasons. Anonymous letters will not be published. Please include a phone number. Art Focus Committee: Janice McCormick, Bixby; Don Emrick, Tulsa; Susan Grossman, Sue Clancy, Norman; Michael Hoffner, Stephen Kovash, and Sue Moss Sullivan, Oklahoma City. OVAC Board of Directors 2008-2009: R.C. Morrison, Bixby; Richard Pearson, Rick Vermillion, Edmond; Jonathan Hils, Norman; Jennifer Barron, Susan Beaty, Stephen Kovash (President), Paul Mays, Suzanne Mitchell (Vice President), Carl Shortt, Suzanne Thomas, Elia Woods (Secretary), Oklahoma City; Joey Frisillo, Sand Springs; Anita Fields, Stillwater; Cathy Deuschle, Elizabeth Downing, Jean Ann Fausser (Treasurer), Kathy McRuiz, Sandy Sober, Tulsa; Eunkyung Jeong, Weatherford. The Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition is solely responsible for the contents of Art Focus Oklahoma. However, the views expressed in articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Board or OVAC staff. Member Agency of Allied Arts and member of the Americans for the Arts.

On the Cover Deborah Brackenbury, Norman, Wannabes; Bobcat Boy, ceramic plate with waterslide decal, 12” diameter


© 2009, Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition. All rights reserved. View this issue online at


p ro f i l e s


Deborah Brackenbury

A Norman artist’s interest in natural history and science influence her photography and mixed media works.

6 Bob and Janet Shipley Hawks

A lifetime of experiences bring this Tulsa artist couple inspiration.

9 The Concrete World of Eric Wright

After leaving a career in the corporate world, an artist pursues his own American Dream.

re v i e w s / p re v i e w s


13 MFA Thesis Exhibition 2009 at The University of Tulsa Three graduate students display the results of their studies.

16 Under the Impression

Two Tulsa museums have overlapping exhibitions of artwork from the Impressionism movement.

18 deadCENTER Film Festival

The June festival in Oklahoma City will feature over 100 independent films.

19 E. Scott Hurst’s The Eye Knows What The Hand Sees

A writer visits the artist’s studio and reflects on the development of his artwork being prepared for an exhibition at the Tulsa Artists’ Coalition.


21 Showcasing Oklahoma’s Cultural History: Native American and Western Art Simultaneous events and exhibitions in Norman and Oklahoma City feature impressive displays of the state’s rich heritage.

23 Julius Shulman: Oklahoma Modernism Rediscovered

A retrospective exhibition of photographs of Oklahoma mid-century architecture appeals to fans of photography, design, architecture and film.

f e a t u re s

24 What is an Art Curator?

A reflection on the role and influence of the curator in art making and exhibitions.


business of art

26 The Future is Bright for Right-Brainers

The ability to think creatively makes artists uniquely valuable in the 21st century.

at a glance

27 Harlem Renaissance in Oklahoma City

An exhibition at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art explored the Harlem Renaissance through art, music and film.

OVAC news

28 Round UP | New & Renewing Members

29 g a l l e r y g u i d e


(p. 4) Deborah Brackenbury, Norman, Wannabes; Pioneer Thesis, ceramic plate with waterslide decal, 12” diameter. (p. 6) Bob Hawks, Tulsa, Prairie Fire, Wood, 15”x6”. (p. 23) St. Luke’s Methodist Church. © J. Paul Getty Trust. Used with permission. Julius Shulman Photography Archive, Research Library at the Getty Research Institute. (p. 27) Archibald J. Motley, Jr, Saturday Night, Oil on Canvas, 32”x40”.


Deborah Brackenbury, Norman, Frozen Salvia, Archival Photograph, 8”x10”

Deborah Brackenbury by Allison Meier

Like most artists, Deborah Brackenbury’s career path was indirect, and before she found photography her passion was science. “I had a plan A and then it filtered down to plan F or G,” she said. “I was pre-med as an undergraduate, but then I dropped out of school and in about six months I picked up a position working in commercial art.” 4

p ro f i l e

Following this introduction to visual art, she first studied for a BFA at Wayne State University in Detroit before eventually becoming a graduate student at the University of Florida where she received an MFA with a concentration in photography. “Ultimately, I ended up teaching and doing residences and I was able to have an intense involvement with photography and made it alive and a part of the things I was interested in,” she said. Brackenbury lives and works in Norman and originally came to Oklahoma with her husband when they both took jobs teaching at the University of Oklahoma, where she works as an assistant professor of photography in the School of Art. While over time she has varied her approaches to visual art, including methods of film and digital photography and also mixed media installations, her background and interest in science have provided a constant thematic backdrop. “For a number of years, I’ve been interested in our cultural representation of nature and I’ve worked with that a lot through photographing at museums and taxidermy shops,” she said. “Some of my work can lean towards the grotesque, especially with my use of taxidermy animals.” Brackenbury’s Wannabes; A series of commemorative plates, has photographs of taxidermy wildlife with superimposed human clothing on flowery ceramic plates. They are alternately whimsical and unsettling, with the Festivity plate showing

Deborah Brackenbury, Norman, Wannabes; Festivity, ceramic plate with waterslide decal, 12”x9”

a lively chimp wearing a red stocking cap, while Open Heart has an eyeless and obviously deceased monkey wearing a white dress. Brackenbury created the plates to explore the impulse to anthropomorphize animals in a way that reflects human desires, while completely disregarding the actual world of the animals. The Wannabes plates, with their vintage florals, reflect how people sentimentalize animals while ignoring their real and sometimes savage wants and needs. “The way that humans form relationships with animals is incredibly intriguing to me,” she said. “I love to think about a child sitting at a breakfast table reading ‘The Three Little Pigs,’ wearing pajamas with pictures of pigs on them, and eating bacon.” Her curiosity with natural history as a component of her art has continued with her recent minimalist photographs of flowers, branches, leaves and berries. Ice covered coneflowers, dried sunflowers, and delicate morning glory seeds are all photographed in macroscopic detail against plain backgrounds that make the pieces a cross between plant life studies and portraits. Other recent photographs were taken in herbariums where dry botany specimens are collected and pressed on paper. Like Brackenbury’s earlier taxidermy work, these photographs have a scientific inspiration, this time with flora instead of fauna. Many of

the images focus on “ghosts” that come from the outline of where a plant was kept between the pages of a book. “I’m no longer in academia and I spend the most time in my life with plants, hiking and gardening,” she said. “I’m interested in seeing plants on a closer and more intense level.” Her interest in gardening has also led her to experiment with functional art, creating bowls, trays and vases molded and built from concrete integrated with color. These “impure vessels,” named for the recycled glass and flowers that were part of the first pieces, feature patterns of muted and natural colors. Each piece has the option of being used either for food in the house, or for the birds and plants in the garden. As with the taxidermy animals, the relationship the user has with the concrete piece defines its existence in the world. Deborah Brackenbury’s work can be seen and purchased at and n Allison Meier teaches English in the southeast of France and is a freelance writer specializing in the arts. She can be reached at

p ro f i l e


Janet Shipley Hawks, Tulsa, Red Glitz, Embroidery Thread, Beads, 6”x3”

Bob & Janet Shipley Hawks by Elizabeth Downing

“And that’s a photo of us with President Clinton,” says Jan Hawks, pointing to a photograph in a frame with an invitation and a picture of one of Bob’s exquisite turned wood pieces. Hillary was in the days of the headband, there’s a fully-laden Christmas tree in the background, and the card in the top corner declares that 1993 was the “Year of the American Craft”. Bob Hawks was one of 72 artists and 15 woodturners selected to participate in the White House exhibit (through the Renwick Museum) in conjunction with the proclamation. Oklahoma had the distinction of another one of its woodcrafters included in the show: Ron Fleming’s flowered-wood bowl appears in the book published regarding the show. If there’s anything Oklahomans do well, it’s stick together: the Flemings and the Hawks traveled to D.C. to attend the opening, and even rented a limo for the event (although they apparently had some trouble finding the right entrance to the White House). Jan remembers walking down the long hall with Christmas


p ro f i l e

Carols from the Marine Band ringing in their ears, followed closely by the thought, “What the heck am I doing here?” She’s being modest. Jan and Bob Hawks have a lifetime of creativity under their belts in both professional and personal pursuits. “I never worked a day in my life,” says Bob, referring to the thousands of photos he took, the hundreds he had published, and the commercial photography business he built from scratch. The “job” zig-zagged him across the world, even as far as the Arctic Circle, but it was a project just a bit closer to home that would start him on the journey to now. He met Jan on assignment while he was shooting the freshly minted Kaiser Rehabilitation Center at Hillcrest where she worked as an occupational therapist. A few more photographs, a lunch, and some time later, they were married.

Janet Shipley Hawks, Tulsa, Turquoise Fantasy, Embroidery Thread, 11”x3”

Their house is that of two working artists, with both Bob’s and Jan’s bowls sitting atop the kitchen cabinets and scattered along the entryway. His are wood, hers are colorful, organic fiber creations, and her self-reported passion. They are also the subject of her book: yes, she wrote a book in 2007 entitled Sculpted Threads: Artful Brooches, Earrings and More (That Patchwork Place). A visiting quilter encouraged her to write the book after seeing the aforementioned thread bowls immediately after coming in the Hawks’ doorway. Their studios are comfortably well-worn in only the way a place becomes after years of work: Bob has a custom-built lathe and a vacuum taller than he is in his turning shop, and Jan has vibrant piles of fabric, scissors and thread on every available surface in her room. Both of them have trouble describing where their inspiration comes from, which speaks to a sense of creativity so ingrained that it can’t be teased away from the way they see the world. As Bob so succinctly says, “I see something and think ‘that is neat.’ ” There’s a palpable sense of excitement as they describe their respective processes, with one thing leading to another and, of course, the occasional inspiration in the shower. And some of it is putting in the hours Jan says that they “spend as much time in [the] studios as we can,” which is certainly a hallmark of someone that looks forward to what the day will hold. They have met a president, been to art openings across the country (and the Smithsonian), thrived in their respective careers (creative and otherwise), written a book, traveled the world with friends and fellow artists, and seen new pieces of art take shape underneath their fingertips. But more than that, they love what they do, and their inspiration is infectious. It’s such a precious commodity, that quiet-yet-energetic feeling, so it’s appropriate that her words rang in my ears far past the end of their long driveway….“just see what happens.” n

(top) Bob Hawks, Tulsa, Prairie Fire, Wood, 15”x6” (bottom) Bob Hawks, Tulsa, Redhead, Wood, 5”x17”

Beth Downing is not an art critic, but a photographer of the urban landscape and a technical writer who lives in Tulsa. She can be reached at

p ro f i l e



Eric Wright, El Reno, The Burden, Concrete, Asphalt, Wood, Steel 12”x30”x12”,

The Concrete World of Eric Wright by Romy Owens

ro: please describe the art history version of Eric Wright. EW: I cannot remember a time in my life when I didn’t feel like an artist. I did a drawing on an index card when I was six or so, and actually “framed” it by coloring some paper brown, which I then cut into strips and taped around the drawing. I still have it. When I was nine, my mom sent me to an artist who conducted lessons in her home studio. It was almost like being in church because the students were all very quiet while she worked on her own paintings and only helped someone when they got stuck. After three or four years with her, my paintings actually got worse and I began to loathe painting in oils. When I was fourteen, a lady demonstrating calligraphy caught my attention and started me down the path of commercial art. After taking classes with her, I found people wanted to pay money to have poems calligraphed. I thought that was the coolest thing ever and became interested in graphic design, which appeased my mom’s desire for a career that paid a wage, so going to college was a no-brainer throughout high school. My second influential art teacher was in high school. It was her way or no way in the classroom. Luckily, we’re pretty resilient as kids, so I survived another art teacher that opened the doors of creativity very poorly. After getting a BFA in graphic design, I worked in small advertising agencies and freelanced small time until I got the good, corporate, union wage job laying out yellow pages ads. Mom was happy. The

work was most unfulfilling and the corporate environment took its toll over time. It did, however, offer many benefits for which I am eternally grateful – a graduate degree, a superb education on human behavior, a body of ideas that will last a lifetime and the ability to become debt free – which allowed me to walk away from it, with the encouragement of my wife, to follow a passion for fine art. While pursuing an education and a job in commercial art, I have always written down ideas that come to me, and they have always been ideas for fine art pieces. As I did the exercises in The Artist’s Way a few years ago, I realized I was sidetracked from fulfilling my true purpose at an early age yet was still offered a frontage road by doing graphic design, which kept my focus on art. I have now committed myself to fine art and thoroughly enjoy the new journey. ro: What advice would you give to the high school artist version of yourself if you could travel all sci-fi-like back in time? EW: This is an interesting question since I’m going through the process of getting an alternative certification to possibly teach art at the high school level, so now could actually be the past looking at the future. Also, as I went through The Artist’s Way I discovered the nine year old version of myself sitting in a corner and realized that I am the adult who must teach art to my inner child. The strongest advice that comes to mind is to follow your passion and not let anyone discourage you from your dreams. I would also advise that it is possible to make a living doing the thing you absolutely love. For me, an illustrator continued on page 10

p ro f i l e


named Harvey Dunn sums it up best in an article I read about him. My recollection of his quote is, “The only way to accomplish anything is to be yourself, approaching life from your particular angle. If there is anything worthwhile it will come forth. But, if you insist on looking at life through the eyes of others, you are subject to their limitations as well as your own.” ro: What inspires your artwork? EW: The short answer is people – particularly people in our American culture. I minored in interpersonal communication, and many of the class assignments involved changing personal behavior, so that gave me a set of tools for observation. Also, being a commercial artist comes with a built-in awareness of the multiple messages that constantly bombard our culture. Fortunately, that provides a never-ending supply of ideas. I am constantly peeking behind the facade we all have to see what might be driving our behavior.

A new aspect of the cube has arisen recently that I’m really excited about. I’m calling a new batch of ideas The Dolly Series as each cube has industrial dolly wheels that make them mobile. With that, each cube becomes a character or human attribute that’s found in pursuit of the American Dream, or the quest for the shiny object. One particular character is the Crippled Dreamer, which has only one wheel that gives him something of a disability. His journey then becomes one of trying to find mobility so he too can pursue the dream. I’ve already got several ideas in my sketchbook and look forward to what shows up along the way. I am astounded at how many ideas just keep coming in the simple form of the cube for me to express my view on the dark side of the American Dream.

ro: I love the word bombard. It really is an interesting reality, isn’t it?

ro: Please tell me your individual idea of what the American Dream is.

EW: It is. I see it as the reality of an illusion. Marketing is pure strategy and can easily be likened to warfare in so many ways. Keeping with that analogy, our culture is then held prisoner as companies continue their endless campaigns for the latest, greatest, shiny thing.

EW: I believe it is a life of simply being - being who we truly are with the freedom to use the gifts and talents we’ve all been given to help those around us. It’s more about who we are than the things we possess. The real freedom comes from not having to have what others tell us we need - they’re called trappings for a reason. If we make the trappings of success the focus of our lives, we’re destined for stress and disappointment. If we follow our true paths, life becomes an adventure and true success will result.

ro: Using people as your inspiration, tell me a little bit about the cube : person relationship. EW: The cube is a direct result of working in a cubicle for almost eighteen years. My first sculpture is entitled Cubicle and looks something like an industrial bird cage with no ingress or egress and has a small white cube inside, representing the occupant. So many workers in our culture spend the majority of their waking hours in these dreadful little spaces, and they long to be anywhere else. What’s more, they “have to” work in such misery to support a lifestyle that’s driven by our consumer culture. So, the cube becomes more than just the confinement of the workplace. It also represents the emotional toll Eric Wright, El Reno, Outpouring Concrete, Asphalt, Steel, 9.5”x14.5”x9”,


taken to acquire the trappings of success and wealth our society seems so desperate to attain.

ro: Let’s talk about concrete as a medium. How does one learn how to work with concrete? EW: One of the biggest influences on using concrete comes from working on a house built in the late 1800s. I knew nothing about construction before my wife and I bought it, yet I’ve learned quite a bit over the past thirteen years. I saw pretty quickly that I could easily apply building construction to my art. Concrete showed up one

Eric Wright, El Reno, Cubicle, Wood, Steel, Oil Enamel, Fluorescent Light, 12”x12”x12”, photo by artist.

day as the medium I needed to pursue. (Ideas come to me that way – they simply arrive in a completed state and my task is to deconstruct them to figure out the parts.) So far, I’ve simply used the pre-mixed concrete found at hardware stores. The bags say, “Just add water” so I jokingly say that is the secret to my work. It’s actually quite a versatile medium, and I have so many possibilities yet to explore. It just took jumping in and working with it to get the ball rolling. Once you get started, information has its way of coming to you. ro: How large do you think you’ll go with your cubes? EW: One hope now is that people imagine themselves inside some of the current cubes that represent certain spaces. I’ve been interested in tableaux most of my adult life and would like to create room size works that surround the viewer. I’ve also been working at thinking on a public scale, and have one piece where the cube can be nine or ten feet. It’s entitled The Burden and has a wire man pulling a cube that dwarfs him. I would like to see him at a 1:1 human scale. ro: who are some of your favorite artists? EW: First and foremost is Edward Kienholz. He was the subject of an assignment my freshman year in college and subconsciously influenced my thinking until I realized it about five years ago. The power of his social commentary is undeniable. Others include Mark Ryden, Cynthia von Buhler and Gottfried Helnwein, all of whom have work that is disturbing and provocative. Also, the founders of Blue Man Group are my creative heroes. Their originality astounds me, and I can only hope to be partially as curious as the character they’ve created. ro: How are you feeling about year one? EW: Completely exhilarated! I have been as excited as a kid getting to go to Six Flags every day. Year one has actually been two years since I started networking with the Oklahoma art community a full year before walking away from the corporate job. As an emerging artist, I have found the community to be most welcoming, and it has been humbling to have fellow artists accept my work. When people tell me that a piece resonates with them, it lets me know that I am definitely on the right path. Also, I was able to create twenty-six pieces this first year, which far and away exceeded past goals of making two to six pieces a year. 2009 has

already started well with six new pieces created in January. ro: Would you be willing to share some of the challenges you’ve faced during the transition from corporate work to full-time artist? EW: The biggest challenge for me is to realize that each day is not perpetually Saturday. I earned a really good wage doing a job that did not require a whole lot of me artistically, so it strengthened a natural laziness on my part. It takes a huge amount of self discipline to be a productive artist. I don’t have anyone riding me these days to put the desired numbers onto a report, yet my wife does need me to bring in a certain amount of money each month so we can live above the level of just paying the bills. Another challenge is the time it takes to get established in the community and the marketplace. I am truly a very patient person, so it hasn’t driven me crazy to watch the process unfold. What we do is about relationships, and they simply take time to develop. One other aspect of the self discipline challenge is producing work on a steady basis to attain a high level of quality. It’s really easy to wait until you have just enough time to knock out the desired number of pieces to satisfy a deadline. Working that way just doesn’t lend itself to mastery, and I do want to achieve that in my art. ro: Does the weather affect your output schedule? EW: Not really. While I don’t have a workshop, I can do quite a bit in my house studio and can still get things done in the backyard despite the weather (except for rainy days). I’m looking forward to the day when I have a complete shop/studio and don’t have to worry about freezing or getting sunburned. ro: Will you tell me a story about the most rewarding conversation you have had with someone about your artwork? EW: The one I often tell is about a piece entitled Outpouring. It’s one of a parent/child series I have where each piece has a larger and smaller cube. This particular piece has the larger cube with a faucet coming out of it “pouring” black goop onto the smaller cube. A person said they knew my pieces were probably my babies, yet wanted me to continued on page 12

p ro f i l e


reserve this one because it was their mother. I simply stand in awe when I think that two concrete cubes with roofing asphalt can resonate so deeply with someone. THAT is what I love about art and I get quite emotional when I think about its power. I believe it’s something beyond the artist that we are instruments through which an idea chooses its voice. ro: Has your relationship with your own parents influenced your art?

Eric Wright, El Reno, Overbearing, Concrete, Asphalt, Wood, Steel, 14”x11”x11”

This piece is entitled Overbearing. The original concept is one where a parent affects the child, and I had a particular stage mother in mind. However, the overbearing element can be anything else in life that keeps us trapped and confined.

EW: Unequivocally, yes. I think being an artist was not a choice for me - rather it’s my calling, if you will.  The Wright side of my family consists of artists, mechanics and musicians so there’s a genetic influence from my dad who died when I was two and a half years old.  My mom was a talented artist and never dissuaded me from pursuing art as my vocation. Aside from my predisposition to being an artist, I have gotten a huge influence from my mom in the last year since she’s been diagnosed with vascular dementia.  Some pieces directly related to dementia have come to me as I watch this person in my life unlearn everything she knows; and, my little bit of research on this particular disorder has revealed how important one’s outlook on life really is.  That has bolstered my belief and position on the “American Dream” as a confining way of life.  There is an emotional and physiological toll taken in the pursuit of so much that simply does not matter, and ideas continue to show up that reflect those consequences. To backtrack a bit, mom never really recovered from my dad’s death and that colored a fair amount of my general disposition.  I think I have come to a healthy view of things, and certainly am not afraid to look into the abyss of what’s behind my own behavior - much less, that of others.  That is really the heart and soul of my work, and it would not be what it is without my particular experiences. ro: Now will you tell me the most ridiculous conversation you have had with someone about your artwork?


p ro f i l e

EW: I can’t remember the exact piece I was working on, yet one fellow who was watching the process kept throwing in ideas that I could attach a picture of his ex-wife in whatever context he saw. For him, he could not see past the reality that I was making concrete blocks. I get a real charge out of telling people who continue to give me a blank stare that I quit my job to make these things.

ro: Do you have a five year plan? If so, would you mind giving me a glimpse into it? EW: I am well into my first five year plan that started on paper in 2005. It’s great to look and see that many of those things have already been accomplished, like joining and volunteering in the art community and leaving the corporate job. The next five year plan has to be a little more specific in regards to establishing a presence in the community and marketplace, and to generating a steady cash flow. So far, things are on track for 2009 and I have an income objective I’d like to achieve by 2013. I have to say that the biggest thing on my plan so far has been to emerge in the Oklahoma art community. There is more art and culture here than most people realize, and I have found the people to be most inviting and receptive. Plus, the quality of art and talent of artists is extremely high - what one would expect to see in the bigger art cities. This is a great place to build good working habits and business practices in order to branch out on a wider scale. Chicago keeps coming to me as the next place to venture, so that is also part of the plan. ro: Do you like frito chili pie? If so, do you think cheetos chili pie sounds good or gross? EW: I love frito chili pie, and was wrecked when I found out the Red Cup had to take it off their menu. Cheetos chili pie sounds interesting and might be worth a try. Now I’m piqued to try Sun Chips chili pie. ro: Can you still do calligraphy? EW: I can. I never achieved a high level of proficiency, yet learning a new alphabet style can be a fun challenge. Thinking about it makes my palms sweat because there is a good amount of precision that letter forms require. It has become an art form I greatly appreciate in others. ro: Do you like sci-fi? I kind of remember that you might. That’s vague. Anyway, do you? EW: I like sci-fi movies more than books. Blade Runner, The Matrix and THX 1138 are some of my all time favorites. n

Eric Wright can be reached via email at and romy owens can be reached via mental telepathy or at

Ty Smith, Untitled, Oil on Canvas

Joe Blair, Wavy Pitcher, Ceramic, 22”

MFA Thesis Exhibition 2009 at The University of Tulsa: Joe Blair, Cristiana Prado and Ty Smith by Janice McCormick The MFA Thesis Exhibition 2009 at The University of Tulsa features the diverse artwork of three graduate students: the ceramics of Joe Blair, etchings and ceramic tiles of Cristiana Prado and the paintings of Ty Smith.

characteristic swirl which gradually disappears as the sides rise up. The glaze application is subtle, with the green floating over parts of the brown-black glaze in the center, while several dark gestural arcs accent the upper part of these inner brown-black sides.

Solidly constructed and well glazed, Joe Blair’s ceramic bowls, platters, pitchers, etc. are both functional and eye-appealing. In terms of size, they fit comfortably in the hand. All are fairly robust in their overall dimensions and the thickness of their walls; none is too heavy, or too delicate for use. The edges are smooth to the touch, essential for utilitarian purposes. The ratio of the size of handles, bases, lids and spouts to the bodies of the vessels works well. His decorative touches, usually variations on the swirl, are integral to the dynamic process of throwing a pot, rather than merely added on as an after-thought. Representative of these functional yet pleasing ceramics is his Brown and Green Platter. Actually, it appears to be a cross between a very large, flaring bowl and a flat platter. Spiraling out from the center is the

Blair’s Wavy Pitcher, takes a slight departure from his more functional pieces. This rather large pitcher (over 22 inches tall) reveals the potter’s whimsical attitude. Bulges and indentations to the clay body surface add character to the work, hinting at a none-too-svelte human form. Its tiny handle and small lipped opening humorously contrasts with its hefty size, and also make it impractical. You couldn’t even get two fingers around the handle to lift it to pour, but, it is fun nonetheless. Cristiana Prado’s work consists of mixed media prints and ceramic pieces. On the whole, her soft ground etchings with delicate watercolor accents are exquisite and evocative, while some of the ceramic wallcontinued to pg 14

re v i e w


continued from pg 13 pieces are less nuanced in comparison. The etchings’ small size draws you into her world – a natural world of leaves, grasses, roots, tree bark and, sometimes, nude female figures. In Peace Somewhere, slender black lines depict grass thrusting upwards. Subtle reddish-orange, orangebrown and light brown create a soft atmospheric quality and a sense of autumn. A series of white spots (where neither ink nor watercolor mark the paper) draw the eye from the upper left corner, down to the bottom and then up the other side. This curving, cuplike pattern counterbalances the upward spikes of grass. At first glance, Prado’s etching I Feel Lonely does not instantly reveal the title character. Only gradually does a seated nude female emerge out of this forest of irregular black lines. Thick black lines define this figure, while a diffused reddish-brown wash of watercolor fleshes her out. She takes up the entire left hand corner of the composition. Her back rests against the left edge and her legs extend along the bottom edge. The thinner lines and the lighter reddish-brown wash of her surroundings counter-balance the visual weight of the figure. These lines suggest, rather than depict, trees and/or other human figures - nothing is definite. They appear to impinge on her. Is she lonely in a forest of trees, or among strangers? The ambiguity remains. In contrast, Prado’s relief tile of the same title is far less nuanced. She keeps the same compositional arrangement of the figure in the lefthand corner, with her surroundings taking up the rest of the image. But, the figure is simplified into a series of connected bulbous shapes, while the surroundings are now reduced to an abstract, mottled surface. Unfortunately, the figure’s three-dimensionality gives it so much more visual weight than her surroundings that the overall composition is lopsided. Furthermore, the change in the surroundings eliminates all ambiguity and, with it, the emotional tension between the figure and whatever or whomever surrounds her. Ty Smith’s abstract paintings tend to be either very large (72-x-60 inches), or very small (approximately 6-x-8 inches). The former are oil on canvas, while the latter are acrylic washes and graphite on paper. All are abstract exercises in the subtle interplay of colors, with little attempt at creating the illusion of space. Garden State No. 1 (2007) measures 9.75-x-5.5 inches and is one of five variations on the theme of a garden. Despite their titles, none of them literally depict a garden. They are more like vague impressions of a rectangular garden plot seen from far above. The chief contrast in this work is between the broad, irregular, gestural strokes of the acrylic and ink washes and the narrow, neat, slightly metallic strokes of graphite. It is these latter markings that make up the barely visible, underlying structure of the rectangle. It is over this precision that the washes of color sweep. All but two of these broad strokes run vertically, like rows of plants. The two horizontal lines demarcate the top and bottom. The blues, grays, shades of brown, and green are subdued, in stark contrast to the bold, irregular black ink spots anchoring the four corners. From these contrasts and as the title suggests, this work evokes the human struggle, perhaps in vain, to contain nature’s abundance. Or, perhaps, less literally and in the spirit of an impersonal abstract art, it embodies the tension between order and chaos. The interplay of colors across the surface of the canvas dominates Smith’s large abstract Untitled (2009). The main contrast is between two primary colors: the bold red of a vertical rectangle and the yellow of a horizontal rectangle. They immediately grab your attention. In order to tone down this stark contrast, Smith uses several strategies. First, he reduces the sizes of the two rectangles and thus their visual intensity. By partially covering


p re v i e w

over the opaque red with translucent white streaks, he cuts the size of the red shape by a third and creates a paler pink area. In contrast, the yellow rectangle is not as opaque as the red one. A translucent yellow is scoured over an underlying base of dull green which allows bits of green to show through, thereby reducing the yellow’s intensity. He also reduces the overall area of the yellow by adding a transparent green over the lower fourth of the yellow rectangle, creating a rather sickly greenish-yellow band. By arranging several rectangles and irregularly defined areas, he explores the subtle gradations and modulations of gray in relation to the red and yellow. For example, an irregular medium gray patch butts up against the lower and left edges of the greenishyellow band as well as the yellow’s left side, as if it were their shadow. This is the only suggestion of depth that this painting has. This gray angle also keeps the eye from wandering off the canvas. Indeed, it thrusts the eye upwards beyond the interplay among these colored shapes, which takes place entirely on the lower half of the canvas, and much of that on the left side. In order to balance this busy lower half, Smith covers the entire upper half with a broad arc of atmospheric colors: light grays blend into soft purples, which in turn suffuse into light greens and then pinks (an echo of the red). In the area directly above the red rectangle is its complementary color – an upwardly expanding soft greenish haze. The whole left side, top to bottom, is equally hazy, mostly consisting of yellowish-grays and purplishgrays. All of these strategies succeed in creating a subtle and balanced composition. These young artists clearly demonstrate competence in their chosen media. It will be interesting to follow their progress in developing further their artistic vision. n Janice McCormick is an art reviewer who has been writing about art in Tulsa and Oklahoma since 1990. Currently she teaches philosophy part-time at Tulsa Community College. She can be reached at Cristiana Prado, I Feel Lonely, Etching, Watercolor





A R T S ,





Graphic and Interior Design Exhibit April 2-May 2 OPENING RECEPTION: April 2, 4-6 p.m. Donna Nigh Gallery, Nigh University Center This exhibit will feature web design, print design, illustration and multimedia by UCO graphic and interior design students. Free to the public. For more information:, or call (405) 974-2432.


Arthur Wesley Dow (American, 1857-1922) Flowering Field, 1889, Oil on canvas Bank of America Collection

Under the Impression by Holly Wall

Perhaps the best example (the most current, at least) of the lasting impression the Impressionism movement has had on modern and contemporary art comes in the form of two exhibitions at Tulsa’s largest art museums this month. Gilcrease Museum opened Transcending Vision: American Impressionism 1870-1940 in January and Philbrook Museum of Art opened Everyday People, Everyday Places, an exhibition of prints from France from 18501900, March 22. Gilcrease’s exhibition, which is on loan from Bank of America, ends May 3 and Philbrook’s June 14. Since the Philbrook exhibition showcases the works of French Impressionist printmakers, depicting scenes of everyday 19th century life, and since works like these influenced the American Impressionism movement, I would suggest seeing that exhibition first and then heading to Gilcrease in order to get a taste of how American artists may have been influenced by the French. Alas, Philbrook’s exhibition


p re v i e w

was not up in time for publication, so I viewed the Gilcrease exhibition on its own. Transcending Vision is comprised of 119 works by more than 75 artists, including Childe Hassam, Arthur Wesley Dow, George Inness and Lilla Cabot Perry, and spans the beginning and height of the Impressionism movement in America. The works depict America’s rural, maritime and urban landscapes and the ways in which the Impressionist painters observed and interpreted them. When entering the exhibit, you have to wander through it to get to the beginning, which is marked by an introductory curatorial note and paintings whose subjects mostly include water, seas, ports, bays, boats and fishermen. The works are mostly grouped by influence, not chronological order. Several portions of the exhibit are grouped by the colonies in which the Impressionist artists worked and enjoyed camaraderie, criticism and learning.

(left) Abbott Fuller Graves (American, 1859-1936), Kennebunkport, Maine, Oil on canvas, Bank of America Collection (right) Guy Carleton Wiggins (American, 1883-1962), Trinity Church, Wall Street, ca. 1938, Oil on canvas, Bank of America Collection

It’s interesting to note that in many of the landscapes, water is always present, whether it is a babbling brook, stream, lake or small pool of water. The presence of water is a prime example of the Impressionist painter’s regard for light and color as the reflection off the water’s surface allows the painter another mode of depicting light and its many facets.

While most of the works on display are oil on canvas, there are a few woodcuts and watercolors as well, and it’s interesting to see how Impressionism translated to paper. The exhibit doesn’t really end as much as it trails off. There’s no real finality to it, probably because, although new artistic movements took hold in subsequent years, Impressionism never ceased to exist.

The bountiful collection offers many different interpretations of the Impressionist movement. By viewing the works of so many different artists and different styles at once, it’s engrossing to see how encompassing the Impressionist movement really was. The works in the exhibit are each so different from one another, and yet they are all bound by common techniques: the visible brush strokes, the emphasis on light and the use of color, for example.

Upon viewing the works, it’s hard to believe that, in the beginning of the era, the movement was considered taboo by art academics simply for its tendency to embrace nature and freedom through color, brushstrokes and plein air painting. Now, it is almost an everyday style of painting, still embraced by many contemporary Oklahoma painters. n

While it’s a mark of the Impressionist style to forgo detail in favor of effect, I was quite moved by the amount of detail portrayed in some of the pieces, achieved simply by the deliberate placement of short, thick brushstrokes. A good example of this is Felicie Waldo Howell’s Wall Street, The Noon Hour (1925).

Holly Wall has been covering the arts in Tulsa for almost three years. She writes a weekly arts column for Urban Tulsa Weekly and monthly for the Tulsa Performing Arts Center’s Intermission magazine.

There is such beauty in all of the pieces on display that it made me wonder if the Impressionist painters really felt as though everything they saw was beautiful and that’s the reason for translating the subject the way they did. The few nighttime pieces included in the exhibit are quite stunning for the way their artists depicted the stars hanging in the sky, vibrant yet subtle.

p re v i e w


deadCENTER Film Festival by Stephen Kovash The 9th annual deadCENTER Film Festival opens Wednesday, June 10 screening local, national and international films through Sunday, June 14. The Festival, founded by Justan and Jayson Floyd in 2001, has an ongoing mission to promote independent film arts. This year’s festival is expected to attract more than 6,000 film enthusiasts, industry professionals and filmmakers from around the world and was recently named one of the top regional festivals in the Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide. Over 100 films will be shown at eight locations throughout downtown Oklahoma City. The name “deadCENTER” refers to the geographical location of Oklahoma City within the continental United States and once again the festival is in the deadCENTER of downtown Oklahoma City. The festival kicks-off on Wednesday, June 10 with festivities including a kick-off party followed by a special free outdoor screening. On Thursday, June 11, the festival moves into full swing with screenings all over downtown. The official Opening Night Party and film will be hosted by the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. Films continue all day Friday, June 12 including a free Kid’s Film Fest at the Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library and the much-applauded panel series at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. The Panel Series offers those on the outside and inside of the film business new information and connections vital to success in film. “It’s like a two-day film school,” promises Program Director Melissa Scaramucci. The Filmmaker Cocktail Reception at the XO Lounge, sponsored by the Oklahoma Film and Music Office, and the Friday Night Frolic are just two of the party options Friday night. Midnight Shorts will be shown for those with a taste for the truly edgy independent film experience. This year, deadCENTER once again held a screenplay competition. On Saturday, June 13 the festival will present a “table-read” of a winning screenplay at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, with the screenwriter and some of Oklahoma City’s best theater talent. This is a unique opportunity for aspiring and established screenwriters, directors and producers to hear and see the process involved in transforming the words in your head to words on a page and then back to your ears.


p re v i e w

Sunday June 15, the festival ends with one screening - The Best of Fest at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. The Best of Fest will feature the short films awarded top honors the previous night. All-access passes are $100 and include entry into all festival screenings, parties, and panels, and a goodie bag with Festival Swag. A screening pass is also available for $50 and includes entry into all screenings. Discounted passes may be purchased before June 1 on the deadCENTER website. Tickets for most individual screenings are $10 and are available at each venue. For more information, please visit the website at n Stephen Kovash owns the Istvan Gallery at Urban Art, is an OVAC Board Member and has a day job with the Environmental Protection Agency. He can be reached at

(left) Portrait of the artist, Photo Credit: Don Emrick (right) E. Scott Hurst, Tulsa, Egg, photo by Marshall Lind (Arts In Tulsa)

Preview of E. Scott Hurst’s The Eye Knows What the Hand Sees by Janice McCormick In my role of facilitator for the Tulsa Artists’ Coalition’s Selection Committee, I had encouraged E. Scott Hurst to submit a proposal for an exhibit. I had heard he had recently returned to painting and was curious to see how his art had changed. So I was delighted when he did submit a proposal. I was doubly delighted when it was accepted by the three independent jurors: Terri Higgs (fiber artist), Mark Lewis (painter and University of Tulsa art educator), and Karen Greenawalt (fine art photographer). The resulting exhibit, The Eye Knows What the Hand Sees: New Paintings by E. Scott Hurst, runs from June 5th through June 27th, 2009, at the TAC Gallery, 9 East Brady, Tulsa. In anticipation of a visit to Hurst’s studio, I wondered how his new work would differ from his previous work and what motivates him to start up again after a long hiatus. Reflecting back on his previous art pieces in his 1997 TAC show, I recalled that most of them were totally abstract concretions, with built-up impasto surfaces of dark colors, with specks of bright colors peeking through. There was no focal point upon which a foreground/background relationship could emerge. Instead, they were over-all surfaces to be explored. Upon entering his cluttered studio, Hurst points out his new paintings on the walls. Other ones he pulls out from various piles of stuff. He is preparing to move out of his studio apartment. As he talks about them, I note how they differ from his past works that I had remembered. They are less abstract, but hardly realistic or representational. The smoother surface is less built-up, although there are discernible layers. And, by establishing a central focal point around which other areas relate, a subtle sense of space gradually emerges. Some of them have a series of irregular squares and/or rectangles surrounding the focal point. They seem to oscillate between receding into the background

and remaining right on the surface of the canvas. Instead of only tiny specks of color, here are larger and brighter swathes of color. Overall, these new works have a more dynamic quality to them. Furthermore, they do jog my memory of a few earlier works that were not so heavily encrusted and that were more colorful. In front of his latest work in progress, Hurst enthusiastically describes his painting process, “I have abandoned the brush in favor of drywall spatulas of varying widths. I tack up a large piece of canvas to the wall then I cover the entire surface with titanium white and, while it is still wet, I create a large focal point by smearing on a solid bold color. The hard surface behind the canvas helps me to have more control over that smear.” He points out the bright orange swirl dominating the center of this work in progress. “Next, I add layers of colors and then scrape most of it away.” From these scrapings emerge irregular shapes, some of which he welcomes as happy accidents and keeps, while others are simply covered over. He admits that he is now more open to this extemporizing process. As he puts it, “In the last few months I’ve noticed that I seem to be pushing myself more than before, in the sense of being less willing to accept the easy solution, and trying to stay with the work longer than before, to see where it will take me without having any clear idea beforehand. Basically, I think I’ve gotten better at accepting the uncertainties that are inevitably involved in the process of painting than I was a decade ago, that I’m working with the unknown and incorporating it into my work more successfully.” Knowing that Hurst had taken an extended hiatus from painting, I was curious as to why he had taken it up again. He explains, “I painted seriously from about 1985 to 1997, the year in which I had my first continued to pg 20

p re v i e w


continued from pg 19

exhibit at Tulsa Artists’ Coalition. Then I let myself fall away from it until this past summer (2008), when, somehow, I picked up my brushes and knives again. I think it must have had something to do with what was going on in my life last summer: my father was struggling with Alzheimer’s, and I was trying to keep up as best I could with everything that entailed. I think my return to painting is as simple, and as complicated, as that – I needed to be doing it again.” At this point, Hurst brings out his painting of his father (it’s too abstract to call it a portrait). “I have always been interested in the effect of time on things (the sides of weathered buildings, for example) and now on people as well,” he explains. Looking at this work, its abstract welter of paint coalesces into a profile of a figure’s head and shoulder. But, where the face ought to be, there remains only a blurry jumble of irregular patches – no eye, nose or mouth discernible. I can see how his process of scraping away creates, not only a sense of the toll of time, but also the disintegration of the self. Somehow this portrait brings to mind the powerfully evocative work of Francis Bacon. Its title is Portrait of a Person with Dementia. Next Hurst brings out an old family photo album filled with sepiatoned photographs of his grandfather and others. There are no captions. I wonder if these faded photographs influenced him when creating those series of irregular squares and/or rectangles surrounding the focal point in some of his new work. He mentions the fact that he is the last of the Hurst line. Thus, it is not surprising when he says, “I’ve been preoccupied with mortality and finitude. Beyond the obvious, what do these words mean? What happens to us and to those we love (including animals of different species – recently his dog died) when and after we die? Is there some part of us that can be said to survive the death of the body? What does it mean for our day-to-day existence when we acknowledge or even accept our own inevitable vulnerability? In the past I’ve always been rather skeptical about the notion of life after death, but recent events have led me to revisit and reconsider this issue.” It is clear to me that the changes in how Hurst paints reflect the tragic changes in his life. Yet, Hurst maintains a wry but rueful sense of humor. This is revealed in his take on coming up with titles for his new work: “I found a book called Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure. This, among other things, has encouraged me to find ‘six-word’ titles for my new paintings, when appropriate. I like this memoir by George Saunders: ‘Started small, grew, peaked, shrunk, vanished.’” In his proposal for The Eye Knows What the Hand Sees, E. Scott Hurst best sums up his take on painting: “A sort of microcosm of life lived, painting as I’ve experienced it these last few months has been challenging, thrilling, demanding and rewarding…. Part of the excitement of painting is that the finished work is as much a question as an answer. It resists translation or paraphrase, and refuses to be subsumed by anything not itself. That’s the hope, anyway.” My experience of his work confirms his experience in creating them. They evoke in me a sense of the enigma that is time. n Janice McCormick is an art reviewer who has been writing about art in Tulsa and Oklahoma since 1990. Currently she teaches philosophy part-time at Tulsa Community College. She can be reached at (top) Portrait of the artist, Photo Credit: Don Emrick (bottom) E. Scott Hurst, Tulsa, Thesus, photo by Marshall Lind (Arts In Tulsa)


Members of the Seminole Nation Color Guard participate in the Grand Entry of Dancers at the annual Red Earth Festival in Oklahoma City

Showcasing Oklahoma’s Cultural History: Native American and Western Art by Emily Payne

Oklahoma takes pride in its Native American and Western cultural history. This summer, visitors to Oklahoma and residents of the state will have many opportunities to immerse themselves in Native American and Western art as several local art exhibitions celebrate our state’s rich history.

Buffalo II, a work that is now a permanent addition to the History Center’s collection. Another permanent addition is Unconquered II, a monumental bronze by Allan, which stands at the entrance of the museum as a reminder of the resilient spirit of the Houser family. The Unconquered exhibit will be on display through July 31st.

Unconquered: Allan Houser and the Legacy of One Apache Family is currently on display at the Oklahoma History Center. This inspirational exhibit, which features the art of Allan Houser and his two sons Phillip and Bob Haozous, educates visitors about the family’s hardships and also illustrates the power of cultural survival and personal expression. Despite having endured forced removal from their native lands in 1886 and years of imprisonment, the Houser family survived. Allan Houser, whose surname was anglicized from Haozous, was the first child born after the Chiricahua Apaches were released from internment. The exhibit’s orientation video explains the history of the Houser family and also gives a preview of each artist’s unique style. The variety of art objects produced by this family, from ornamented flutes to spirit sticks, attests to the creativity of each artist. Although Allan, Phillip, and Bob each have their own artistic interests and styles, they all express themselves through sculpture. To fully experience the exhibit, visit the first and third floor areas as well as the ‘Red River Walk,’ an outside area which includes Phillip’s Great Spirit

Spirit Red: Visions of Native American Artists from the Rennard Strickland Collection will open on June 3rd at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art. This exhibition is comprised of painting, pottery, baskets, textiles and sculpture collected by Dr. Rennard Strickland. Strickland, an Oklahoman of Osage and Cherokee heritage, served as a curator of Native American art at the Fred Jones Museum during the ‘90s. The collection, donated in memory of Strickland’s mother, Adell Tucker, includes many works by acclaimed Oklahoma artists of the twentiethcentury. Artists such as Cecil Dick, Dick West, and T.C. Cannon are among the many featured in the exhibit. The collection also features painted hides, beaded cans and a desk that belonged to John Ross, a legendary Cherokee chief. Spirit Red will be on display through September 13th and all of the pieces in the exhibit will become a part of the Fred Jones’ permanent collection. Dr. Rennard Strickland and Dr. Mary Jo Watson, the exhibit curators, will give a guest lecture on June 3rd at 6 p.m. continued to pg 22

p re v i e w


continued from pg 21 The 23rd annual Red Earth Festival will commence on Friday, June 5th with an extraordinary parade that will feature more than 100 tribes in full regalia marching through downtown Oklahoma City. Cox Convention Center will host this three day event which includes a Native American dance competition and an Indian art market. The grand entry of the dancers occurs at noon each day and also at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The beautiful tribal outfits, the sounds of the drums and bells, and the distinctive dance movements make this event truly memorable. Beginning Friday at 11 a.m., visitors can browse the myriad of artist’s booths. Whether you are looking for beadwork, basketry, jewelry, pottery, sculpture, paintings or cultural attire, you will find world class examples of all at this art market. To purchase tickets for the Red Earth Festival, which has been named Oklahoma’s Outstanding Event by the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department, go online to or call 405-427-5228. The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum will begin this year’s Prix de West on June 12th. This invitational art exhibit will include over 300 works of painting and sculpture by contemporary Western artists. One of these works will be selected for a Purchase Award and will become a part of the museum’s permanent collection. On June 13th, visitors will have the opportunity to buy art as the museum hosts a minimum bid sale and a fixed price sale where buyers are determined by drawings. Ticket prices vary according to which events you wish to attend. To experience everything, go for the all inclusive Prix de West package which admits you to the art sales, weekend seminars, and a banquet. With this package you will also receive a Purchase Exhibition Catalog and a bolo designed by a noteworthy artist. Tickets may be purchased online, in person, or by calling 405-478-2250 Ext. 219. The art of the Prix de West will be displayed at the museum through September 7th. n Emily Payne recently graduated from Texas Christian University with a Master’s Degree in Art History. She lives in Oklahoma City and can be reached at

(top) Great Spirit Buffalo II, Phillip M. Haozous, Bronze, 2006, 44.5” x 76”x 38” (middle) Young ladies representing the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma participate in the Red Earth Festival Parade (bottom) Keith Christie, Sierra City Rest Stop, 30”x48”


p re v i e w

p re v i e w

Julius Shulman: Oklahoma Modernism Rediscovered at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art

State Capital Bank. © J. Paul Getty Trust. Used with permission. Julius Shulman Photography. Archive, Research Library at the Getty Research Institute.

by Susan Beaty Have you too felt the sting of regret after missing a standing-roomonly event and hearing from seemingly everyone how amazing it was? That was my experience after the September 2008 Bruce Goff Lecture series events featuring legendary architectural photographer Julius Shulman. Luckily for all of us, Mr. Shulman is returning to Oklahoma—this time to take part in the opening events for Julius Shulman: Oklahoma Modernism Rediscovered at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. The exhibit is the first-ever retrospective of Shulman’s photographs of Oklahoma mid-century architecture. Julius Shulman became an architectural photographer accidentally. In the mid 1930s, as a college student still deciding on a career path, Shulman met famed architect Richard Neutra through a friend who was Neutra’s assistant. Neutra liked some of Shulman’s photos, and a career was born. Within a year, Shulman had photographed most of the important architecture in Los Angeles. Since then, Shulman, now 98, has continued a 70 year career as one of the most recognized architectural photographers in the U.S. Shulman’s collection of over 70,000 images is now archived at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles. He is best known for his iconic photos of the Case Study houses in Los Angeles and modernist structures in Palm Springs. However, Shulman also frequently traveled to the interior of the U.S. to capture images of modernism in other areas. Many of those trips included stops in Oklahoma. In Oklahoma, Shulman photographed buildings designed by several of our state’s best-known architects, including Bruce Goff, Herb Greene, William Caudill, Truett Coston, Robert Roloff, and Paul Harris. Shulman appreciated the interplay between the flat, open prairie, the wide blue sky, and the stark, long and low lines of midcentury buildings. Shulman’s photos of Herb Greene’s Prairie Chicken House, are credited with beginning Greene’s fame as an architect. Shulman’s Oklahoma photos include Goff’s Bavinger House in rural Norman, as well as the former Founder’s Bank building on North May and the former State Capitol Bank building on North Lincoln, among many others.

In his Goff series lecture, Shulman noted that Oklahoma has produced several “genius” architects who have designed remarkable buildings. The wealth of interesting, important architecture in the middle of the country fueled Shulman’s drive to chronicle a broad sample of modern design beyond the coasts. The retrospective at OKCMOA features over 65 images of midcentury modern architecture, highlighting 21 architectural projects, including homes, banks, churches, hospitals and museums in several cities in Oklahoma. Several Oklahomans recently traveled to the Getty Institute to help select the pieces for the Oklahoma City exhibit. They noted that Shulman remains energized and excited about his work in Oklahoma. Many of Shulman’s photographs of Oklahoma buildings have remained unseen for decades. The retrospective therefore offers an unprecedented chance to see local treasures artistically photographed in their original form. The exhibit opens with a weekend full of events. Shulman will speak on his career and Oklahoma architecture at a book signing Thursday, April 30. A documentary film, Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman, will be shown in the Museum’s Noble Theatre, and the film’s director, Eric Bricker will answer questions following the Thursday, April 30 showing. To compare Shulman’s photos to your own perspective, take part in the Museum’s Saturday, May 2 bus tour of several Oklahoma City buildings photographed by Shulman. Finally, a panel of area architects and historians will discuss modernist architecture in Oklahoma following the Sunday May 3 film showing. The exhibit continues from April 30 through June 7. Whether your interests lie in photography, mid-century design, documentary film, or Oklahoma history, the weekend of April 30— May 3 offers a prized opportunity to discover the amazing work of Julius Shulman, a true living legend, and so much more. n Susan Beaty is an attorney in Oklahoma City and a member of the OVAC Board.

p re v i e w


What is an Art Curator? by Cathy Deuschle ...and what does an art curator do? Traditionally, a curator’s job is to collect and care for art objects, conduct scholarly research within an area of expertise, present such research to the public, mount exhibitions and manage the supporting content for exhibitions. Curators are more than dispassionate historians or mere chroniclers of the present because they advance work they care about and provide the context in which art is seen. Though some degree of subjectivity is intrinsic to curatorial work, it is subjectivity grounded in knowledge. A curator is a protector, interpreter and champion of the tangible objects in our culture. In our age, curatorial work also applies to the temporal and sometimes intangible artistic output of performance, site specific and new media art. Regardless of the product, the curator serves as a conduit between art and the public and as such, is a cultural gatekeeper. When we view an exhibition, our minds absorb both individual works and the associations between them. While the most intimate conversation is a direct one between the art and the viewer, curatorial decisions as to context, whether through thematic, chronological or formal means, can play a large role in how we understand or feel about the art. Similarly, the environment for the art: the space, framing, lighting, ambient noise, etc., can make the difference between art that sings and art that is muffled. “What am I looking at here?” “What am I supposed to see?” These questions strike me as odd reactions to art that is clearly visible. A reply in the form of a physical description of the object; its colors, its size, its texture, might provoke a testy response. “Well, I know that!” So what is really being asked? It usually seems a substitute for “What should I think about this work?” or “Why does it matter?” Curators often try to answer these questions. But is the independent and creative thought deemed vital for the artist also vital for the viewer? And how wise is it to ask of another how to think or feel? Taking all artwork at face value can be equally problematic but substituting editorialized thought for authentic


f e a t u re

experience does seem in opposition to creativity. Quibbles aside, many people complain of feeling awkward, uncomfortable and incredibly stupid in museum and gallery settings. Curators that lessen the intimidation factor by knowing and respecting both the aims of the art and the needs of the audience can help bridge this divide. This rising expectation that curators attune to their audience has resulted in a playful, new term for their work: experience management. Skilled curation can show us a way into the work so that we may more quickly and accurately process what we see and, hopefully, form a deeper connection with it. Sometimes a simple understanding of an artist’s working process is the key that unlocks the door and sometimes a glimpse into an artist’s personal or philosophical struggle reaps big rewards. Successful curation, in my mind, delivers information and associations that are historically and culturally relevant, true to the artist’s intent and helpful but minimally intrusive to the viewing experience. Fully personal expression is the territory the artist can most claim. In a perfect world this would be met by viewers who respond in kind; naturally and personally, that is. Likewise, art,

which is closely connected to personality, should not require a rationale. The best of it resists explanation anyway. We are who we are. We feel as we feel. But those markers, those reference points the curator provides, can be enormously useful, especially when we are confounded by art that exists beyond our experience. We can’t help but look through the curator’s eyes as well as our own. Though this filtered perception can potentially dilute the experience, viewing art through unfamiliar contexts can also stimulate dialogue, enabling us to better delineate our own vision. Because we are reliant on their judgment, curators need to know, really know, the material, yet remember, in order to capture, the impressions of that first, fresh experience. But just as distinctions between artistic disciplines continue to blur, curatorial practice is likewise becoming increasingly varied and the role of the curator more difficult to define. The rise of performance, installation and site specific art in the late 1950s brought new creative and collaborative aspects to the job. The curator’s role as impresario or as a stager of ‘happenings’ was an exciting new development.

The installation of Click!, a “crowd-curated exhibition,” at the Brooklyn Museum of Art

The Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition’s Biennial 2007 at the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art in Shawnee, curated by Catherine Morris

Nowadays many curators, most notably independent curators, consider their work to be a form of artistic practice. The environment, the work within the environment and sometimes even the audience reaction to it all form the medium. They wish to tell their own stories and create a platform for their own thoughts, appropriating art to do so. These curators aren’t just very visible ringmasters, their agendas are center stage. A recent photography show at the Brooklyn Museum of Art called ‘Click!’ took things one step further by staging a “crowd-curated exhibition”. Beginning as an online open call for work, it was then judged by over 4,000 people through the ‘Click’ website. The uploaded work receiving the most votes won exhibition space and the number of positive online responses determined the scale of each respective image - the largest images were the ones the crowd liked best.

thesis. A logical extreme of this point of view would be for me to be included in an exhibition entitled “Artists Over 6 Feet 6 Inches”, since I am 6’7”. Does this have anything to do with the work I do? It’s sandpapering the edges off of art to make it fit a recipe.” Many artists, likewise, want to try their hand at curation and show the more academically minded and art historically trained professionals new and, perhaps, more irreverent but no less relevant ways to think about art. A case in point is video, performance and installation artist, Lucy Gunning, who recently spent a couple of weeks at Tulsa’s Philbrook museum and effectively turned the tables on curatorial practice, making such practice, or ‘interventions’ as she called them, the focus of her exhibit.

These new directions force us to re-examine what share of ownership and control over the art the artist is entitled to and what share can be collective. Who owns an artist’s output anyway? Perhaps because contemporary art is increasingly ephemeral or digitized, the confrontations regarding intellectual property rights that have plagued the music and film industry for years are similarly creating a more challenging visual arts dialogue.

Everything that makes Philbrook the institution it is: the artwork, its beginning as the Phillips’ home, its past relationships with Native American artists, even its architecture relative to a starkly modern museum built concurrently in Barcelona Spain; was taken into account. Context galore! I’d never have known, for example, that Waite and Genevieve Phillips, the original Philbrook estate donors, had such middle brow musical taste until she put the player piano rolls back in service. I’d also never have known the institution had the pluck to lay themselves bare to that degree of scrutiny and then place themselves, so exposed, on full display.

Conceptual artist, John Baldessari seems to have definite thoughts about curators as artists and the role of the curator in relation to the art. “Curators seemingly want to be artists. Architects want to be artists. I don’t know if this is an unhealthy trend or not. What disturbs me is a growing tendency for artists to be used as art materials, like paint, canvas, etc. I am uneasy about being used as an ingredient for an exhibition recipe, i.e., to illustrate a curator’s

Though these interventions led me to more critically examine the institution, they also led me to question the presumptions of Lucy Gunning, a Londoner, and the curator who engaged her, Catherine Morris, a New Yorker. What did the things they chose to spotlight say, if anything, about their attitudes towards Oklahoma and Oklahomans past and present? Debatable also was the relevance of such an

exhibit to non-insiders who form the vast bulk of attendees. But the work resonated within me both for the humanity it revealed and the heightened awareness it gave me of the effects of curatorial decisions on public perception and the interconnection of the curator to the art, the institution and the public. The boundary-pushing nature of much contemporary art has further pushed the curator into uncharted territory. Though ethical considerations regarding provenance have always been within a curator’s domain, new media is creating new ethical quandaries. This was ridiculously evident during the 2008 MoMA show, Design and the Elastic Mind when a piece called Victimless Leather, a stitchless leather coat being made before the viewers eyes of mouse stem cells, outgrew its test tube. The artists had already returned home to Australia giving curator, Paola Antonelli, the unfortunate task of pulling the plug on the nutrients, thereby ‘killing’ the art. Were the artists disturbed by this chain of events? No. Victimless? Hmm. That there are people willing to mine the messy art world on our behalf is our good fortune. But along with appreciation, an awareness of the inherent subjectivity and responsibility of the curator’s job is necessary to be properly informed. Hopefully the changing dynamics of curatorial practice today will help grow an audience that is more discerning rather than more complacent towards the art viewing experience and also more deeply engaged in our visual culture. n Cathy Deuschle is an artist and a teacher living in Tulsa.

f e a t u re


The Future is Bright for Right-Brainers by Romney Nesbitt

Artists, we are now in the right place at the right time. Creativity is finally getting the respect it deserves. Who alerted the presses? Daniel Pink and his 2005 book, A Whole New Mind: Why RightBrainers Will Rule The Future, published by Riverhead Books, New York. This business book touts the essential need for right-brained skills making artists, writers and conceptual thinkers uniquely wired for 21st century success. The premise of A Whole New Mind is simple: our country is entering the Conceptual Age, a time when right-brained skills become more crucial than left-brained skills. What changed? Three A’s: abundance, automation and Asia. Abundance comes from living in a world full of information and opportunity which gives people time to seek purpose and a paycheck. Automation and Asia refer to jobs becoming obsolete because they’ve been computerized and outsourced to workers in foreign countries. High-tech is out; high concept and high touch is in. High concept is “the ability to create artistic and emotional beauty, to detect patterns and opportunities, to craft a satisfying narrative, and to combine seemingly unrelated ideas into a novel invention,” said Pink, and high touch “involves the ability to empathize… understand the subtleties of human interaction, to find joy in one’s self and to elicit it in others, and to stretch beyond the quotidian, in pursuit of purpose and meaning.” Creative people: artists, inventers, designers, teachers, writers and big-picture thinkers will finally reap society’s respect and rewards. Why? Because creativity can’t be outsourced or automated. People used to make money selling information. Thanks to the internet, information is cheap and easy to obtain; but making information or ideas memorable, accessible, useable, desirable, affordable and beautiful takes creativity. Simply put, you can’t buy twenty-five dollars worth of creativity and get free shipping. Pink believes creativity is expressed in six human abilities: design, empathy, play, story, meaning and symphony. Design is the ability to create that which has significance and usefulness. Empathy is the ability to sense what it must be like to be in another person’s shoes. Play and humor activate the right side of you brain and build good feelings and working conditions. Story is the ability to present facts in a narrative that conveys emotion. Meaning is more desirable in the workplace than big bucks and prestige. Symphony is the ability to see the big picture and connect the dots to create something new. Artists use these attributes to process new ideas, create artwork, market, teach and talk about your career with your peers. You experience good feelings when you work on your creative projects and derive meaning from the work you do. Which of these six abilities do you use most often and how could you use them to boost your career? Let’s explore the attribute of symphony and see how it could work to your advantage. Symphony uses a musical term to describe the process of combining a variety of pieces into a new masterpiece


business of art

much like a conductor leads an orchestra to perform a piece of music. Imagine yourself as the conductor of your creative ideas orchestra. Each of your “musicians” has a specialty to contribute to the whole, but ideas don’t always make easy connections. There is a way to “conduct” your ideas to flow together and it uses the attribute of symphony. Get a stack of index cards. Record a separate idea on each card. Don’t make a list of ideas; this automatically suggests that ideas at the top of the list are more valuable than those at the bottom). Generate as many ideas as you can. Don’t rewrite, edit or discount a single idea. You can’t be critical and creative at the same time. Place each card face up on a table top. Begin moving the cards around to see where the connections surface. The act of physically moving the cards around rather than just thinking about possible connections helps maximize your creativity and minimize time lost seeking solutions. This technique helped me organize my book on creativity coaching. I recorded all the possible ideas I could think of about the challenges of the creative life i.e. procrastination, unrealistic expectations, trusting your intuition etc. and recorded each idea on a separate index card. Each card became a possible chapter. I labeled a file folder with each chapter idea and inserted writing ideas, sketches etc. In the months I was writing my book I worked on three to four chapters at a time. When I stalled and needed a break on one chapter, I worked on another chapter. Jumping between chapters kept my mind focused on writing instead of notwriting. When all my chapters were written the symphony cardsorting technique helped me arrange the chapters in logical order. Later I used the technique again to construct a series of non-credit classes and workshops based on my book to generate extra income and boost book sales. Now I’m using this same technique to turn chapter ideas into magazine articles. One idea leads to another as long as you’re open to building new and unexpected connections. Think of this symphony technique as a way of stretching your creativity into unexpected areas. Use this technique to organize a series of drawings to illustrate a piece of poetry, record ideas for paintings for a new show, brainstorm unconventional market venues for your work, write topics suitable for how-to art magazine articles or art lessons for teacher journals. The creative process is unpredictable and surprising but that doesn’t mean it can’t be guided and managed to maximize success. Take charge of your ideas by creating a structure in which they can flow, grow and connect into opportunities and possibilities. n Romney Nesbitt is a Creativity Coach, artist and writer living in Tulsa. She is the author of Secrets From A Creativity Coach, available on Romney welcomes your questions for future columns. Contact her at, or at

Malvin Gray Johnson, Negro Soldier, 1934, Oil on Canvas

At a Glance:

Harlem Renaissance in Oklahoma City by Susan Grossman

The beginning of the 20th century experienced a “great migration” from the South that profoundly expanded the northern industrial cities and urban centers. The Harlem Renaissance emerged from this unprecedented migration, unofficially spanning the period between 1919 and the mid-1930s. A time of tremendous exploration and creative expression, this period in cultural history covered the entire spectrum including literature, drama, music, visual art and dance as well as social thought and intellectualism. The era’s intelligentsia sought to end the days of aunties, uncles and mammies through art and the written word. African American artists of the 1920s were challenged by a number of difficult issues – if, and by how much, racial politics should influence their art, whether African American art should look different from the art of white artists, and if they should portray the reality of black life or create only positive race depictions. The answers to these questions and more were explored in Harlem Renaissance, a one-time exhibit on display at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art during February, March and April. Alison B. Amick, associate curator of the museum, assembled an impressive representation of this profoundly creative period in history. Harlem Renaissance featured more than 100 paintings, sculptures and photographs by artists Aaron Douglas, Malvin Gray Johnson and James VanDerZee among others and brought together works from more than 20 lending institutions. Arranged in thematic order, the installation introduced visitors to the atmosphere surrounding the Harlem neighborhood in New York City which became the epicenter for an expanding black middle class. Harlem evolved into a vibrant literary scene, a place ripe for portraiture and depictions of the “new Negro” along with scenes of daily life. The exhibit also featured the influences on African American artists of the time such as ancestral arts and African American history. These subjects impacted the expression of this period and the exhibit also included sculpture and works reflecting an interest in the Mexican mural style.

Harlem Renaissance artists also traveled and studied abroad and in Paris. A number works from this influential experience were included that showed the influence of African art and incorporating European modernism into the African American reality. Of particular interest were a number of photographs that captured the people and activities of Harlem, as well as photos of Oklahoma City’s African American community – Deep Deuce – during this same period. Musician Charlie Christian and the young Ralph Ellison highlighted this section, along with a young and handsome Langston Hughes. Early short musical films played throughout the exhibit that captured the first filmed appearances of Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Josephine Baker and Bessie Smith. The Jazz Age also figured prominently into the Harlem Renaissance. The period’s lasting influence was explored in a section titled, “The Legacy” and featured later depictions of the Harlem Renaissance as the Jazz Age. Although after enjoying a 10-week run, the Harlem Renaissance ended there are plenty of opportunities to explore this rich artistic and intellectual period of American history, including from an Oklahoma perspective, through music, literature, illustrations and photographs from the state collections. Harlem Renaissance marked the first exhibition of African American art at the museum in more than 20 years. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait that long for another. n Susan Grossman is assistant director of marketing for University of Oklahoma Outreach and a freelance writer based in Norman. She can be reached at

at a glance


Round Up We are excited to announce a new survey exhibition that OVAC will launch in 2011 at the Visual Arts Center in Tulsa. More information about this and OVAC’s exhibitions program including Art 365, the new survey exhibition and Momentum can be found under “for artists” on our website. You can help name the new exhibition! Send us your ideas.

May/June 2009

Thanks to all who helped make VisionMakers 2009, the last installment of this exhibition, a great success. We are especially appreciative of the venue, Six11 Creative, for their partnership and the sponsors, the Oklahoma Arts Council and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts for making this exhibition happen. Save the date: OVAC will benefit from an art show and

event June 12 at the Quail Creek Country Club. Please watch our website for more information. Thanks to the committee, sponsors, volunteers, and artists of Momentum OKC. Held March 6-7, the event was well attended. Visitors raved about the artwork and location (which only looks good because of the artwork!). Watch for Momentum Tulsa on its new date October 10, 2009.

The Tulsa Art Studio Tour was a hit on April 4 & 5. Nine artists in 11 studios opened their working spaces to the public. Thanks to the excellent planning committee, artists and sponsors for developing this community resource! Heads Up: OVAC’s office is moving June 1 to 730 W. Wilshire, Suite 104 in OKC. The building is owned by Chesapeake Energy, who is

Thank you to our New and Renewing Members from January and February 2009 Andrew Akufo Katharine Alexander MJ Alexander & Edward Knight Bobby Anderson Marian and Duane Anderson Danielle Antonelli Andy and Marilyn Artus Grant Baker Joy Baresel MK Barnes Linda Bayard Steven Bayliss Joy Reed Belt Julie Marks Blackstone Jeff Booze Linda Bosteels Bill Buddy and Helen Musick Lacy and Dan Burroughs Bliss Butler Chris Cameris Tena Chiarchiaro Brittaney Chilton Beverly Clark Betsy Cofer Candace Coker Hal & Rosalind Cook John L. Cox Jessica Craddock Ryan Joseph Cruz Kathleen Curran Cynthia Curry Cathy Deuschle Claudia Doyle Downtown Art and Frame Lori Duckworth Chelsea Dudek Sean Egan Peter Farrell


OVAC news

Carolyn Faseler Nancy and Raymond Feldman Brian and Titi Fitzsimmons Sally Fowler Haughey Natalie Friedman Joe Brandon Garcia Christina Gray Robert Gurfinkel Mitzi Hancuff Burt Harbison Riley Harmon Tracey Harris Diane Harris Thomas Hays Shalene Henley John A. Henson Geoffrey Hicks Darryl E. Hillard Jr. Lou Hodgson Don Holladay Sarah Ivey J. Jann Jeffrey E. K. Jeong Mariah Johnson Scott Johnson Adam Jones Jessica Kelley Nicole Kelly Ben Kennedy Bob Kenworthy Candace Kenyon-Dove Belinda Kinney Kelly Koenig Vanessa Larwig Erin Latham Vincent B. Leitch Dave Lopez Ruth Loucks

Debbie Loveless Kim Lowe Brooke Madden Jasmin Manschel Sharon Mantor Dru Marseilles Kristen Martin Cindy Mason Rory Dale McCallister Sallie McCorkle Susan Messerly Elizabeth Miller Stacey Miller Thomas Mills Francis Moran Chad Mount John Mowen Joe Mueller Rita Newman A. Faye Nix Romy Owens Jacklyn Patterson Ray Payn Michelle Penix Jennifer Perry Pete Peterson Plains Indians and Pioneers Museum Anndrea Ploeger Keelia Postlethwaite Justin Powers Zachary Presley Marcie Price Esteban Pulido Suzanne King Randall Liz Roth Roger Runge Maurice Satterwhite Harry and Joan Seay

Joey Shebester Brantley Sheffield Janet Sherry Hillary Shipley Brandy Sitts C. Elizabeth Smathers Jerrod Smith Angela Smith Julie Smith Justice Smithers Jeff and Mary Lou Stokes Jordan Strickland Lydia Sullivan Doris Swanson Evan Taylor Glen Thomas Trisha Thompson George and Lila Todd Alexander Tomlin Erin Turner Celeste Vaught Ramsey Walcher James Walden Sam Wargin Lori Weatherholtz Michelle Weaver Adelheid E West Greg White Tialyn White Samantha Whitekiller Jesse Whittle Bill Williams Holly Wilson Craig Wood Marina Yereshenko Nanko Yonemaru Jason A. Zaloudik Rachael Zebrowski

graciously renting to nonprofit organizations to encourage collaboration. Please update your address books. New calls for entries are now available: 24 Works on Paper, a collaboration between OVAC and Individual Artists of Oklahoma, is an exhibition featuring 24 artworks on paper by Oklahoma artists. It will open at IAO Gallery on July 18 and will then travel the state for one year.

The call for artists is available now at Deadline for entries is May 15-16, 2009. The OVAC Visual Arts Fellowship offers two awards of $5,000 to individual artists. Additionally, two $500 Student Awards of Excellence will be given. Deadline for entries is May 1. Visit or call 405-232-6991.


Art People: Jin Gentry has been named Director of the Jacobson Foundation, the non-profit Native American cultural center in Norman. Gentry is an artist and entrepreneur with a varied background in management, sales and the arts. A member of the Chickasaw tribe, she graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BFA degree and a minor in Art History.

Gallery Listings Ada American Masterpieces: Leon Polk Smith May – June University Gallery East Central University 1100 E. 14th (or 900 Centennial Plaza, if completed) (580) 559-5353


Traci Martin: A Meditation On/Through Colour Through May 2 Doug Simpson May 6 – June 27 Studio 107 Gallery 107 East Main (580) 224-1143

Charles B. Goddard Center’s Permanent Collection Sculptures by Susan Budge May 40th Annual Juried Exhibit June The Goddard Center 401 First Avenue SW (580) 226-0909

Bartlesville Centuries of Progress: American World’s Fairs, 1853-1982 May 8 – July 19 Price Tower Arts Center 510 Dewey Ave. (918) 336-4949

Russ Tall Chief (Osage), the former director of the Jacobson Foundation, has accepted a position as Director of Arts and Exhibitions for the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum, which is currently under construction in Oklahoma City (

Exhibition Schedule

Broken Bow


Kiamichi Owa-Chito June 19 - 21 Forest Heritage Center Beaver’s Bend Resort (580) 494-6497

Diana Moses Botkin, Mary Stephens, Don Narcomey May 9 – July 3 The Leslie Powell Foundation and Gallery 620 D Avenue (580) 357-9526

El Reno RCC Student Showcase Through May 8 RCC 4th Annual Fine Arts Faculty Show May 18 – August 1 Redlands Community College (405) 262-2552

(405) 325-4938 Paintings by Jeff Dodd & Derek Erdman May 8- July 4 Mainsite Contemporary Art Gallery Opening May 8, 7-9 122 East Main (405) 292-8095

Norman Gathering Fragments: Edward S. Curtis in Oklahoma Through May 17 Spirit Red: Visions of Native American Artists from the Rennard Strickland Collection June 4 - September 13 Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art 555 Elm Ave. (left) Joey Frisillo, Sand Springs, Rose Garden Morning, Pastel, 9”x12”, at Color Connection Gallery in Tulsa, May 1-31. (right) Traci Martin, Ardmore, Jellyfish #10: Loverly, Photograph, 11”x14”, at Studio 107 in Ardmore Through May 2.

gallery guide


Lenora Carrington, Grandmother Mooreheads Aromatic Kitchen, Oil on Canvas, 31”x49”, at The Goddard Center in Ardmore.

Oklahoma City Bus Stop Through May 23 City Arts Center 3000 General Pershing Blvd. (800) 951-0000 Timothy Chapman Paintings May 1- May 30 Opening May 1, 6-10 Sherrie McGraw, Dorothy Lampl, Carla Anglada June 5- 27 Opening June 5, 6-10 JRB Art at the Elms 2810 North Walker (405) 528-6336 Doel Reed: Master of the Aquatint Through June 27 Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum 1400 Classen Dr. (405) 235-4458 Dana Azar & Richard Herzog May 15 – June 6 Opening May 16, 6-9 Fiberworks 2009 June 13 – July 3 Opening June 13, 6-8 Individual Artists of Oklahoma 811 N. Broadway (405) 232-6060 Suzanne Randall & Jennifer Barron Opening May 8 Istvan Gallery at Urban Art 1218 N. Western Ave. (405) 831-2874


gallery guide

Prix de West Invitational Art Exhibition June 12 – September 7 Opening events, June 12-13 National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum 1700 NE 63rd (405) 478-2250 Julius Shulman: Oklahoma Modernism Rediscovered Through June 7 Passport to Paris: Nineteenth-Century French Prints from the Georgia Museum of Art Through June 7 Turner to Cezanne: Masterpieces from the Davies Collection June 25 – September 20 Oklahoma City Museum of Art 415 Couch Drive (405) 236-3100 Walter Nelson: The Darwin Shrines Phil Stein: Streets May 8 – June 27 Opening May 8, 5-9 Untitled [ArtSpace] 1 NE 3rd St. (405) 815-9995

Shawnee Speak! Children’s Book Illustrators Brag About Their Dogs May 1 – June 14 Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art 1900 West Macarthur (405) 878-5300

Stillwater Stephen Skoch Through June 27 Opening May 2, 4-6 Exhibit One Gallery 102 N. Main St. (405) 533-3ART

Tulsa Joey Frisillo: Inspirations from the Garden May 1 – 31 Opening May 7, 5-8 Color Connection Gallery 2050 Utica Square (918) 742-0515

Park Hill

New Works by SK Duff May 7 - 28 Liggett Studio 314 S. Kenosha (918) 694-5719

Generations: Cherokee Language through Art May 22 – August 16 Cherokee National Historical Society, Inc. 21192 S. Keeler Drive (918) 456-6007

Senses & Symbols May 7 – 28 Art of Erotica June 4 – 6 New Arts Camp June 15 - 26

Living Arts 308 S. Kenosha (918) 585-1234 Masters of Influence Juried Invitational June 19 – July 19 Opening June 19, 5-8 Lovetts Gallery 6528 E 51st St (918) 664-4732 Everyday People, Everyday Places Through June 14 From Michelangelo to Annibale Carracci Peggy Preheim: Little Black Book May 17 – July 26 The Philbrook Museum of Art 2727 South Rockford Road (918) 749-7941 5x5 Annual Fundraiser May 5 – 31 Opening May 5, 5:00 Tulsa Artists Coalition Gallery 9 East Brady (918) 592-0041 Journeys in Thought: Diane Salamon May 1 – 22 Tulsa Performing Arts Center Gallery Third and Cincinnati (918) 596-2368



u l s a

n T e r n a T I o n a l May 14th – 17th, 2009 Tulsa’s Premiere Arts Festival Great Art! Great Music! Great Food! Hours: Thursday, May 14th Friday, May 15th Saturday, May 16th Sunday, May 17th

Location: Downtown Tulsa between Third and Sixth on Main

11am – 11pm 11am – 11pm 11am – 11pm 11am – 6pm

Admission: Free!

Mayfest is an outdoor tribute to the arts and to music that is a family-oriented event. It was created to promote a broader knowledge of and appreciation for arts and humanities among serious, as well as casual, art lovers.

May 16, Saturday night: Old 97’s

May 15, Friday night: Sister Hazel

Bordered by Doug Simpson at Studio 107 in Ardmore May 6 – June 27.

Become a member of the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition! Join today to begin enjoying the benefits of membership, including a subscription to Art Focus Oklahoma. Sustaining $250 -Listing on signage at events -Invitation to private reception with visiting curators -All of below   Patron $100 -Acknowledgement in the Resource Guide and Art Focus Oklahoma -Copy of each OVAC exhibition catalog -All of below   Family $55 -Same benefits as Individual for two people in household   Individual $35 -Subscription to Art Focus Oklahoma -Inclusion in online Virtual Gallery -Monthly e-newsletter of visual art events statewide -Monthly e-newsletter of opportunities for artists -Receive all mailed OVAC call for entries and invitations -Artist entry fees waived for OVAC sponsored exhibitions -Listing in Annual Resource Guide and Member Directory -Copy of Annual Resource Guide and Member Directory -Access to “Members Only” area on OVAC website -Up to 50% discount on Artist Survival Kit workshops -Invitation to Annual Meeting   Student $20 -Valid student ID required. Same benefits as Individual level.


MEMBER FORM ¨ Sustaining

¨ Patron

¨ Family

¨ Individual

¨ Student

Name Street Address City, State, Zip Email Website Credit card (MC or Visa Only) Credit card #

Exp. Date

Are you an artist? Y N  Medium?____________________________________________ Would you like to be included in the Membership Directory? Y  N Would you like us to share your information for other arts-related events?




Detach and mail form along with payment to: OVAC, PO Box 1946, Oklahoma City, OK 73101 Or join online at

ArtOFocus k l a h o m a PO Box 1946 Oklahoma City, OK 73101

Non Profit Org. US POSTAGE PAID Oklahoma City, OK Permit No. 113

Annual Subscriptions to Art Focus Oklahoma are free with membership to the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition. Membership forms and benefits can be found at or by phone (405) 232-6991. Student Membership: $20 Individual Membership: $35 Family/Household Membership: $55 Patron Membership: $100 Sustaining Membership: $250

2810 North Walker Oklahoma City, OK 73103 Phone: 405.528.6336

Art Focus Oklahoma, May/June 2009  

2009 May/June Art Focus Oklahoma is a bimonthly publication of the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition dedicated to stimulating insight into and...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you