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November/December 2008


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: director@ovac-ok.org visit our website at: www.ovac-ok.org Executive Director: Julia Kirt director@ovac-ok.org Editor: Kelsey Karper publications@ovac-ok.org Art Director: Anne Richardson anne@speccreative.com Art Focus Intern: Caroline Marie Jewell

Paul Mays Oklahoma City

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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.

Eleanor Davy Carmack Tulsa

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Object Project Tulsa

contents

profiles

3 Paul Mays 5 Eleanor Davy Carmack

On the Cover:Tünde Darvay, Oklahoma City, Winter in Oklahoma, Mixed Media

reviews/previews

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Object Project

features

Nathan Lee & Tunde Darvay Russian Art Holiday Open Studios

14 OVAC History: Donors 16 On The Map: Eucha

member agency

business of art

18 The Gift of Art 19 Ask a Creativity Coach

OVAC news

19 At a Glance 20 New & Renewing Members 20 Round UP This program is supported in part by the Oklahoma Arts Council

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gallery guide

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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 Anonymous letters will not be published.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, Sydney Bright Warren, 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. © 2008, Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition. All rights reserved. View this issue with full color images at www.ArtFocusOklahoma.org.


Paul Mays, Oklahoma City, Walking On Air, Mixed Media, 12”x12”

Profile:

Paul Mays by Romy Owens

Paul Mays exudes an extraordinary energy. As one of many emerging artists in Oklahoma City, Paul Mays stood out immediately when he started showing his art in January 2007 at Momentum OKC. Directly following at IAO’s Edge Art, he was honored with a Juror’s Choice Award. Then in the summer of 2007, at Tulsa’s Artifacts’ Square Show, he won a duo show award. During what could already have been considered a satisfying year for a new artist, Paul Mays’ work shone at the Emergent Artist show at Norman’s Mainsite Contemporary Gallery. The art of Paul Mays is a fantastic representation of his personal energy; it’s well crafted, beautifully designed, creatively presented and definitely innovative. Innovation. Oh, innovation. Don’t you love it? Although Paul’s creativity was active from an early age, Chickasha’s USAO fostered Paul’s artistic voice. He started school uncertain of his path. While studying basic requirements, he dabbled in photography. “I took a photography class, just for the fun of it,” Paul told me in August when we sat down to record a podcast for the Gaylord-Pickens

Museum. “For two years, I followed that path and at a certain point I decided, ‘I’m gonna do some photography, I’m gonna do some graphic design, and let’s see where that takes me.’” He graduated with a degree in graphic design and photography. After college, Mays worked as a photographer for a while. “Taking pictures of little kids was fun. Dealing with their parents, not so much.” Parents might be horrified to read that, but any photographer understands that sentiment. Paul also worked at Hobby Lobby before ultimately securing his current day job as a graphic designer for Oklahoma Gazette. That is exactly the drive that sets Paul Mays apart from many of his emerging contemporaries. Paul works full time for the Gazette and then works evenings and weekends as an artist to meet the demand for his work. “I go to work. I come home and eat and I see my wife a little bit and then I do art. I was going until about two o’clock in the morning, but that just got a little bit too much. About eleven-thirty or twelve is all I can handle now.” Very recently, Paul Mays has created a new challenge for himself by moving his

art from 2-D into metal sculpture. “I’ve always wanted to incorporate my design into furniture,” Paul explained when he talked about the transition. “I’m not there yet, but that’s an idea I’ve had for a while.” So when metal sculptor Larry Pickering asked Paul to create a piece for Heavy Metal, a show at 31 Deuce Studio, Paul jumped at the opportunity. The comparatively small work is a beautiful segue into sculpture, capturing all of the movement and flow of his design in a delicate piece of steel. Okay, back to energy. Paul Mays does yoga. Trinity, his wife, is a yoga instructor. Energy features prominently in Paul’s work. In fact, it’s a sort of spirituality that flows through Paul’s work which focuses on the Taoist elements earth, fire, water, metal and wood as well as the Greek system of thought including earth, air, water and fire. “I’ve kind of combined those ideas and Hinduism and Wiccan. There are quite a few religions that use this basic system of elements as a way of describing life and helping one continued page 4

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continued from page 3 understand more about themselves and their environments and relationships with other people.” Paul Mays explores these principles of elements in his art, and in fact has named his current exhibit Feet in the Mud, Head in the Clouds. “I just wanted to make it of myself.” Paul Mays is drawn to the nurturing nature of earth because of his childhood. As a youngster, Paul and his brother would play in pits of mud for hours, returning home fully covered in mud, reluctantly ready to be cleaned up by their mom who would hose them down with well water before allowing them access to the house. As for the head in the clouds aspect, well, anyone who knows Paul Mays, or who has seen him out socially, has seen him dance to the music in his own head. He’s got a pretty constant beat, letting everyone know that he’s there, but he’s also somewhere else in his head where dancing is as natural as standing still. Overall, Paul Mays is as extraordinary as the energy that consumes him. Adding to his already busy life, this summer Paul joined the OVAC board. Additionally, Paul is the co-chair of Momentum OKC 2009.

Paul Mays, Oklahoma City, Layering Roots, Mixed Media, 12”x12”

Currently, the art of Paul Mays is the feature of an exhibit at the Gaylord-Pickens Museum titled Feet in the Mud, Head in the Clouds which runs through December. In 2009, the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma will host Paul Mays’ art in their gallery. The opening reception is February 15 and the exhibit goes through March 13. The full recording of Paul Mays’ podcast can be heard at oklahomaheritage.com. n About the Author: Romy Owens makes art that you can buy and is the curator of special exhibitions at the Gaylord-Pickens Museum in OKC. She can be reached with mental telepathy or at romyfredrica@hotmail.com, whichever is easiest.

November 9, 23 and 30 ∙ 1:00 p.m. OETA, Oklahoma’s Public Broadcasting Service provider, rebroadcasts the three-part “Craft in America” series. Consult programming guide.

Through January 18, 2009

PRESENTING SPONSOR

November 7 ∙ 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. Craft in America Lecture Series

Jo Lauria Curator of Craft in America: Expanding Traditions and co-author of Craft in America: Celebrating Two Centuries of Artists and Objects, Los Angeles

November 8 ∙ 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. Screening of Documentary and Lecture Trunk Show at The Museum Store

Pat Courtney Gold Wasco basketmaker and co-producer of “Northwest Native Basketweavers” documentary, Scappose, Oregon

December 6 - 7 ∙ 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Jewelry Trunk Show at The Museum Store

Kit Carson Jeweler and sculptor, New River, Arizona Carson is featured in Episode 2: “Landscape,” of the PBS-TV ”Craft in America” series

The Kerr Foundation Inc. MAJOR SPONSORS

Kieckhefer Foundation Oklahoma Humanities Council Dolese Bros. Co. Oklahoma Arts Council

January 5, 2009 ∙ 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. Craft in America Lecture Series January 10, 2009 ∙ 1:00 p.m. Craft in America Lecture Series

www.craftinamerica.org

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Anne Gochenour Curator of Contemporary Craft at the Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock Jan Yager Artist and mixed media jeweler, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Yager is featured in Episode 2: “Landscape,” of the PBS-TV ”Craft in America” series

Craft in America: Expanding Traditions is organized by Craft in America Inc., Los Angeles, and Curatorial Assistance Traveling Exhibitions (CATE), Pasadena, California. Exhibit programming is funded in part by a grant from the Oklahoma Humanities Council and the We The People initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Eleanor Carmack, Tulsa, Eleanor at 2,12,22,72, Mixed Media, 24”x36”

Profile: Eleanor Davy Carmack by Janice McCormick Eleanor Davy Carmack has been on the Tulsa art scene for many years, serving in many capacities. Besides artist, she has been an art teacher, coordinator of an art gallery, art juror and volunteer in arts organizations. Recently, she has taken on a new career – that of an accredited appraiser, earning a Certificate in the Appraisal of Fine Art from the International Society of Appraisers. Primarily, however, her focus centers on creating art. Her art has been in numerous group shows, such as the annual Mayfest Invitational, OVAC’s 12 X 12 and OVAC’s Biennial IX, the Tulsa Artists’ Coalition Member Shows and its Annual 5 X 5 Fundraiser, Individual Artists of Oklahoma’s Mixed Media, Oklahoma Centerfold, American Art in Miniature at Gilcrease Museum, and more. Her art has won many awards. Just this year, she won Best of Show at Mayfest Invitational and Juror’s Choice Award at the TAC Members Show. She has had solo exhibits in venues throughout the state, including Eleanor Hays Gallery, Northern Oklahoma College, Tonkawa; Foundations Gallery, Rogers State University, Claremore; Redlands Art Gallery, Redlands Community College, El Reno; and, two solo shows at the Tulsa Artists’ Coalition Gallery, in Tulsa.

After thirty-five years, she retired from Holland Hall College Preparatory School where she not only taught art but served as Head of the Visual Arts Department and Coordinator of its Holliman Gallery in the Walter Arts Center. Eleanor contributes to the art community through jurying shows for colleges, universities and various art organizations; lecturing on art; and, volunteering at WaterWorks Art Studio in the Tulsa Parks Department. Some of her honors include the Council Oak Award (Individual), for volunteer work with the WaterWorks Art Studio, Tulsa Parks, Tulsa, OK; the Oklahoma House of Representatives (H. Res. No.1066), Honoring Eleanor Davy Carmack on her retirement Teaching Art for 35 years at Holland Hall School; the Award of Recognition – National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts, Miami, FL; the Creative Teaching Award – University of Oklahoma, Norman OK; Membership in the Holland Hall Chapter of the Cum Laude Society; Commission for Public Art Work for the City of Tulsa, Tulsa, OK, and Three Travel/Study Grants from Holland Hall. Just this past October, Eleanor had a solo exhibit, It’s All in the Eyes, at the Tulsa Artists’ Coalition. This was the impetus

which prompted the following interview we conducted via email. JM: When did you decide to be an artist? Who or what inspired you to do so? EDC: My earliest inspiration in art was my Mother. I remember when I was four my Mother would give me a nickel package of five note pads that were 2” x 4”. Each pad was a different pale color, pink, blue, green, yellow, and white. I had one box of six Crayola Crayons, the largest set at that time (1939) and would draw pictures of the mailman and Santa Claus. My mother also painted when she was young but did not get to continue. She did draw, color, and cut paper dolls for me. To me I had the best and most original paper dolls in the world. At the University of Tulsa, Alexandre Hogue was my second inspiration. He helped me continue to where my art is today. JM: How long have you been an artist and an art teacher? EDC: I think, as a child I always wanted to be an artist, although, always strong in art, my aptitude tests in high school said I was supposed to be an electrical engineer or a continued page 6

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continued from page 5 doctor. My teachers discouraged me from both because “women just didn’t do this kind of work.” Being an art teacher was the last thing I wanted to do. But “when you are given lemons you make lemonade.” It turned out to be one of the best things I ever did. I designed the art curriculum and was fortunate to be in a school environment that encouraged and promoted the visual arts. I learned from the students, faculty, staff and parents during my teaching years at Holland Hall School, which made both my life and art grow. JM: What have been your most significant achievements? EDC: I have felt I have achieved many things in my art and life. I hope the most significant achievements are still to come. JM: You have taught a long time. Have any of your students gone on to achieve national recognition? Are there any one or two pieces of advice you would like to pass on to younger artist who are trying to get established? EDC: I have had one student receive international recognition in painting and several students receive national recognition. Many more students have received recognition in other fields related to the visual arts. All I wanted from my students was for them to have great appreciation for the visual arts. Advice to young artists… don’t expect that you are entitled to achieve success, you may have your “fifteen minutes,” but hard work and discipline may bring you a life of success. I like the artist William Bailey’s answer to the question, “What do you do when you don’t feel like painting?” He said, “If you don’t feel like painting you are an amateur. If you go to work like a plumber, you are a professional.” JM:. What is the thinking behind your last exhibit at the Tulsa Artists’ Coalition Gallery, It’s All in the Eyes and why did you pick the people you painted in this exhibit? EDC: For the last several years I have been painting portraits of working Oklahoma artists that I personally know. I decided to paint these artists as my subject because, unlike an actor or musician, you never know what they look like. I feel they need recognition and to be physically recognized. My approach to a portrait is that “the eyes tell all.” I try, if possible, to take my own photographs, focusing only on their eyes, creating the illusion of a mask on the face. I think if you only saw the person’s eyes you could recognize that person. I believe the whole painting is just as important as the person I am painting. I use certain objects in all my painting, such as a massed-produce chair and/or window blind, which will identify the work as mine. JM: In our previous conversations, you had expressed concern over the fact that art patrons come to expect a chair in your work. So, I wonder, how did you come to grips with this rather confining expectation?

Eleanor Carmack, Tulsa, Steve Tomlin, Mixed Media. 24”x30”

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EDC: At first I worried about getting identified or typecast with certain objects in my work. I now consider “confining expectation” a positive not a negative. I realize it helps establish a conversation with the viewer. After all, the arts are a form of communication. You want a person to look at your work more than four seconds. For me, it is a mind-stretching challenge and hard work to see how many ways I can use these objects, or when I phase one out and replace it with another. When I attended the University of Tulsa, I had a conversation with Alexandre Hogue about this question. At the time my painting subjects were bridges, oil derricks, and windmills. Thinking back to what Hogue told me, he said, “You paint a subject until you exhaust it and only then can you go on.” I know this to be true. My subject has changed to portraits and some elements have taken a new form but no one has realized it. In ten years or so you will still recognize my work but maybe all of those familiar objects will have been replaced. I feel if you are disciplined and paint everyday, your work will evolve and grow in depth. If change is too fast, it shocks the viewer and few people accept radical sudden changes. JM: What is next on your drawing board? EDC: After the TAC show is a show at the Performing Arts Center with each artist displaying one of their pieces next to the portrait I did of them. Hopefully in two years this show will grow to thirty-five to forty-five pieces and possibly I will get to show them in the Oklahoma State Capitol Building or some other venue. As this last answer reveals, Eleanor plans on working hard, as any professional would, in order to pursue her artistic vision. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing its fulfillment. n About the Author: 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 artreview@olp.net.


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The Object Project:

Fifteen Artists, Five Objects

by Elizabeth Downing What would fifteen artists do if asked to create works containing a bone, a glass of water, a hand mirror, a moth, and a ball of string? The Object Project succeeds where so many art shows fail: it’s palpably engaging. I’m sure that trained art critics, myself certainly not included, would probably disagree, and that the idea of fifteen artists painting the same five objects is too contrived and disjointed. To an extent, they’re right: the show is certainly uneven. Some of the artists clearly sunk their teeth into the project, drawing from styles that lent themselves more readily to this type of project, and some favored a more “let’s stick it in and see if it works” approach (which, for the most part, didn’t work). Indeed, one artist opted to not show any of the objects at all. Who says realists can’t be rebellious? There was a substantially similar subgroup of works that seemed to relate most to the constraints of the project. We’ll call them the “Vanitas” collective, since they each referenced that particular style of symbolic still life paintings used in Europe in the 16th and 17th century. Even though it seems a little like cheating to fit five objects into a still life, most of these pieces wowed with either their compelling and intriguing narrative threads or with their significant technical prowess. There were five artists in particular who utilized this conceit with success, including the organizer of the show, Scott Fraser, and one of his students, Robert Jackson. Stylistically, they both created detailed and precise representations, but the subjects could not have been more different. Fraser took a contemporary approach to the still life with a muted, minimalistic, and quietly surreal approach with isolated white plaster hand casts, each palm containing an object, two balanced on an antique scale. Robert Jackson set a quirkier scene with apples as soldiers fighting with plastic cocktail swords, lit matches, and shards of broken mirror while marching between towers of aged wooden crates. This piece was a favorite as indicated by the comments book and overheard gallery conversations, and showed the power of an artist with the precision of an engineer and the soul of a comic. Daniel Sprick took a more sinister tone, presenting two angles of a scene with a string-draped glass of water balancing a sharpened knife and sitting next to a skull. Will Wilson’s homage to Watership Down included two anthropomorphized rabbits with boldly dyed eggs in the foreground and moths dancing in the background of deeply cast shadows. Janet Monafo, Blue Heaven, Pastel on Paper, 49”x45” Robert C. Jackson, Kennett Square, PA, Object Project Food Fight, Oil on Linen, 48”x48” F. Scott Hess, The Measure of Love, Oil on Panel, 48”x48”

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Of course, there were pieces that stood out most literally, where the artists used color as a bludgeon: F. Scott Hess and his family scenes (the only pieces that had a distinct humanity about them) and Pamela Sienna’s with her knock-your-eyes-out neon paintings of torn photos and drawings of atomic mushroom clouds and moths. Less compelling were a few black and white still life drawings, abstract paintings utilizing butter as a medium (yes, really – which seems like a great idea for an entirely different show), and two nostalgically lit still life paintings that failed to do anything more than bore. Despite several pieces that just didn’t seem to work, this show still engaged in a way that most don’t: absolutely anyone, even those without a shred of artistic training or knowledge, got the basic idea. That frame of reference is something that artists and art collectors take for granted, but which intimidates the general public so much that most of them are scared to step foot in a museum or gallery – and if they do, they’re easy to recognize: they exude that wide-eyed, halfterrified discomfiture of being in a room full of supermodels. Overall, the simplicity of the Object Project’s concept provided an easily accessible framework for raw creative potential to take hold, take over, and let artists do what they do best: to run with it. n

Scott Fraser, Longmont, CO, Three Way Vanitas, Oil on Board, 35”x49”

About the Author: Elizabeth 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 beth@bethdowning.com.

Rob Evans, Wrightsville, PA, Origins, Mixed Media on Museum Board, 51.25”x63”

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(Left) Nathan Lee, Oklahoma City, From a Rose, mixed media (Center) Artist Nathan Lee (Right) Nathan Lee, Oklahoma City, Beginnings and Endings, mixed media

Nathan Lee and Tünde Darvay at Istvan Gallery by Susan Beaty Istvan Gallery celebrates its one year anniversary this month with a new installation of works by artists Tünde Darvay and Nathan Lee. Lee is a sculptor born in Oklahoma City, while Darvay is a painter of Hungarian heritage born in Romania. Despite their dramatically different geographical origins and distinct creative media preferences, both share an artistic vision that mixes natural and mundane objects to create magical works of art. Nathan Lee discovered painting while pursuing a musical career in New York. A self-taught artist, Lee began by documenting his urban surroundings on masonite and creating graffitiinspired art. Lee’s work has since become more ethereal and introspective. Lee now works primarily as a mixed media sculptor. Lee’s work has been shown in several solo exhibitions including at Individual Artist of Oklahoma and the Kirkpatrick Center. Lee is also the founder of Inclusion in Art, an organization committed to promoting racial diversity within Oklahoma’s art community. He is currently working to establish a Latino-African American center for the arts in Oklahoma. The sculptural series featured in the Istvan exhibit is titled Unnaturally Natural. The title

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is a perfect descriptor for Lee’s intriguing combinations of human and tree-like forms. Lee explains that the series “is inspired by man’s relationship with nature and his own human frailty. Using form and movement, I create figures that are neither tree nor human but a combination of both. I want to convey a sense of movement and motion with each, thus giving them life. Ultimately I want these sculptures to capture what is natural without being immediately recognizable as such by the viewer.” I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek at a few of the pieces in the Istvan show. Lee’s sculptures of human bodies with tree branches extending in place of heads or limbs are created from a composite of paper pulp, binding materials, and coloring agents lending natural stone and wood shades. The colors and materials combine with the organic forms to create a dichotomous sense of strength and weakness (or permanence and mortality) of man and nature at the same time. The juxtaposition will extend to curator Stephen Kovash’s manner of hanging the show. Some of Lee’s pieces sit sturdily with branchlike extensions rising lightly in place of heads.

Others will be suspended from the ceiling. Kovash has explained that the interplay between light and shadow will play a central role in the exhibit of Lee’s work by adding to the mystical experience of the sylph-like sculptural forms. The coming winter season is perfectly suited to Lee’s spare sculptures. Beginnings and Endings is a seated female form with a large set of branches or antlers growing out of her shoulders. The piece appears to be the color and texture of driftwood. The relaxed appearance of the seated figure, along with the subdued color, evokes a sense of calm in the viewer, but that feeling is uprooted by the entirely unexpected branches. Are those branches of disparate thoughts? A leafless and therefore dead or hibernating mind? Ethereal, subdued, apparently eternal yet ultimately active, the pieces in Unnaturally Natural offer a visual and emotional experience not to be missed. The movement in Tünde Darvay’s paintings is much more active and overt. After completing a BFA at the University of Fine Arts in Cluj-Napoca in Romania, Darvay came to Oklahoma in March 2004. Darvay


(Left) Tünde Darvay, Oklahoma City, The House That Calls Itself A Couch Potato, Mixed Media (Center) Tünde Darvay, Oklahoma City, Encounters, Mixed Media (Right) Tünde Darvay

has shown her artwork in both Romania and the U.S., including a solo exhibit at IAO earlier this year and at Momentum OKC and Momentum Tulsa. She considers her works to be visual representations of the fusion between Transylvanian and American culture. Darvay’s work is influenced by the unique rural landscape of Transylvania, where she grew up. Darvay’s paintings emphasize the shadow-line between the organic and the inorganic. She hopes to blur the spheres in which traditional imagination usually confines things, whether living or inanimate, significant or trivial. The uniquely shaped, handmade wood frames are an extension of her work. She notes that the frames “invite my compositions to spill over into the fantasy of the beholder. Line and color give shape to things that surface from my memory but also beg to live on and be part of the lives of my audience. I seek to paint birds that uniquely embody all birds, houses that somehow envision all houses, and colors that include all the colors from dawn to dusk.” Darvay’s colorful paintings, with multi-media collage bringing in elements beyond the canvas, convey her intuitive understanding of a universe in which everything is connected.

Darvay’s piece titled Encounters features a wooden frame similar in shape to an early model television. The brightly colored painting, which includes a yellow school bus full of children and honeybees buzzing above, all on a bright aqua ocean-like background, extends to the very edge of the painting. In Storm Chasing, a wide-eyed young woman watches an earth-like form under the night sky while a whimsical cacophony of action takes place--a precarious tower of objects appears almost as a Rube Goldberg device on one side, while a space ship floats from an umbrella on the other. Darvay extends whimsy to the titles of some pieces--The House That Calls Itself a Couch Potato being the best example. Darvay explains that her “aesthetic worldview is profoundly mythical: it depicts a world in which color breathes life into inanimate things in order to conjure up playful, suggestive associations along a broad spectrum of themes and forms. Houses have smiling or grinning doors, cheerful, winking, or teary windows, depending on their moody personalities. Chimneys protrude as if they were limbs. Trees hold hands and dance together, witnessed by the curious glance of birds, cats, and fish from behind the bushes. Color and composition

jointly intend to disclose the immense network of cobwebs connecting all these things together, making them part of a highly sensitive organic universe in which every tiny quiver is perceived even in the remotest corners.” This statement makes obvious the contrast between Darvay’s work and Lee’s, yet, note the similarities: the mythical anthropomorphism of inanimate objects with human feelings and forms, and ultimately the unbreakable link between humanity and nature. The Nathan Lee and Tünde Darvay exhibit premiers at Istvan Gallery, 1218 N. Western in Oklahoma City, with an opening reception November 14 from 6-10 p.m. and an open house, which will include live entertainment, the following two days. n About the Author: Susan Beaty is an attorney in Oklahoma City and a member of the OVAC Board.

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Russia Has Invaded Norman by Susan Grossman Russia has invaded Norman. A series of exhibits at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art is exploring everything from icons, to immigrant art and photography at the University of Oklahoma institution. This Soviet theme and exploration of the many aspects of Soviet life is supported by films, lectures and courses. The days of Romanov rule (1613-1918) was recently featured in Tradition in Translation: Russian Icons from the Hillwood Collection. Offering a rare insight into sacred devotional images of Russia, the icons and their evolution reflected the influences of the East versus the West, tradition versus innovation, and church versus state during the 300-year reign of the Romanov family. On the heels of the icons exhibit comes American Artists from the Russian Empire which opened Oct. 4 with a free public showing. Exploring early 20th century Russian immigrant art, the traveling exhibit features Soviet street scenes, paintings of the American West, abstracts and portraits. Overall, the exhibit showcases the volume and diversity of the styles, genre and media used that made Russian immigrants among the most active and influential in America. The collection emphasizes how everyday environments reflect art. Featuring a wide-ranging selection of works on loan from museums, galleries and private collections, American Artists from the Russian Empire explores the impact of American culture and art movements on Russian artists living in the United States and highlights the influence and contributions of these artists in shaping American culture. “American Artists from the Russian Empire is an innovative undertaking, drawing as it does upon the unique resources of many American collections,” said Derrick Cartwright, executive director of the San Diego Museum of Art. “These collections, both public and private, represent the profound contributions of dozens of Russian-born artists.” Composed of more than 70 paintings and sculptures by Nicolai Fechin, Leon Gaspard, Jacques Lipchitz, Mark Rothko, Ben Shahn, Alexis Arapoff, Pavel Tchelitchew and Max Weber among others, the installation will remain on display through Jan. 4. Evgenia Petrova, deputy director for science at the State Russian Museum, curated the show and gave a walk-through of the show at its opening. Lenders to the exhibition include the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, the National Gallery of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and private collections of artist’s daughters Kate Rothko and Mary Arapoff. Following the Oklahoma debut, the exhibit will travel to the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg and the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow before returning to the United States for a final showing at the San Diego Museum of Art. Said Ghislain D’Humieres, director of the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, “The influence of this exhibition on the university’s culture

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Alexander Liberman, Maquette for On High, Welded and Painted Steel on Steel Base, 23 5/8”x16”x16”

of learning is enormous and we are delighted for Norman to be the opening venue and Oklahoma to be one of only two states to host the exhibition.” This collaboration between the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, Russia and California provides an outstanding opportunity to promote an exceptional collection of art and to open a discussion about the influence of national culture on careers and styles of individual artists. Through this exhibition, visitors should be encouraged to consider concepts of international diversity, compassion and curiosity for foreign cultures.” In conjunction with American Artists from the Russian Empire, faculty from the OU College of Fine Arts have collaborated to create a “dream” course to enhance the understanding of the exhibition. Experts of national and international stature will visit campus and teach, along with OU faculty, Russian Arts in the 20th Century. The course will examine all aspects of Russia and its history including architecture and palace interiors, dance, music and art history and will be open to the public. The museum’s weekly film series, Fred Films, will tie into the Russian theme as well. Coming in November is a photography exhibit titled Reflections: Russian Contemporary Photography. Photos included were taken by photographers of the Moscow Times newspaper between 1992 and 2002, a time of exceptional turmoil in Russia with the end of communism. The exhibit will be open until Jan. 4. n About the Author: Susan Grossman is assistant director of marketing for University of Oklahoma Outreach and a freelance writer based in Norman. She can be reached at susangrossman@cox.net.


The Perfect Gift by Kelsey Karper The act of giving a gift can be a meaningful and thoughtful gesture. For me, giving a gift is a way to tell someone that I’m thinking of them and that they are important to me. Finding the perfect gift to say that can be very challenging, especially during the busy holiday season. I have found that the gift of a unique piece of hand-crafted art can be just the thing to express those things to family and friends.

Many artists host open studio events during the holidays to give others the opportunity to not only see their diverse working spaces, but also to find one-of-a-kind gifts for their special someone’s. Here is a list of a few artist’s open studio events to get you started on your way to finding that perfect gift.

Eileen Anderson Every Saturday in November & December, 1-4pm 1408 Belle St, Altus www.paintseabstract.com eileenanderson@cableone.net 580-471-4065 Eileen Anderson’s in-home art studio will be open for visitors to view her oil paintings. With a focus on movement and emotion in her paintings, her subjects range from abstract, seascapes, landscapes, flowers and fire. Tulsa Glassblowing Studio November 1 -December 30, Mon-Wed 6-9, Thurs 4-9, Fri a6-9, Sat 12-8, Sun 1-5 19 E. Brady, Tulsa www.tulsaglassblowing.org info@tulsaglassblowing.org 918-582-4527 The Tulsa Glassblowing Studio will be featuring blown glass art pieces as well as demonstrations of live glassblowing. Guests can also make a reservation to create a pumpkin, Christmas ornament, flower or paperweight. Elia Woods Friday, November 28, 4-7pm Saturday, November 29, 1-4pm Friday, December 5, 4-7pm Saturday, December 6, 1-4pm 1012 NW 32nd, OKC www.eliawoods.com eliawoods@cox.net 405-524-1864

Elia Woods’ open studio will feature her photo-fiber art, including art quilts and three-dimensional wall hangings, as well as small framed art. She will also have some functional art objects such as handwoven scarves, shawls and bags, fused glass jewelry and greeting cards featuring original art.

Ruth Ann Borum Friday, December 5, 7-11pm 122 East Main, Norman (above Mainsite Contemporary Art) www.ruthborum.com ruthborum@gmail.com Ruth Ann Borum will be offering a variety of small and large paintings. Her open studio is held in conjunction with Mainsite Contemporary Art’s annual Emergent Artist Exhibit and the Norman Winter Art Walk.

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continued from page 13 Paseo Arts District First Friday Gallery Walk, Friday, December 5, 6-9pm Saturday, December 6, 10am-7pm Sunday, December 7, 11am-5pm Holiday Gallery Walk, Friday, December 19, 6-9pm Saturday, December 20, 10am-6pm

With many galleries, studios, shops and restaurants all within walking distance, the Paseo is a great destination for holiday shopping. Many of the galleries will have extended hours the week before Christmas and make work with gift-giving in mind. For more specific listings of holiday hours, please visit the website.

Paseo Arts District, OKC www.thepaseo.com 405-525-2688 Studio Six Same dates and times as Paseo Arts District 3021 Paseo, OKC www.studiosixokc.com regina@reginamurphy.net 405-528-0174 Located within the Paseo Arts District, Studio Six is the studio home of artists Winnie Hawkins, Regina Murphy, Mary Nickell and Sue Moss Sullivan. With things in every price range for giftgiving, they will be featuring new work in painting and mixed media. Additionally, guest artists Rick and Tracy Bewley will offer their beautiful fused glass creations, including Christmas ornaments.

Janice Mathews-Gordon Sunday, December 7, 3-6pm 8309 Glenwood Ave., OKC www.mathewsgordon.com art@mathewsgordon.com 405-848-8883 Asia Friday, December 12, 2-9pm Saturday, December 13, 10am-5pm 430 W. Comanche St., Norman

Janice Mathews-Gordon is hosting an art and wine-tasting in her studio, featuring her original acrylic, collage and mixed media works on paper and canvas.

Asia will be showcasing her wire sculptures and note cards, with prices starting at only $15.

Birthe Flexner Friday, December 12, 7-9pm Saturday, December 13, 10am-5pm Sunday, December 14, 1-5pm 316 Park Dr., Norman www.birtheflexnerpottery.com birtheflexner@gmail.com 405-364-7921 This is the 25th year of Birthe Flexner’s annual Holiday Open Studio. She makes functional and decorative objects using stoneware clay. Some objects are fired in a gas kiln to 2300 degrees F. Other objects are fired adding salt or soda ash at the end of the firing cycle to create unique surfaces. The functional pieces are oven, dishwasher and microwave safe. Visitors to her open studio will also enjoy holiday refreshments. About the Author: Kelsey Karper is the Editor of Art Focus Oklahoma and a photographer working in historic and alternative processes. She can be reached at publications@ovac-ok.org.

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Eucha, OK Jan Mohr Meng: Gourd Art by Lori Oden

Jan Mohr Meng, Eucha, Bottle Cap Gourd, Gourd, bottlecaps, mixed media

Near Grand Lake is a small town, Eucha, OK (pronounced “oochee”). Eucha, is a Cherokee word for bare belly. Most importantly though, on five acres in Eucha is “Hungry Holler Art Center,” where artists Jan and Marc Meng live and work. Jan is a self-proclaimed “gourdphile,” and has been perfecting her art for more than fifteen years. Marc Meng specializes in wood and has a studio he calls “Home of the Ugly Spoon.”

place in a national birdhouse contest. Most impressive is that her work is found on all continents except the big icy one.

No one I knew had ever heard of Eucha, but it is about three hours northeast of Oklahoma City. It was a fairly easy turnpike drive; but after the exit at Adair, the roads hugged the beautiful, hilly landscape. Tucked just off the road is the Mengs’ historic home, where there is an old well house and two studios. They relocated an old fishing cottage there, too, and turned it into a gallery that houses their work and the work of some of their favorite artists. The land is dotted with Jan and Marc’s metal and concrete sculptures, gourd vines, wild flowers and crop circles (Marc has too much fun with his mower); it was a really nice get-away. It was especially good when Marc served up some real homemade pineapple ice cream and Jan poured me a glass of tea with fresh mint. My usual one hour interview turned into almost three, and I could have stayed longer but city obligations were tugging at me.

Why the name “Hungry Holler?” Jan smiled, “Because everything that comes here is hungry.” Currently, they have a parrot, a wild kitty and a rescued dog that reside permanently.

Mosaic concrete steps guide visitors into Jan’s studio, which is lined from floor to ceiling with wonderfully shaped and spotted gourds. I never knew I could be so fond of them. Family photos are tacked to the low rafters and there is a small table and chair where she performs her magic. It is quite a process: from growing, to drying, cleaning, and then painting, it takes about a year according to Jan. It did not surprise me at all when she told me she knew practically every gourd in the room, and when an idea comes to her she knows exactly which gourd will fulfill her vision. She says, “I am a mass of contradictions: bean counter and bohemian; fashion maven and bumpkin; animal lover and enemy of woodchucks. I am a perfectionist in all things gourd and the opposite of perfectionist in almost everything else.” Her work has been featured in newspapers and periodicals, and has appeared on numerous television programs including: “Oklahoma Gardening,” “Oklahoma Living,” “Oklahoma Traveler,” “Discover Oklahoma!” and most recently, “Is This a Great State or What?” Jan’s gourds have been honored at art festivals, which she participates in approximately ten every year. One of her gourd birdhouses won first

A beautiful book, Beyond the Basics: Gourd Art, features Jan’s work. In addition, her reputation prompted the publisher to invite her to write the book’s “Gourd Story” introduction and explain and demonstrate the first steps in preparing gourds for art.

Her gourd canvas might yield a painting of a rooster or a mermaid, or two complementary colors that have a simple, elegant design; but others are decked-out with soda pop tops, safety pins, or other found objects, which she loves to recycle and reuse. They are each very unique and show her artistic versatility. When we visited her gallery I noticed a gourd that had a mosaic pattern of an avocado, which was reminiscent of some of her concrete work. She says, “Gourd-using cultures consider gourds heirlooms and that is how I feel about them. If my pieces are going to be forever, I want them to be fabulous. I do not throw any part of a gourd away.” Parts of gourds find their way into a gourdhead or decorated doors that can be found throughout Hungry Holler. Jan also makes gourd luminaries. Her love for gourds is completely consuming and contagious. Some final words from Jan, “Humankind has used gourds in art and utility since the dawn of time. There are gourd-using cultures all over the planet. They bind us together. Gourds are a gift from the natural world.” Hungry Holler is open to visitors, but you must call or email … I guess it isn’t as if you could just drop by because you are in the neighborhood anyway … but, if you don’t have the time to make the drive, Jan loves to give talks about gourds and her work. She is an Oklahoma treasure. The Mengs’ work can be viewed at www.hungryholler.com. n About the Author: Lori Oden is a photographer who specializes in nineteenth century processes; an adjunct professor at Oklahoma City University and Oklahoma State University – Oklahoma City; and the Executive Director for the Paseo Artists Association. She can be contacted at silversun1@cox.net

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HISTORY OVAC History: Donors by Julia Kirt The Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition’s 20 years of giving money and services to artists cannot happen without money coming in. OVAC has been fortunate that quite a few astute donors have made our programs possible over the years. This article hopefully will highlight some of the consistent supporters… basically answer the question that I have heard more than once about our programs from thoughtful artists, “who is paying for this anyway?” Not that I’m biased, but OVAC donors are especially astute. Not only do they have to understand how important art is in our society, but also they have to grasp the irreplaceable role artists play. Neither of these premises are a given—a good number of foundations, companies and individuals do not fund the arts, much less individual artists. On top of that, they have to be fans of Oklahoma and believe in promoting Oklahomans! These two large filters mean that those who give to OVAC are overwhelmingly knowledgeable about the cultural realm and engaged in the community at large. Below are profiles of some of the ongoing sponsors of OVAC programs. Lists, no doubt, cannot be complete as we are generating them from various sources, but hopefully we can highlight most of OVAC’s big benefactors.

Truly irreplaceable, the Oklahoma Arts Council has given grants to fund OVAC’s programs every year since 1988, when OVAC received its first

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grant ever to help expand this magazine (then an unnamed newsletter) and establish the Slide Registry (precursor to the Virtual Gallery). They have supported exhibitions, artist workshops, studio tours, Art Focus Oklahoma magazine, the administration of the artist grant and awards program, and special projects along the way. The Oklahoma Arts Council is a state agency founded in 1965 with the mission “To lead, cultivate and support a thriving arts environment, which is essential to quality of life, education and economic vitality for all Oklahomans.” They offer matching grants to arts programming and education around the state in all disciplines. The Oklahoma Arts Council is a quite small percentage of the state’s educational budget, but impacts people all over the state. www.arts.ok.gov

OVAC became an Allied Arts Member Agency in 2000. Since 1971, Allied Arts has served as a united fund for the arts in central Oklahoma that raises monies for 20 agencies including other organizations like the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Oklahoma City Museum of Art and IAO Gallery. OVAC is fortunate to be a part since we are statewide, but more than 60% of OVAC’s member and participating artists are in central Oklahoma. Their support has grown significantly over the years as they have been able to increase their annual February campaign. This year OVAC received over $30,000 from Allied Arts to be used as needed. This kind of annual, undesignated support

is extremely rare and helpful. You can help too by donating to Allied Arts each year. www.AlliedArtsOKC.com

Funding some of OVAC’s most vanguard programs, the Kirkpatrick Foundation helped bring the Creative Capital Professional Development Retreat to Oklahoma artists, instigated the Art 365 exhibition, and underwrote the collaborative Upgrade! International Conference. The foundation also sponsored director Julia Kirt’s participation in the National Arts Strategy’s Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders in the Arts at Stanford Graduate School for Business. Also an early supporter of OVAC, the Kirkpatrick Foundation began giving OVAC grants in 1991. Established in 1955 by John and Eleanor Kirkpatrick, the Kirkpatrick Foundation has supported cultural, educational, civic, and animal welfare organizations in central Oklahoma since. www.KirkpatrickFoundation.com

The Kirkpatrick Family Fund is an affiliated fund of the Oklahoma City Community Foundation created in 1994 to support interests of the Kirkpatrick family. OVAC has received regular support for artistic programs from exhibitions to artist fellowships since 1996. Notably, the Kirkpatrick Family Fund matched OVAC’s board gifts to create a cash reserve in 1998 that has reinforced OVAC’s financial stability. www.occf.org/kff

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OVAC first received a grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation For The Visual Arts in 2004 helping fund our exhibitions programming. These multith year funds were what allowed OVAC to begin printing full color catalogs for each exhibition, A N N I V E R S A R Y larger 1 9artists 8 8awards 2and 0 0 8 bringing guest curators in for longer periods of time. Andy Warhol set the mission for the foundation as “the advancement of the visual arts” in his will, leaving everything to the foundation. Further ongoing funds are generated by the licensing of his artwork. The foundation has focused grants on “the creation, presentation and documentation of contemporary visual art, particularly work that is experimental, underrecognized, or challenging in nature.” OVAC has benefited from their leadership in championing artists nationwide. www.warholfoundation.org

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Another effort to stabilize OVAC’s funding for the long term, OVAC established an endowment fund at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation in 1996 with contributions from board members and individuals. The Kirkpatrick Family Fund gave a $3,000 challenge grant to start the designated fund and has granted over $20,000 in matching funds. OVAC’s endowment now stands at approximately $70,000 from which OVAC receives a 5% allocation annually. This means OVAC has a steady stream


of funding that can be used as needed. Since inception, OVAC has received $15,686 in distributions from the fund. Also remarkable, OVAC has received grants from the Oklahoma City Community Foundation of $28,650 for Agency Capacity Building projects, funds only accessible because of the endowment. www.occf.org Looking toward OVAC’s next 20 years, OVAC is raising funds to increase the endowment to provide enough funds for at least one artist fellowship annually. Please attend our 20th Birthday Party, send an endowment donation or round up your membership to help OVAC’s mission continue in full.

Other notable grantmakers:

National Endowment for the Arts: OVAC has received three grants from this useful federal agency to support the Artist Survival Kit program, Art 365 exhibition, and Momentum Spotlight exhibition. www.nea.gov

The Sarkeys Foundation granted OVAC $20,000 in capacity building funds, helping turn around OVAC’s financial fortunes at a critical time. Funds helped purchase office equipment, increase staff time, and establish administrative facilities. www.sarkeys.org

Individual and Business Donors: Individuals and (especially small) businesses have meant the livelihood of OVAC’s programs. Through program sponsorships, 12x12 donations, and general contributions, donors have supported a large portion of

OVAC’s budget. Although cataloging the entire donor history of OVAC is impossible with our incompatible records, the below lists highlight some of the most consistent donors in OVAC’s last 10 years. $1000 or more for 3 or more years Anonymous (3 different donors) Bank of Oklahoma Chesapeake Energy Corporation Jean Ann Fausser Main Street Parking/Irish Realty John McNeese and John Richardson Richard Pearson Phillips Petroleum and its Foundation, and ConocoPhillips Ira and Sandy Schlezinger Carl and Beth Shortt $500 or more, for 3 or more years John and Maxine Belger Foundation Rand and Jeanette Elliott JPMorgan Chase Bank, NA Stephen and Christina Kovash/ Istvan Gallery Randy Marks Stan and Raina Pelofsky Elliott R. Schwartz Smith, Carney and Co. PC Sue Moss and Andy Sullivan George and Lila Todd/Todd Construction Vintage Kitchens Laura and Joe Warriner More than 5 years of sponsorships >$144, since 1999 Jo Ann Adams (8) Ann Simmons Alspaugh (7) Robert and Cara Barnes (6) Judith Bright Barnett (8) William L. Beasley (7) Bob and Connie Bright (8) Credit Collections/Brad and Regina Fudge (8) Jacqueline Zanoni and Tomas de los Santos (6) Gary and Fran Derrick (7) Warren Edwards (7) Mark Allen Everett (9) Gayle Farley (6)

Debbie & Chuck Friedlander (6) Doug Parr and Pat Gallagher (8) Diane Glenn (8) Nathan Guilford/ Toothbrusher’s Dental (6) Carolyn Hill (9) Pam Hodges (6) Michael Hoffner, AIA (6) Dan and Renee Jones (6) The Kerr Foundation, Inc. (7) Julia Kirt (9) Christopher and Kathryn Kirt (7) Joseph and Vestina Ruffin (8) Chris and Meg Salyer/Accel Financial Staffing (8) Stacey Ford Stiglets (6) Michi Susan (9) Jim and Beth Tolbert (8) Charles and Renate Wiggin (9) Debby and Gary Williams (8) A few other notables from pivotal times. Robert M. Cochran and Jan Wood Semrod hosted exhibition in 1989 called “A Show of Support” to support OVAC which raised $5,500 and was a big step forward for OVAC at the time. When OVAC set up a cash reserve in 1997, several donors undergirded OVAC’s future sustainability. Laura and Joe Warriner, Ira and Sandy Schlezinger, Sue Moss Sullivan, Toby Thompson, Randy Marks and several other board members contributed. Their foresight allowed OVAC to move into a new period of abundance. The Metro Wine Bar & Bistro with the Coach House, when owned by Chris and LaVeryl Lower, have donated through several special events beyond fabulous food. Two dinners they sponsored raised over $8,000 in 2001 and 2002 helping diversify OVAC’s income. Last year, a wine tasting party with artwork raised over $1,000. Members: OVAC’s members support approximately 8% of our budget. However, it’s important to note OVAC does not try to

make money on membership. The basic membership of $35 individual/$55 for family just pays for the expense of member services—mailings, Art Focus Oklahoma subscription, email newsletters, and Virtual Gallery processing. Student memberships ($20) are in affect subsidized through other funds. Members are important for more than their financial commitment; they participate at a much higher rate in programs and use OVAC’s services more. Importantly, many members choose to give beyond the basic rate to help with costs of OVAC’s broader programs. Patron and Sustaining members’ donations are employed to pay for things that are hard to consistently fund like the direct artist grants, etc. First members (as of August 25, 1988) with * if they are members now: Jack Allred Rose Allison* Teresa Andrus Arts Council of OKC/Jennifer Saint Carol Beesley Linda Blackwood John Brandenburg* Mark Briscoe Jerry Brown Greg Burns Mary F. Bynum Marie Dawson Dell Elzey Brunel Faris (Christiane)* Wayne Fleming Karen Garrett Simonne Hulett Nick Kyle* Debbie Langston* Dena Madole Kathleen Malin John McNeese* Regina Murphy* Tina Owens Suzanne Randall* John Richardson* Roger Runge James Seitz Mr. and Mrs. Jim Silvera Gail Sloop* Sue Moss Sullivan* Laura and Joe Warriner* Ashley Wilson

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UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL OKLAHOMA C O L L E G E

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Industry and the American Landscape Tradition 1830-1930

Oct. 26 thru Dec. 12, 2008 UCO’s Melton Gallery This national traveling exhibit offers a compelling look at the role of industry as a catalyst for artistic change through 42 works by some of America’s most important landscape painters. 18 feature

Includes works from the Collections of the Melton Art Reference Library, the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art and UCO’s Melton Gallery.

Gallery Hours: Mon-Fri 9-5 pm

For more information, contact the Melton Gallery at (405) 974-5227 orWilliamWallo at wwallo@ucok.edu.


Ask a

The Gift of Art by Sue Clancy

Being an artist can be a difficult job. It’s helpful to pause and remember what we get from art and how we benefit from being artists. Here in no particular order are 12 gifts I’ve received from the fine arts. Perhaps you’ve received some of these gifts, too. 1. The smell of a freshly sharpened pencil, the feel of crisp clean sheets of paper - and being able to entertain myself for hours. 2. Getting to meet and know people from all walks of life while sharing a common interest in art. 3. The fine arts are non-dogmatic. Some teachers, gallery owners and artists may be tyrants - but not all of them! There is room in the field for everyone. It’s a matter of finding where you’re most comfortable and where you can enjoy a community of fellow artists, galleries and arts organizations. This place of comfort can change as our artistic interests and abilities change, too. 4. Art is not about “winning.” Any competition is with yourself. It’s a life-long learning opportunity. 5. The freedom that comes from knowing that there are as many ways of being an artist as there are artists… 6. …And yet the security of knowing that the “basics” of visual art are constant. A quality painting (for example) will utilize one or more of the following: shape, composition, color theory, form, line, balance, design, light source, positive/ negative space… 7. Knowing that some people actually care what we artists think about life is encouraging. I am able to feel I “belong” and have something to contribute that is worthwhile. 8. Art is forgiving. I can completely muckup a piece of paper and all I’ll have to do to fix it is begin again with new materials! Mistakes are part of the process. No formal apology for my mess needs to be issued. No boss is going to yell at me. No lightning will strike.

9. If an artist or collector doesn’t like one gallery, or exhibit – it’s OKAY! There are others. 10. Art is not destructive to children, animals or other living things. An artist can contribute positively to the world without harming it in the process. 11. Art and artists reflect the era in which they live and offer a vision for the future. Whew! I don’t have to know it all and I don’t have to be perfect. All I need to do is be the best I can be, think as deeply as I can, and offer my thoughts to the ongoing conversation that is art. I can even change my mind and that’s okay, too. 12. Art is a way of thinking about the world. How helpful it is to have a way to organize and share my thoughts! Now, “Go to your studio and make stuff!” as the artist Fred Babb says, and let’s share our gifts with the world. n About the Author: Sue Clancy is a fulltime professional artist whose artwork can be seen internationally – and locally at Joseph Gierek Fine Art gallery in Tulsa, OK (www.gierek.com) or at Downtown Art & Frame in Norman, OK. She checks her email artist@telepath.com occasionally, too.

Creativity Coach by Romney Nesbitt

Dear Romney, I’m a painter who loves to read. I read nonfiction how-to books and biographies of artists but occasionally I want to get lost in a good story. Can you recommend a fiction title that will inspire me as an artist and cause me to think?

— Bookworm

Dear Bookworm, In your question you used the words “inspire” and “art;” I immediately thought of My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok. As a seminary student I struggled to maintain my identity as an artist while more fully embracing matters of the faith. A thoughtful professor handed me this book. Asher Lev is a child growing up in a Hasidic community where art is denounced as a “graven image.” Asher’s family is angry when he shows a talent for drawing. His skills cannot be encouraged but his talent is so remarkable no one can deny it must be a gift from God. If only Asher had chosen to paint scenes from the Old Testament or his Hasidic life, but Asher paints crucifixes, the Christian symbol of faith. Does Asher abandon his art, embrace the teachings of his faith and please his family or hold on to his talent and his faith and live in conflict with his family and community? I was so taken with the descriptions of his paintings that I searched the internet for images of Asher Lev’s paintings—no luck, even the paintings were fiction! As artists we look for new ideas and we search for our passion for creating art. Asher Lev found both. This book gave me courage to begin painting images of my faith and it gave me permission to be passionate about my identity as an artist. Take a couple of fall afternoons and get lost in this artist’s story. You’ll feel richer on the inside. About the Author: Romney Nesbitt is a Creativity Coach, artist and writer living in Tulsa. She is the author of Secrets From a Creativity Coach, available on Amazon.com. Romney welcomes your questions for future columns. Contact her at Romneyn@att.net, or at www.romneynesbitt.com.

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At a Glance: Fiberworks by Julia Kirt Fiberworks continues to amaze me with its consistent quality and stylistic variety. Held at IAO Gallery in June, this juried exhibition featured 41 pieces made by artists from around the state. Fiber art was traditionally made from natural things like seed pods or sheep hair, but has developed to include synthetic fibers such as plastic yarns. Artwork in this exhibition illustrated this evolution of the medium, ranging from traditional weaving and hand-dyed fabrics to mixed media constructions. Recycled components were a fun motif in several works. Sara Braden, Oklahoma City, recycled yarns from sweaters purchased at a thrift store into a striking patterned tapestry. Shea Alexander, Midwest City, transformed maps into dresses with strategic stitching. Overall, color, joy and abstraction defined the exhibition.

Kay Moore, Oklahoma City, Another Place in Time, Hand felted, needle felted, 24”x30”

Check out www.fiberartistsok.org to learn more or to enter next year’s highly anticipated exhibition. n

Rosetta Funches, Oklahoma City, Painted Lady, Fabric Collage

Thank you to our New and Renewing Members from July and August 2008 Mazen H. Abufadil

Ryan Cunningham

Diann Harris Howell

Samonia Meredith

Jay Shanker and Sara Jane Rose

Jane Ford Aebersold

Vandrea Davis

Helen F. Howerton

Gregory Motto

Tony and Clarissa Sharp

Stuart Asprey

Susan Edwards

F. Bradley Jessop

Kelie Myers

Alfred Smith

Donna Barnard

Marvin Embree

Dan and Renee Jones

Deborah Nauser

James Steele

Doug Bauer

Christiane E. Faris

Kelsey Karper

Mary Nickell

Clint Stone and Shannon Claire

Rebecca Bensen Cain

Linda Finley

Jody Karr

Lou Ellen Paschal

William R. Struby

Ellen Berney

Jim Franklin

Melissa Key

Larry Pickering

Sue Moss Sullivan

Rick and Tracey Bewley

Joey Frisillo

Leonard Krisman

Gerald Piper

Jacob Theis

Elyse Bogart

Chris Gonzalez

Fernando Laurens

Harold Porterfield

Steve Tomlin

Jack and Judy Bryan

Martha Green

Mark and Laura Ann Lewis

David M. and Sharon Roberts

Carla Waugh

Roy Butler

Stephanie Grubbs

Jimmy Lovett

Joe Romero

Sharon Webster

Stan Carroll

Winnie Hawkins

Marsha Mahan

Mary Ruggles

Jennifer Woods

Josh T. Cleveland

Yun Hendricks

Sarah McElroy

Denny Schmickle

Nick Wu

Jim Coles

Teresa Herndon

James G. Meeks

Ali Seradge

Rachel Zarrow

Angela Cozby

Steve Hicks

Marc and Jan Meng

Houshang and Monireh Seradge

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Don’t forget OVAC’s 20th Birthday Party on November 1st! A fun evening of friends and celebration will raise money for OVAC’s endowment, helping fund the next 20 years! Please come! If you can’t make it, please donate to the endowment in honor of all the work OVAC has done. The party will begin at 7pm at Untitled [ArtSpace] at 1 NE 3rd in Oklahoma City. Reservations th for the party are $50 per person. To reserve your spot, please call 405-232-6991 or A N N I V E R S A R Y email office@ovac-ok.org. 1

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Thanks for our excellent 12x12 Committee led by co-chairs Suzanne Mitchell and Susan Beaty who helped OVAC raise important funds for our programs. It was a great event again! We appreciate the Fred Jones Industries for hosting us in their gorgeous building again. Thanks to all the artists, donors, art buyers, restaurants and attendees. The Oklahoma Arts Council’s 2008 Statewide Arts Conference is November 12-14 in Enid. The conference will include a special forum for new and emerging arts leaders. For more information visit www.arts.ok.gov or call 405-521-2024. OVAC would like to welcome a new staff member! Sarah McElroy began as OVAC’s Volunteer and Office Coordinator recently and we are already feeling the effects of her help. Sarah has a degree in Graphic Arts from the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond and is a previous OVAC intern. She is also an artist. Welcome Sarah! Art Focus Oklahoma recently received a grant from the Kirkpatrick Family Fund to assist in expansion and improvements to the magazine! Beginning with the Jan/Feb 2009 issue, look for more pages, more color and more content. Thanks Kirkpatrick Family Fund!

Art People: Laura Warriner, one of OVAC’s founding board members, will receive a Governor’s Arts Award this month. Besides her leadership for OVAC, Warriner founded Untitled [ArtSpace] as an interdisciplinary space that highlights contemporary work and educational opportunities. She is also commended for her support for too many artists and organizations to mention. Congratulations Laura. We’re also pleased to see that Ira Schlezinger is being honored with the Marilyn Douglass Memorial Award which recognizes an outstanding Arts Council member. Ira has been a long time supporter and past board member for OVAC. n

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Gallery Listings Ardmore

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Christmas Ornament Exhibit Through December 27 Studio 107 Gallery 107 East Main (580) 224-1143 studio107ardmore.com

Dan Robinson Opening November 7, 5-7 Christmas Open House: Deborah Gold Opening December 5 Shadid Fine Art 19 N. Broadway (405) 341-9023 shadidfineart.com

Jesús Moroles Through November 20 Marie Kash Weltzheimer November 25 – January 9, 2009 The Goddard Center 401 First Avenue SW (580) 226-0909 goddardcenter.org

Bartlesville 3-logy Triennial 2008: “Imaginative Qualities of Actual Things” Through January 4, 2009 Price Tower Arts Center 510 Dewey Ave. (918) 336-4949 pricetower.org

Broken Bow Beavers Bend Folk Festival & Craft Show November 7-9 Forest Heritage Center Beaver’s Bend Resort (580) 494-6497 beaversbend.com

Chickasha Narciso Arguelles & Stuart Asprey November 2 – December 12 University of Sciences and Arts of Oklahoma Gallery-Davis Hall 1806 17th Street (405) 574-1344 usao.edu/gallery/

Durant Women Artists from Texas: Ruth Hastings & Susan Moore Through November 7 Southeastern Art Faculty Exhibit: Pedagogy ‘08 November 12 – December 13 Southeastern OK State University 1405 N. 4th PMB 4231 sosu.edu

22 gallery guide

Progress on the Land: Industry and the American Landscape Tradition 1830- 1930 Through December 12 University of Central Oklahoma UCO’s Melton Gallery 100 University Drive (405) 974-2432 ucok.edu

El Reno Roger Mills County: Josh Buss Through November 25 Movement in Line by Artist Gerry Goodpasture December 5 – February 5 Redlands Community College (405) 262-2552 redlandscc.edu

Enid Cody Lee Dopps Opening November 7, 7-9 Scribner’s Gallery & Studio 124 S. Independence (580) 234-2544 scribnersgallery.com

Guthrie Echoes From China Through December 11 Owens Arts Place Museum 1202 E. Harrison (405) 260-0204 owensmuseum.com

Lawton Oklahoma: Centerfold Opening November 8, 7-9 The Leslie Powell Foundation and Gallery 620 D Avenue (580) 357-9526 lpgallery.org

Exhibition Schedule Norman Downtown Arts Market November 15 & December 13 Dreamer Concepts Studio & Foundation 324 East Main (405) 701-0048 dreamerconcepts.org

Paul Mays: Feet in the Mud, Head in the Clouds Through December 31 Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum 1400 Classen Dr. (405) 235-4458 oklahomaheritage.com

Holiday Gift Gallery November 14 – January 9, 2009 Opening December 6, 6-9 Firehouse Art Center 444 South Flood (405) 329-4523 normanfirehouse.com

Gendering America November 21 – December 20 Individual Artists of Oklahoma 811 N. Broadway (405) 232-6060 iaogallery.org

Art and Sculpture Masterpieces of Dick West Through November 16 Jacobson House 609 Chautauqua (405) 366-1667 jacobsonhouse.com Highlights from the Adkins Collection Through December 28 Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art 555 Elm Ave. (405) 325-4938 ou.edu/fjjma Curtis Jones & Skip Hill Through November 29 Emergent Exhibit Opening December 5, 6-10 Mainsite Contemporary Art Gallery 122 East Main (405) 292-8095 mainsite-art.com

Oklahoma City Jean Richardson Paintings November 7 - 29 Opening November 7, 6-10 Christmas at the Elms: David Crismon & Charleen Weidell December 5 – 27 Opening December 5, 6-10 JRB Art at the Elms 2810 North Walker (405) 528-6336 jrbartgallery.com

Traditional Cowboy Arts Association 10th Annual Exhibition Through December 7 Craft in America – Expanding Traditions Through January 18 National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum 1700 NE 63rd (405) 478-2250 nationalcowboymuseum.org North Gallery: K.O. Rinearson Through November 9 East Gallery: Sue Clancy Through November 16 Oklahoma State Capitol Galleries 2300 N. Lincoln Blvd (405) 521-2931 arts.ok.gov American Impressionists: Paintings from The Phillips Collection November 6 – January 18 Oklahoma City Museum of Art 415 Couch Drive (405) 236-3100 okcmoa.com High School Print & Drawing Exhibition November 2 – 14 Opening November 2, 2-5 Nona Hulsey Gallery, Norick Art Center Oklahoma City University 1600 NW 26th (405) 208-5226 okcu.edu


(left) Petah Coyne, Untitled (Susan’s Hem I), silver gelatin print, 60” x 40”, 2001, courtesy Galerie Lelong (right) Joe Andoe, Untitled (Bison on Landscape), Lithograph, 20” x 24”, 1997,courtesy RS Fine Art

Roots & Ties II November 14 – January 24 Opening November 14, 5-8 Untitled [ArtSpace] 1 NE 3rd St. (405) 815-9995 1ne3.org

Park Hill Beadwork Storyteller: A Visual Language Exhibit Through December 31 Cherokee National Historical Society, Inc. 21192 S. Keeler Drive (918) 456-6007 cherokeeheritage.org

Ponca City Ponca City Art Association’s 20th Annual Photography Show & Competition November 5 – 30 Annual Christmas Tree Collage/ Gingerbread Houses and Art Center Open House December 10 – 28 Ponca City Art Center 819 East Central (580) 765-9746 poncacity.com

Stillwater Pixels and Pages Through November 15 Two Sides: Katherine Alexander & Michelle Himes-McCrory Opening November 21, 6:30 – 8 Exhibit One Gallery 102 N. Main St. (405) 533-3ART xonegallery.com

Tulsa Ansel Adams: A Legacy Through November 4 American Art in Miniature Through November 9 101 Ranch: The Real Wild West Through January 25, 2009 Gilcrease Museum 1400 Gilcrease Road (918) 596-2700 gilcrease.org

Shawnee

ARTworks Residency Exhibit November 3 – 7 Middle School Art Show December 1 – 19 Holliman Gallery Holland Hall 5666 East 81st Street (918) 481-1111 hollandhall.org

MGMoA Regional Art Exhibition (ArtSpree) November 7 – 23 The Kiowa Five December 19- January 25 Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art 1900 West Macarthur (405) 878-5300 mgmoa.org

Day of Dead November 1 – 8 Group Exhibit November 16 – December 27 Liggett Studio 314 S. Kenosha (918) 694-5719 liggettstudio.com

The Illustrated Book: 1450 – 1800 Through December 7 The Eugene B. Adkins Collection Through December 31 Paintings from the Reign of Victoria: The Royal Holloway Collection, London Through January 4, 2009 The Philbrook Museum of Art 2727 South Rockford Road (918) 749-7941 Philbrook.org Mark Lewis November 7 – 29 Tim Bailey December 5 - 27 Tulsa Artists Coalition Gallery 9 East Brady (918) 592-0041 tacgallery.org

Be Here Now: Michelle Firment Reid Through November 2 Pictures From Lookout Mountain November 6 – 23 Darshan Phillips December 4 – 28 Tulsa Performing Arts Center Gallery Third and Cincinnati (918) 596-2368 tulsapac.com

Contact editor for information about submitting listings at publications@ ovac-ok.org. For a more complete list of Oklahoma galleries, visit www.ovac-ok.org.

gallery guide 23


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Art Focus Oklahoma, November/December 2008