Earlier this month, the Circle Cinema opened in its gallery a sequel exhibit to last year's wildly popular "Personality of Cult." "Personality of Cult: Episode Deux" is a collection of work by local artists inspired by cult classic films and their sequels.
Under any other circumstance, we might turn up our noses toward artistic renderings of Darth Vader, Frankenstein or the hobbits from Lord of the Rings; but exhibit organizer Daniel Fritschie has called together some talented Tulsa-area artists with the explicit purpose of creating art out of a guilty pleasure -- films that, while perhaps unpopular at the box office, have earned the coveted status of "cult classic."
In some cases, the films depicted -- The Dark Knight, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest -- haven't necessarily achieved classic status, but their cult following has predetermined their fate.
Upon entering Circle Cinema's lobby/gallery, you're immediately greeted by a large piece of black plywood upon which hang smaller works -- about 5x5 inches and a bit larger -- that serve to foreshadow the works that follow. Of these, a few standout pieces include "Gungun for Sushi," a digital illustration by Fritschie depicting a dismembered Jar Jar Binks with instructions for carving and eating the various pieces (thighs are "great for roast" but groin you should "serve only to your enemies"; "Candy Trooper," a mixed media rendering of a Stormtrooper by Jenny Clyde, formed out of graham crackers, marshmallows and licorice; and pen and ink drawings "Dookee" and "Vader" by Eric Gonzalez.
Gonzalez is also responsible for perhaps the most stunning work in the show, "Lord of the Rings," a pen, ink and Prismacolor rendering of a scene from The Fellowship of the Ring.
The detail incorporated into such a large work is striking, comprised of single lines and curves that, when viewed in close range, almost resemble doodles drawn in the margin's of some high schooler's notebook. But, when you consider those "doodles" and how they make up the profoundly detailed bigger picture, it's hard to not be amazed by Gonzalez's talent.
Other notable pieces include "People Think When They Die They Go to Heaven, But You Really Come to Us," watercolor, acrylic and color pencil on wood by Anthony T.W. Myers, inspired by Phantasm 1 and 2; Mikee Rose's "The Monster," an acrylic portrayal of Frankenstein made playful by the words "It's Alive" scrawled in the background; and show winners -- "A Boy's Best Friend is His Mother" by Mallory Thomas, a mixed media work inspired by Psycho and winner of Best in Show and the Viewer's Choice Awards; "Vito" by Marquett Pinkston, a Van Gogh-esque acrylic piece inspired by The Godfather and winner of First Runner-up; and Fritschie's digital illustration "In Need of a Bigger Boat," inspired by Jaws and winner of Second Runner-up.
Not all of the works are stunning artistic masterpieces, but they are all a lot of fun and perfect for a venue as equally kitschy and classy as the Circle Cinema.
The exhibit hangs thru March 28, and the gallery is open when the box office is. Make a point to check the theater's showtimes and check the exhibit out before or after your next movie date.
In the Galleries
Those who participated in the 24-Hour Video Race on Feb. 6 show their work at a screening at the Philbrook Museum of Art, 2727 S. Rockford, as part of the museum's monthly hip art happening, Third Thursday.
Participants were charged with the challenge of writing, shooting and editing a five-minute video incorporating the theme "I'll be your mirror," the line of dialog "You press the button, we do the rest" and a ball of twine in only 24 hours.
Beginning at 5pm, the winning films made in only 24 hours will be shown in the auditorium, with a live simulcast near the restaurant. The event is free with paid museum admission, about $7.50, and a cash bar is available. More at philbrook.org or livingarts.org.
Anthony Myers, one of the artists whose work I admired at "Personality of Cult: Episode Deux" exhibits a collection of works at the Live4This-owned and operated studio/gallery space Loose Leaf Co., 328 E. 1st St., through February and March.
The exhibit, titled "The Darkness Follows," opens Friday, Feb. 20 with a reception from 7-10pm featuring live music by The New Honey Shade. The exhibit hangs through March 19.
On Saturday, Feb. 21, Gilcrease Museum, 1400 N. Gilcrease Museum Road, opens "Willard Stone: Storyteller in Wood," which will be on display through June 21.
Stone was asked by Thomas Gilcrease to be an artist-in-residence at the museum in 1946, and during his residency he created 50 sculptures from wood, which now comprise the Gilcrease Museum collection of his work. That collection will be on display, along with supplemental loaned pieces.
The museum has planned a range of activities to coincide with this exhibit, and you can learn about those and more at gilcrease.org.
Also on Saturday, yours truly will speak at Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition's fourth workshop in its Artist Survival Kit, "Stop the Press!," from 11am-3pm at Harwelden Mansion, 2210 S. Main.
Adrienne Nobles, director of communication for the University of Central Oklahoma, speaks on writing effective press releases and former News On 6 anchor Glenda Silvey and I speak on what to expect during an interview with the media.
The cost of the event is $25, $20 for OVAC members. More at ovac-ok.org.
Theatre Tulsa opens Educating Rita Friday, Feb. 20 in the Liddy Doenges Theatre of the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, 110 E. 2nd St. In it, Leslie Long plays a 26-year-old woman working as a hairdresser who signs up for a university course because she is eager to learn and wants to know what the educated lifestyle has to offer. Her professor, played by Will Carpenter, is an unsuccessful middle-aged academic with a drinking problem who sees in Rita an opportunity.
The show opens at 8pm Friday and Saturday and 2pm Sunday and continues next week. For tickets and other information, theatretulsa.org.
Also opening Friday evening is The Playhouse Theatre's Romeo and Juliet. Two star-crossed lovers find themselves in a race against time to complete the story William Shakespeare began so many years ago.
The curtain rises at 8pm Friday and Saturday night and 2pm on Sunday in the Charles E. Norman Theatre of the Tulsa PAC, and the show continues its run next weekend. For tickets and other information, playhousetheatretulsa.com.
And remember, the coverage continues at tulsaartblog.blogspot.com.
Share this article: