The little black dress ("LBD," according to Cosmo and people who are a lot cooler than me) is a classic statement of feminine beauty, the frock any woman can turn to for any occasion, knowing without a doubt that she looks great.
Connie Cronley, former general manager of the Tulsa Ballet, amassed a closetful of little black dresses, which she wore to premieres, opening nights and fancy parties.
She lent 12 of her LBDs to regional artists participating in an exhibit titled "The Little Black Dress: New Takes on a Timeless Classic."
M. Teresa Valero, director of The University of Tulsa's School of Art and curator of the exhibit, paired each dress up with an artist from Oklahoma, Arizona, Kansas and Texas. The artists used Cronley's vintage black dresses as inspiration for the works on display at TU's Alexandre Hogue Gallery, in Phillips Hall, 2930 E. Fifth St.
"I like the idea of an all-women show," Valero said in a release. "Women are weavers. We like to include everyone in our discussions and decisions, especially other women. We trust other women.
"I chose artists whose work seemed to fit the style of the dresses, but I also wanted a variety of media," said Valero.
The artists participating in the exhibit are Kristy Lewis Andrew, a painter and printmaker from Tulsa; Susan Barrett, a faculty member in the TU theatre department; Elizabeth Downing, a photographer in Tulsa; Anita Fields, a ceramics artist in Stillwater; Shan Goshorn, a photographer in Tulsa; Carol Haralson, a writer from Arizona; Jan Shipley Hawks, a textile artist from Tulsa; Marsha Moore Hughes, a painter from Tulsa; Anna Norberg, a musician and piano professor at TU; Janet Davidson-Hues, an installation artist from Kansas; Sunni Mercer, a sculptor from Oklahoma City; and Jeanne Stern, an animator from Texas.
Each of the artists offers a diverse interpretation of the meaning and symbolism of the little black dress, resulting in an exhibit that celebrates, not only the clothes women wear or the defining characteristics they share, but womanhood itself.
"The exhibition is all about women," Valero said. "It celebrates women's art, women's friendships and womanhood itself."
The exhibit opened last week and continues through Sept. 25. A reception will be Thursday, Sept. 10 at 5pm. Both the exhibit and reception are free and open to the public.
Breakin' It In
On Thursday, Sept. 3, Living Arts opens its first exhibition at its new location, 307 E. Brady.
"Landscape with Floating Biology," by Wendy Weiss and Jay Kreimer, curated by Myra Kaiser, is an interactive textile art installation "that begs to be touched."
The opening reception is Thursday from 6-9pm, and the exhibit will hang through Sept. 24. Both are free and open to the public.
Remaining on display is Living Arts' historical exhibit, highlighting important moments in the gallery's 40-year history. More information at www.livingarts.org.
Aberson Exhibits, 3425-b S. Peoria, opens "ASIA: a collection" Thursday, Sept. 3 with a reception from 6-8pm.
The exhibit offers artwork created by Kim and Allison Fonder and a collection of art and artifacts belonging to Barbara Maxwell.
The exhibition is presented in conjunction with Richardson Asian Art Museum, 4770 S. Harvard Ave., "a cultural center for cultivating the understanding of Asian art and culture."
According to the museum's Web site, "We display carved jade figures representing the essence of heaven and earth, Quan Yen figures for those seeking awakening, Foo Dog statuary as powerful guardians to instill tranquility, and master-crafted cloisonné Buddhist temple jars for attaining enlightenment."
More information at both www.abersonexhibits.com and www.richardsonart.org.
Art for Equality
Oklahomans for Equality, headquartered at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center, 621 E. Fourth St., opens an exhibit of new work by local graphic designer and artist Christine Dean on Thursday, Sept. 3, with a reception from 6-9pm.
According to a release provided by the center, "Christine's primary focus is on canvas work and portraits, but she also enjoys the challenge of murals and has commissions for businesses and private homes... This show centers on techniques and media that are unique to the artist with metallic paint and found objects."
The exhibition hangs through the month of September, and both the reception and exhibit are free and open to the public. For more information, including gallery hours, go to www.okeq.org.
Crawling Around Downtown
The Brady Arts District's First Friday Art Crawl is this Friday, Sept. 4, beginning at about 6pm. Participants include Gypsy Coffee House, Living Arts Center, Brady Artists Studio, The Tulsa Glassblowing Studio, CFC Chocolatier, Tulsa Artists' Coalition Gallery, Lola's at the Bowery and Club 209-The Arts Bar.
Each location offers some sort of exhibition or demonstration, all of which are free and open to the public.
For more information, call 645-7755.
A new gallery, FelizArts, at 2831 E. Admiral Place, opens with a reception Saturday, Sept. 5 at 6pm.
The exhibit to open the gallery involves local "emerging" artists exploring the theme "normal is myth."
At 9pm, local musicians will play and at 11pm, a film will be shown on the gallery's lawn.
For more information, call 409-3721 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also on Saturday, Sept. 5, from 8am to 5pm, the Sand Springs Historical and Cultural Museum presents a benefit exhibit at First Assembly of God Church, 500 N. Wilson Ave. in Sand Springs.
The "Sand Springs Artifact and Fossil Show" aims to promote "educating and collecting among those interested in arrowheads, ancient objects and old bones."
For additional information, call 446-9278 or 366-3567.
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