The Art Directors Club of Tulsa is giving a whole new meaning to the term "block party." Forgoing its annual Visual Aid, a fundraiser for art scholarships, the organization will host a new event this year: the Block Party.
Comprised of artists and designers, ADCT sent out a call to all Tulsa-area artists--not just its membership--to design a four-by-four-inch cube of wood. In celebration of its 41st anniversary, 41 blocks were distributed and will be on display at the Block Party Thursday, Feb. 11 at Ralph Cole's Studio. (The event was originally scheduled for Jan. 28.)
Evan Taylor, ADCT board member and organizer of the event, said the club wanted to do something different from past events in hope of conjuring up a more diverse audience. In the past, member artists simply donated work to sell at the event.
With the Block Party, the organization is playing off the Tulsa Artists' Coalition Gallery's annual 5-by-5 event, allowing artists to incorporate the block of wood into their artwork without restriction. Artists could paint, carve, photograph--whatever--the block. They could add 41 more blocks to it if they wanted, Taylor said.
The blocks are made of Oklahoma-grown red cedar from Blanchard.
Taylor transformed his block into a desk lamp resembling a camera. He attached a lens and tripod to the block, and a switch in the back lights the flash.
Duane Fernandez and Stephanie Cole painted their blocks, and Bryan Cooper, longtime friend of Urban Tulsa Weekly, who's designed numerous covers for our paper, transformed his into a clown using clay and paint.
Other artists include Steve Cluck, Libby Bender, Winston Perez, Darshan Phillips, Bryce Brimer and John Amatucci and Spexton Jewelry designers.
Taylor said the challenge affords artists, who may work creatively in their professions as designers or art directors, to show off their art, that which is personally satisfying to them.
Taylor said the organization opened the challenge to all artists, rather than just members, to make the event more attractive to artists, collectors and the general public. In addition, it allows more variation in the work.
All of the blocks--save Cooper's, which will be raffled off--will be sold at a silent auction at the event. Bidding begins at $41. Taylor said the organization wanted to make the art affordable while emphasizing its anniversary.
In addition to the silent auction, ADCT will have a cash-and-carry table, with artwork from past Visual Aid events available for $20.
All of the proceeds raised will still go to supplying art students with college scholarships. The funds are awarded at ADCT's annual Graphex Awards ceremony. Recipients are chosen based on their portfolios submitted for the awards.
Three or four scholarships are awarded.
"We really want to keep creatives here, to go to school locally, so they don't leave us," Taylor said. "The creative industry in this town has really exploded recently. It seems like on every corner now there's a design studio."
Admission to the event, which begins at 7pm, is $4. Raffle tickets for Cooper's piece are also $4. Also available will be 41 signed posters for the event, which feature a photograph of Cooper's work.
For more information about the event, artdirectorsoftulsa.org.
August in January
Although it hasn't occurred as I type this, by the time you read these words, I will have seen and no doubt fallen in love with Tracy Letts' Pulitzer- and Tony-winning (among other acclamations) August: Osage County. And I'll likely be planning my second and third trips to the theater to see it again.
The play opened at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center's Chapman Music Hall, 110 E. Second St., Tuesday as part of its national tour, which kicked off last summer, following its debut with Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company in 2007 and a Broadway run in 2008.
The play is based on Letts' family history--his mother is author Billie Letts and his father the late actor Dennis Letts--following his maternal grandfather's suicide and grandmother's drug addiction.
Following their patriarch's death, the Weston family is forced to deal with its dysfunction in their northeastern Oklahoma home in the dead of summer.
The play stars famed Estelle Parsons as Violet Weston, Shannon Cochran as Barbara Weston, Amy Warren as Karen Weston and Angelica Torn as Ivy Weston.
The play runs through Jan. 31, and tickets are $20-$55. For more information, visit tulsapac.com. Read more about the play in last week's issue of UTW at urbantulsa.com.
This weekend marks the final run of The Grace Project at Nightingale Theater. Commissioned by Grace Hospice, The Grace Project is the Nightingale Theater-based 50 Swats Writers Collective's homage to death.
The hospice commissioned the work as a creative means to aid people in understanding and coping with death. Through a series of original short scenes and monologues, the collective explores every aspect of death, from the perspectives of both the living and the dying.
The Grace Project is thoughtful, disturbing, amusing and distressing. I recommend it. For a complete review, read last week's Arts Experienced column ("Death Becomes Them") in Urban Tulsa Weekly.
The Grace Project begins at 8pm Friday, Jan. 29 and Saturday, Jan. 30 at the Nightingale, 1416 E. 4th St. Tickets are $8. For more information, go to nightingaletheater.com.
The Race is (Almost) On
Living Arts is gearing up for its fifth annual 24-Hour Video Race, which begins Friday, Feb. 5 at midnight. The race, sponsored by Living Arts in partnership with Philbrook Museum of Art and Oklahoma City's Individual Artists of Oklahoma, is a statewide challenge to individuals to create a new video artwork.
Participants form teams and arrive at Living Arts, 307 E. Brady, on Friday to receive instructions on the theme, prop and a specific line of dialogue. They then have 24 hours to write, film and edit their five-minute film using the required elements.
Entries are due at midnight on Saturday, Feb. 6 and will be judged during a screening at Philbrook, 2727 S. Rockford Road, on Thursday, Feb. 18 at 6pm. Cash prizes are awarded in various categories.
For more information about the event and to register early (cost per entry is $30, with discounts available for students), go to livingarts.org/video.
Share this article: