Are you ready for your monthly dose of contemporary visual art? Good, because it's time. The Brady Arts District hosts its First Friday Art Crawl this Friday, Feb. 5.
Although, it's technically in the Greenwood District, not the Brady Arts District, Living Arts is leading the charge this weekend with two exhibits and its annual 24-Hour Video Race.
In the gallery are Modern Materials: The Art of the Quilt and Five.
Modern Materials features the work of 24 artists--two of whom are Oklahomans--in the quilting medium.
The 24 fiber artists will present 30 quilted works in an invitational exhibit curated by Jill Rumoshosky Werner of Wichita, Kan. Gallery representatives said the exhibit brings together the "best and most innovative contemporary artists in the United States."
"Quilting has a unique culture wherein historically, it has been a traditional craft where the product is utilitarian; versus modern quilting quickly becoming a contemporary art form to be hung on the wall or sat on a pedestal," said Jon Burris, executive director of Artspace at Untitled Gallery, where the exhibit was originally shown last July. "Many quilters tell narratives through their work, while some address social issues through their art. Others simply use quilt art as their chosen medium for self-expression.
"Quilt artists use a variety of fibers and quilting materials, and some incorporate a range of other materials, from photographic film to tiny plastic suitcases."
Many of the quilts featured in Modern Materials are three-dimensional and were crafted especially for this exhibit.
California artist Susan Else created a quilted, fully functional model of a Ferris wheel titled "Above the Boardwalk." In a piece by New Jersey artist Kevan Rupp Lunney, a huge verdant "Pod" partially opens to reveal a bright pink bud inside.
Tulsan Jean Ann Fausser created a mixed-media quilted sculpture of a film strip titled "Focus." Oklahoma City's Elia Woods made a three-dimensional silk piece titled "All Paths Lead to Home," based on her experience as a bee keeper.
In an essay written for the exhibit's catalogue, Sandra Sider muses, "Unlike mainstream traditional quilts, those in Modern Materials: The Art of the Quilt have pushed the boundaries of the craft into the realm of art.
"Several artists in the exhibition were trained in design or fine art, applying those principles to fiber and textiles. Others were self-taught, augmenting that experience with workshops in techniques and processes. These individuals prefer to express their artistic goals through quilt art because the stitched texture of the medium imparts complexity and a sense of presence."
In her curator's statement, Werner writes, "Quilted elements appear in each piece (of my work) because people connect with quilting on a deep emotional level. Rather than surfaces to be decorated, I treat the quilts as raw materials, creating the lines, planes and forms of my designs.
"I like to work with bold, bright colors because they provide a high level of excitement and energy. Many times, I play with the scale of an object to increase its importance."
On display simultaneously to Modern Materials is an installation piece created by seven media/performance artists attending Holland Hall School who call themselves "REKK."
Comprised of Ben Jones, Emily Carter, Jake Nonweiler, Alex Zurawik, Victoria Tabio, Lincoln Mitchell and Stephania Dulowski, REKK will present its first professional installation artwork, titled Five.
According to Living Arts' Linda Clark, "REKK prepared the exhibit proposal, slideshow of images and sketch of proposed installation to submit to Living Arts' annual call for proposals. The professional presentation the students made to the Living Arts' gallery program committee was impressive.
"Curators were pleased that the artists did not let age or other 'limiting' factors interfere with their scope of opportunity to present work. Living Arts is proud to encourage young people to create original works and to be a place that welcomes such innovative work from students."
The sculptural elements of Five include a structure from which five opaque bags will be suspended containing five different colored liquids: red, green, blue, purple and yellow. Each bag will have a nozzle and valve on one end, from which a flow of liquid can be regulated to drip rhythmically; and each drop will fall on a single manufactured drum.
The drums will be arranged to drip their paint into a baby pool, the colors mixing there, and onlookers will be invited to use their hands to transfer the paint to sheets of paper taped to the perimeter of the exhibit space.
Both Modern Materials and Five open with a reception from 5 to 9pm at Living Arts, 307 E. Brady, and run through Feb. 25. The events are free and open to the public. For gallery hours and other information, go to livingarts.org.
Start Your Cameras
In addition to the aforementioned events, 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 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.
Just down the street from Living Arts at 9 E. Brady, Tulsa Artists' Coalition Gallery, too, is participating in the First Friday Art Crawl with House of Maps: An Installation by Yiren Gallagher.
The exhibit, which opens with a reception at 6pm, is a site-specific installation that the artist promises will transform the gallery into "... a fictional room of maps; a place to display art, artifacts and stories in which time, place and happening coexist in unison."
"The House of Maps represents aspects of intangible realities, such as memory, attachment, separation or togetherness, represented by various 2-D and 3-D fragments," Gallagher writes in a statement. "In this manner, a record of the human spirit, depicted within small, separate, segments, is finally united as a whole."
House of Maps is free and open to the public and will be on display through Feb. 27. For gallery hours and other information, go to tacgallery.org.
While you're on Brady, be sure to check out the other galleries and storefronts featuring exhibits, demonstrations and events.
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