I hear from a lot of Oklahoma-born artists that their relationship to their homeland -- the land itself, specifically -- as children and maturing adults directly influences their work as artists.
Kristy Lewis Andrew is one such artist. Her work often represents her relationship with nature, and her latest exhibit, on display at Tulsa Artists' Coalition Gallery, 9 E. Brady, this month, is dedicated to it.
Motherland: A View of Our Landscape by Kristy Lewis Andrew opens Friday, April 2 with a reception at 6pm as part of the monthly First Friday Art Crawl in the Brady Arts District.
Hailing from Oklahoma, Andrew studied art at the University of Kansas and the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work is in collections nationwide, including The National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., Yale University and the New York Public Library, and she is represented locally by M.A. Doran Gallery on Brookside.
Andrew has held professorial positions at Oklahoma State University, Purdue University and DePaul University, and she lives in Tulsa with her family.
"The source of my work is nature," Andrew writes in her artist's statement. "Motherland, a closer look at our native landscape, is my spiritual connection to the earth.
"Whether looking up to the trees or down to the dirt, I see truth and I realize my place. My work speaks to the divinity of nature with a subtext of diversity, harmony and balance."
TAC Gallery is open Thursday through Saturday, 6-9pm, and by appointment. The reception is free and open to the public. Find more information at tacgallery.org.
Something from Nothing
Just down the street at 307 E. Brady, Living Arts of Tulsa hosts two exhibits that demonstrate the "method and madness" behind the creation of art.
Fayetteville, Ark.-based artist Sam King and Edmond-based Kolbe Roper present That Was Now, and Living Arts' Art Core students, mostly middle-school age, present their first installation, An Ocean of Light.
In That Was Now, King and Roper explore the creative process using two different archival methods. King provides videos made by rapidly sequencing still photographs, which are partly documentary and partly narrative, as well as multi-layered drawings, paintings or photographic prints that illustrate the evolution of the moment and the idea.
"My work addresses issues of time, memory, impulse and intuition, by incorporating elements of time-lapse photography, stop-motion animation, drawing, painting, music and other sounds to achieve formal, metaphorical and narrative expression," King said in his artist's statement. "The subjects are incidental, accidental, improvisational and fleeting. The works are presentations of the in-between and the in-the-moment; when searching becomes finding, and when a thing sustained becomes a thing lost."
Roper's installation features new works of mixed media, including fiberglass body parts, word pieces with quotes on woven paper and fiberglass and neon pieces.
"My artwork enlists ideas of growing up, my daily life, and how the two correspond," Roper writes in his statement. "With this, I work to find the dependency and autonomy between the sum of us, discussing the questions about sexuality, disappointment, loss, isolation, death and depression derived from my self and family."
The Art Core students, coordinated by Erin Turner, created an installation of hanging lantern sculptures inspired by the ocean.
Both exhibits open Friday with a reception at 5pm. The event is open to the public, and the gallery suggests a $5 donation. Gallery hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, 1-5pm, and Thursday and Friday, 1-9pm. More information is available at livingarts.org.
On Thursday, April 1, local artists Matt Moffett and Marietta de Miguel will host an exhibit at The Garden Deva, 17 S. Trenton Ave., from 5:30-8pm.
The Garden Deva's owner, Lisa Regan, will display new metal sculptures inspired by recent travels to Hawaii, and the hosting painters will exhibit new two-dimensional work.
Moffett's new collection features landscapes and cloud paintings of the west Texas hill country, where he painted en plein air with a group of artists during spring break, and Miguel, a Spanish native, will show a collection of cityscapes and portraits painted in oil. The show marks Miguel's first in the U.S.
The event is free and open to the public.
Jeremy Charles and I began our work with Urban Tulsa Weekly around the same time, and I've been a fan of his ever since. I've had the pleasure of watching him grow as a photographer, and he went from good to great in a relatively short amount of time. Now, when I see his work, his talent almost startles me. He is arguably one of the best photographers in Tulsa.
He's also a good friend, so I'm excited I have this opportunity to brag on him a bit and that you all have an opportunity to see his work outside the pages of this publication.
Charles hosts an exhibition of work, titled The People of Topeca Coffee, at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center Gallery, 110 E. Second St., this month.
The exhibit is a collection of photographs taken in El Salvador, where the Tulsa-based Topeca coffee company grows its beans.
"I got to know John 'Chip' Gaberino III and Margarita Lopez Gaberino by way of my former job, a place where we drank a heck of a lot of Topeca coffee," Charles writes in his artist's statement. "So when they invited me to visit Las Fincas Ayutepeque and Manzano in El Salvador, I was naturally ecstatic.
"Once I settled into the farm and saw firsthand the intricacies of coffee agriculture, I felt a tinge of shame knowing I had too often taken for granted this substance I consumed daily. The complexities of coffee cultivation were substantial, the process arduous, but I got a sense of something larger happening.
"After witnessing the driving passion Emilio Lopez had for his family's legacy, for his farm, for his dedication to growing excellent coffee, it was then that I truly recognized it as art."
Charles turned his visit into a photography project focused on the family that owned the business.
"I wanted simply an honest, straightforward look at the folks who make it all happen," he explains.
Although the exhibit has been hanging since last week, Charles will host an opening reception Monday, April 5, at 5:30pm at the gallery. The event is free and open to the public.
Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 10:30am to 5pm and during Chapman Music Hall events. More information is at tulsapac.com or jeremycharles.com.
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