Embracing the arrival of spring as much as the rest of us after such a snowy and endlessly cold winter is the Pearl Gallery. Situated on the edge of Tulsa's Pearl District, the gallery's annual Spring Show opens on Thursday, April 22 from 5-8pm.
Pearl Gallery hosts four shows each year and displays the work of local artists from Tulsa and the surrounding areas. In the upcoming exhibit 24 artists will be represented and more than 60 pieces of art will be on display.
The work is as varied as the artists themselves ranging from colorful abstractions to vibrant landscapes and everything in-between. For Pearl Gallery's co-founder, Janet Edwards, hosting a wide range of artistic styles is very important because she feels it is a way for the gallery to engage a wider variety of clients and keep them coming back.
"The sky seems to be a running source of inspiration for many of the artists," Edwards said about the possible commonality of the works, "but it is certainly not the theme of the show."
For the artists who have chosen to paint from life, an appreciation for the vibrant colors of spring and summer are indeed a consistent inspiration. However, the variety of work might be what truly ties the show together as Pearl Gallery is able to combine an interesting collection of artwork that represents the varied interests and talents of local artists for Tulsans to absorb.
The acrylic paintings of Tulsa artist, Celeste Vaught, are well represented in the show.
Her paintings are inspired by the Art Deco architecture of downtown Tulsa as well as many well-loved Tulsa establishments. Her current series of work, "Tulsa Brick x Brick," has given Vaught a chance to learn more about the history of the buildings that catch her attention and create honest portraits of them.
"The works typically are simple, direct and void of figures as I want the viewer to really focus on the building and identify with the recognizable structure as well as its unique beauty," Vaught said of her work. She has been showing with Pearl Gallery for the past three years and said the gallery is largely responsible for helping her break into Tulsa's art scene.
Her work has been exhibited frequently around Tulsa at various events such as Utica Square's Art in the Square and Gilcrease's Museum's Art in Miniature Show. In addition, she gained international recognition when one of her paintings entitled "Daffodils" was selected as the cover art for the annual fundraiser mailing with the Marie Curie Cancer Care Organization in London.
Tim Lange is another Pearl Gallery artist who appreciates the understated corners of everyday life and gives them new meaning through his luminous oil paintings. His work is largely devoted to rendering landscapes, architecture and animals, while remaining especially committed to the art portraying the mystical and ever-changing qualities of light.
Before exhibiting at Pearl Gallery, where he has been throughout the past two years, Lange showed his work in galleries across Colorado and Oklahoma.
Another artist to be included in the exhibit is native Oklahoman, Shawn Wilson. Wilson works in a Japanese style of ink-brush painting called Sumi-é. The technique of Sumi-é places more importance in capturing the spirit, or essence of the subject rather than rendering its most intricate details. Wilson learned the art of Sumi-é from Sumi-é master, Koho Yamamoto, during the time she spent living in New York City.
Wilson will have six Sumi-é paintings on display at the Pearl Gallery exhibit. In addition to Sumi-é, she also makes oil paintings and sculptures and her work has been exhibited in Tulsa, San Francisco, New York and Atlanta.
The gallery's owners Janet and her husband Doug opened the gallery four years ago in Tulsa's Pearl District, named for its location off of Peoria, which was previously named Pearl Street. They are pleased to be contributing to the development of downtown Tulsa.
"Our gallery is in a good spot for people who want to bring urban renewal," Janet said. Inside, the gallery is divided into two spaces. The front room is smaller and artwork hangs year round. During exhibits, a second much larger room is opened to the public that comfortably accommodates the high volume of work that is hung at each show. The gallery has a charming atmosphere with ample wall space for artwork, a bar for wine and cheese and plenty of room for socializing with the artists and other art lovers.
Janet takes pride in the work of local artists and is proud that Pearl Gallery is able to provide high quality and affordable artwork to Tulsans that is definitely original. She has an eye for work that caters to the interests of Tulsans and hopes the gallery will continue to draw the attention of more and more visitors.
The gallery's next show entitled, "Long, Hot Summer" will feature a combination of pieces with a subject matter of either nudes or summer-related activities and will take place in June.
The Spring Show will be on display until May 20. More information about the gallery and upcoming events is available at pearlgallerytulsa.com.
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