Live music, contemporary artwork and delicious food, and it's all completely free? What's the catch?
Nothing if you don't mind hopping on the BA out to 161st Ave. for Art After Hours spring visual arts event, Think Outside the Box 2.0.
Art After Hours is a series of art event programming hosted by the Broken Arrow Arts and Humanities Council. There are four Art After Hours events each year, and this year's spring event, taking place on Thursday, April 29 from 5:30 till 8:30pm, hopes to provide an intimate yet exciting opportunity for residents of Tulsa and Broken Arrow to enjoy the music of Tulsa band, Three Penny Upright, while discovering the work of three local artists: Luther J. Pilant, J.C.E. Parker and John Cox.
In the past, this spring visual arts event has migrated across various venues in Broken Arrow under an assortment of names. This year, the Art After Hours committee, under the direction of its chair, Kelley Rash, made the decision to bring the event permanently to one of its most successful locations, Tivoli Inn. The event was held there several years ago, also under the name, Think Outside the Box. "This year's event is the sequel," Rash said. "We want it to become an event that people are familiar with and look forward to going back to each year."
Abstract painter J.C.E. Parker is among the trio of visual artists represented at the event.
His abstract paintings are a tribute to the exploration of color through compositions of emotional, yet controlled disorder. "They are created out of irrational intent but work to bring order to the erratic chaos," Parker said.
The content of his paintings is deeply inspired by his own emotions and frustrations. His work is quite poetic in the sense that a clear dialogue has evolved out of the chaotic distribution of line and color. The titles of his work are interesting as well as they lend themselves to the feeling of what is being expressed through the paint without revealing the true condition of the artist's emotions.
The musical element of the artistic quartet featured at Think Outside the Box 2.0 is local talent Three Penny Upright. Their sound is an unique mélange of classic country and bluegrass with Americana and Indie Roots. This four-part band is made up of two lead female vocals, Amy Amatucci and Mary Perisho as well as acoustic guitar by John Landford and upright bass by Cris Foster.
Their music is deeply inspired by female musicians such as Wanda Lynn, Neko Case and Loretta Lynn, the latter of whom the group opened for at Cain's Ballroom in 2005.
"We like to play with the traditional forms and add our own twist to them, often mixing genres and adding modern lyrics," Amatucci said.
In addition to playing for Art After Hours, Three Penny Upright plays regularly at Club 209 in the Brady District and will be featured at the Cherry Street Farmer's Market this summer.
The feeling of chaos is also present in the work of artist, Luther Pilant III. His monotypes are powerful manipulations of ink that give the viewer a feeling of searching for what cannot be seen through undulating layers of fog.
The other side to his work consists of woodblock prints, engravings, etching and sculptures.
These pieces seek inspiration from a number of sources including the World Wars, Russian Constructivism, movies and video games. They portray the world in a condition immediately following a devastating incident where hope is beginning to emerge.
Nestled away from the street and into the woods, the location for Think Outside the Box 2.0 is a beautiful bed and breakfast serving as an ideal location for Tulsans to socialize, snack on delicious food and enjoy the work of local artists. It's not at all the frumpy, overly decorated cottage one typically associates with B&Bs, Tivoli Inn is sparsely decorated in comparison and relies on its many windows to provide beautiful light and charming views of the surrounding woods. The ample light alone is enough to make it an ideal location for an art show, but the white walls give the space the contemporary feeling sought after by the Art After Hours committee.
"We want to attract all generations to this event, but we are really hoping to catch the attention of young people," Rash said.
Despite its location or activity, the committee is well in tune with the true secret to attracting a younger generation -- free food. Not only is the event completely free to the public, but it will be catered by Tivoli Inn, providing an even greater incentive for people to stop in on their way home from work or on their way out for the evening.
"Providing art for the community in a familiar setting and at no cost is what Art After Hours is all about," Rash said. All Art After Hours events are intended to exist in an atmosphere more casual than that of a gallery or museum. In addition, they are conducive to meeting the artists on display as well as providing the artists a chance to make connections that will benefit their own career.
Under Rash's leadership, Art After Hours has evolved into the most progressive of all the programming provided by the Broken Arrow Arts and Humanities Council. It is the organization's most forward-thinking program and is always looking to meet new artists and add new traditions to their events. Their next event will be a poetry slam in August at Stonewood Coffee and Tea Company.
More information regarding this event and others sponsored by the Broken Arrow Arts and Humanities Council can be found on their website at artsba.org.
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