POSTED ON NOVEMBER 7, 2012:
Changing of the Seasons
Chicks, (pin) pricks and nannies fill the fall stage
One of the cooler things going on in the arts world is happening under the tutelage of Matt Moffett, executive director and founder of the Tulsa Girls Art School (TGAS). The mission statement of the joint is simple: empower underserved girls through the use of training in the visual arts.
But doing that costs money, right? Moffett has decided to take this opportunity to raise money and continue serving these budding artists at the same time.
"Every year, we have three art shows, and this is one of them," Moffett said. We want the public to come out and see some cool art and support out children. Without patrons, the art doesn't have anywhere to go."
This will mark the sixth anniversary of this particular show.
"We are having our Fall Art Show," Moffett said. "It's called (We). It's a look into the creative individuality of our students as they express their personal art styles and show who we are."
So what's with the parentheses?
"That's what the girls wanted to call the show," Moffett said. There was only the slightest hint of these-wacky-kids-these-days in his voice.
"One of the high school girls suggested it," he said. "She said it seems like more of a collective 'we.' It's kind of an abstract expression."
On Tuesday, Nov. 13, (We) will showcase what these ladies have been doing at the TGAS studios.
"We have elementary through high school kids," Moffett said. "The beginning classes have been exploring painting this semester, so they'll each have four paintings they've done -- an abstract, a self-portrait, a landscape, and a still-life."
More advanced artists will add photography and other elements to what they each display, including an inter-disciplinary nod to the musical arts.
"The advanced classes have also taken the lyrics to their favorite song and painted something related to those," Moffett said.
The money being raised is specifically for the funding of next semester, but a portion each girl raises goes into an account specifically for her.
"These funds go toward our spring semester," Moffett said. "And 30 percent of each sale goes into a micro account for each student."
These micro accounts are set aside for any number of uses, to be determined by each student, according to Moffett.
"Two weeks after the show, we'll take them shopping and they can buy personal art supplies to use at home, or they can use them on art lessons outside of TGAS, or they can save it to help pay for the trips we take from time to time," he said.
Past TGAS ventures have taken the girls as close as Oklahoma City and as far away as Chicago and its phenomenal Art Institute.
In keeping with TGAS's tendency to make these functions into out-and-out shindigs, Moffett and company will welcome a DJ, some catered food, and a local salon.
"The Barry Maddox Salon is coming to do the girls' hair and makeup, and then the girls will stand by their art and answer any questions people have," Moffett said. "The talking builds their self-esteem and leadership skills."
"We usually have between 400-500 people," Moffett said. "The City of Tulsa really loves to come out and support these art shows."
Tulsa Girls Art School is located at 2202 E. Admiral Blvd. The event runs from 5:30-8pm, and admission is free.
Persephone's Delight, presented by Living Arts of Tulsa
In its continuing bid to do really cool things in the name of the fine arts, Living Arts of Tulsa brings us Persephone's Delight, a production led and curated by local performance artist Justin McKean.
On Saturday, Nov. 10, at Living Arts, McKean will emcee the event, one that brings several artists and ensembles together to pontificate on the changing seasons of our lives.
"Persephone's Delight is about the changing of the seasons and whatever might be meant by that," McKean said. What that means, then, is that there will likely be as many (if not more) interpretations of that idea as there will be performers.
Individual artists -- aside from McKean -- will include Lindsey Allgood and Mery McNett. While McNett's work is in the areas of video and animation, Allgood endeavors to use the body as her artistic medium, considering its potential to be a sculptor and a sculpture all at once.
"Lindsey is doing a piece about coming to terms with a more adult view of oneself," McKean said, "as opposed to the childhood view that we have where we're trying to be what everyone's telling us to be."
"It's similar to dance," he said. "There's a lot of posing under specialized lighting, and she uses her body interacting with pools of water on the stage. Through it all, whatever it is that's happening, it involves her body doing something, rather than her as a performer being separate from the piece."
And really, what she'll be doing, to hear McKean speak of it, is very much a primer on just exactly what performance art is.
"If you go see a standard theatre piece, the actors are pretending," he said. "If they're really good at it, you're fooled. For instance, if you go see Hamlet, they're not going to actually have anyone die in a sword fight. In a performance art piece, someone could die. That's the difference. The person is actually going to injure themselves if that's part of it. That's one of the major differences between performance art and your other theater forms -- really, almost nothing is faked. If it is, a lot of performance artists deem it as too theatrical to truly be performance art."
More specifically regarding what Allgood brings to the production, McKean compared the performance artist's body to that of a canvas.
"If you're going to stab yourself with a needle, you do it. In that way, the body fully and truly becomes a medium in the same way that canvas is not simply painted on, but the canvas soaks the paint in and is transformed by being used," he said.
McNett and Allgood will be joined by The Drama Department, a collective that focuses on performance art and brings a multimedia work called Explorgasm to the evening's festivities, which will be rounded out by a reprise of a recent collaboration between Tulsa Camerata and Portico Dans Theatre.
"Portico is going to be doing a piece in conjunction with Tulsa Camerata called Jesus is Coming and it's a realty spectacular piece," McKean said. "Some of the artists are dealing with the stages of life, and some are dealing with the transitions between stages. Jesus Is Coming is very much about that."
Persephone's Delight begins at 8pm. McKean estimates the show at about 90 minutes, and tickets will cost $5 for Living Arts members, and $7 for non-members. Living Arts of Tulsa is located at 307 E. Brady St.
Mary Poppins, presented by Celebrity Attractions
The most popular nanny of all time (though certainly not one to whom I'd actually want to trust my children) comes to town beginning Nov. 13.
As arguably the most popular Disney flick ever, the film gave us songs that stuck with us. Like for decades. Seriously -- I haven't even mentioned a song title, and there's already at least one of these tunes in your head now, and will be stuck there for at least the rest of the day.
The stage production adds dizzying dance numbers to the mix, not to mention the stage magic tricks one would have to have in order to pull off some of the film's special effects sequences.
With Disney's recent acquisition of Lucasfilm, I'm hoping to see lightsabers.
Mary Poppins runs from Nov. 13-18 at in the PAC's Chapman Music Hall. There are evening performances all six nights, as well as 2pm matinees on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are most readily available at myticketoffice.com, accessible also through celebrityattractions.com or tulsapac.com.
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