POSTED ON JULY 29, 2009:
New York City artist/teacher brings his "outsider" exhibit to Living Arts
For the Kids. Duff's most recent body of work, "Inside-R-Out," is inspired by "outsider" artists and by the elementary school-aged children he teaches. His exhibition opens Thursday with a reception and artist's talk from 6-9pm. The exhibit will hang through Aug. 20.
Realizing its mission of regularly celebrating modern, avant-garde and sometimes rejected art works and artists, Living Arts presents New York City artist S.K. Duff and his "Inside-R-Out" exhibition, opening this Thurs., July 30 at 308 S. Kenosha.
The Tulsa-raised Duff is a painter, performance artist, poet and educator, ranked the No. 2 teacher in the U.S. by the P. Buckley Moss Foundation for Children's Education, which conducts the National Teacher of the Year competition annually.
Duff's most recent body of work, "Inside-R-Out," is inspired by "outsider" artists and by the elementary school-aged children he teaches.
According to a statement released by Living Arts, "Outsider art refers to the creative work of artists who are self-taught and/or those who, for a variety of reasons, are considered fortunately impervious to being taught how to make art."
In an artist's statement on his Web site, www.skduff.com, Duff mentions outsider artist Clyde Jones of Bynam, N.C., saying, "Clyde is a delightfully colorful character who speaks his truth without reservation, and as if he has a mouth full of marbles. One of his carved critters hangs over the Bynam general store where guys actually play checkers over a barrel like something from a Carson McCullers' novella. His carvings are scattered about town as he chooses to give his work away to people he likes (which I can identify with)..."
Duff also wrote of his students and their influence on his work: "As an art teacher and service learning coordinator at Hoboken Charter School, i.e., an inclusion school where one-third of my students are 'learning challenged,' many of my kids are 'outsiders' themselves, and my appreciation of/for these kids gives credence and encouragement to their art-making, and in turn, their art-making feeds my own 'vision.'"
Duff runs a youth organization called AGGG!!! (Art of Greater Gravity and Giving) that is being replicated by several schools across the U.S. The program teaches poetry workshops for adults and teens and works with various other groups, from the elderly to the incarcerated.
His exhibition of paintings opens Thursday with a reception and artist's talk from 6-9pm. The exhibit will hang through Aug. 20.
On Friday at 8pm at the gallery, Duff will lead a spoken word performance, with local poets Tony Henley, Claire Collins, Phil Boswell and Emily Callen participating as well. While the exhibition and reception are free and open to the public, admission to the spoken word performance is $5 for Living Arts members and $7 for non-members.
On Saturday, Aug. 1, Duff presents a workshop for elementary-aged students and elementary school teachers called "Outsider Art," from 1-4pm. Cost is $12 for members and $15 for non-members. For more information about the weekend's events, go to www.livingarts.org.
One Hot Night
Tulsa-based artist JP Morrison presents a preview party on Wednesday, July 29 for her latest body of work "Beguiled: The Folklore of Women" before taking it to The Base Gallery in Kansas City, Mo.
"Beguiled" is an exhibition of seven new mixed media works exploring the roles of female characters in fairy tales and allegory.
According to the artist, "The work deals in particular with personal empowerment, which is a novelty almost entirely overlooked in traditional tales. The women in my retellings understand that there are many ways to achieve 'happily ever after' without being rescued."
The preview is at Pearl Gallery, 1201 E. Third St., from 5-8pm in conjunction with the closing of the gallery's "The Long Hot Summer Show."
The event is free and open to the public. For more, go to www.pearlgallerytulsa.com.
One Hot Summer
On Saturday, Aug. 1, Color Connection Gallery, 2050 Utica Square, opens a group exhibition of "Cool Paintings" by local artists Anke Dodson, Margaret Enright, Joey Frisillo, Jeannie Graham, Linda McIntyre, Barbara O'Neil, Carla Perry, Robert Reed, Diane Salamon, Joanna Duck Tuers and Shirley Ward.
Also on display are glass works, jewelry, pottery and sculpture by gallery artists.
The August exhibition will hang through the end of the month. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 5:30pm. More at www.colorconnectiongallery.com.
Wonderland of Movement
Monica Huggins Dance Theatre, last seen at Living Arts' New Genre Festival, presents an interpretation of Lewis Carroll's classic Alice in Wonderland, titled "Project Alice," this weekend at the Nightingale Theater, 1416 E. Fourth St.
In collaboration with Twisted Blades, a stage combat troupe directed by Erick Wolfe, Monica Huggins will present contemporary dance and video to present Carroll's characters.
According to a release by the company, "In a unique twist, we have not directly incorporated the character of Alice into the choreography; rather, the audience will experience the performance as if they themselves were traveling through the rabbit hole to Wonderland."
Monica Huggins Dance Theatre is comprised of eight volunteer dancers and operates under the umbrella of Oklahoma Performing Arts Inc.
"Project Alice" will be performed at 8pm July 31, Aug. 1, 7 and 8 and at 2pm Aug. 2 and 9. Tickets are $18 for adults, $12 for students and $10 for children. For more, go to www.nightingaletheater.com or www.oklahomaperformingarts.org.
The Moral Story
Playwright and Oral Roberts University professor Christopher Martin and Karl M. Johnson, director of music ministries at Christ Presbyterian Church, have collaborated to write "Aesop: The Musical," which will be performed by a cast of children at Trinity Episcopal Church, 501 S. Cincinnati, Friday, July 31 and Saturday, Aug. 1 at 7pm.
The musical is based on Aesop's fables and explores such moral tales as "The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs," "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" and "The Grasshopper and the Ants," as well as others.
Tickets to the musical are $5 for students and seniors and $10 for adults and may be purchased at the door.
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