POSTED ON MAY 19, 2010:
Painting Downtown Colorful
Artist opens art gallery in the name of supporting the arts
Promoting the Arts. Located in the Philtower Building, Urban Color Works gallery currently devotes 25 percent of its sales to the Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa.
KENNETH M. RUGGIANO
It's no secret that one of Tulsa's biggest wishes is to re-vamp its architecturally beautiful but socially barren downtown. The plan of bringing new life to the city's center is an idea shared by most Tulsans, including artist turned gallery owner Aaron Herron.
A native Oklahoman, Herron has been working as a self-taught artist for years and recently made the decision that he wanted to use his talents to make a serious contribution to both the art scene and the downtown of the city he loves so much.
Urban Color Works gallery is his brainchild and opened in early May on the first floor of downtown's Philtower. The gallery space has been converted from the building's information center into one of the first art galleries situated in the heart of Tulsa's downtown.
In the gallery's early stages, Herron plans to show his own work in the gallery and intends to donate 25 percent of all sales to the Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa.
Herron said that he knew he wanted to contribute to an arts organization in the city, and he strongly agreed with the Arts and Humanities Council's mission of providing diverse education programs that promote creativity and lifelong learning to the community. He also said that by showing his own work in a gallery that he owned, he would be avoiding commission fees that galleries usually charge their artists and wanted to use that saved money to benefit an organization that does so much for the arts in Tulsa.
The gallery officially opened on May 3, in time for Mayfest where Herron extended the gallery space to include the ornately decorated hallway of the Philtower lobby.
During this event, Herron displayed hundreds of small and affordable paintings and donated 50 percent of all proceeds to the Arts and Humanities Council. He plans to hold a grand gallery opening in late June that will continue to promote the arts downtown as well as make donations to selected Tulsa art organizations.
Herron works as an abstract painter and his paintings are a bold and colorful testament to the intuitive sensibilities he brings to each work of art. He is most inspired by color and texture and classifies his work as "spontaneous painting," regarding the way in which he applies paint on the surface.
Herron works predominantly with acrylics and works on surfaces such as glass, canvas and panel. His compositions are completely non-representational and rely on techniques such as scratching, dripping and layering to create unique surface textures. His color palette most often includes rich golds, blues and browns that give his work a moody yet inviting sensation.
In addition to opening a gallery space in Tulsa's beautiful Philtower, Herron hopes to open several other small galleries in various downtown landmarks. He is currently working with the Mayo Hotel to open a gallery space on its premises and hopes to find other buildings downtown that support his vision of bringing the arts to the area.
While the work at Urban Color Works will feature his own work for the first six months, he hopes to find other local artists willing to show their work in his downtown location. While his work is abstract, he hopes future artists who show at Urban Color Works will bring a diverse array of subject matter and influences to the gallery.
Herron's ambitious vision of bringing the arts downtown is exciting and exactly what Tulsa needs as the city works to redefine itself and make Tulsa an arts destination.
Urban Color Works is open to the public during the same hours as the Philtower Building, 7am-6pm Monday through Friday. More information regarding the gallery can be found at urbancolorworks.com or by contacting Aaron Herron at firstname.lastname@example.org
Black and Baum?
For all those who never believed that a toilet paper dispenser could ever be defined as fun, whimsical or humorous, the Philbrook's upcoming Third Thursday event should not be missed. This month's event will feature a lecture and interactive experience with London-based designers Dan Black and Martin Baum.
Together, they make Black+Baum, a truly unique design company that specializes in redesigning every day objects in ways that are humorous, yet sophisticated while maintaining their necessary functionality.
All Third Thursday programming is intended to cultivate those with interests in contemporary art by presenting current trends and ideas in an unconventional manner.
Starting at 5:30pm, visitors will be asked to participate in a design challenge to create an industrial design object of their own.
This hands-on activity will help those in attendance better appreciate the unique creativity and intelligence that Black+Baum bring to their own designs. After the activity, Black+Baum will speak about their own design influences, their philosophy and their partnership. In addition to learning more about this dynamic design team, the first 125 guests to arrive will receive a free Black+Baum Jimmy Keyring bottle opener.
The Philbrook has long fostered a relationship with this design duo and is thrilled to be able to bring them to Tulsa to speak personally about their work. The museum hosts a Propello fan by Black+Baum in its George R. Kravis II design collection and a selection of their work is also available for purchase at the museum's gift shop.
This exciting event will take place at the Philbrook on Thursday, May 20 from 5:30 till 7:30pm and is free with museum admission. More information can be found online at philbrook.org.
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