POSTED ON MARCH 14, 2012:
Light as a Feather
Canvassing whimsy and funding for fives
Wildlife realism and contemporary western landscape will meld and sing together Saturday, March 17 at Lovetts Gallery as they present live painting demonstrations to kick-off the opening of the Out on a Whim, which features Robert L. Caldwell and Janice Sugg.
"As with all of our major exhibitions, the public is presented with a unique opportunity to not only meet nationally acclaimed and museum collected artists, but they are invited to involve themselves with the artists and their works as the artists paint live in the gallery," said Waylon Summers, director of Lovetts Gallery. "Throughout the exhibition opening on Saturday, March 17, both Janice and Robert will be producing work live. Standing there watching an artist work live is quite an enthralling experience. Slowing down our daily life enough to capture the transference of an idea into something tangible, right before our eyes, can be quite inspiring, if not transformational. Moreover, the public actually becomes part of the work being created, as many artists will tell you, their environment absolutely co-mingles with their work."
Twenty pieces especially created for Lovetts Gallery will be presented at the opening. With so much great art out there, how does Summers come to choose these artists?
"It's an interesting process, developing and curating an exhibition. We can take so many paths to the same end, that choosing one can be quite challenging," Summers said. "With Out on a Whim we had already booked Robert L. Caldwell for his 3rd annual spring exhibition, however we were looking for a way to bring sharper emphasis to his unique style of realism. We thought, what better way to develop an emphasis than by juxtaposing its opposite, in this case, the rough and scraped impasto canvases of expressive contemporary artist Janice Sugg? Although, seemingly at stylistic odds, both of these artists demonstrate an intense interest in and reliance on texture as a means of capturing their viewer. So, in the end, they seemed like a natural fit."
This opportunity to participate in the artists' creations has proven to be one of the most desired and rewarding experiences offered by Lovetts Gallery. Any particular piece in the exhibit that is the most inspiring?
"Not a fair question with two artists participating! So, let me say there are two pieces, one from each artist. However, they both contain Scissortail Flycatchers, which is the Oklahoma State bird. It will be such a pleasure for the public to see these two pieces next to each other, as they are the same subject, but envisioned and created through such differing processes. I look at them and am in awe of the artists' ability to slow my pace, capture my attention, and hold me still!"
Out on a Whim opens at Lovetts Gallery, located at 6528 E. 51st St. on Saturday, March 17 from 10am-5pm. The exhibition runs through April 17.
Tattoos and Piercings Welcome
The notion of Chamber Music might not stir emotions in the Gen-X or Gen-Y demographic, however, all are welcome to come enjoy and appreciate the upcoming American String Quartet Concert presented by Chamber Music Tulsa, March 18 at 3pm. The newly appointed executive director, Bruce Sorrell, gives us a taste of what we can expect and a slightly comical welcoming introduction for all to come enjoy the luxurious music this top-notch group is making.
Sorrell is new to the Tulsa landscape, having served 25 years as music director and executive director of the Kansas City (Mo.) Chamber Orchestra.
What, exactly, can a newcomer to chamber music expect when attending the first time; and more important, whatever does one wear?
"Since I'm the executive director, I usually wear a bow tie because I'm representing the organization and I like to look stylish! If I were coming to the concert as an audience member, I would probably wear jeans," Sorrell said. "The most important thing is for you to be comfortable as you enjoy listening to this fantastic music. Tattoos and piercings welcome!
"The American String Quartet is one of the best quartets around. They are resident artists at both the Aspen Festival in Colorado and the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. Sometimes, people worry they won't know what to do, for example, 'oh, no, I clapped in the wrong place and everyone hates me,' but don't worry! Listening to this music should be a great joy. Even an audience that knows better sometimes erupts in applause because it is just that good!
"The best part about chamber music is that it is not formal. It is intimate," Sorrell continued. "The musicians have a dialogue and we get to listen in. It is fascinating to watch the musical conversation, observe the instruments and the players in a way not possible when witnessing a large orchestra. A wide variety of people attend, and a large number of student tickets are sold," Sorrell said.
Chamber music is generally written for a small group of instruments with no parts doubled and no conductor in sight. It was initially created for performances in palace chambers or bedrooms and eventually such music was elevated to concert halls. With so much to choose from, how does one select pieces for a performance?
"Touring artists usually have a set of music they are performing on tour. We work closely with the artists to balance programs and make sure that the same music isn't appearing over and over again on our series. Because this quartet is a world-class ensemble, the music they will play in Tulsa is more traditional than for many of our other concerts. They represent the best in the world at performing these masterworks, so we have works by Mozart, Mendelssohn and Schubert," Sorrell said.
Tulsa Chamber Music also offers community outreach to a wide variety of individuals. American String Quartet will be conducting a special Friday evening event for members of the Tulsa Young Professionals and Leadership Tulsa.
"All of the artists we bring to Tulsa do a community outreach. So far this season, we have had college and high school Master Classes, school performances, and a special partnership with Woodland Terrace and Burgundy Place retirement communities," Sorrell said.
Where can individuals become more acquainted with the music before the concerts, such as notes, or perhaps listen to the pieces prior to gain a better appreciation?
"We have a pre-concert lecture by Tulsa musicologist Jason Heilman at 2:20pm before the 3pm concert in the Williams Theatre at the PAC," Sorrell said. "Jason studied in Europe and is a great source of information. His program notes are posted on our website, chambermusictulsa.org, and don't forget YouTube!
"If you come to the concert, be sure and say hi. I'll be the one in the bow tie!"
Chamber Music Tulsa presents the American String Quartet March 18 at 3pm at the Williams Theatre of the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. Tickets are available by calling 918-596-7111 or myticketoffice.com.
Raising Funds Five by Five
The Tulsa Artist Coalition (TAC) is accepting submissions to their annual fundraiser 5x5 show that will be held on May 5. This allows local artists to go nuts on a 5x5 piece of canvas, which is then professionally displayed and sold to the general public. This may seem like a small canvas, but the impact is far greater.
"The ultimate beneficiaries of the 5x5 are the artists we support through the TAC Gallery. The Tulsa Artists' Coalition's mission is to support and encourage local artists in all media," said Dean Wyatt, president of TAC Board. "We determined long ago that the best way to support those artists is to provide them a venue to show their art and to help cover the many expenses associated with having a gallery show, such as PR, food and beverages, etc. This not only benefits the many emerging artists we showcase at TAC, but also those artists who might not otherwise have access to a traditional commercial gallery because their work may be considered outside the 'mainstream.' We are all volunteers, so the proceeds of the 5x5 go 100 percent to supporting these artists."
So, what exactly can one do with a 5x5 piece of canvas? Is this just for the artsy-fartsy types out there?
"One of the great things about this show is that there is something for everyone. The pieces come in a variety of media, styles, and subject matter-realism, abstract, humorous, political works, it's all here," Wyatt said. "I'm always amazed with the diversity and creativity of what people manage to do with the five-inch by five-inch format.
"I might also add that this show began as a much smaller scale invitational fundraiser and since we opened it up to all artists a decade or so ago, it has really evolved almost under its own momentum into this great event that artists and the art buying public look forward to. It's a lot of fun to be in the Brady Arts District on May 5."
Purchasing locally made items is great for the local economy. Who knew Tulsa had so much thriving talent? "Although it's fun to occasionally receive a piece from a far-away place, the real stars of the 5x5 show are the amazing local artists who very graciously donate their creations to the show. For me, one of the great things about the 5x5 is that we get to see so many wonderful pieces from local artists who are, in my opinion, under appreciated in their own community. You don't have to go to Santa Fe (N.M), Kansas City (Mo.) or Dallas to fine great art -- its right here in our backyard!" Want to get in on all the fun for a great cause? Pick up your canvas at the TAC Gallery, located at 9 E. Brady, during gallery hours; Ziegler's Art Supplies located at 2217 E. Admiral Blvd.; or a private residence distribution box at 3426 S. Pittsburg. The finished canvas must be returned to the TAC Gallery no later than 8pm, Saturday, April 28. Be sure to include your name, address, email and phone number.
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