POSTED ON JULY 18, 2012:
All Hanging Out
Three expressive art forms reveal varied facets of human experience
From her life as a former pharmaceutical consultant, bringing education and medication to those with HIV, to her current position of utilizing artistic expression as healing to the soul, Sharon Allred is a treasure to the Tulsa artistic landscape. Her work is the July exhibit at the Equality Center Art Gallery.
"It has been an honor to be selected as one of the artists to exhibit in the Dennis Neill Equality Center," Allred said.
With a degree in fashion design, the multi-talented powerhouse has had her work exhibited by Green Country Watercolor at Philbrook, Tulsa Community College, Art on the Square, Tulsa Artists Coalition and many other galleries in the area. Her first solo exhibit, "Expressions from the Heart," made its debut at All Soul's Unitarian Church in 2009.
"My art work is messy, organic and definitely introspective," Allred said. "I begin with an idea, which could include a color, image, thought, words and begin building layers of color. I love using found objects in my work and seeing how I can bring new life to it."
After attending training in New York City at the Creative Center, Allred created the "Draw Near to Your Body" workshops which help people deal with the stress, isolation, and anxiety of illness. Allred is currently an artist-in-residence at the Oklahoma Heart Institute and a part of the Art of Healing program at Hillcrest Medical Center.
"The process begins with a small group during a guided meditation and journaling," she said. "In the end there is a sharing of the journey of their experience and always a 'pearl' is found by the participant that they can then take home and continue their expressive journey."
As such a vibrant person intent on helping others heal, her answer for living with just one color is surprising.
"If I could paint the inside of my house with one color it would be 'Cobalt Teal.' It is a beautiful blue/turquoise that is so refreshing and in all of my artwork. It is cool and reminds me of the ocean and wonderful colors in Santa Fe where I go annually to rejuvenate and learn from various artists in the area."
The Sharon Allred exhibit at the Dennis R. Neil Equality Center Art Gallery runs through the month of July.
I Saw Her Standing There
The Beatles are unarguably one of the most recognizable and beloved bands of all time. Like with Elvis, everyone has a favorite tidbit of information, favorite song, or perhaps a treasured poster of the Fab Four.
Tom Work, who plays George Harrison in the Celebrity Attractions show 1964: The Tribute, explained the challenges of staying true to the memories of one of the biggest names in rock and roll.
"This involves, of course, getting all the notes right (vocally and instrumentally)," Work said, "and, of course, moving the way they did, as well as other more mundane aspects of portraying someone. But to stay true to the spirit, one must understand who The Beatles were, severally as well as collectively."
Work went on to say that understanding the Beatles revolves around understanding the context of the times as well as attempting to play the songs as authentically as possible.
"Trying to capture that spirit is far more challenging, for me at least, than learning the guitar solos," he said. "Our prime directive has always been to 'do all things Beatle-ly,' that is, to say only those things they either said or conceivably could have said, but never to say things they wouldn't have said."
For those who are avid followers of the show, "And I Love Her" has been added to line up in place of "Till There Was You." Come feel the love again as Celebrity Attractions presents 1964: The Tribute July 27 at 8pm in the Chapman Music Hall.
Shake What Your Momma Gave Ya
While some poo-poo the idea of scantily clad women parading around in an empowered manner, others, including the entrepreneurial performer known as Poppy Pie, disagree all the way to the bank.
"Running my troupe TwoLips Burlesk has been so empowering," Poppy Pie said. "I am always learning something new, meeting new and interesting people, and getting to put beautiful women on the Burlesque stage. It makes me feel good to work for something I believe in and I have the support of amazing women."
Although we are technically in the dead center of the Bible Belt, TwoLips has been very well received here.
"At our 2-year anniversary show 'Tassel Twirling in Tinseltown' we received a standing ovation and it made me cry," Poppy Pie said. "I and others in the troupe constantly get messages from women in the community saying how [we have] inspired them to feel better and love themselves. I also get a lot of 'thank you for doing this in Tulsa' speeches from men and women alike!"
That's not to say that putting together a popular show isn't without its challenges.
"We love to do themed shows, and the hardest part about putting on a heavily themed Burlesque show is making sure everyone is encompassing the show's ultimate goal," Poppy Pie said. "I don't pick songs for the girls in the troupe; I trust in them to find and create something suitable for a particular show."
One might think that a group of women working together for a common cause might lead to 'round the clock cat fights, but Poppy Pie is quick to point out that the troupe are all friends and she is lucky to be a part of it.
Poppy Pie also has a great imagination and head for directing, which she would someday like to utilize directing infamous Ms. Gypsy Rose Lee.
"I would choose the song 'Big Bad Handsome Man' by Imelda May for the great Gypsy Rose," Poppy Pie said. "It has all the classic horn and drum bases you need in a song for her, but it is also saturated in sexy -- and I think she would make an audience melt if she danced to it."
From whipped topping fetish, to a dancing dragon, to any number of original dance routines, the TwoLips Burlesk presents A Midsummer TwoLips Dream on Saturday July 21.. Doors open at 8pm at Tulsa Little Theatre, located at 1511 South Delaware Avenue. Tickets are $12; for mature audiences only.
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