POSTED ON JULY 25, 2012:
Instruction and Imagination
Necessity breeds invention in several arts projects
The new exhibit energizing the Helmerich Gallery at Philbrook Museum is Antibodies: The Works of Fernando and Humberto Campana. Having graced museums in Europe and South America, this comprehensive collection showcases two decades-worth of jewelry design, furnishing, and lighting by the Brazilian born designers.
One might say these objects ride the line between art and design and all are meant to be used in some way; each made from uncommon or found materials. The coexistence of two unlike materials come together in an often whimsical manner, such as the armchair named Vermelha, made of aluminum tubes and cotton ropes.
"The one thing that I really appreciate about the Campana Brothers' work is that it is more conceptual than many designers," said curator Lauren Ross. "Most of us don't bring the same set of expectations to design as we might to art; we simply want it to be functional and maybe look good. But the Campanas design things that are at times impractical or even uncomfortable, and they revel in that contradiction."
Brazilians seem to be well-known for their use of reusing what is available for problem solving: from repairing airplanes with paper clips to using saliva as building materials. The influence of their native country has obviously made a profound impact on the design work.
"It's hard to reduce all of their work to a single common thread, but I would say that one thing is the relationship between the local and the global," Ross said. "Their native country of Brazil is a huge influence on them; its people, plant and animals, art, architecture, culture, etc. But at the same time, their work manages to hit a chord that has universal appeal."
The exhibition is divided into loose groupings that explore the various approaches in the Campana brother's designs: Hybrids; Found Objects; Knots/Sticks; Organics; Flexed Planes; Paper Pieces; Clusters; and Fragments.
"The Fragments section presents pieces constructed from scraps of materials, such as fabric and wood, a technique that runs throughout much of their work," Ross said. "In those pieces, the bits of materials that are being used are quite modest, almost throw-aways, so the final product illustrates how a whole can be greater than the sum of its parts."
You are invited to come pontificate upon the need to reuse and recycle by inspiration of the Campana brothers at the Helmrich Gallery of the Philbrook Museum of Art through October 7.
In Her Head
Providing inner city elementary school children with specialized art training might not sound like a life-changing action, but the wonderfully motivated staff of Tulsa Girls Art School would disagree. Operating in a small class environment, this unique opportunity encourages the girls to see themselves as artists and life-long participants in the arts.
Their recent exhibit In Her Head is on display at the Circle Cinema Gallery. The girls watched the documentary Beautiful Losers about high school outcasts who became huge selling artists and then turned them loose on the canvas.
"This show is about their personal style coming through," said director Matt Moffett. "There will be 31 paintings that will each be a glimpse into each girl's mind. We are excited to have such a free show where the girls can demonstrate their personal style and growth with the freedom of what they want to create."
Each year, Tulsa Girls Arts School selects two tulsa elementary s chools to work with to select individuals for the program. One of the best success stories to come out of Tulsa Girl's Art School is a young lady named Cindy. Cindy lived next door to TGAS and dropped by the school on her own. Cindy was the first ever graduate of TGAS.
"She never got along with new people, and rarely talked to those she did not know," Moffett said. "When she found out about TGAS, she didn't think it would work out. She was happy to be wrong." Moffett said that TGAS helped her to become a better artist and to become more comfortable with other people "She can talk to different people and not get frustrated with them," he said.
TGAS helped give Cindy an open mind and the ability to see the world through the eyes of many artists, without fear of the unknown and a willingness to try new things.
"Cindy graduated this year from Will Rogers High School," Moffett said. "She will be Volunteering at the Zoo this summer and attending TCC in the fall."
The school offers an innovative year-round visual arts program in areas such painting, ceramics, photography, glass blowing, fiber as art, sculpture and drawing. TGAS offers something extra in addition to building creative skills.
"TGAS mission is to empower underserved girls through visual arts education in a supportive environment teaching financial management and life skills," Moffett said.
The staff at TGAS seems to get as much out of the experience as the students and all unanimously exclaim that "being around these awesome young women is just the best."
TGAS could always use help in the way of funding. As a grassroots non-profit, TGAS does not charge the students or parents anything for the experiences and learning opportunities. Interested individuals can visit tulsagirlsartschool.org for donation information.
In Her Head will be displayed at the Circle Cinema Gallery through Sept 30.
Paint, Drink, Have Fun
Cherry Street is known for its art studios, unique shopping and eating experiences, and one new kid on the block offers a special experience that pairs nicely with a Pinot Noir.
At Pinot's Palette, artists of all ranges of talent and ability can sign up to create a masterpiece in a relaxed setting, taught step by step with an instructor, while sipping wine or beer and enjoying the snack of their choice.
Lisa and Ben Riley are the franchise owners of the chain. "I thought it was the perfect destination location with a cool vibe. Tulsa's are getting out and about more now than ever," Riley said.
The Cherry Street location staff is concentrating on bringing art to the masses and letting people try painting which they never thought they could do.
The Rileys opened the doors in March and the location offers a number of classes every week and hosts individual parties for large groups. Each month, participants can sign up to learn to paint any number of paintings, but the Van Gogh classes fill up early. For a complete class listing or to make a reservation, please visit: pinotspalette.com/CherryStreet/Classes. Classes are $45 per painter.
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