An opening reception will be from 6-7 p.m. Thursday for a new exhibit at the Goddard Center, featuring several Oklahoma artists. Light fare will be served, and the event is free and open to the public.
The exhibit will feature Carol Beesley and Harolyn Long who have been working for more than a year on special pieces for their Ardmore show. Other artists on display will be Thomas Batista and John Wolfe. All of the artists are represented by the prestigious JRB Art at The Elms in Oklahoma City’s historic Paseo Arts District.
Carol Beesley, University of Oklahoma professor emeritus of art, taught painting, ceramics, drawing and classes in the Humanities for 24 years before moving to Santa Fe, N.M. in 1997. It was during this time she was contacted by OU President David Boren who commissioned her to create artwork for the Schusterman Learning Center on the University of Oklahoma Tulsa campus.
Fascinated by the Oklahoma landscape, Beesley is known for her paintings that honor the scenery. While she stays true and representational to the subject, she utilizes bright colors to pay homage to the subject matter. Beesley credits Fauvism as an inspiration for her work. Leaders of the Fauvism movement (early 1900s) were Henri Matisee and André Derain, whose works emphasized painterly qualities and strong color over the representational or realistic values retained by Impressionism.
Ardmore native, Harolyn Long is an artist who has taken an interesting path that led to very interesting artwork. From the moment she first touched clay, at the age of thirteen Long knew that she had found an avenue to successfully express herself.
After teaching art in the public school system for 11 years in Georgia and Oklahoma, in 1985, she began creating her own art and started participating in numerous juried shows and festivals coast to coast. Her work has been published and is owned by several institutions and corporations. Many of her sculptures are slab constructed white stoneware that have been Raku fired. Raku is an ancient method of glaze firing involving reduction outside of the kiln. Some of her Raku works also have embellishments of acid etched zin or other fabricated metal pieces.
Her clay creations are inspired by pre-Columbian art combined with the simplistic ways the Japanese use the elements of design.
Despite lengthy planning, many times Long’s ceramic works, which are created using slab construction, contain seams and points of weakness, which explode in the firing process. However, for Long, even that has become another step in her artistic journey as it has inspired new pieces and fascinating ideas for works.
Fellow Oklahoma artist, Thomas Batista, who heads the Batista School of Art in Paseo, will also show during this exhibition. Batista was born in Guaria, Venezuela.
He has worked with prestigious advertising agencies as well as serving as the art director for the Omniplex (now the Oklahoma Science Museum). Additionally, Batista has received numerous awards for his work including the Award for Merit from the Houston Illustrators Society. His artwork, which portrays colorful, abstract scenes from nature, can be found in private and public collections in Venezuela, Italy, Spain, Germany and the United States.
John Wolfe rounds out this collection of Oklahoma artists.
Wolfe has taught in the Midwest City-Del City school system for the past 30 years, serving also as an adjunct member of the art faculty for both Rose State College and Adams State College in Alamosa, Colo. Wolfe believes that “a successful piece of art depends solely on the painting or sculpture being able to evoke a response …it should speak for itself.”
The works of Long, Beesley, Batista and Wolf will be on display in the Goddard Center galleries through June 29.
Immediately following the reception is the Tulsa Rock Quartet performance.
For ticket information or to ask questions about the art exhibit and reception, call (580) 226-0909 or visit goddardcenter.org.
This event is made possible in part by funding from the Oklahoma Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.