Four Oklahoma artists will be honored at a reception from 4 to 6 p.m. today at the state Capitol. The event is free and open to the public.


The exhibit includes:


North Gallery


Brett Deering, Oklahoma City, draws from memories of slides and Polaroid photographs that stirred excitement in his childhood. He said he rediscovered his passion for photography “later in life.” During a college photography class, Deering found he could combine fine craftsmanship with his enjoyment of problem-solving through the processes involved in photography. In the class setting, Deering learned the mysteries of capturing a good image and the magic of the darkroom. Deering aims to present the viewer with “that fragment in time that tells a particular story at that exact moment.”


East Gallery


James Gaar ,Tulsa, exhibits “A Fifty Year Journey in Art” which highlights his diverse talent in both photorealism and abstract expressionism. With over 50 years of experience in painting, Gaar has perfected the technical skills required for two widely varied styles. While formally trained in photorealism, Gaar also has a deep appreciation for abstract expressionism, which allows him to work with the basics of composition, line, color, and texture.


“Abstract art is pure recreation for my spirit after the discipline of photorealism,” says the artist.


Governor’s Gallery


Diana J. Smith, Oklahoma City, exhibits work she calls “Smile.”


Smith has spent the last several years painting dogs of various breeds in every pose and expression imaginable. For this exhibit Smith focused specifically on the smiles of dogs.


“When a dog smiles, he is telling us that he is not a threat. Much like the smile of a human, his is an expression that disarms possible unpleasantness. Although scientists tell us that dogs are incapable of the emotion necessary to smile, dogs have figured out that smiles bring hugs, belly rubs, and treats.”


Special Exhibit


“Allan Houser at the Capitol: A Legacy in Bronze” on the grounds of the Capitol is part of a statewide celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of renowned Oklahoma artist Allan Houser. Born June 30, 1914, Houser’s impact on Native American art and the broader art world made him one of the twentieth century’s most influential artists.


Through December 15, 2014, visitors to the Capitol can view five temporary, large-scale bronze sculptures created by Houser along with his permanent Capitol sculpture, As Long as the Waters Flow, and learn more about Houser’s life and legacy. A cell phone audio tour accompanying the exhibit is available.