This week is the opening week for the Art Department Faculty Exhibition (September 26 – October 7). Over the next two weeks, we invite you to see what our Studio and Graphic Design faculty have been working on during the past year—and, in an accompanying series of roundtable discussions, you can hear about the Art History faculty’s current research as well! Our current faculty continues in a long tradition of excellence at Oklahoma State, and so it was a pleasant coincidence, but not a surprise, when I recently came across an article about “Art in Oklahoma,” from the January 1952 issue of the Oklahoma A&M College Magazine, in which the achievements of the OSU Art Department are celebrated. What follows are some excerpts and images from that article; you can find the entire piece in the OSU Library’s Special Collections.
“The gifted professoriate of A&M’s art department is commanding wide attention in American galleries and painter circles as representative of what one notable judge has called, ‘the Oklahoma manner in art.’ It is a trend that started in the early 20s, [and] that has gained momentum for the past decade…”
“Most of these artists at A&M are Oklahoma born, Oklahoma-schooled and paint the Oklahoma scene avidly. Despite their study in the various art centers of America and the world, they have returned to their native state for their inspiration, subject material and residency. … The strictly Oklahoma group includes: Dale McKinney, J. Jay McVicker, Elinor Evans, and Ella Jack. … In addition to the artist personnel itself now at A&M, Rena Penn Brittan is doing an outstanding job in design, and ceramics under Idress Cash is a wonderful story in itself.”
“Miss Evans is described as ‘a young master at balancing realistic form with creative responsibility.’ She is the youngest of A&M’s skillful art professors, exhibiting her paintings nationally. … The freshness of her studies in abstract and modern compositions has made her popular with jurymen and critics throughout the land.”
“McKinney’s favorite medium is serigraphy or silk screen processing. … To him American artists are indebted for a new silk processing method, invented after years of experimentation. It is a contribution of considerable consequence as a fine arts medium and in advertising design work. A rich colorist, McKinney is a favorite of collectors whose oils and water colors marshal into positive being the essence of the locale he presents.”
“J. Jay McVicker has kept Oklahoma in the limelight for the past decade through numerous prizes and awards. His skillfully-techniqued etchings and paintings are ranked among the best of the nation’s younger artists. … In his strictly moderns, he has won highest praise for the clarity of his symbolism.”
“Miss Jack [paints] with unerring artistry the Oklahoma scene both in water color and oil. Versatile in many mediums, she is considered a choice exhibitor and her brilliant design and color have gone into pieces of lasting quality. Former student of Edouard Vysekal, Millard Sheets, and Norman Edwards, her shows from coast to coast have made her one of the state’s most representative interpreters.”
“The A&M art professoriate has created an inspirational atmosphere for their students. This is at once discernable in their work provinces, in the creative encouragement they give their classes, and in the continuous shows of traditional and modern masters they sponsor as well as of the student work. Not least is the host of successful students they have turned out, whose art production is achieving high distinction for them as well as their mentors.”
Please join us for the opening reception for this year’s Faculty Exhibition, Thursday, September 29, 5-6pm.