This is a blog for the permanent collection, so I don’t generally cover exhibitions in the Gardiner Gallery that are traveling shows. But this month, we’re very happy to be showing “24 Works on Paper,” an exhibition of work by Oklahoma artists that I was lucky enough to be invited to jury last summer.
Chase Rheam, of the Stillwater NewsPress, wrote an excellent article about the exhibition, which will be on view for just a couple more weeks (closing August 3). When he called me to talk about the show, he asked me which piece was my favorite. And although I chose one, I have to admit that my answer was a little arbitrary. I was reminded of my standard answer when people ask me if I have a favorite artist: I just say the first name that comes to mind, and so it is different every time!
Which doesn’t mean I’m lying. It’s just that at any given moment, my mind might lean toward some characteristics over others. If I’ve been thinking about texture, then my favorite artist might be Andrew Wyeth. If I’ve been thinking about portraits, then it will probably be John Singer Sargent. If I’ve been thinking about the first artist whose work moved me, in person, then it’s going to be Joan Miró, Paul Cézanne, or Joseph Mallord William Turner. If I’m thinking about craft and inspiration, then it is likely to be Lucas van Leyden or Albrecht Dürer. I could go on; my point is, in “24 Works on Paper” I had the luxury (and the challenge!) of choosing 24 favorites out of many dozens of submitted works, and sharing them with audiences across the state for an entire year.
So why blog about it? Well, our unofficial theme this summer has been Oklahoma faculty artists, in honor of our upcoming exhibition, “The Influence of Oklahoma.” I’ve suggested that throughout the state’s history (and even before statehood), colleges and universities played a significant role in advancing the arts. In “24 Works on Paper,” we see that it is still true today. Of the 24 artists in the exhibition, at least five—Narciso Argüelles, Sarah Atlee, Yiren Gallagher, Monika Linehan, and Betty Wood—are currently faculty or teachers in Oklahoma. Doubtless many of the 19 others have been teachers, too. Perhaps most importantly, when artists submit their work to exhibitions like this one, which has traveled primarily to galleries at educational institutions, they all become teachers, sharing their diverse influences and visions with students and community members alike.
I haven’t shown you any pictures this week on purpose—come see the show!
The Gardiner Gallery is open Monday through Friday, 8am-5pm, in the summer. Parking permits are available by request at the Gallery desk. For more information and to plan your visit, check out the OSU Museum of Art website.