Live Painting Performance with Yatika Fields and the Frontiers Ensemble

On Friday, April 5, the OSUMA had its first major public event with its visiting artist program, generously sponsored by Ken and Mary Ann Fergeson (see last week’s post). It was an incredible success, with over 300 in attendance and beautiful weather! This week’s post brings together some photos of the event that I took and that some other audience members offered me. In the next few weeks, we’ll be creating more official documentation of the event, too. There were many photographers present, and we’d love to see your photos and video, too!

A-frame advertising for the Live Painting performance with Yatika Fields and the Frontiers Ensemble.

A-frame advertising for the Live Painting performance with Yatika Fields and the Frontiers Ensemble.

Loading the van for the live painting event.

Loading the van for the live painting event.

Students begin to lay out the mural panels at the Student Union Plaza.

Students begin to lay out the mural panels at the Student Union Plaza.

The Frontiers Ensemble, led by Michael Kirkendoll, begins to set up.

The Frontiers Ensemble, led by Michael Kirkendoll, begins to set up.

Students, with the help of faculty member Morgan Robinson, set up the mural panels.

Students, with the help of faculty member Morgan Robinson, set up the mural panels.

Setting up outside the Student Union, we begin to attract the attention of passers-by.

Setting up outside the Student Union, we begin to attract the attention of passers-by.

Yatika making sure that the panels are precisely aligned before the painting begins.

Yatika making sure that the panels are precisely aligned before the painting begins.

All the panels are securely bracketed together to prevent them from shifting during the event. It's windy!

All the panels are securely bracketed together to prevent them from shifting during the event. It’s windy!

Yatika does a quick spray-painting demonstration with one of the student stencils and some paper before the event gets started.

Yatika does a quick spray-painting demonstration with one of the student stencils and some paper before the event gets started.

The students have been preparing for this event since February, and have created a preliminary composition on the ten mural panels that already looked well-developed as we set up (and saw the panels all together for the first time). I don't think any of us realized how completely this foundation would be transformed in the next couple of hours.

The students have been preparing for this event since February, and have created a preliminary composition on the ten mural panels that already looked well-developed as we set up (and saw the panels all together for the first time). I don’t think any of us realized how completely this foundation would be transformed in the next couple of hours.

Students line up at the top of the stairs as the event begins; they will enter and begin painting two by two as the music ramps up.

Students line up at the top of the stairs as the event begins; they will enter and begin painting two by two as the music ramps up.

The students in the Frontiers Ensemble are playing Terry Riley's 1964 composition, "In C."

The students in the Frontiers Ensemble are playing Terry Riley’s 1964 composition, “In C.”

Last to join the live painting is Yatika.

Last to join the live painting is Yatika.

Students paint side by side for the first 45 minutes or so.

Students paint side by side for the first 45 minutes or so.

Very quickly, the preliminary composition began to disappear.

Very quickly, the preliminary composition began to disappear.

A lot of new imagery and color gets added very quickly.

A lot of new imagery and color gets added very quickly.

Meanwhile, the Frontiers Ensemble is creating a powerful auditory experience -- rhythmic and driving.

Meanwhile, the Frontiers Ensemble is creating a powerful auditory experience — rhythmic and driving.

Halfway through the performance, the panels were almost unrecognizable compared with where they began.

Halfway through the performance, the panels were almost unrecognizable compared with where they began.

The painting is changing before the audience's eyes.

The painting is changing before the audience’s eyes.

Although the students often appeared to be working independently, it was clear from their results that there was constant communication between them throughout the performance.

Although the students often appeared to be working independently, it was clear from their results that there was constant communication between them throughout the performance.

About 45 minutes into the performance, there's a lot of wet paint and the imagery is starting to get muddy. The students decide to step back and let the paint dry a little. While they are waiting, Yatika steps in to heighten details and clarify some of the individual elements with spray paint.

About 45 minutes into the performance, there’s a lot of wet paint and the imagery is starting to get muddy. The students decide to step back and let the paint dry a little. While they are waiting, Yatika steps in to heighten details and clarify some of the individual elements with spray paint.

In the last half hour of the performance, students come back in with spray paint and stencils to add some different textures to the mural panels.

In the last half hour of the performance, students come back in with spray paint and stencils to add some different textures to the mural panels.

And in a final push, blocks of white add dimension and enhance the flow of the composition that has emerged over the course of an hour and a half.

And in a final push, blocks of white add dimension and enhance the flow of the composition that has emerged over the course of an hour and a half.

Many people arrived early, and the event attracted a lot of passers-by. By the end of the performance, we had lost count at over 300 spectators!

Many people arrived early, and the event attracted a lot of passers-by. By the end of the performance, we had lost count at over 300 spectators!

The crowd was utterly engaged by the performance, which engendered lively conversation, laughter, focus, and sustained attention from everyone. We had anticipated the event having a "come and go" quality, but as it transpired, most people were engaged for the entire hour and a half.

The crowd was utterly engaged by the performance, which engendered lively conversation, laughter, focus, and sustained attention from everyone. We had anticipated the event having a “come and go” quality, but as it transpired, most people were engaged for the entire hour and a half.

First Cowgirl Ann Hargis and OSU President Burns Hargis, both incredible supporters of the OSU Museum of Art, were enthusiastic members of the audience.

First Cowgirl Ann Hargis and OSU President Burns Hargis, both incredible supporters of the OSU Museum of Art, were enthusiastic members of the audience.

The hands say it all.

The hands say it all.

A detail of the mural panels near the end of the performance. They will be installed in the Seretean Center.

A detail of the mural panels near the end of the performance. They will be installed in the Seretean Center.

Group photograph of the Frontiers Ensemble at the end of the performance.

Group photograph of the Frontiers Ensemble at the end of the performance.

And the painters! With faculty members Louise Siddons and Angie Piehl.

And the painters! With faculty members Louise Siddons and Angie Piehl.

Before they are installed, the panels will be sealed and the edges of each canvas finished for display purposes. For the moment, we laid them all out in the painting studio.

Before they are installed, the panels will be sealed and the edges of each canvas finished for display purposes. For the moment, we laid them all out in the painting studio.

About osucurator

Louise Siddons is Associate Professor of Art History at Oklahoma State University and founding curator of the Oklahoma State University Museum of Art. She maintains this blog as a record of her students' work with the Museum's permanent collection as well as more generally with topics related to museum studies.
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2 Responses to Live Painting Performance with Yatika Fields and the Frontiers Ensemble

  1. Roberson, Lorene says:

    Louise – this is very cool! I just LOVE the color!!!!

    300 folks? WOW!!!!! Nice!!!!!

    Lorene A. Roberson, M.A.
    Office of Communications
    OSU College of Arts & Sciences

    Lecturer
    OSU School of Media & Strategic Communications

    • osucurator says:

      Thanks, Lorene! It was a spectacular event, and as always we are grateful for the publicity boosts we got from the College.

      Louise.

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