There's a lot more than “smoke and mirrors” in the “24 Works on Paper” show, co-sponsored by the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition and Individual Artists of Oklahoma. But the exhibit does contain a drawing of wisps of white smoke by Traci Martin and a self-portrait made from “Torn” pieces of inked paper, like a mirror's reflection, by Cathryn Wallace Thomas.
Thomas, a Tulsa artist, said the frontal, black, white and gray, slightly protruding, collage self-portrait of her head, celebrates being “able to reassemble a life that has been torn apart,” using shredded paper.
M.J. Alexander contributes a black-and-white photograph of a Kiowa County “Cloud Cabin,” leaning to one side, as if it were too old to stand up straight any more, in front a delicate line of distant mountains.
Adding to the impact of the Oklahoma City photographer's composition is an intricate pattern of shimmering clouds that suggest some kind of rich, wrinkled fabric, towering over the derelict “Cloud Cabin.”
Tahlequah artist Bobby C. Martin explores “Native American identity” by translating an old family photo of “Aunt Kate McCombs” into a striking, brown-toned, three-color screen print.
Marcus Kesler relies on lurid, nocturnal, purple, green and orange lighting effects, in his photo of an old farm building and an antiquated gas pump, where even “Self Service” is no longer available.
A child overcomes her fear of a moving stream by hugging the neck of her white-bearded grandfather in a touching, roughly expressive charcoal-oil pastel drawing by Saumo Puapuaga.
Marilyn Artus creates her own collage version of cut-out paper dolls to represent female stereotypes of “the virgin and the fallen woman” in “You and Me,” a mixed media work with embroidery. Both Puapuaga and Artus are Oklahoma City artists.
Other artists in the show include Deborah Burian, Zach Burns, Marsha Gulick, Eyakem Gulilat, Jeff Hogue, David Knox, Michael Litzau, Brandon Mitts, Eric Piper, Laura Reese and Amy Rockett-Todd. Also represented are Clarissa Sharp, Thomas Tucker, Elizabeth Vuong, Crystal Walters, Blair Waltman and Betty Wood.
Three $250 Awards of Merit will be announced at a reception from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday at IAO for the show. Kirsten Olds, an assistant professor at the University of Tulsa, served as juror for the show and will give a curator's talk at 2 p.m. Aug. 3.
After its run at IAO, it will tour the state for a year, with stops at venues in El Reno, Ardmore, Ponca City, Tonkawa, Ada, Alva, Tulsa, Stillwater, Chickasha and Tulsa.
— John Brandenburg