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Columnist says Capitol should keeps its art, wacky or not

But when I took the time to pace the marble floors, I discovered the Capitol as a museum, not just a place for government business and wedding nuptials. I'm glad I did. There's a wealth of good work.
BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL Published: August 25, 2010
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But when I took the time to pace the marble floors, I discovered the Capitol as a museum, not just a place for government business and wedding nuptials. I'm glad I did. There's a wealth of good work.

But I did notice that it was full of all kinds of wacky things done, I'm sure, by wacky artists. I think we can all agree that creativity is dangerous.

For example, no one protested "The Earth and I are One" by Enoch Kelly Haney. It shows a meditative American Indian whose body blends into the landscape behind him. I think we can all agree that invisible and partially-invisible people are bad. That painting's got to go.

Temporary exhibits by Emily Warren and Denise Duong are delightful. But some of them are a little offbeat, so we better get rid of them.

Paintings of Sequoyah and Woody Guthrie show them smoking. What kind of message is that to send to school tour groups? Toss them.

Has no one noticed the old man sharpening his ax in "Dugout Soddy on the Prairie" by Wayne Cooper? It's outside the House of Representatives. He's obviously planning something bad. Ax the ax.

The Oklahoma State Art Collection is showcased on the first floor. There are all kinds of things in there that I'm opposed to: floating bowling balls, car-part sculptures, anything abstract, optical illusions and white-breasted nuthatches.

Oh, how I especially hate white-breasted nuthatches and their little birdie cuteness.

I'm joking. Keep the birds. Keep the smoking Sequoyah. Keep it all. It's OK to have the unexpected, whether it's a mouse or a mural.


See the art

More than 100 pieces of art are on permanent display at the state Capitol. The collection is maintained by the Oklahoma Arts Council. The Capitol is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays, and guided tours are available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays. Call (800) 652-6552 for tours. For more information or to look at photographs of the art, go to www.arts.ok.gov/capart.html.

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