NORMAN – The 100th celebration of the annual University of Oklahoma School of Art and Art History Student Exhibition will go on display Tuesday at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave. on the OU Norman campus.
A complimentary, public opening reception is set for 7 p.m. Friday, followed by an awards ceremony at 8 p.m.
The competitive, juried show is organized each spring semester and highlights the diverse works of art created by OU School of Art and Art History students.
“The annual student art exhibition at the University of Oklahoma is a historic tradition that actually outdates the museum,” said Mark White, the Eugene B. Adkins and Chief Curator and interim director at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, in a news release. “Over the years, the art museum’s permanent collection has added quality work from up-and-coming artists. We are excited to help the School of Art and Art History celebrate a century of recognizing the university’s best student artists.”
Internationally noted artist and University of Texas at Austin art professor Michael Ray Charles recently was named the primary juror for the centennial show. Charles earned his bachelor of fine arts degree from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, La., and his master’s degree in fine arts from the University of Houston. He was one of the first artists featured in the PBS series “Art 21,” which chronicles the top contemporary art and artists of the 21st century.
Charles will give a lecture in conjunction with the exhibit at 7 p.m. Thursday at the museum. The lecture is free and open to the public.
Last month, Charles filtered through hundreds of student submissions and selected 55 works for inclusion in the annual student exhibition. He also selected specific works from the exhibition and determine which pieces will receive awards. Multiple awards with cash prizes totaling more than $6,000 will be presented to students at Friday’s opening reception, including the top award, the T.G. Mays Purchase Award, which is offered to a student whose artwork becomes a part of the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art’s permanent collection.
“The School of Art and Art History is excited to showcase work by many of our talented students and also offer guests a chance to take a look back at the history of our school, its programs and a collection of work by alumnus at our 100th Annual Student Exhibition,” said Todd Stewart, associate professor of art, technology and culture, and associate co-interim director of the OU School of Art and Art History, in the release.
“This centennial landmark will not only serve as a celebration of our history, but also offer a glimpse into our future. With innovative new technologies and means of creation, we know our students will be taking off in new directions, and we can’t wait to see what they will produce next.”
Also, an installation of works by OU visual communication students will accompany the annual student show in the Ellen and Richard L. Sandor Gallery. “XXVC” features works by current students and alumni to help commemorate 25 years of the design program.
In addition, the School of Art and Art History will host an exhibit of alumni work, which will be on view Monday to Feb. 14 in the school’s second-floor Lightwell Gallery, 520 Parrington Oval.
School of Art and Art History alumnus Sterling Gates, who writes “Justice League of America’s Vibe,” will visit OU to speak with students and the community about his work, his time at OU and his career post-graduation at 6 p.m. Jan. 24 at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art. His lecture is free and open to the public.
Gates earned his bachelor of fine arts degree at OU and specialized in film and media arts. He went on to work as writer’s room production assistant on TV’s “Blade: The Series” and later became assistant to comic book industry professional Geoff Johns. Gates resides in Los Angeles and is working on his first novel.
For more information about the OU School of Art and Art History, go to www.ou.edu/finearts. For more information about the Fred Jones Jr. Museum Art, go to www.ou.edu/fjjma. Admission to the museum is complimentary to all visitors, thanks to a generous gift from the OU Athletics Department.