A Chat with the Artist Karen Moody Tompkins (Who Was Recently an ARTworks Resident at Holland Hall)

Nov 12, 2013

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we speak with the New York-based artist, Karen Moody Tompkins, who works in a variety of media and who grew up in Tulsa. She originally moved to NYC to attend the Pratt Institute, and she has since shown her work in more than 40 exhibitions. Her art works tend to involve the pattern-laden realms of science and/or nature, and there's also an ongoing focus in her creations with both the "macro" and "micro" elements of this world, as well as a recurrent  attempt to depict the various things, structures, and forms that we fail to see in everyday observation. (You can check out many examples of her interesting work at her website.) From October 28th through November 1st, Tompkins did an ARTworks Residency at Holland Hall School here in Tulsa, teaching art to --- and exploring art with --- toddlers through high school students; she talks with us about this experience on today's show. She also speaks in detail about a free-to-the-public exhibit of her work that's now being presented at Holland Hall in connection with her recent ARTworks tenure, "The Circle Series," which will be on view at the school's Holliman Gallery (in the Walter Arts Center, at 5666 East 81st Street) through November 26th. As Tompkins says of this show at the Holland Hall website: "'The Circle Series' is a way of experiencing the ordinary in life as extraordinary. It is the Zen aspect of seeing things in their essence, as if for the first time, that propels the body of work. This extreme awareness is manifested when viewing the evanescent display created as a bubble forms. First, a thin film balloons into a sphere and creates an independent, floating bubble. This spherical form has appeared that didn't exist a split second before. Next, the bubble bursts in the blink of an eye and there is no trace of it. What appeared for an instant disappeared just as quickly. It is a magical experience to capture in paintings and photographs these quixotic bubble forms in the fraction of second that they exist, thereby offering the viewer a glimpse of the miraculous in everyday life."