At the Price Tower Arts Center: "Graphic Works by Romare Bearden"

Jul 25, 2012

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we welcome back Scott Perkins, a curator at the Price Tower Arts Center in Bartlesville, who tells us about a fine exhibit currently on view at the Price Tower called "From Process to Print: Graphic Works by Romare Bearden." Bearden (1911-1988) is widely regarded as one of the most important African-American artists this country has produced; he made art works in a range of media and was also a gifted writer, a cherished mentor to younger generations of artists, a tireless arts advocate, and a prominent intellectual and collaborator within the artistic/cultural/literary scene known as the Harlem Renaissance. He was also, as Perkins reminds us, a social worker. Indeed, from the middle 1930s through the 1960s, he worked for the New York City Department of Social Services, creating his art at night and on weekends. Today, Bearden's collages, watercolors, oils, photomontages, and prints are held in high esteem by critics and collectors alike. The show in Bartlesville, which runs through September 2nd, includes 75+ collagraphs, etchings, aquatints, lithographs, screenprints, photo projections, and monotypes, all created over a span of nearly 30 years. This traveling exhibition was organized by the Romare Bearden Foundation; you can learn more about it here. Also on today's program, we offer an insightful and creatively executed monlogue from regular commentator Barry Friedman: "Diary of an Old Man." (And in case you're interested, the top-notch jazz music that can be heard just after our chat with Scott Perkins, and just before Barry's commentary, comes from a 1985 album called J MOOD by Wynton Marsalis. The cover for this album --- see image above --- is an illustration by Romare Bearden.)