American Art

On this edition of ST, we are talking about the life and work of Dorothea Lange (1895-1965), the influential American documentary photographer and photo-journalist who's best known for her Depression-era photographs; her "Migrant Mother" is surely among the most recognized images to emerge from the 1930s. Our guest is Elizabeth Partridge, the goddaughter of Lange and an award-winning author of numerous books.

Today we're pleased to share an interesting discussion with Barbara Grossman, the 2013 Ruth B. Mayo Distinguished Visiting Artist at the University of Tulsa's School of Art.

Back in 1938, the legendary local oilman Waite Phillips announced that he was giving his Italianate mansion --- and its surrounding 20-plus acres of uniformly gorgeous grounds --- to the citizens of Tulsa as an art museum and park space. Today, as has been the case all along, the Philbrook Museum of Art is an important and truly unique aspect of the art scene not just in our community but throughout this part of the nation.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we welcome Paul Davis, who grew up in Tulsa and then left for NYC (at age 17 or so) to study at the School of Visual Arts, and who, since the early 1960s, has been a highly regarded and quite recognizable illustrator and graphic artist. Just after his time in art school, Davis worked at the commercial art powerhouse known as Push Pin Studios --- and the theatrical posters that he created, mainly in the 1980s and 1990s, for The New York Shakespeare Festival for plays like "Three Penny Opera" and "Hamlet" are today seen as classics.

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we present a conversation with artist Christopher Lowther, who is an assistant professor of Time-Based Media (a term that he's happy to define for us) at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he's also on the faculty in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

On today's StudioTulsa, we speak with Catherine Whitney, chief curator of the Philbrook Museum of Art, about the first two exhibitions at the museum's new Brady District facility. Philbrook Downtown is currently featuring a pair of exhibits concerning American art. The first, which was curated by Whitney, examines a group of female painters who worked in Santa Fe and Taos in the early 20th Century. "Sirens of the Southwest" draws on the resources of Philbrook's Eugene B.

Today on our program, we're discussing a new and exciting group show on display at Living Arts of Tulsa (at 307 East Brady) --- a wide-ranging exhibition that aims to "celebrate or critique the City of Tulsa." It's the "Oh, Tulsa!" Biennial, collecting works by one hundred of our community's finest artists --- both known and unknown --- and it opens tonight (Friday the 2nd) at the Living Arts space, from 6pm till 9pm; this opening gala is part of the Brady District's First Friday Art Crawl.

On this installment of ST, we are joined by Lauren Ross, the Meinig Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Philbrook Museum of Art here in Tulsa, who tells us about a group show now on exhibit at the museum, "Remainder," which will run through September 29th.

On this edition of our show, we offer an engaging, wide-ranging conversation with Heather Clark Hilliard, a fiber artist based in Norman, Oklahoma. Hilliard is also the inaugural artist-in-residence at 108 Contemporary gallery (located at 108 East Brady in Tulsa, and formerly known as the Brady Craft Alliance). She tells us about her solo show, "Finding the Fire: Concepts in Fiber," which will be on view at 108 through July 20th, with an Artist Talk scheduled to occur at the gallery on the 19th at 6pm.

Gilcrease Museum

Tulsa's Gilcrease Museum is currently showing one of the finest collections of early color printmaking, or chromolithography, in its exhibit called "Yellowstone and the West: The Chromolithographs of Thomas Moran," which is on display through September 8th at the museum. The exhibit features a suite of 15 prints commissioned and made by Louis Prang; these are prints of Moran's watercolors from his 1871 journey to Yellowstone as a member of the Hayden Expedition.

This weekend --- beginning Friday the 14th --- the Tulsa community will welcome Philbrook Downtown, a new satellite space of the Philbrook Museum of Art, which was founded in 1938 and opened in 1939. Philbrook Downtown is a 30,000-square-foot, modern-style facility located in the city's vibrant Brady Arts District; it's comprised in a brick building that formerly housed a historic warehouse, and it's situated just steps away from several other newly created arts/cultural institutions in downtown Tulsa.

On this installment of ST, a discussion of both the art and craft of making books. Our guest is Jody Williams, a Minneapolis-based book artist, printmaker, teacher, and writer. The (mostly miniature-sized) books that she creates as individual works of art appear under the name Flying Paper Press; books created by Williams have appeared in exhibits all over the country, and some are included in a group show currently on view at the Philbrook Museum of Art (through July 21st) called About Bookworks III.

Today on ST, a special interview from our archives as we listen back to a 1993 discussion with Charles Banks Wilson. The widely beloved artist died last week at 94. Wilson was born in Arkansas and grew up in Miami, Oklahoma; over the course of his long and prolific career, he worked as a painter, printmaker, art teacher, lecturer, historian, and magazine and book illustrator --- and his works are in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Library of Congress, the Corcoran Gallery, the Oklahoma State Capitol, the Smithsonian, and other notable institutions.

On this installment of our program, we speak by phone with the internationally known contemporary fiber artist, Jon Eric Riis, whose tapestry works can be found in private collections as well as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Cleveland Museum of Art, The New York Museum of Art and Design, The Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Museum of Art, and elsewhere.

The widely praised "Models & Muses: Max Weber and the Figure" exhibit at the Philbrook Museum of Art here in Tulsa will close on February 3rd. On this installment of ST, we revisit this terrific show --- the first museum survey of Weber's work in two decades, and an exhibition which originated at Philbrook --- in order to explore one aspect of Weber's long and influential career in American modern art. Namely, that aspect is his relationship with Mark Rothko, the pioneering abstract painter who, while still a young man, was briefly a student of Weber's in the middle 1920s.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak with the veteran artist James Grashow, born in Brooklyn in 1942, who's been creating an appealing, wide-ranging body of work since the 1960s. From large-scale environmental installations to album covers for Deep Purple and Jethro Tull to miniature "houseplants" (in which homes and buildings replace flowers and buds in intricately constructed bouquets), Grashow creates works that somehow thrive on both whimsy and decay, both wonder and mortality.

On this installment of ST, we speak by phone with Frank Chaves, the artistic director of River North Dance Chicago, a critically acclaimed dance organization, founded in 1989, that continues to perform at leading venues around the world. This company is recognized for its skilled and emotive dancers, stimulating music, and bold choreography. Chaves, who's also the company's main choreographer (and who's been with the company for two decades now), tells us that River North Dance Chicago is especially dedicated to merging jazz, ballet, and contemporary styles of movement.

On this edition of ST, we speak with Jim Richardson, a longtime contributing photographer for National Geographic magazine (and contributing editor to NatGeo's Traveler magazine) who is known for his globe-trotting photo-journalism as well as his carefully observed images of rural American life. As a social documentary photographer who's been in the business for 30+ years, Richardson has enjoyed an influential and far-flung career.

Our guest is Dr. Scott A. Shields, the associate director and chief curator at the Crocker Art Museum in California, who's also the chief curator for a traveling exhibit that will be on view at the Gilcrease Museum here in Tulsa through March 24th. "Edgar Payne: The Scenic Journey" is a retrospective appreciation that features nearly 100 paintings and drawings, along with photographs, sculptures, and other objects from the artist's studio.

Our guest on this installment of ST is Ken Busby, the Executive Director and CEO of the Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa, which is, per its website, the long-standing "champion of area arts and culture.

On this edition of ST, we speak with the renowned artist, art director, cartoonist, and illustrator Wayne White --- along with the filmmaker Neil Berkeley, who's directed a documentary about White's influential and still-thriving career, "Beauty Is Embarrassing." This film premiered at SXSW in Austin, Texas, earlier this year, and it will be screened tonight, the 15th, at the Philbrook Museum of Art (at a "Third Thursday" event, beginning at 5:30pm), and tomorrow night, Friday the 16th, at the Circle Cinema (at 6pm).

On this edition of our show, we speak by phone with the author and writing instructor B. A. Shapiro about her widely praised new novel, "The Art Forger." In 1990, more than a dozen works of art (today worth, in sum, $500+ million) were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. It remains the largest unsolved art heist in history, but in this equally fascinating and entertaining novel, our heroine --- Claire Roth, a struggling young artist --- learns more about this theft than she ever bargained for.

On this edition of our show, we speak with Catherine Whitney, who's been the Chief Curator and Curator of American Art at the Philbrook Museum of Art here in Tulsa for the past couple of years now.