American Art

(Photo: Craig Smith / Heard Museum)

On this edition of ST, we speak by phone with James Pepper Henry, director of the well-regarded Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, who's just been named at the new director of the Gilcrease Museum here in Tulsa. Pepper Henry will begin his tenure at Gilcrease in late March. He's a member of Oklahoma's Kaw Nation, and in a statement released on Monday the 5th, he referred to his upcoming arrival at Gilcrease as "a real homecoming.... I have lots of family and friends in Oklahoma. The museum's founder, Thomas Gilcrease, and I share Muscogee Creek heritage.

Alfred Hitchcock's longtime collaborator, Alexander Graham Bell's assistant, Vladimir Nabokov's wife, Muhammad Ali's first coach, Ernest Shackleton's right-hand man, John Wayne's stunt man, and the little-known sixth member of The Rolling Stones -- on this installment of ST, we're talking about some of the great "sidekicks" of modern history. Our guest is Julia Rothman, one of the editors of a new book called "The Who, the What, and the When: 65 Artists Illustrate the Secret Sidekicks of History," which is just out from Chronicle Books.

On this edition of our program, we are talking about the fascinating and far-reaching work of Dennis Oppenheim (1938-2011), the American conceptual artist, performance artist, earth artist, sculptor, photographer, and filmmaker. TU's School of Art will soon present a double-venued exhibition entitled "Dennis Oppenheim: Architecture/Not Architecture, Landscape/Not Landscape," which will be on view at the Alexandre Hogue Gallery (on the TU campus) as well as the Zarrow Center for Art and Education (in downtown Tulsa's Brady Arts District).

From just after WWII until the late 1970s, the Indian Annual exhibition at Tulsa's Philbrook Museum of Art served as a vital outlet -- and a nationally recognized showcase -- for Native American fine art. This juried competition and sale attracted artists, collectors, and curators from across the country for more than three decades. It also helped build the collections of institutions like Philbrook, the Heard Museum (AZ), and the Museum of the American Indian (NY), all of which consistently purchased award-winning pieces at this show.

On this edition of our show, we learn about "Mother Road," which is "an exploration of Route 66 by artist Jessica Harvey" that will be on view at the AHHA space (in the Brady Arts District in downtown Tulsa) through November 23rd. Harvey, who's originally from Chicago, has exhibited throughout the United States, and is currently in residence at the AHHA Creative Studios, is our guest on ST today.

The lasting and widespread influence that choreographer Martha Graham (1894-1991) had on the world of dance has been likened to the impact that Pablo Picasso had on painting, or that Aaron Copland had on music, or that Frank Lloyd Wright had on architecture. In other words, it's an influence that clearly continues to this day; Graham is commonly seen as a visionary who all but created what we now call modern dance, and who shaped the ideas and careers of countless dancers who came after her.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we present a delightful chat with Rosalind Cook, the locally based sculptor whose well-liked works can be seen throughout the Tulsa community (with more than 30 of her sculptures on public display). Cook's fine, sensitively rendered, and decidedly humane pieces celebrate the human as well as the divine, the earthbound or natural as well as the spiritual or devotional. And as the artist herself has noted, at her website: "I specialize in figurative bronze sculptures that are representational in style.

On today's show, we're discussing an interesting new exhibition that recently opened at the 108 Contemporary Gallery in Tulsa's Brady Arts District: "Twists and Turns" will be on display through October 26th. It's a craft exhibit of tapestries and ceramics that pairs -- for the first time ever -- two Israeli artists, Aleksandra Stoyanov and Zemer Peled, and it's actually the first "stop" in what will be a national tour for this show.

On this edition of ST, we speak with artist Ken Kewley, who teaches at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and has shown his work at many galleries, museums, and schools nationwide. "Ken Kewley: Collages, Drawings, and Paintings" is a new show that will be on display at the Alexandre Hogue Gallery (in Phillips Hall on the TU campus) from today, Thursday the 4th, through the 25th of this month. Indeed, there will be an opening reception for this show today -- from 5pm to 7pm -- at the Hogue Gallery. This reception will begin with an Artist's Talk and is free to the public.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak with Steve Liggett, artistic director of the nonprofit Living Arts of Tulsa (located downtown at 307 East Brady). Liggett is also the curator of "Chandelier & Other Luminous Objects," which opened in early August and will remain on exhibit at the Living Arts gallery through September 25th -- and which Liggett tells us all about on today's program.

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