Video: JP Morrison, Momentum Spotlight Artist

Three artists received Momentum Spotlight commissions of $1,750 and three months of guidance from the curators. The Spotlight artists, Sarah Engel and Alexandra Knox of Norman, and JP Morrison of Bixby, are creating new artwork just for Momentum.

Read more about the JP Morrison in this Art Focus Oklahoma magazine article or this past blog post. 
Momentum OKC opens March 4 & 5 with live music, performance and visual art by 97 young Oklahomans. The exhibition remains on display until March 8 at 311 S Klein, OKC. Learn more or buy tickets here.
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Momentum Spotlight: JP Morrison

JP Morrison, Attempts-At-Seeing-Into-The-Future,Graphite, colored pencil, and acrylic on board, 2010, 14” x 12” 

Featuring young artists ages 30 and younger working in all media in Oklahoma, Momentum OKC opens March 4 & 5.  Three artists were selected as Spotlight artists to develop in-depth projects, Sarah Engel, Alexandra Knox, and JP Morrison.  The artists, who were chosen from proposals, each receive an honorarium of $1,750 and several months of interaction with the curators. This year’s curators are Clint Stone and Erinn Gavaghan.


JP Morrison, Bixby

JP Morrison working in her studio

Project Concept: Mono-no-aware
“Mono-no-aware, is a Japanese term used to describe the bittersweet beauty of impermanence… it [will] be about my private experiences with the feelings of passion, hope and nostalgia, and that it [will] be the most personal narrative I have as yet explored. It is about joy and aching, flaws, lost lovers, past tender experiences, and my volatile journey to find harmony and fulfillment. While this work is significantly personal, the feelings that the installation grew from are universal; they are the effects (gestalt) of living surrounded by the tumult of our shared human experience and are equally poignant for us all,” said Morrison in her proposal.

Artist:
Morrison has exhibited frequently in Oklahoma and Kanas City.  She is a frequent demonstrator and teacher who received her BFA from the Kansas City Arts Institute in Painting and Creative Writing.  While in Kansas City, she curated exhibitions through Grothaus+Pearl Gallery.  She received a “Curators’ Choice Award” at the 2009 Momentum Tulsa and was a finalist for “e-merge” at Bullseye Glass in Portland, OR. Her work will be featured in a solo exhibition in JRB Art at the Elms in September.
JP Morrison working in her studio
Elements:
Morrison will drape a parachute to create a tent for visitors to enter.  Central in the tent, a reliquary will feature self-portrait paintings on boxes with fused glass inset.  Morrison also is creating light bulb “clouds” out of mixed materials. 

Challenges:
Installing her largest work yet, Morrison is confronting logistical challenges of how to how the parachute and creating the lighting environment on the interior.

Momentum OKC 2011 will open March 4 and 5 at the Farmer’s Public Market. Visit www.MomentumOklahoma.org for more information. Read more about the Spotlight artists in the forthcoming issue of Art Focus Oklahoma that will be posted online on March 1.

Exhibitions: JP Morrison at Pearl Gallery

A Beguiling Blink
By guest blogger Janice McCormick
Blink and you would have missed J. P. Morrison’s one day show at Pearl gallery in Tulsa on July 29th. Consisting of seven works, J. P. explores the fantasy life of young women. Two particularly outstanding pieces, “Sphinx” and “Through the Looking Glass,” demonstrate her meticulous execution and magical vision.

Far removed from the inert Egyptian “Sphinx” monument, Morrison’s “Sphinx” (colored pencil and acrylic on board) bristles with dynamism. She achieves this quality by balancing opposing forces in both content and composition. A pale nude woman languidly curls across the shoulder of a snaring tiger. Her long dark red hair and outstretched arm rest motionless on its head. The tiger’s leg and paw come straight down in front of her naked thigh. Its invisible claws pose no threat to her. Inextricably, a circle of water rests between the gaping red jaw and paw. Streaks of water flow from the tiger’s leg to her abdomen. The nude’s eyes are closed, as if she is asleep, dreaming she is that tiger. The thrust of the arm, left and downward, to the tip of the tiger’s nose is counterbalanced by the arc of her curving back that pulls the eye back toward the right. All this takes place against a black background – most appropriate for the metamorphosis that takes place both in dreams and the realm of the imagination.

“Through The Looking Glass” captures the facial expression of “Alice” frozen in fear and trepidation at some off-canvas sight or some event about to transpire. Her white mask sits on top of her head revealing her eyes – eyes that stare out from under the mask’s shadow. One hand is brought up to her mouth as if she is chewing on a fingernail. The fingers are so angular that they almost are contorted into a claw. Here the mysterious element is the white-hot circle of light at her breast. Perhaps, given the title, it stands for the psychic mirror she is about to enter, while the mask is her naïve persona about to be abandoned.


As these two works exemplify, J. P. Morrison provides a strong psychological insight into the fantasy life of young women. These seven works will be seen at The Base Gallery in Kansas City, Missouri from August 7th through September 26th in an exhibit entitled “ Beguiled: The Folklore of
Women.”

View J.P. Morrison’s blog at http://jpmorrison.blogspot.com.

Final Install: Deedee Morrison’s Sculpture at Southwest OKC Library

As a follow-up to this blog post, we thought our readers would enjoy a look at the completed install of Deedee Morrison’s new public artwork on the grounds of the Southwest Oklahoma City Public Library, 2201 SW 134th St.


Expressing Identity with Art: Public Art by Deedee Morrison

Deedee Morrison, A Matter of Fiction, Fairhope, Alabama

Deedee  Morrison, an artist based in Birmingham, AL, is installing a new piece of public art on the grounds of the Southwest Oklahoma City Library. Morrison will begin installation on May 10, 2012 with an official dedication ceremony to be announced.


The artwork, entitled Borrowed Light, is a kinetic light sculpture created as a metaphor for the many journey’s of enlightenment a reader can take within the pages of a book. The piece is made from 12 sheets of laser cut industrial grade aluminum, which is illuminated from within to achieve a radiant green color at night.


Morrison shared with us a bit about her career and working methods as a public artist. For more information, visit her website at www.deedeemorrisonsculpture.com.


When and how did you decide to make the leap to large-scale works?
I actually started my work as an artist as a public artist.  I worked as an economist in London for several years out of college, and began taking art classes while I was there.  I would travel to all of the outdoor sculpture parks that helped shaped my vision for public art and how it can inspire – given the right setting and scale for the artwork.

Deedee Morrison, Sun Catcher, Clearwater, Florida
How do you decide what public art commissions to apply for? Are there certain qualities you look for?
The majority of my work comes through the RFP (request for proposals) process.  Cities and Percent for the Arts programs around the county send out RFP’s for public art projects and I submit ideas based on the scope/vision of the call.  I really enjoy projects that involve the request for innovations in technology and concepts about “looking to the future”.  

I work in a very industrial setting that is an amazing work environment for an artist. My studio is in the home of the Old Republic Steel Mill and what is now Wade Sand and Gravel Quarry. When I work with rocks out of the quarry, the limestone is harvested from an area with 600 million years of geological history. I think the process of harvesting the stone brings a certain awareness and perspective to my work. The second element of influence is the backdrop of the old steel mill and buildings that brought in the industrial development of this whole region and has now been made obsolete – Republic Steel closed in the ’70s. There is, of course, residue and environmental impact from this period in Birminghamʼs history but at the time, the plant made the most of the known technology at the time by producing by-products from the coke ovens that included gas, tar, light oil, etc. I think itʼs intriguing to think about how technology can continue to answer many of the compelling energy challenges we face today – smarter, cleaner and more energy efficient as we evolve in our understanding of what serves our future and the future of our children best.

Deedee Morrison, Seed Pod, Chattanooga, Tennessee
I see that you carefully consider the site for each work. How does the location of the work influence your design process?
Every site location has a unique nuance that needs to be understood and creatively explored to make sure that the sculpture is congruent and a fluid expression of the public art project.  
Public Art has the wonderful opportunity of communicating the values and cultural identity of a city.

I recently worked on a solar powered light installation, called Seed Pod for the Renaissance Park in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  The park is a 23 acre wetland park created on what was once a manufacturing site. The park effectively demonstrates how a polluted area can be returned to a clean river habitat and natural park setting. The design of the park promoted the return of native plants, enhancing the river ecosystems and provides a wonderful balance between urban renewal and the conservation of natural resources.  

The Seed Pod sculpture works in unison with the objectives of the park. The sculpture is a visual display of the power and energy thatʼs available every day from a single solar panelʼs relationship with the sun. The color scheme of the Seed Pod sculpture mirrors the vibrant yellow hues of the sun. Near the Seed Pod sculpture is the 18ft. solar tower that, like plants, collects and stores the energy released from the sun. The Seed Pod and the solar tower are intimately connected in the phenomena of life and growth. The solar tower captures the energy of the sun during the day and the Seed Pod emits the dramatic stored light at night, giving the sculpture an added dimension.

Any other advice for artists interested in creating art in public places?
Don’t give up.  I submit many proposals – even today, when another artist is selected.  You just have to continue to believe in your own work and vision for your work and push ahead.  The greatest satisfaction is to work with city planners, architects and designer on perfecting the concept of your ideas for a public art project, working on the piece for months and then seeing the sculpture installed in it’s new home and feel that it was meant to be there.


See Deedee Morrison’s new artwork in Oklahoma City at the Southwest Oklahoma City Library, 2201 SW 134th St.

Momentum Artist: J. P. Morrison

JP Morrison, Bixby

Through the Looking Glass

Colored Pencil, Paper Collage and Colored Pencil, Acrylic

Q: What was your concept(s) behind your work(s)?

JM: Blue Beards Wife Eating a Pomegranate: Blue Beard, a mysterious man, takes his new bride far from everything she knows to live with him in his castle by the sea, their very own Garden of Eden. She knows that she is not his first wife, but the last in a line of seven women, all of whom have passed away. The husband provides his new wife with everything she can imagine, and they enjoy a brief honeymoon period. Before he departs on a business trip, Blue Beard gives his wife a ring of keys that unlock every door in the castle. She may do with the keys as she likes, save one. He tells her, “For that is the key to my own private study, from which I forbid you to enter.” Of course, the girl’s curiosity gets the better of her. She enters the study and finds it to be full of the bodies of all his previous wives. Worse, the offending key has become marked from its forbidden entry into the lock and the curious girl’s fate is sealed. Upon her husband’s return, he will learn of her disobedience, and she will join his other naughty wives in The Bloody Chamber.

The girl in this fairytale reminds me so much of another woman who indulged her curiosity at great cost: Eve. The key and the fruit of knowledge both serve as the same tool. However, at the end of The Tale of Blue Beard the girl is rescued and Blue Beard is the one who meets a gruesome end. The morals of this fairytale become blurred. Curiosity wins the day and order, rules and oppression are flouted. Here we see Blue Beards Wife reveling in all her carnal knowledge.

The Sibyl Admiring Her Saturday Reflection: The powerful Sibyl is the writer of prophecy, a mother of fables and the keeper and protector of grimoires (spell books). Many luminous tales about the Sibyl tell of her epic adventures. After the fall of paganism she withdrew to a cave at the top of Monte Sibillini to live secretly in everlasting paradise, her stories still told in hushed voices.

In 1420, the author, Antoine de la Sale, tells of a German knight’s quest to the Sibyl. The knight discovers her at last in her grotto of earthly delight. The beautiful ageless people living there speak easily to each other in every language, sharing all thoughts. In nine days any newcomer converses with equal aplomb in this land of constantly blooming flowers and bountiful feasts.

However, the brave knight wonders why his Sibyl shuts herself away from him each Saturday. He spies upon her and discovers that on this day his lover turns into a great monster and all her maids to serpents. She is just an illusion, a trick of the devil, and he realizes he must set himself free. On the 330th day, (the final day upon which all escape is impossible) he makes his getaway. In Rome, the knight seeks forgiveness for his season in hell, but the Pope refuses him absolution. So the knight chooses to return to his beautiful Sibyl and live in bliss forever more – except on Saturdays.

Tahlia Roper: Living With and In Art

Guest Author: Beth Downing
Tahlia Roper, Escape, digital photography, 30×24, 2012

 Tahlia Roper kind of defies classification as an artist. She’s a photographer (and new to it), a watercolor artist, and a videographer. She infuses satire and comedy into her work, especially her videos. On the Tulsa Art Studio Tour, be sure to ask her about “Smoothieland,” a video tribute to her day job, or her “Comment Box” installation piece.

She’s a long-time Tulsa resident that took a brief sojourn to Utah for about five months and then returned to Oklahoma. And it turns out moving back was a good thing – it sparked her creativity and she’s been actively working on her artwork ever since she got back. As for the art scene here, she’s still working her way into it by attending openings and volunteering at Momentum Tulsa this year.
In fact, her first contact with OVAC was at Momentum Oklahoma City a few years ago. While she was there, she met JP Morrison and ended up being a model for one of her pieces, which now hangs in the living room. 
Tulsa Art Studio Tour featured artist Tahlia Roper
She’s working her way towards getting her work out there – so far, she’s had an exhibition at Elements Spa at the former Crowne Plaza (now Hyatt) downtown and pieces at a few retail shops and restaurants around town. She says she wants “to be fully prepared” before doing a big show.
Unlike most, Tahlia’s studio is fully integrated into her living space. Essentially her entire living room and dining room are consumed with plotters, paints, supplies, a vintage camera collection, video editing equipment, and more. There’s a lot to look at, and Tahlia’s conversation is infused with that same sort of satire as well – be sure to stop by this young artist’s house on the Tulsa Art Studio Tour in April!
Check out more about Roper on her two blogs www.itstahlia.com or ww.visualsatisfaction.blogspot.com.


See working artists’ spaces during the self-guided Tulsa Art Studio Tour April 21 and 22. A Preview exhibition  opens March 1, 5-8 pm at the Circle Cinema, 12 S. Lewis in Tulsa.  www.TulsaArtStudioTour.org

Video: Alexandra Knox, Momentum Spotlight Artist

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Three artists received Momentum Spotlight commissions of $1,750 and three months of guidance from the curators. The Spotlight artists, Sarah Engel and Alexandra Knox of Norman, and JP Morrison of Bixby, are creating new artwork just for Momentum, which debuts March 4.

Read more about the Knox in this Art Focus Oklahoma magazine article or this past blog post. 
Momentum OKC opens March 4 & 5 with live music, performance and visual art by 97 young Oklahomans. The exhibition remains on display until March 8 at 311 S Klein, OKC. Learn more or buy tickets here.

Video: Sarah Engel, Momentum Spotlight Artist

Three artists received Momentum Spotlight commissions of $1,750 and three months of guidance from the curators. The Spotlight artists, Sarah Engel and Alexandra Knox of Norman, and JP Morrison of Bixby, are creating new artwork just for Momentum, which will debut March 4.

Read more about Sarah Engel in this Art Focus Oklahoma magazine article 
or this past blog post


Momentum OKC opens March 4 & 5 with live music, performance and visual art by 97 young Oklahomans. The exhibition remains on display until March 8 at 311 S Klein, OKC. Learn more or buy tickets here.

Momentum Spotlight: Alexandra Knox

Alexandra Knox, test garlic pouches, organza & garlic skins

Featuring young artists ages 30 and younger working in all media in Oklahoma, Momentum OKC opens March 4 & 5.  Three artists were selected as Spotlight artists to develop in-depth projects, Sarah Engel, Alexandra Knox, and JP Morrison.  The artists, who were chosen from proposals, each receive an honorarium of $1,750 and several months of interaction with the curators. This year’s curators are Clint Stone and Erinn Gavaghan.


Alexandra Knox, Norman
Alexandra Knox working in her studio
Project Concept: The Scent in Which She Lingers
 “This piece is a way to immortalize my Ukrainian grandmother, who passed away in 2007.  A medicinal remedy she practiced was to eat a clove of raw garlic every day to clear her arteries. Through her legacy, her superstitions have trickled down to make an impact on my life, specifically through different foods.  The property of multiples, as well as the absence of the garlic clove, caters to the idea of this daily routine.  The strong connection I have experienced since her death is expressed through the physical interaction of the pouches as well as the persistent smell throughout the space,” Knox stated in her proposal.

Artist:
Knox has exhibited at galleries widely, showing with groups in Pedvale, Latvia, Pirkkala, Finland, and Greenville, NC. Her work was just featured at the Emergent Artist Exhibition at Mainsite Contemporary Art in Norman, OK. An MFA sculpture candidate at the University of Oklahoma, Knox received her BFA in sculpture from East Carolina University. 
Alexandra Knox, There Will Always Be Five,
Iron, Aluminum, Muslin, Copper, 36x18x5″ 2008
Elements:
At least 500 silk organza pouches filled with garlic skins will lined the ceiling of a small room in which a looped video will play.  The room will be approximately 12’x8’.

Challenges:
“Will the smell of garlic stay in the display space as visitors come and go?” curators wondered. Also, Knox must control the lighting within the space to make sure the video is visible and projects across the pouches effectively. 

Momentum OKC 2011 will open March 4 and 5 at the Farmer’s Public Market. Visit www.MomentumOklahoma.org for more information. Read more about the Spotlight artists in the forthcoming issue of Art Focus Oklahoma that will be posted online on March 1.