Sam Baker's words are always beautifully chosen, and fully wrought. Words placed like plants and objects in a Zen Garden. Baker writes “some of the most vivid, compelling, truly original songs of any artist working today” says Dan Forte of Taylor Guitars. His sparse poetic lyrics have gained him acclaim from other notable folk artists such as Gurf Morlix and Fred Eaglesmith.
After a Peruvian train bombing almost killed him in 1986, Baker turned inward to relearn the use of his body and brain. It took years to heal and time to reconnect. The road back was arduous, but it opened up new vistas in art, poetry, and music. Mercy, released in 2004, was the first in a trilogy of compelling albums with sparse instrumentation and poetic delivery. It was followed by Pretty World in 2007 and Cotton in 2009, each piece imprinted with a theme: everyone is at the mercy of another one’s dreams; how beautiful are these days; and talk about forgiveness. "I think that my job is to reveal as much as I know and hope that it's helpful to somebody," he told Fresh Air's Terry Gross in an interview about the bombing and the faith he gained in humanity.
His 2013 album, Say Grace, was listed by Rolling Stone as one of the top 10 country music albums of that year. In his album review Jim Fusilli wrote "In Mr. Baker's tales, the personal becomes universal through his keen-eyed writing, supported by well-chosen instrumentation and what might be called spoken-word melodies.
Baker approaches life with a positive attitude – “Life is a gift. I went through a lot of bitterness - a lot of anger. But those things are toxic. Gratitude for what remains is more helpful than resentment for what was lost. Ultimately, I came to understand that these days are wicked short and terribly beautiful. All I’ve got – no matter what I hold in my hands, drive around in, or put in the bank – all I’ve got is this one breath, and if I’m lucky, I get another.”
Winter Wind Concerts are made possible in part by grants from the Norman Arts Council, the Oklahoma Arts Council and by Depot Contributors: Cindy Merrick, Therapy in Motion; Tom McAuliffe, Don Cies Real Estate; Lohmann's Good Things!; Republic Bank and Trust; The Montford Inn; and Native Spirits Winery. Additional support comes from Friends: Skye Diers, Gingerbread Nursery School and Kindergarten; Nancy McClellan; Tom & Mary Cay Woodfin; and Keri and Hugh Young, and Neighbors: Bill and Janelle Powers; Danna Primm; Dale Wares, Wares Properties; The Grider Family; and Norman Music Institute.
A 2nd Friday reception for Small Works VI at The Depot Gallery, 200 S. Jones, from 6 to 9 pm on December 9, 2016, will feature holiday music by Patti and Emily Drennan beginning at 7 pm. The Gallery features paintings by Norman artists Carol Beesley, Don Holladay, Debby Kaspari, Brad Price and Mitsuno Reedy, and Oklahoma City artist Connie Seabourn. Small Works VI continues through December 23.
Patti and Emily Drennan, have made music for three decades. Each having albums of their own, they were excited to make an album together. “A Mother Daughter Christmas” features “nostalgic classics as well as funky gospel tunes.” Selections from this just released album, and more, will entertain visitors at The Depot during the Art Walk from 7 to 9 pm. The album will be available for sale during the evening.
Patti Drennan retired from teaching at Norman High School in 2004. She is an active composer and arranger with sales of more than two million copies. Her compositions have been preformed at Carnegie Hall and she has served as a clinician for school and church workshops in 20 states and internationally.
Emily Drennan lives in New York City where she was seen in the New York Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall starring the Rockettes. She toured Europe and the Caribbean playing Tanya in “.Mamma Mia.” Recently a guest soloist at Lincoln Center, Emily is also a published ASCAP and Recording Academy producer, lyricist, composer and recording artist.
Regular Depot Gallery hours are 9:00 am to 2:00 pm Monday through Friday, with special evening hours for this exhibit on Thursdays from 6:00 to 8:00 pm through December 15. The gallery is also open by appointment. Come and enjoy!
For additional information about events at The Depot, phone 405-307-9320. Exhibitions at The Depot Gallery are made possible in part by grants from the Norman Arts Council and the Okahoma Arts Council, and by generous individual donors.
J. C. Mahan aka “Johnie Catfish,” will be the featured reader at Second Sunday Poetry on December 11, 2016, at 2:00 pm. Mahan fondly refers to his poetry as being “currently nostalgic and the youthful sound of age.” There is no admission charge. Light refreshments will be served.
A local street poet in the Oklahoma City area, Johnie Catfish has been the featured poet at Full Circle Book Store, the Shawnee Poetry Reading, Wayward Poets, The Depot, and is a frequent presenter at Scissortail Creative Writer Festival in Ada at East Central University.
He has been published in Blood and Thunder Literary Journal, Woody Guthrie Collections, Ink and Letters journal from OBU, and in the Dragon Poets online journal. He has 6 self published chap books. His current poetry collection is "Living Posthumarously" and he is working on recording two new collections; "I Hate Poetry" and “Autumn in Costa Brava and Other Fictitious Places."
J. C. Mahan lives in Edmond with his wife, raising bees, chickens, ducks, geese, and peacocks. He is also a hairstylist and owns JC's Funky Hair Ranch Salon in Edmond where they occasionally have wine tastings, poetry readings, art shows and concerts.
Small Works VI opens with a reception in The Depot, 200 S. Jones, from 6 to 9 pm on November 11 in conjunction with the 2nd Friday Art Walk. A second reception will be held from 6 to 9 pm on December 9, also in conjunction with 2nd Friday. Small Works VI continues through December 23. An Art-Chat, featuring the opportunity to visit with the artists and view artists demonstrating, will be held on Sunday afternoon, November 20, from 2 to 4 pm. All events are free.
Now an annual Depot Gallery tradition, Small Works VI will this year feature paintings by Norman artists Carol Beesley, Don Holladay, Debby Kaspari, Brad Price and Mitsuno Reedy, and Oklahoma City artist Connie Seabourn. As a special feature this year, Mitsuno Reedy will offer quick pastel portraits by appointment during the exhibit.
Carol Beesley, is a Professor Emeritus of Art at The University of Oklahoma where she taught Painting, Drawing, Ceramics, Art History and Humanities for 24 years. Known for her distinctive large paintings of the American landscape, Beesley says she decided a little over a year ago to try to work at home. “What I discovered was very liberating” she says. “What you see in these paintings is a 'pause' from the big behemoths I usually produce. Enjoy.” Carol Beesley - Art at the Capitol
Don Holladay's Norman studio includes an etching press. Many of his pieces originate from the printmaking process. “I alternate between figurative painting and non-objective abstract pieces” Holladay says. “I am drawn to the solitary figure, particularly because of my printmaking background. My non-objective pieces almost all originate off the printing press. Composition is the most important element, although in many instances my hope is for a look of controlled carelessness.” http://donholladay.com/home.html
Debby Kaspari is a representational artist with a naturalist’s background who travels with binoculars and sketchbooks. Drawing from life and capturing imagery in the field is the foundation of her artwork as she mixes scientific illustration with more personal works in mixed media. Kaspari, who lives in Norman, is a member of Society of Animal Artists, Artists for Conservation, The Guild of Natural Science Illustrators and the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition. Her paintings in Small Works VI focus on her love of birds. https://drawingthemotmot.com/bird-paintings/
Brad Price's expressionist works are inspired by the Southwest landscape and its rugged beauty. His work is a rebirth of the sense of style of early Taos painters and the Post-Impressionists -- emotive and colorful with strong directional lines used to guide the viewer into the world that he has seen and experienced. Price says “Art is experience and the sharing of experience. It is creating something new and beautiful for the world, and then sharing that moment with others. Brad, who lives in Norman, is represented by galleries in Santa Fe, New Madrid and Taos, New Mexico, and galleries in Oklahoma. http://www.bradprice.net/fineart.html
Mitsuno Ishii Reedy began her career in mid-1970's painting portraits, still lifes, and landscapes. Her beautifully realistic paintings are in collections across the United States and beyond. A Norman resident since 1979, Mitsuno recently returned from four years of intensive study at Studio Incamminati in Philadelphia. Well known for her pastels (she was elected a full member of Pastel Society of America in 1978 and an associate member of the Pastel Society of Japan (Gendai Pastel Kyokai) in 2001) she is now primarily painting in oils.
Mitsuno will offer quick sketch pastel portraits from life by appointment during the Small Works VI exhibit. Contact The Depot for details and appointments. www.mitsunoreedy.com/
Connie Seabourn works in acrylic, watercolor, pastel & prints, but is perhaps best known for her delicate watercolors and bright, bold serigraphs. “Although I always love the magical quality of translucent watercolor and the way it lends itself to my favorite themes of dreams and spirituality, when I paint small I'm so much more likely to try new ideas, play and experiment.” says Seabourn of her work in this show. Oklahoma City based Seabourn, who became a full-time artist in 1980, has exhibited extensively, is in many notable collections and has won numerous awards. http://www.nativeartsofamerica.com/artists/seabourn-ragan-connie
For additional information about events at The Depot, phone 405-307-9320. Gallery Exhibitions at The Depot Gallery are made possible in part by grants from the Norman Arts Council and the Okahoma Arts Council, and by generous individual donors. The Depot is a non-profit organization.
The Depot will soon move our concerts inside to the intimate setting of our Depot home at 200 S. Jones. Winter Wind and Whistle Stop Concerts will follow close on the heels of Summer Breeze beginning in October and continuing into April.
We are pleased to announce we're continuing our collaboration with Jazz in June, Inc., co-producing four concerts highlighting America's rich musical traditions.
Tickets for individual concerts may be purchased on-line, by visiting The Depot at 200 S. Jones, or by phoning 405-307-9320.
Online tickets: https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?ticketing=depot
Ticket packages (Pick 5 and Pick 10) available here: https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?subscription=depot
Our events page has short bios and videos for each artist:
|Oct 2, 2016, 7:00pm||John Fullbright (SOLD OUT!)||$25|
|Oct 13, 2016, 7:00pm||Tony Lucca & Alex Dezen w/ Christian Lopez*||$20|
|Oct 16. 2016, 7:00pm||Susan Gibson||$20|
|Oct 30, 2016, 7:00pm||Kevin and Dustin Welch (SOLD OUT!)||
|Nov 6, 2016, 7:00pm||Kim Richey||$20|
|Nov 20, 2016, 7:00pm||Slaid Cleaves (SOLD OUT!)||$25|
|Dec 4, 2016, 7:00pm||Sam Baker||$25|
|Dec 18, 2016, 7:00pm||Victor & Penny^||$20|
|Jan 8, 2017, 7:00pm||Caitlin Canty (Performance Cancelled)||$20|
|Jan 15, 2017, 7:00pm||The Hot Nut Riveters^||$25|
|Jan 29, 2017, 7:00pm||Heather Styka||$15|
|Feb 12, 2017, 7:00pm||John Gorka||$20|
|Feb 22, 2017, 7:00pm||Emily Scott Robinson and Caroline Cotter*||$15|
|Mar 5, 2017, 7:00pm||Jake Armerding||$15|
|Mar 12, 2017, 7:00pm||The Brother Brothers||$15|
|Mar 19, 2017, 7:00pm||The Claudettes^||$20|
|Apr 2, 2017, 7:00pm||Adam & Kizzie^||$20|
* Whistle Stop Concert
^ Winter Wind and Jazz in June Concert
The Depot accommodates audiences of 100, allowing a more personal interaction between audience and artist. The concerts feature outstanding established artists, excellent sound and complimentary refreshments in a lovely, gallery setting.
Concerts and other events at The Depot are made possible in part by grants from Norman Arts Council and Oklahoma Arts Council, and by generous donors and businesses in the community.