Original drawings from the sketchbooks of Norman artist O. Gail Poole (1935-2013) will be on display in the Depot Gallery, 200 S. Jones, from May 8 through June 26, 2015. An opening reception will be held from 6 to 9 pm on May 8 in association with the 2nd Friday Arts Walk. Musical entertainment will be provided by Mariachi Orgullo de America.
A second reception for “AS YET UnNAMED” will be held on Friday, June 12. The evening will also include a jazz jam in The Depot portico, hosted by Jazz in June and featuring Culture Cinematic, a collaborative mix of such varied genres as electronica, hip-hop, jazz, R&B, soul and funk.
“Poole,” as he was affectionately known, was a native Oklahoman and an unsung American Master. With a career spanning half a century, Poole influenced generations of Oklahoma's artists. Untamed and unpredictable by his own description, Poole successfully managed to transcend easy and traditional classification. He was an artist's artist, quietly and steadily creating a diverse and inspired body of work – a master’s portfolio eagerly collected and highly respected by his peers across the country.
“Dad’s sketchbooks were his visual diaries” says daughter Nicole Poole, to whom the artist left the entirety of his remaining work. “They are in many ways more personal to me than his paintings, primarily because they embody moments in time that he just let his mind wander. He had freedom to express fleeting thoughts without the pressure of committing the images to canvas. From highly rendered studies for paintings to quick observations and ideas, and finally to just unimaginable flights of fancy, each book is a record of Dad’s thought process, and it’s astounding to me that so much inventiveness could run through the mind of one person. They are absolute treasure troves of creativity and draftsmanship, and I am thrilled that The Depot has given me the opportunity to display them to the public, especially to Norman.”
“The genesis for this show began last year with a happenstance meeting with Dr. Neil Chapman, one of the state’s most noted photographers. Over the past few months, Neil has photographed or scanned nearly 600 images from over 40 books.” Nicole says. ”I approached Jonathan Fowler to curate the show because of his reaction, months ago, to seeing Dad's sketchbooks for the first time.”
Fowler says “I knew Gail as a friend and fellow Norman Public Arts Board member. Over the years I watched him sketch in meetings, always wondering how he managed to concentrate and keep up with the conversation. I now know that his art was how he interpreted and dealt with the world and his surroundings. ...Having been able to dive into his work allowed me to get to know him in ways that time didn't allow. In these books his legacy lives on, and gives us the opportunity to learn more about ourselves and the world around us.”
There will be framed original drawings, limited edition archival giclees and a show catalog available for sale during the exhibit. “Listen My Child”, a limited edition coloring book, will also be available.
Depot Gallery hours are 8 am to 2 pm Monday through Friday and by appointment. There is no admission charge.
Gallery exhibitions in The Depot are made possible in part by grants from Oklahoma Arts Council and Norman Arts Council and generous individual sponsors.