"Bert Seabourn, Abstract Expressionist," an exhibit of the work of Oklahoma City painter, print maker, sculptor and teacher Bert Seabourn, will open in The Depot Gallery on September 8 with a reception from 6 to 9 pm in association with Norman's 2nd Friday Art Walk. Seabourn, an internationally acclaimed American Expressionist, is known for his stylized and nonrepresentational neo-expressionist art. The exhibit will remain in the gallery through October 29. There is no admission fee.
Primarily a painter of Native American subjects, Seabourn also paints figures, landscapes, and other subjects. As an expressionist, his technique includes the layering of texture with drips, smears, runs and splatters, working in acrylic, oil and watercolor. Seabourn believes "Paintings should contest the creative elements: Order versus chaos; contemplative versus emotional; raw versus refined. I try to make each piece of art a unique fusion of design, color, form and composition. The responsibility of the artist is to make a unique experience for himself and the viewer."
Seabourn’s painting style evolved over the span of his education. He began with cartoon-style works at a young age and kept this style through his high school years. Until he began studying at Oklahoma City University in 1955, his works were naturalistic. While at OCU, Seabourn experimented with abstract painting. Abstract Expressionism has become the style for which he has become known.
For over 50 years, Seabourn has exhibited throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and South America. A selected listing of locations of paintings in permanent collections includes: the Vatican; China's National Palace Museum, Taiwan; Moscow University, Russia; the American Embassy, London; the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History; the President Gerald R. Ford Library Collection; the George and Barbara Bush Collection; and in Oklahoma City, the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum; the Oklahoma State Art Collection; Oklahoma City Museum of Art; and the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art.
Seabourn is the recipient of several notable honors. In 1976 he was designated a Master Artist by the Five Civilized Tribes Museum. In 1981 Oklahoma Governor George Nigh awarded him the Governor's Art Award. In 1988 his sculpture, 'Wind Walker', a 23-foot tall bronze was unveiled in Oklahoma City, and in 1997 Oklahoma City University honored him with the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters. In 2004 Seabourn received Oklahoma's Living Treasure Award and in 2009 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award and was named Artist of the Year by the Oklahoma City Paseo Art Association.
Bert and his wife Bonnie recently celebrated 67 years of marriage, yet Bert remains active and young at heart and still experiments extensively and with creative vitality. He says "My art is like the Oklahoma winds...ever changing, growing and finding new directions. This stylistic diversity is what keeps my life (and hopefully my art) interesting. I love to paint and I hope it shows."
There is no admission charge to The Depot Gallery. Hours are Monday through Friday from 9 am to 2 pm and, throughout this exhibit, the gallery will be open from 1 to 4 pm on Sundays, as well as by appointment.
Gallery Exhibitions at The Depot Gallery are made possible, in part, by grants from The Norman Arts Council, the Oklahoma Arts Council and by generous individual donors.