Connie Seabourn PaintingEach year The Depot Gallery, 200 S. Jones, celebrates the holiday season with an exhibit of "small works" created by outstanding local and regional artists.  A December 14, 2018 reception, from 6 to 9 pm, will honor the ten Small Works VIII artists: Carol Beesley, Carolyn Faseler, Steve Hicks, Debby Kaspari, Tim Kenney, Brad Price, Bert Seabourn, Connie Seabourn, Cletus Smith, and Betty Wood.  Jazzy seasonal music will be provided by the popular group Miss Brown to You, featuring Mary Reynolds and Louise Goldberg.

The Gallery will be open our regular hours of 9 am to 2 pm Monday through Friday.  The exhibit may also be seen by appointment (phone 405 307-9320).  Small Works VIII runs through Sunday, December 23 and the gallery will be open that final Sunday from 1 to 4 pm.

Unlike our usual gallery exhibits, Small Works paintings may be taken at the time of purchase.  Consider giving the gift of original art by one or more of these well known artists --- a gift to be enjoyed for a lifetime.

About the Artists:

Carol Beesley, Professor Emeritus of Art at The University of Oklahoma where she taught for 24 years, is known for her distinctive large paintings of the American landscape, joining photography and painting to produce vibrant landscapes documenting Oklahoma and the Southwest.  To capture the sense of  place beyond the mere physical presence, Beesley interprets the image in intense color as if caught in a fleeting moment of light. Beesley’s work has been exhibited widely in the United States and in France.  The paintings in Small Works VIII “represent a ‘pause' from the big behemoths I usually produce,” Beesley says.  “Enjoy.” 

Norman artist Carolyn Faseler says “I value the unexpected! In fact, I plan for it. I start a painting by splashing different colors directly on the canvas with a big brush. When that dries, I begin to plan sections of the painting depending on my theme. For this show, I planned to concentrate on circles; an ancient symbolic image of protection... I feel that I’m creating order out of chaos and that makes me feel good.   I know when a piece is finished when nothing can be added or removed to my satisfaction. I want people who see my work to be surprised by unanticipated color juxtapositions and shape relationships.”  

Steve Hicks recently celebrated his retirement after 35 years teaching art at Oklahoma Baptist University.  Hicks goes back and forth from abstract to the very normal landscapes.  “It’s nice to have this type of variety” Hicks says.  “One day, I may sit back and paint a portrait and the next day do an abstract where I can concentrate on color and form. I think I enjoy painting and drawing more than anything else... Images can live on in our mind’s eye long after they have passed.  Painting is a way to analytically think about that order of things and how they change – what falls away, what emerges.”

Debby Kaspari is an illustrator and artist of birds, animals and landscapes, mixing scientific illustration with more personal works in mixed media.  Drawing from life and capturing imagery in the field is the foundation of her work. Field sketching and plein air work from Oklahoma’s landscapes to the tropical rainforests of the world have resulted in drawings and paintings shown in galleries and museums around the country.  Her paintings have been exhibited in Birds in Art (Woodson Museum), Art of the Animal Kingdom (Bennington Center for the Arts) and the Society of Animal Artists’ Art and the Animal.  Kaspari’s illustration work includes the Field Guide to Birds of Trinidad and Tobago (Cornell University Press), illustrations for Coyote at the Kitchen Door (Harvard University Press), and numerous covers and illustrations for Bird Watcher’s Digest

Norman artist Tim Kenney is noted for his thick textured and colorful paintings.  His abstract impressionistic style lends itself to the aspens, flowers, and other subjects of his paintings.  “I love to paint plein-air in Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Utah.  I love to capture the landscapes of the southwest while painting on site or using images from the areas we visit,” says Kenney.  The use of thick paints and palette knives create the heavy texture which helps bring out the depth of the scenes he paints.  

Brad Price's works are inspired by the Southwest landscape and its rugged beauty.  The light in New Mexico has a luminescent quality all its own, Price says, and he seeks to capture its effects on canvas using contrast and bold complementary color.  His work is featured this month in Southwest Art Magazineand has been selected by the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum for “Small Works, Great Wonders” November 3-25 of this year.  A resident of Norman, Price is represented by Meyer Gallery in Santa Fe and by other galleries in the Southwest.

Oklahoma City painter, print maker, sculptor and teacher,Bert Seabourn, is an internationally acclaimed American Expressionist known for his stylized and nonrepresentational art.  Primarily a painter of Native American subjects, Seabourn also paints figures, landscapes, and other subjects.  His neo-expressionist technique includes the layering of texture with drips, smears, runs and splatters, working in acrylic, oil and watercolor.  For over 50 years, Seabourn has exhibited throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and South America.

Connie Seabourn, who became a full-time artist in 1980, is perhaps best known for her delicate watercolors and bright, bold serigraphs that demonstrate her interest in strong, rounded, monumental shapes.  “Most of my work is ethereal, dreamy, and narrative” says Seabourn.  Favorite themes are a mother's love, family unity and living in peace with the earth.  Connie has won numerous awards, has exhibited extensively, and is in many notable collections.

Cletus Smith's passion is the landscape. “Nature offers an unlimited choice of colors, shapes, textures and lighting,” he says.  Well known for his watercolors, Cletus is represented by galleries in Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas and is included in the State of Oklahoma Art Collection.  Numerous awards and recognitions have been given to Cletus for his paintings and his work as an instructor.  Several of his watercolors will be included in the show.

Betty Wood is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a Master of Fine Arts Degree emphasizing printmaking and design.  She says that “an interest in Oklahoma history, the environment and natural history provided motivation for the body of work in this show.  Monotypes, other kinds of prints, unique papers, fabric, or leather, are cut apart and reassembled to form the background for these images.  Vintage Oklahoma state maps, old photographs and other related elements, are used to depict life on early Oklahoma plains.”

Exhibits at The Depot Gallery are made possible, in part, by grants from the Norman Arts Council and the Oklahoma Arts Council, and by individual donors.