The Depot Gallery will host “Melrose Sessions,” an exhibition of new work by Oklahoma artists Douglas Shaw Elder and Skip Hill, opening March 8 with a public reception from 6 to 9 pm. A second reception will be held April 12, 2019. The exhibit continues through April 27th. Regular gallery hours are 9 am to 2 pm Tuesday - Friday and from 10 to 1 on Saturday. Admission is free.
“Melrose Sessions” is the culmination of a collaboration between Elder and Hill, conceived in 2018, when the two artists were convening regularly in Elder’s studio on Melrose Street in dedicated sessions to discuss art, life, and the world we live in. The driving force behind the meet-ups was to create art, to listen to music, and to support each other as artists. Both artists work with elements of nature, including birds and landscapes, independently. The two began to merge Elder’s sculptural woodcarvings and Hill’s colorful drawings, fusing their individual styles to create complementary pieces, resulting in the works in this exhibit.
Both Elder and Hill believe that “the process of making art is a cumulative experience that necessitates time, dedication, and persistence. All creative professionals are united in the need to carve out time for conceptual work, to eliminate obstacles and pursue their passions. The drive behind the Melrose Sessions is to ‘do the work’ and serve as an example and inspiration to all determined creative workers, as well as to the artists themselves.”
Douglas Shaw Elder is a working artist, primarily producing drawings and sculpture, who has exhibited nationally and internationally, and has been the Executive Director of the Firehouse Art Center in Norman, Oklahoma since 2007. Elder, a U.S. Army veteran who received his MFA from Boston University, is also an arts educator and visual arts advocate. His current works, titled OKecoSCAPES, explore Oklahoma’s unique ecosystems, specifically depicting the diverse visual landscapes specific to the state. All of the works in the series are influenced by forces of nature, contemplated through experiential art making, and result in raw and organic finished carvings and drawings.
Skip Hill is a professional visual artist whose body of work includes mixed-medium drawings, paintings, collages and murals that feature lush environments filled with colorful tropical birds, exotic fauna, mesmerizing moods, rich textures and vivid color inspired by his travels to Brazil and Southeast Asia. Using acrylic paint, markers, inks and cut paper from a collection of source materials, Skip Hill’s art focuses on process, on positive and negative space, on contrasts and flowing line. He thoughtfully juxtaposes these elements to create a delightful sensory world on canvas, paper, wood panels and interior and exterior spaces. Thematically poetic, and lyrical in content, the art of Skip Hill is a visual journey through the verdant gardens of Love & Nature he invites his audience to imagine, and to get lost and found in.
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.