Skip Hill PaintingSmall Works IX, one of the most popular exhibits in The Depot Gallery each year, opens November 8, 2019, at 200 S. Jones with a reception for the artists from 6 to 9 pm in connection with the 2nd Friday Art Walk. Live music will be provided by Terry “Buffalo” Ware and Gregg Standridge. Light refreshments are provided.

Small Works IX features the work of 10 artists who have previously shown in the gallery, with each exhibiting 6 pieces in the smaller format. This year’s artists include: Carol Beesley, Julie Marks Blackstone, George Bogart, Douglas Shaw Elder, Skip Hill, Don Holladay, Debby Kaspari, Regina Murphy, Cletus Smith and Sue Moss Sullivan.

A second reception will be held on December 13 with demonstrations by exhibit artists. Small Works IX continues through December 21. Gallery hours are 9 am to 2 pm Tuesday - Friday and Saturdays from 10 am to 1 pm. There is no admission charge.

In the spirit of holiday giving, shoppers may take their chosen art work at the time of purchase, making this a perfect opportunity to give the gift of original art.

Featured Artist Information

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 “represent a ‘pause' from the big behemoths I usually produce,” Beesley says. “Enjoy.”

Julie Marks Blackstone, to whom OBU presented this year’s Distinguished Teaching Award, teaches primarily high craft: ceramics, fibers, and stained glass, with color theory and the occasional figure drawing class thrown in for a change of pace. Perhaps best known for her textile/fiber art, with her "Knotty Girl” works created using a French Knot embroidery technique with embellishments, Blackstone, has had work accepted in numerous shows, winning awards on both a regional and national level, including Fiberworks (“Best of Show three times) and Handweavers' Guild of America (Award for Excellence twice.)

George Bogart (1933-2005) was a brilliant and prodigious painter with an innate feel for color and space. His work was exhibited all over the United States throughout his career and is included in numerous private and public collections. The six small paintings being shown in Small Works are part of a series of 22 done on paper in 1974. They are all part of a larger series that includes paintings on canvas. The series was inspired by George’s studio at the time, which was located in one of the old barracks buildings at North Base. The studio had very large windows and a huge loading door, which George painted bright lemon yellow, the better for students and others to find him.

Douglas Shaw Elder is a working artist, primarily producing drawings and sculpture. He 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 imagined environments filled with colorful tropical birds, exotic fauna, mesmerizing moods, rich textures and vivid color inspired by his travels to faraway places. 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, sensuous world on canvas, paper, wood panels and interior and exterior spaces. Thematically poetic, and subtlety narrative in content, the art of Skip Hill is a visual journey through the verdant gardens he invites his audience to explore, to get lost in, and to be found in.

Don Holladay has been painting since 1973. In the early 1990’s he studied printmaking at the University of Oklahoma under Dan Kiacz. His studio includes an etching press and many of his images originate from the printmaking process. His pieces are found in university, private and corporate collections. His work has been selected in regional and international juried competitions; and has been displayed in art publications and magazines. He is Board Chair of the Oklahoma Arts Institute Foundation. He holds a law degree from the OU College of Law. He and his wife Kay reside in Norman.

Debby Kaspari paints from life sketches, capturing portraits of wildlife and landscapes around the world. An internationally recognized bird artist, she is a five-time exhibitor in Woodson Museum’s Birds in Art and is currently part of Artists For Nature Foundation’s exhibition in Amsterdam. Kaspari is a Signature Member of the Society of Animal Artists, the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators, and the Pastel Society of America. She has illustrated for the Field Guide to Birds of Trinidad and Tobago, Oklahoma Today Magazine, and Bird Watchers Digest. Her paintings in this show are based on field work from Residencies and travels around North America, Europe, and Central America.

Regina Murphy, a decades-long treasure of the Oklahoma City arts community, passed away on December 25, 2018 at 97 years young. Regina’s work has been featured in countless exhibitions in Oklahoma and other states and is found in many notable Oklahoma art collections, both public and private. She was a founder and owner of Studio Six in the Paseo Arts District. Her commitment to the arts community goes back for many decades as the founder of the Contemporary Art Gallery, a director and officer of the Oklahoma Watercolor Association, a director and officer of the Oklahoma Art Guild, a member of the Oklahoma Visual Artists Coalition, and other arts organizations.

Cletus Smith's passion is the landscape. “Nature offers an unlimited choice of colors, shapes, textures and lighting.” he says. “I need to feel something about the subject, a collection of darks and lights, or a special feeling of atmosphere.” Smith feels equally comfortable working in watercolor or oil. A professional artist and educator, Cletus has spent his life in the studio or the classroom surrounded by his paints, brushes, and interesting photos taken where the roads lead him in his travels. A native Oklahoman with an art degree from Oklahoma City University, Cletus taught painting at the University of Central Oklahoma for 18 years. 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.

Sue Moss Sullivan began working in the fiber medium over 45 years ago. “I often weave mediums other than fiber, such as copper, wire, metal, etc. My current work includes waxed linen that is knotted, twisted and coiled, using no loom or other tools, to create 2D & 3D pieces.” Her work captures her passion for the history of textiles and her desire to push traditional techniques to become innovative art. Sullivan’s work has been exhibited nationally and locally, both in juried exhibitions and invitational shows, winning many awards. It is in both private and corporate collections. She is co-owner of Studio Six in OKC’s Paseo Arts District.

The Depot is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to create and present excellent and innovative fine arts programs for the enrichment and education of the community. 

All programs at The Depot are made possible, in part, by grants from Norman Arts Council and Oklahoma Arts Council, and by Norman Parks and Recreation Department.