The Duncan Banner

November 22, 2013

Art galleries pop up in Chisholm Mall today

Toni Hopper
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — It’s cold outside, but that shouldn’t stop you from attending an art event that really is a combination of several “art galleries” at the Chisholm Mall this weekend.

Local organizations teamed up with Dreamer Concepts of Norman for a temporary Pop Up Art Show and Indoor Art Walk event which kicked off Thursday evening and continues through 8 p.m. Saturday.

Duncan Art Guild, Chisholm Trail Heritage Center, Chisholm Trail Arts Council and Trail Dance Film Festival paired up to promote local artists and performers. Also, other independent artists, including a 14-year-old painter and a woman who makes baskets, have their works on display and for sale.

Today, there will be music, and even a high fashion hair art competition to entertain those who attend. The concept is to “Pop Up” galleries in unusual locations and give people a chance to see, discuss and even buy art and support emerging artists.

While the Pop Up Art Gallery functions as an independent feature, it and the local groups joining together create the entire show, or “Indoor Art Walk.” One such young local artist, Amariah Strawn, is getting a chance to show her work. Anything Strawn, 14, sells will give her money to continue her art. Paintings range from flowers to ocean scenes and even western. The pieces show the progression of her talents. Her mother and brothers helped cart in her work just as the cold front hit Duncan. Strawn lives in rural Stephens County and learned of the art show’s call for area artists through an email from a Velma church which had seen it in The Banner.

The independent artists are set up in the mall corridors. CTHC’s “Cinco” Gallery is in a corner storefront at the food court, featuring its 2007 Centennial Chisholm Trail Cattle Drive photos. Also on display inside “Cinco” Gallery is a Pop Up Art Book display created by Duncan Public Library Director Jan Cole, information on Chisholm Trail Arts Council and the W.T. Foreman Prairie House. Cole said the pop up book artists are known as paper engineers. The books are her personal collection.

Representatives from the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center are also available to share information, brochures and pamphlets on the facility.

Across the corridor is the Duncan Art Guild in another storefront, with around 75 to 100 pieces of art. Some of it was already being bought by people attending Thursday night.

More work is being delivered today. DAG President Flora Diffie said the show has a little bit of everything, from wood carvings to paintings and photography. Woodcarver Bob Adams, a wildlife artist, was visiting with people attending the show. His work, as is the others, is for sale. Basket maker Karen Scott, who is a member of The SeatWeavers’ Guild, National Basketry Organization, Basket Weavers Guild of Oklahoma and Oklahoma Native American Basket Weavers, said she enjoys a show like this one because she can work on her baskets and educate people about basketry.

Amber Clour, executive director for Dreamer Concepts, was excited to be able to show art in the old Aaron’s Rent-a-Center space at the mall. She liked the spaciousness of the “gallery” and was pleased to display it on the walls. Among the items were pottery, soft art doll sculptures, photography, mixed media and one special exhibit “Dreamer 51: A New View of Art.”

The art in Dreamer 51 is not for sale but is displayed to draw attention to Oklahoma artists who are blind and visually impaired.

“Painting with tactile cues or sculpting by feel, the artists prove that limited eyesight doesn’t mean limited vision,” notes Clour in publicity materials.

While incoming cold weather might have deterred people Thursday night, Clour was hopeful that people will attend tonight’s gallery openings and also tomorrow.

Andy Couch, CTHC’s Associate Curator/Programs Coordinator visited the Dreamer’s Concept Pop Up Art Gallery and quickly spied the art of Jason Cytacky.

“He’ll be coming to (the Heritage Center) in March,” Couch said. Cytacky is Assistant Professor of Painting at the University of Oklahoma. His work examines the American character, but also leans toward the cowboy and western lifestyle. Cowboy portraits and a landscape are on display in his space at the Pop Up.

Also at the event is Anthony Foreman to promote Trail Dance Film Festival, which happens late January 2014.

The galleries open today at 4 p.m. and close at 8 p.m. and are open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday. Some of the “galleries” or artists may leave early Saturday, around 5 p.m. to attend the Main Street Duncan Holiday Stroll. Also, tonight, the John Fullbright concert is at 7 p.m. at Simmons Center.

People are encouraged to attend the art gallery openings early. The hair styling show is set to begin after 5 p.m. Judging will be done. This is not a typical hair styling show, but designed at the art of hair, like a fashion show and should be interesting to  see what happens on “the runway.”