Tulsa's Local Arts Scene

Our guest is Susan Neal, Executive Director of Gilcrease Museum, which recently announced that its current facility will be not just refurbished or remodeled but, indeed, entirely rebuilt. The museum announced over the weekend that its current building will be demolished, and that a new structure will be erected in its place. As Neal expalins, Gilcrease has been added to -- and/or expanded upon -- several times over the years. The oldest parts of the museum date back to 1913; the newest building in the Gilcrease complex dates from the 1980s.

The nonprofit Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition, or OVAC, which began in 1988, actively supports visual artists living and working throughout Oklahoma. On this edition of ST, we learn about a new OVAC show on view at ahha Tulsa -- it's a triennial exhibition called Concept, and it will be on display through March 22nd. Our guests are Sarah Ahmad, and artist whose work appears in this show, and Krystle Brewer, the executive director of OVAC.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we offer another edition of the popular Museum Confidential podcast, which is co-created twice a month by Jeff Martin with Philbrook Museum and Scott Gregory with Public Radio Tulsa. This time around, MC looks back to May of 2018, when -- at Christie's in Hong Kong -- an 18th-century Chinese vase owned by Philbrook sold for $14.5 million. MC sets out to learn the full story behind this potentially controversial sale.

On this edition of ST, we learn about two 2019 Ruth Mayo Memorial Distinguished Visiting Artists here at TU, the painters Gideon Bok and Meghan Brady. They're based in Maine, and they also happen to be married. And their duo exhibit, "Being There," will open this evening (the 7th) at a special lecture/reception at the Alexandre Hogue Gallery on the TU campus. More info is poste here.

Photo by Oil City News

Our guest is Ron Spigelman, who will conduct the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra during its next concert (happening tomorrow night, Saturday the 5th, at the Tulsa PAC). Opening with Rimsky-Korsakov's vivid "Capriccio Espagnol," the evening will also feature Mozart's "Posthorn Symphony" (or Serenade No. 9) and Debussy's swirling and colorful "Images." More info is posted here.

Our program today explores the work of Jave Yoshimoto, a visual artist and educator born in Japan to Chinese parents who immigrated to California at a young age. A recent Tulsa Artist Fellowship alum as well as a recipient of a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painter's and Sculptor's grant, Yoshimoto now has a show at the Living Arts of Tulsa gallery, which he tells us about.

Photo by Dorothea Lange, Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California, 1936.

On this installment of ST, we learn about a new photography show at Gilcrease dedicated to the work of Dorothea Lange (1895-1965) and her peers. (The exhibit is on view through January 5, 2020.) Per the Gilcrease website, Lange's "empathetic images documented the toll that the Depression took on the nation. The evidence was seen in the long lines of desperate, jobless men, migrant workers searching for work, and impoverished families living in squalid conditions.

Our guest is Marcello Angelini, the Artistic Director at Tulsa Ballet. The company continues its current season with "Creations in Studio K," an exciting, three-part presentation happening September 12th through the 22nd at the Studio K @ Tulsa Ballet space (on East 45th Place near Peoria Avenue).

Photo by Uncovering Oklahoma

Our guest on this edition of ST is the OKC-based travel and humor writer, Shelby Simpson. She's the author of a book on travel called "Good Globe," but it's her more recent book, "We're All Bad in Bed," a raunchy retelling of epic bedroom and intimacy failures, that has led to a live show which will appear in Tulsa soon. "Bad in Bed Live" is an unusual book-reading event featuring 1990s hip-hop, dancers, multi-media effects, and audience participation.

Today we welcome Sterlin Harjo back to StudioTulsa. The celebrated locally-based filmmaker has a new movie, which he tells us about. It's a documentary short called "Terlton," and it'll have its world premiere this coming Saturday, the 13th, as part of the 2019 Circle Cinema Film Festival. "Terlton" takes us back to the summer of 1985, when a small town in Oklahoma -- incredibly, and so sadly -- lost a full one-fourth of its population when an explosion happened at a local fireworks factory.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we learn all about the vitally important book/author/reading series known as Book Smart Tulsa, which was started ten years ago (pretty much single-handedly) by our guest, Jeff Martin. He worked for years as a local bookseller and is now the Communications Manager at Philbrook Museum of Art; he's also the co-creator of our popular Museum Confidential podcast here at Public Radio Tulsa.

After debuting last year as part of the Circle Cinema's 90th birthday bash, the Circle Cinema Film Festival is back in 2019 with a rich assortment of films as well as various art, music, and cultural experiences. Our guests are Clark Wiens, a founder of the Circle Cinema Foundation, and Chuck Foxen, the film programmer at the Circle. They tell us about many of the films and special guests who come to Tulsa as a part of this gala festival, which happens from the 11th through the 15th.

On this edition of ST, we hear about an Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition (or OVAC) program that supports young professionals interested in a career as a curator, an art critic, an arts-based journalist, or the like. Through its Oklahoma Art Writing & Curatorial Fellowsship, OVAC has helped several individuals hone their writing and/or curatorial skills, which has culminated in a special "Curatorial Lab" series of exhibits happening at the Henry Zarrow Center for Art & Education in downtown Tulsa.

Our guest is Susan Green, a curator at Philbrook Museum of Art here in Tulsa. She's the local curator for a traveling show now at Philbrook's main campus -- "Wondrous Worlds: Art & Islam Through Time & Place" will be on view through October 6th. Per the Philbrook website, it is "the most extensive exhibition of Islamic art to be shown in Oklahoma, [and it] represents over 1,200 years of rich artistic creation, illustrating the great geographic expanse of the Islamic world.

Our guests on this edition of ST are Laura Fry, Senior Curator of the Gilcrease Museum here in Tulsa, and Carolyn Sickles, Executive Dirtector of the Tulsa Artist Fellowship. These two outstanding, arts-based organizations are now jointly offering "Recall/Respond," a contemporary arts exhibition that presents work by current Tulsa Artist Fellows as well as TAF alumni.

Many of us living here in Oklahoma -- and indeed, living all over the nation -- are today both pleased and proud to affirm that Joy Harjo, the much-celebrated, 68-year-old writer and musician based in Tulsa, was recently named by the Library of Congress as the 23rd Poet Laureate of the United States. A member of the Muscogee Creek Nation, Harjo is the first Native person to be selected for this honorable role. On this edition of StudioTulsa, we listen back to a conversation that we aired with Harjo in 2012, when her well-regarded memoir, "Crazy Brave," had just appeared.

"Babe Ruth's Final Farewell" -- Nathaniel Fein, New York Herald Tribune, June 13, 1948, New York, N.Y.; Nathaniel Fein/New York Herald Tribune/Nat Fein Estate.

On this edition of ST, we learn about "Pulitzer Prize Photographs," a moving and far-ranging show on view through July 14th at Tulsa's Gilcrease Museum (and on loan from the Newseum in Washington, DC). Per the Gilcrease wesbite, this exhibtion "brings history to life with the most comprehensive collection of Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs ever assembled, with images of every prize-winning entry dating back to 1942, when the award was first presented.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak with Brad James, the veteran Tulsa-based singer-songwriter (and ace guitarist) who emerged from the fertile Stillwater, Oklahoma, music scene of the 1980s and '90s. A mighty fine new album, "At Fellowship Hall," has just been released by the Brad James Band. Please note that there will be an Album Release Party for this new recording tomorrow night, Saturday the 1st, at Soul City in Tulsa (on 11th Street). The event begins at 9pm, and other well-regarded local musicians are on the bill as well.

StudioTulsa today offers another installment in the ongoing Museum Confidential podcast series, which is a popular collaboration between Public Radio Tulsa and Philbrook Museum of Art. This particular podcast -- taped before a "live" audience back in January -- explores what it actually means to be a curator with Philbrook Museum of Art Chief Curator Catherine Whitney and Gilcrease Museum Senior Curator Laura Fry. Also featuring special cameos by comedian Pete Holmes, "exit" signs, and the National Mustard Museum....

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we learn about Tulsa Little Jam, a popular podcast, concert series, and far-reaching digital media platform that aims to spotlight our community's most talented musicians and singer-songwriters. Tulsa Little Jam will present its Season Two Opening Concert this coming Friday night, the 17th, at Guthrie Green (beginning at 5:30pm). A number of different local bands will be presented -- and filmed -- in live performance, and the concert will be part of the 2019 Mayfest weekend.

Our guest is Keith Elder, who has recently been named the new executive director of the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra. Elder, who will assume his new job in August, comes to the TSO from the Aspen Music Festival and School, which is widely seen as one of America's top classical music festivals. A tuba player by training, Elder was the general manager and vice president in Aspen; he's also worked with the Eastman School of Music and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

More and more people these days are getting interested in -- and are, in fact, adopting -- a plant-based lifestyle. Healthy eating, healthy cooking, healthy living, and just taking more control over one's health, period: these practices all seem to be increasingly "mainstream" in America today. And so, in that spirit, the first-ever Tulsa VegFest will happen on Saturday the 4th at Guthrie Green in downtown Tulsa. The event is free to all, running from 10am to 4pm, and it will feature speakers from around the U.S.

On this edition of ST, we speak with the acclaimed poet and writing instructor Quraysh Ali Lansana (born 1964 in Enid, Oklahoma). Now based in Tulsa and recently named a Tulsa Artist Fellow, Lansana has published several books over the years: poetry collections, children's books, edited or co-edited anthologies, textbooks, etc. Long based in Chicago, and greatly influenced by the African-American cultural, social, and political life of that city -- and more generally, by the Black Arts Movement in American life and letters -- Lansana has a new book out.

On this edition of ST, we learn about the nonprofit Harmony Project, a long-running (and highly successful) music-based mentoring program that provides academic tutoring, instruments, and music lessons to at-risk students (in grades K through 12) nationwide. The program was begun in 2001 in Los Angeles -- as a "public-health intervention" -- by Dr. Margaret Martin, who is our guest today. There are by now several different Harmony Project Affiliates -- in New Orleans, Kansas City, East St.

On this edition of ST, we learn about two new plays to be presented on April 19, 20, 26, and 27 at the Nightingale Theater here in Tulsa, at 1416 East 4th Street. Heller Theatre Company recently opted to stage two one-act plays (in a single evening) by a pair of Tulsa-based playwrights in order to continue its ongoing mission to support original dramatic work, and thus Heller is offering "Trade Privileges" (written by David Blakely) and "Niñas de la Tierra" (written and directed by Shadia Dahlal).

This coming Saturday (the 20th) will bring a free, day-long Earth Day Celebration to the Guthrie Green in downtown Tulsa; the gathering is to be presented by Tulsa Earth Coalition, Green Country Sierra Club, and OK Roots Music -- and a full schedule is posted here.

We chat with the acclaimed English conductor Matthew Halls, who will be the Guest Conductor for the next Tulsa Symphony Orchestra concert, happening tomorrow night (the 13th) at the Tulsa PAC. The program will feature Rachmaninoff's "Symphonic Dances" as well as works by Strauss and Piazolla. More on this concert is posted here.

Our guest is the well-regarded Pennsylvania-based poet, Ron Silliman, who has written and edited over 30 books, and who is seen as one of the founders of the so-called Language Poetry movement in American literature. A 2003 Literary Fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts, Silliman also received the Levinson Prize from the Poetry Foundation in 2010 (among many other honors). He'll be reading from and talking about his work tonight (the 11th) as part of the 2nd Annual TulsaLitFest.

Laid Time Table with Cycads (detail) by Beth Lipman

On this edition of ST, we speak with the noted contemporary artist, Beth Lipman, who is known for her intricate and even breathtaking glass work. Her show, "Beth Lipman: Accidental Vestiges," opens today (the 5th) at 108 Contemporary as part of the First Friday Art Crawl in downtown Tulsa. An artist who employs a craft-making process -- and a great deal of glass -- in order to emulate or evoke such traditional "still life" subjects as food, books, and table arrangements, Lipman uses crystal materials in new and thoughtful ways.

Photo by Bernie Guzik

Our guest is the locally based musician and photographer, Bernie Guzik. As a tuba player, the Ohio-born Guzik, who attended Julliard, has peformed with the New York Philharmonic, the American Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Kansas City Philharmonic, the Tulsa Philharmonic, the Tulsa Symphony, and so forth. Now retired from music, he devotes more and more time to his other longtime passion: photography. Guzik tells us about this passion, which has led him to travel all over the world, documenting vanishing cultures with his camera.

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