Waste not, want not; Museum of the Red River to hold upcycled art class

By Jeff Wassmann, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=52422892Idabel, OK (February 6, 2018)—Families can learn how to turn mundane or unwanted items into works of art at the Museum of the Red River on February 24. The class is part of the Museum’s free “make-and-take” series and sponsored by the McCurtain County Art Club. The workshop is scheduled for 10 am to 3 pm. Participants may drop in and drop out at any time. All supplies are provided. However, attendees are welcome to bring any small, unwanted objects from around the house such as stained glass, tiles, and marbles. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

The process of creating new objects from useless or wanted materials is popularly known as upcycling. Upcycling is different from recycling, which converts materials into new products. The concept has become extremely popular in recent years. However, individuals—especially those with limited economic means—have been “upcycling” for thousands of years. The practice also plays a key role in the production of art by many indigenous groups. Upcycling became a part of the mainstream art world in the 20th century thanks to the efforts of artists like Pablo Picasso, Jeff Wassmann, and Louise Nevelson.

[Pictured: “Nietzsche, 306P, 1897” by Jeff Wassmann. Photo by Jeff Wassmann.]


Beading workshop slated for February 17 at the Museum of the Red River

Idabel, OK (January 29, 2017)—Back by popular demand, Choctaw beading artist Greg Bohanan will lead a loom beading workshop February 17, from 10 am to 3:00 pm. The class is capped at 10 people. Cost is $45. Attendees may keep any leftover materials—including the loom—for their own use. The class will break at noon for a potluck lunch and resume at 1:00 pm. Participants can register online or by calling (580) 286 – 3616.

Beading has always been a part of native American culture. At first, native Americans made their own beads from bone or shell. However, the process was long, and the finished product relatively cumbersome. The introduction of glass beads by European changed everything. The new beads were more colorful, smaller, and easier to use. Artists could create a limitless number of patterns and compositions. Over time, different tribes developed their own designs and methods.

Contemporary beadwork is a rich blend of artistic traditions. Some artists blend materials and patterns to create distinctly 21st century designs. Others have developed unique beading styles that incorporate three-dimensional surfaces. Some have even successfully revived traditional practices. Nonetheless, regardless of its form, beadwork serves as a powerful symbol of native American heritage.

UPDATE: We are unable to accept any more participants at this time. Thank you for your interest!


Seven-States Biennial Exhibition opens at the Museum of the Red River; Closes March 25

“Thea 4” by William Stoehr

Idabel, OK (January 30, 2018)—Created in 2001, this traveling exhibit invites artists from Oklahoma and the surrounding states to submit original works to competition. A judge selects the finalists—which are displayed in the show—and awards cash prizes. The exhibit travels from the Nesbitt Gallery in Chickasha, to the Goddard Art Center in Ardmore. The show’s final stop is at the Museum of the Red River and concludes with an Artists’ Reception on March 25.

This year’s exhibit features 44 paintings, sculptures, prints and other works of art from 23 different artists. First place was awarded to William Stoehr for his acrylic-on-canvas portrait Thea 4. Mayumi Makino Kiefer’s stoneware piece Three Soldiers Repurposed received second place. Third place went to Dan R. Hammett, for his stoneware Blue Green Overhead Handle Tripodal Flagon. More information about the exhibit is available at www.museumoftheredriver.org/seven-states-biennial.

This year’s judge was William Cannings, Associate Professor of Art at Texas Tech University. His own work centers on the effects of compressed air on metal. According to the Anya Tish Gallery in Houston, his sculptures “appear as if they were sensually carved, exhibiting properties that seemingly contradict the physical properties of the materials used for composition.” Cannings frequently exhibits his art in New York, Miami, New Mexico and Texas. A review of his work can be found in ART LIES, an international arts journal.


On the Wing photography contest seeking submissions; $2,200 in cash prizes available

The Museum of the Red River is seeking entries for On the Wing, a juried photography show, sponsored by the McCurtain County Art Club. The theme of the show is “birds”. The Museum is accepting submissions in two categories. The “Natural World” category is for photos of birds being birds. This category is for images that receive little enhancement after the original capture. The second category is “Altered/Mixed Media”. This is where photographers can spread their wings and imaginations and use whatever enhancement and/or mixed media they would like.

The competition is open to artists of all ages and skills residing in the United States. Contestants may submit three separate photos, or one triptych set into any category for judging. Photos must be emailed to Brian Hendershot, Head of Communications and Outreach, ([email protected]) before March 16th, 2018. Photographs will be scored based on their technical quality, originality and artistic merit. Interested artists should contact Brian Hendershot or visit www.museumoftheredriver.org/bird-photography/ for a full list of rules. Please note, if a submission is selected for display, the artist will be asked to mail the Museum of the Red River a framed print by April 16th.

Submissions will be juried into the show by a panel of experts, led by Stephen G. Weaver (Colorado Springs, CO). Weaver is an award-winning photographer with over 40 years of experience. He uses his background as a formally trained geologist to create stunning images that capture the beauty of the earth and its natural systems. More information about Weaver, including samples of his work, can be found online at https://www.stephen-weaver.com/.  Winning photos and finalists will be published online and displayed in the Museum of the Red River’s M. “Jack” Bell Hall, April 24th through May 13th. The winning photos will be determined by Stephen G. Weaver. The following prizes will be awarded in each of the two categories: Best of Show, $500; First place, $300; Second, $200; Third, $100. The competition will conclude with an Awards Ceremony on Sunday, May 13th at 2:00 pm.


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