Classical Guitarist Stephanie Jackson Brings Her Joyful, Creative and Entertaining Stylings to Artist’s reception TONIGHT for “Ben Potter: Bold and Vivid Search for Freedom”
Bethany, Oklahoma’s Stephanie Jackson, who began classical guitar at the age of 11 and has developed into one of America’s sought after acoustic stylists, will perform her varied, inspiring and entertaining music in the “Beatnix Café Gallery” from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. For more on Stephanie Jackson’s music, visit her web-site http://www.stephaniejackson.com . The performance and art exhibit are both free of charge. The Beatnix Café is located at 136 NW 13th Street between Robinson and Broadway in downtown Oklahoma City.
Little more than a year ago, Oklahoma City’s Ben Potter was simply reacquainting himself with a long-lost passion for painting. Today, his diverse and powerful array of acrylic works makes up his first full-scale exhibition in downtown Oklahoma City, “Ben Potter: Bold and Vivid Search For Freedom” at The Beatnix Café. Many of the featured works, including “The Music In Me”, have already been installed leading up to Potter’s Artist’s Reception Thursday, January 14th from 5:00-7:00 pm at the café, located at 136 NW 13th Street between Robinson and Broadway. The artist’s reception January 14th is free and open to the public, and will feature live music, coffee and tea specials and treats from the Beatnix Café menu. Potter’s work is available for purchase and will remain on display until mid-February.
“Ben’s work calls out to the artist hidden inside all of us,” says Dave Filkins, owner and chief beatnik at the local eatery, home to one of the city’s most eclectic collections of loose teas, yummy food and fun art. “Ben let his hair down with this collection of paintings and what came pouring out is amazing. We are proud to have him as our latest featured artist. Our customers will enjoy Ben and his art.”
Ben Potter hadn’t painted much since his college days at the University of Oklahoma, but as he contemplated life in his late forties, he took a painting class at City Arts Center, lighting an artistic fire that has illuminated an effervescent talent. In the twelve months since completing the “Beginning Water Color” class under Connie Seaborn, Potter estimates he has created more than 120 original works of art.
“The smell of the paint, the wide open freedom I felt when I was doing it, it all came back to me,” says Potter, whose Beatnix Café show features at least a dozen original works in acrylic representing the most recent phases of his rapid growth. “First of all I started in water color, figurative dragon flies, hummingbirds, then abstract realism. Then I decided to hop over to acrylic and I painted “Spring 09” (donated to the Leukemia Lymphoma Society Man of the Year Gala). Then I got into free-form in color composition, which I’ve been told is my strong point. Lately I’ve used some form of color, abstract blurs, cocktails, even a space man.”
Potter humbly credits inclusion of his work in charitable auctions such as the LLS Galas, Oklahoam Shakespeare in the Park’s SIP of Oklahoma and others for helping to spark interest in his art. Buoyed by the social networking sites like Facebook and the on-line fine art site RedBubble.com, Potter’s art has reached near-cult status among new art fans drawn as much to his boyish charisma and humble nature as they are to his splashy colors and emotional angles.
“Ben is a newborn, in terms of art,” says Brent Weber, curator at The Beatnix Café whose works “Surfing Monkeys” and “BB At Riverwind” remain on display there along with art by other Beatnix featured Artist alumni. “He is so enthusiastic, so eager to paint, he makes everyone who sees his work feel like a kid. That enthusiasm is special.”
A member of IAO (Independent Artist’s of Oklahoma), Potter’s work will remain on display at The Beatnix Café throughout January and into mid-February. The gallery is open during cafe hours and the works are available for purchase. For hours, menu and more information, visit http://www.thebeatnix café.com or call (405) 604-0211. You can also follow Beatnix on twitter (thebeatnixcafe), MySpace and Facebook. To contact the artist or for specific information on the Artist’s Reception for “Ben Potter: Bold and Vivid Search For Freedom”, contact the curator at firstname.lastname@example.org .
(photos of art or gallery available upon request)