The Cool Kids Dig Art, Music and The Fred Jones, Jr. At OU

Greater OKC is happening for young artsy people (and I include myself in the young category) and that includes Norman, where Ghislain d’Humières has orchestrated a world-class MODERN art vibe. Don’t believe me? Then be at the FJJMA Saturday, June 4th, 2011 at 5 p.m. for the re-birth of the museum’s modern wing. There’s a guest lecturer, a cool collection of works you don’t have to go to Dallas or Chicago or a larger city to see (which I will preview here later this week), live music, dancing and of course, AFTER-PARTY!

Here’s their press release…

The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art is celebrating the

reinstallation of modern art with the help of some new friends. Austin band

White Denim and guest speaker Bill Goldston, director of Universal Limited Art

Editions New York, are just a few of the guests scheduled for the exhibition

opening, which starts at 5 p.m. Saturday, June 4. Several events are planned for

the evening, which is free and open to the public.

As part of this fall’s upcoming

opening of the new Stuart Wing and

reopening of the newly renovated

original building, the University of

Oklahoma’s art museum is

reinstalling works of contemporary

and modern art from its permanent

collection. The Sandy Bell Gallery,

formerly the museum’s location for such works, has been utilized as a rotating

exhibition gallery since construction began in spring 2009.

“Our excitement for October’s grand opening of the Stuart Wing is so contagious,

we can’t wait to share it with the community,” said Ghislain d’Humières,

director of the museum. “We’ve packed so much into the June 4 weekend. If

you’ve never visited the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, this will be an

unforgettable event you will not want to miss.”

To celebrate, the museum kicks off a weekend of events Friday, June 3 with live

music from 5-9 p.m. by OU School of Music instructor Ricardo Coelho de Souza’s

ensemble, The Eighth Street Trio.

Saturday’s event begins at 5 p.m. with a guest lecture by Goldston, who will

speak about artist Robert Rauschenberg’s relationship with art collectors Sash

and Mary Spencer. Mary Spencer recently gave the museum a collection of

works by the same contemporary artist. Following the lecture, choreographers

Derrick Minter and Lieneke Mous will present a special dance inspired by works

in the exhibition and performed by OU School of Dance students during the

opening reception.

At 7:30 p.m., Austin, Texas indie rockers White

Denim start a live concert on the museum’s front

lawn, in collaboration with the Norman Music

Festival. The concert was made possible, in part, by

a grant from the Norman Arts Council Hotel Tax

Grant Program.

The opening weekend also serves as a sign-up

party for the Museum Association’s newest level,

the Metro Arts Circle (MAC). The MAC is geared towards 25-45-year-olds and

will host exclusive parties throughout the year featuring art, networking, special

guests and more.

After the concert, those are interested in joining the MAC invited to an after

party at 9 p.m. at Blackbird Gastropub on Campus Corner, just walking distance

from the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art. The after party is open to ages 21 and up.

“The Oklahoma City metro has a flourishing arts community that is quickly

becoming Oklahoma’s cultural epicenter,” said Katie Parker, audience

development manager. “Several people may think of art museums as austere

fortresses, but in contrast, the FJJMA has created the Metro Arts Circle to foster a

community where the museum is a more tangible place. Our new museum

membership engages young professionals into action in the museum and arts

community, making Norman and the Oklahoma City metro leading examples for

enhancing lifestyles with art and culture.”

Anyone who signs up for a new Museum Association memberships or a

renewals at a MAC level or above on June 4 will be eligible to win raffle prizes

such as an iPad, courtesy of the OU IT Store; dinner for two at O Asian Fusion

restaurant; dinner for two at Local restaurant; and $100 gift certificate to the

Museum Store. Visitors may sign up for a membership level at the museum or at


The reinstallation of modern and contemporary art features works from the

museum’s permanent collection, as well as works on loan from a private

collector. The exhibition includes works by Leon Polk Smith and Roy

Lichtenstein, as well as a rare Edward Ruscha painting depicting Oklahoma,


No Man’s Land (1990), on loan courtesy of the artist.

“Contemporary art often engages complicated issues of personal history, race

and sex as a means of fostering dialogue on how personal and group identity

interact with society,” said Mark White, the Eugene B. Adkins Curator for the

museum. “For instance, Edward Ruscha’s

No Man’s Land recalls the artist’s youth

in Oklahoma, and his lack of knowledge of life outside the state. Leaving

Oklahoma in his late teens became a pivotal moment in his personal and artistic

maturity as he explored the country beyond his familiar haunts.”

The reinstallation also features a set of works by Rauschenberg called

The Lotus


, the last series of works by the artist before his death in 2008. The series is a

recent gift by Mary Spencer.

Friday’s free concert by The Eighth Street Trio presents Morton Feldman’s


Philip Guston,

a four-hour expressive composition for flute, percussion and piano

performed by OU musicians Jennifer Peck, Ricardo Coelho de Souza and Marc


The Saturday evening concert with White Denim begins at 7:30 p.m. on the

museum lawn. Over the past five years, the independent band has received

recognition from such outlets as

Rolling Stone, New York Times, Spin and Pitchfork.

The independent band’s newest album,

D, hits the shelves May 24.

The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art is located in the OU Arts District on the corner

of Elm Avenue and Boyd Street, at 555 Elm Ave., on the OU Norman campus.

Admission to the museum is free to OU students with a current student ID and

museum association members, $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $3 for children 6 to 17

years of age, $2 for OU faculty/staff and free for military veterans with proof

and children 5 and under. The museum is closed on Mondays and admission is

free on Tuesdays. The museum’s website is Information and

accommodations on the basis of disability are available by calling (405) 325-4938.

Construction on a new wing is under way, but the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art

is open and fully functional with exhibitions and programming throughout the

entire construction process.

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