Trailblazer Kathryn Polk comes to OU for lectures, exhibit of lithographs

Kathryn Polk
3 p.m. Tuesday
Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
555 Elm Avenue, Norman

exhibit on display through Sept. 10
Lightwell Gallery in OU’s Fred Jones Art Center
520 Parrington Oval

The University of Oklahoma is highlighting a collection of lithographs and sketches by Kathryn Polk, an Arizona-based artist whose work is well-regarded among the printmaking community and included in permanent collections at museums and universities on several continents.

Her solo exhibition is on display through Sept. 10 at the Lightwell Gallery in OU’s Fred Jones Art Center, 520 Parrington Oval.

The show includes 39 works and a small collection of Polk’s sketches, said Jordan Strickland with the College of Fine Arts.

“Her work has a real illustrative quality, almost allegorical,” she said.

A Tennessean, Polk studied art at the Memphis Art Academy and the University of Memphis. In 1983, she moved to Tucscon, Ariz., with her husband, Andrew, also a lithographer.

Polk will visit OU next week for a series of student workshops. At 3 p.m. Tuesday, she will give a free lecture in the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art. A reception will follow.

In addition to being a prolific printmaker, Polk has helped redefine the process itself by developing less-toxic techniques for traditional stone lithography, Strickland said. Polk’s lecture will include information on the new process, as well as her “The Non-Indigenous Woman” series.

Lithography is a time-consuming process, and stone lithography employs massive equipment and presses, which often require a small forklift to move, Strickland said, adding that Polk is so committed to her art that she has a full studio press in her living room.

“Polk was coming up to work with students, and we saw her work and a lot of people got really excited about showing her work,” Strickland said. “She’s really skilled, and her renderings are really nice.”

For more information, call 325-2691. “”Joe Wertz

photo Arizona-based artist Kathryn Polk will give a free lecture about her lithography series and new, less-toxic techniques.


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