If you like art, ice cream, nice sounds and summertime aesthetics, then get ready to smile big and text your friends about the closing reception for the wonderful exhibit going on at Istvan Gallery Friday night. Oklahoma City’s women’s art organization Fringe, which continues to grow and leave a prominent footprint across galleries throughout the city, presents Solstice, an exploration and celebration of our longest day of the year with the sun. The art of Mary James Ketch, Sarah Day-Short, Jessica Craddock and Lindsey Bochniak will be featured in this group show that celebrates Oklahoma’s usually sweltering relationship with the sun.
“During the summer, the sun in Oklahoma can feel oppressive, but we wanted to celebrate it,” artist Mary James Ketch said.
In this exploration of the sun, you can expect to see works motivated by its source of light, heat and life — from the color of the shadows splashed against the wall to the power we all have to be luminaries and warm those around us.
Istvan Gallery owner Stephen Kovash hopes the show is able to elicit certain thoughts from its audience.
“Excitement, evocative and generosity,” he said. “Each artist brings a distinct style, but all make bold statements with color, composition and flow. These pieces are highly personal to the artists, but there are no assumptions about what each piece will mean to my patrons. These four artists are outstanding, and I would like to see gallery visitors purchase art from our fantastic local talents.”
The works featured were created specifically for this exhibit, but each artist regularly works with nature as a main source of inspiration, which makes everything seem very organic.
Artist Jessica Craddock elaborated on the subject.
“Nature has always been a predominate theme in my art,” she said, “but gardening and cooking started showing up about a year and a half ago, when I realized I needed to learn to combine all of my interests instead of compartmentalizing them.”
At Friday’s closing reception, expect a party to celebrate both the work in the show specifically and the energy of summer in general. A number of activities will complement the solstice theme, including hot dogs and ice cream, the only two foods anyone really needs to get through summer.
“The concept of the summer solstice itself suggests lots of mystical, earthy kinds of things,” Kovash said. “So I asked Spinnergy Flow Arts, a local group of flow artists that employ the use of elements such as fire and lights, to enhance the organic and visual feel of object manipulation such as hula hooping, poi spinning, staff spinning and more.”
Keeping with the mystical, earth- centered theme, there will be tarot card readings by Stephen Dillard-Carroll. And, of course, no party would be complete without good music, which will be handled well by DJs Beau and Jessica Blackstock, aka Sibling Rivalry.
Finally, despite the summer heat, the glass blowers of Blue Sage Studios will show off their skills, turning fire and molten glass into beautiful works of art.