The Paseo’s Promenade Through Beauty - 405 Magazine

The Paseo’s Promenade Through Beauty

Marvelous artistic vistas painted in oils and acrylics and sculptural creations to explore wrought from delicate metal and weighty wood are mere steps apart in inspiring shows filling the Paseo Arts District.

Walking is good for the body; art is good for the soul; and while a long trek might be a daunting prospect in an Oklahoma July, wandering through multiple creative domains comprises a surprisingly short trip if you start in the right place: the Paseo Arts District.

Home to more than a dozen galleries that display a consistently renewed panoply of fresh wonders, the Paseo is an aesthete’s paradise year-round. However, if you do happen by this month (and we think you should), pay special attention to a pair of two-person shows: Don Narcomey and Liz Roth at JRB Art at the Elms, and Theresa Hurt and Basil Martin at In Your Eye Gallery.

Both joint exhibits open during the First Friday Art Walk, which this month happens to coincide with Independence Day. The show at In Your Eye runs through July 26, JRB’s closes July 27 … and all four featured artists’ realms of creativity are within easy sauntering distance. Bon voyage!

Though their preferred media differ in ways as fundamental as the number of dimensions in which they exist, contemplation of nature characterizes the oeuvres of both artists exhibiting in JRB Art at the Elms.

Don Narcomey, “Cave”

Lifelong Oklahoma resident Don Narcomey, a former instructor at his alma mater UCO, had his furniture featured on HGTV’s “Modern Masters” in 2001, while recent visitors to the Myriad Gardens in OKC have seen his enormous creation “Roots.” He sculpts with natural elements like wood and stone as a meditation on the progress of life. “I look for something about the nature of these materials,” he muses, “to give me some insight about the nature of life or human experience.”

Liz Roth, “Powell Pointe”

Liz Roth spends a good deal of time observing how humans understand the natural world, but her attention for this show is focused on one particular facet of that world, immense though it is. “Chasm,” a series of oil paintings of the Grand Canyon, seeks to probe differences between the direct visual experience and seeing the same view through a lens. Roth calls Stillwater home (she teaches at OSU) but is well-traveled creatively, with a following even broader than her extensive itinerary.

There’s an element of uncertainty in the processes of July’s In Your Eye Gallery artists; they consider it a necessary step toward better results.

Theresa Hurt, “Flight”

Abstract painter Theresa Hurt begins a new piece by selecting a color at random, layering other shades atop it in other shapes, eventually creating a cascading acrylic mélange that is as intuitive in process as it is vibrant in execution. And that visual ebullience is deliberate for this cancer survivor: “I am thankful for each day, and try to convey in my art brightness and hope of things to come.”

Basil Martin, “Subconscious Calligraphy”

Verticality and an almost ethereal feeling characterize the sculptural works of Oklahoma City sculptor Basil Martin III – they seem to be the results of careful balancing acts. The gentle connecting curves of thin metal and the free-form organic shapes cut from larger sheets nestled within those curves play off one another to form structures that suggest both aspiration and growth. And even the artist doesn’t know ahead of time exactly what will result; Martin says, “I have learned that experimentation leads to innovation in my work.”

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JRB Art at the Elms
2810 N. Walker Ave., OKC
Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.,
Sunday 1-5 p.m.


In Your Eye Gallery
3005-A Paseo St., OKC
Thursday-Saturday noon-5 p.m.

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