Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Exhibitions: Harlem Renaissance at OKCMOA

OVAC is fortunate to have several hard-working interns this semester. One intern, Maria Glover, is focusing on helping us with our magazine, Art Focus Oklahoma. Maria visited the Harlem Renaissance exhibit at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art last week and is sharing her experience today as a guest blogger.

"I haven’t been to the Museum of Art in years (shameful, I know) so when I heard about the Harlem Renaissance Exhibit my mind was set to go. I must admit I was excited and thankfully was not let down. The exhibit was incredible! The mood was set with dim lighting and music from the era. The exhibit offers excerpts plastered on the walls with historical information of “The New Negro Movement.” One of the first pieces is one that I had seen images of on the internet and television, “The Creation” by Aaron Douglass (it was great to finally see it in person!). This painting was created for James Weldon Johnson’s God’s Trombones composition. After a while I was greeted by one of the most impressive pieces, in my opinion, which is a plaster full figure in bronze cast entitled “Ethiopia” created by Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller.

After discovering that the music was coming from flat screen televisions I stopped to see what was playing. The excerpt on the wall explains the importance of music and the creation of Jazz. This section of the exhibit focuses on the Jazz era and features clips of Duke Ellington’s Symphony in Black: A Rhapsody of Negro Life. Another flat screen offers movie clips of Josephine Baker and depicts the rise of African-Americans in film.

This was more than I expected and was delighted that the exhibit incorporates other various arts that impacted the Renaissance. After following the curving walls for an hour and a half, I discovered so many artists and art. From paintings, sculptures, photographs, to other art forms the Harlem Renaissance Exhibit offers a real experience that captures the essence of the era. Five Stars all the way!" -Maria Glover

For more about the exhibition, visit http://www.okcmoa.com/

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