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Newkirk Artist Pays Homage to American Road Trip Through Interstate Icons
Oklahoma City - Contemporary watercolor artist Caryl Morgan used saturated colors to render vivid recollections of timeless roadside signage for her new exhibit at the State Capitol. Titled Interstate Icons & Other Roadside Attractions, the exhibit is on display through February 5 in the Capitol’s North Gallery. The gallery is free and open to the public weekdays 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and weekends 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For Morgan’s exhibit, the artist photographed over 200 signs in an eight state area for use as reference material. She also collected vintage postcards of travel destinations. Morgan’s research piqued her interest about the many stories connected to such signage, including the rise of thematic motels along highways and the many families whose vacation memories were made during a time when such signage was prevalent.
While watercolor is traditionally identified with quick transparent washes and landscapes, Morgan’s subjects are steeped in rich color with strong shadow and contrast, encompassing her hallmark style. Her subjects are presented in angled perspectives to give viewers a fresh view of the emblematic signage that was once a ubiquitous part of an American road trip.
“There is a haunting allure in seeing a sign that remains in place long after the business has faded.” Morgan said. “This process enabled me to create my own social, literary, art history and vacation clichés suggesting the reasons people travel while still retaining the style of a vintage postcard.”
Morgan was raised in Tulsa. She earned a Bachelor in Art Education from Oklahoma State University and taught in Kansas for 31 years before returning to Oklahoma to focus on her personal art career. Morgan opened Earth Road Graphics Design Studio in Newkirk’s historic district in 2006. She currently serves as vice president for the Watercolor USA Honor Society and is a member of the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition, Kansas Watercolor Society, Oklahoma Watermedia Society, American Watercolor Society, and Newkirk Main Street Authority. Her work is represented in private and corporate collections as well as permanent museum collections.
The exhibit is sponsored by the Oklahoma Arts Council. For more information contact Alyson Moses at (405) 521-2020 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Oklahoma Arts Council
The Oklahoma Arts Council is the official state agency for the support and development of the arts in Oklahoma. The Council’s mission is to lead, cultivate and support a thriving arts environment, which is essential to quality of life, education and economic vitality for all Oklahomans.