NORMAN, OKLA. – The opening of the new Stuart Wing at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art promises four days packed with exciting, free activities for visitors Oct. 20 through 23. The weekend culminates in a free community celebration with live entertainment, artist demonstrations and more from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23.

 

The $13 million, four-year project provides a new 18,000-square-foot expansion to the museum on the University of Oklahoma Norman campus. The Stuart Wing includes a new gallery to house the acclaimed Eugene B. Adkins Collection, which is one of the nation’s most important private collections of Taos and Native American artists. The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art and the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa were awarded joint stewardship of the Adkins Collection in 2007.

 

“We are so excited to share this unique opportunity to experience and learn so much about the art in the Eugene B. Adkins Collection and works from other collections,” said Museum Director Ghislain d’Humières. “From the academic presentations of the Adkins Symposium through the community celebration, visitors are in for a number of educational and exciting opportunities leading up to the unveiling of the new Stuart Wing.”

 

To kick off the celebration honoring the new wing and reinstallation of the Adkins Collection, the museum invites visitors to a symposium 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20. The Eugene B. Adkins Symposium: Cross-cultural Influences in the Art of the American Southwest explores the confluence of Euro-American and Native American cultures in the American Southwest. Guest presenters include Christina Burke from the Philbrook Museum of Art, Diana Pardue from the Heard Museum, Thomas Smith from the Petrie Institute of Western American Art at the Denver Art Museum and Joe Traugott from the New Mexico Museum of Art.

 

The morning session runs from 10 a.m. to noon with a break for lunch, followed by an afternoon session from 1 to 3 p.m. Due to limited seating for the Adkins Symposium, reservations are required by emailing bbrink@ou.edu.

 

“The Adkins Symposium will examine the complex relationship between Native American and Euro American artists working in the Southwest,” said Mark White, Eugene B. Adkins Curator at the museum. “Such an analysis provides a richer understanding of the history of art in the American Southwest.”

 

The exploration of the Adkins Collection continues at 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 21, with the Adkins Scholars’ Choice presentation. Faculty members from the OU School of Art and Art History and the Charles M. Russell Center for the Study of Art of the American West each have selected a favorite work from the Adkins collection and will give a short presentation about the significance of the selected work in this informal setting. Guest presenters include Mary Jo Watson, Jane Aebersold and Jackson Rushing from the OU School of Art and Art History and Byron Price from the Russell Center.

 

On Saturday, Oct. 22, the museum officially opens the Stuart Wing to visitors with free admission all day, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

Sunday’s community celebration starts at noon with free museum admission and features guest artist demonstrations, live music and storytelling, as well as a film. Maria Martinez, a famed San Ildefonso potter, taught her great-granddaughter Barbara how to make pots. Barbara and husband Robert Gonzales will give an artist demonstration from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

 

From 3 to 4:30 p.m., contemporary Navajo artist Tony Abeyta will give a painting demonstration. Works by both Barbara Gonzales and Abeyta are included in the museum’s permanent collection.  In addition, works by both artists’ family members are part of the museum’s collection, including Martinez and Abeyta’s father, Narcisco, and sister, Elizabeth.  

 

Live music and storytelling runs from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. with traditional Native American flutist Paula Conlon, associate professor of Native American Music at the OU School of Music, and local flutist and storyteller Kathryn Thurman.

 

“The community celebration reflects Eugene Adkins’ love of Native American art and culture,” said Susan Baley, director of education at the museum. “We hope that listening to Native American music and interacting with Native American artists will enhance visitors’ experience of the diverse art on display.”

 

Throughout the celebration, the museum will be showing the film Charles Loloma, Hopi Jeweler. The film examines how Loloma managed to break the barriers that separated Indian traditionalism and mainstream modern art. Loloma’s works also are in the museum’s collection.

 

All opening events are free and open to the public.

 

Additionally, the museum will host free weekly gallery talks in the new Stuart Wing Oct. 25 through Nov. 29. Specific dates and guest speakers are listed on the museum’s website calendar.

 

The Stuart Wing provides a new 18,000-square-foot expansion of the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art to house the museum’s many collections acquired within the past 15 years. Designed by renowned architect Rand Elliott, the new addition is named the Stuart Wing to honor a $3 million lead gift from the Stuart Family Foundation, made possible by the generosity of OU Regent Jon R. Stuart and his wife, Dee Dee, a member of the art museum’s board of visitors. Regent Stuart is president and CEO of First Stuart Corp., a Tulsa-based family investment company.

 

“Regent and Mrs. Stuart, together with several other supporters, continue to show their passion for quality art and education through their generous support of the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art,” said Ghislain d’Humières, museum director. “The Stuart Wing will be a living testimony of their pursuits, as well as a fantastic home for the installation of one of the university’s crown jewels: the Eugene B. Adkins Collection.”

 

The Stuart Wing includes a new gallery to house the acclaimed Adkins Collection, which is one of the nation’s most important private collections of Taos and Native American artists. The Adkins Collection, which is valued at approximately $50 million, features approximately 3,300 objects, including more than 400 Native American paintings, plus pottery and jewelry. The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art and the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa are joint stewards of the Adkins Collection.

 

After two years of planning, construction on the new wing began in 2009. Construction includes renovations to the original 1971 building and the addition of the Adkins Gallery, a new photography gallery and new administrative offices. In all, the new Stuart Wing, with renovations, includes 27,480 square feet of exhibition space. The renovations and additions bring the total exhibition space in the museum to approximately 40,000 square feet.

 

A collection catalog, The Eugene B. Adkins Collection: Selected Works, is available at Muse, the museum store.

 

The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art is located in the OU Arts District on the corner of Elm Avenue and Boyd Street, at 555 Elm Ave., on the OU Norman campus. The museum’s website is www.ou.edu/fjjma. Information and accommodations on the basis of disability are available by calling (405) 325-4938.

 

 

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CONTACT MICHAEL BENDURE, Director of Communication, 405-325-3178, mbendure@ou.edu

FAX: 405-325-7696

www.ou.edu/fjjma