The Blue Lantern project is a response to a future catastrophic event. It is the preparation for a “great flood”. The intention of this installation is to build a conveyance to house our response to helplessness and survival in this world.  The artists involved in the project will create an environment that reconnects the importance of oral and written histories toward always incomplete understanding of the natural world. Using book art, artifacts, performance art, and an audio/ visual installation, the Blue Lantern Project is an artistic collaboration focused on the idea of an imminent cataclysm. 

This one month installation includes the building of a wooden boat by Tulsa artist James Gallagher and friends at Individual Artists of Oklahoma (IAO) Gallery in Oklahoma City from January 4th to 14th.  During the ten days of construction, the artist will live and work inside the gallery space.  By doing such an unexpected process the artist hopes to interact with all quarters of the community, laborers, materials, and conversation.  Alongside the boat, a blue lantern also will be assembled and will incorporate image and sound to the environment.  When completed, the artists will have created two rooms inside the gallery. One space will contain evidence of the flood as past, present, and future event.  It will be laid out as documentation in the form of art, writing, artifacts and ephemera.  The material for this room will be placed on walls and floor and in vitrines. There will also be free standing sculptural work. The other room will be dedicated to the preparation and construction of a boat. The boat will be constructed out of new and found material, wood, bitumen, indigo, metal and glass.  Its construction will acknowledge man’s universal preoccupation with the flood.  At the same time the construction will bring to light the historic relevance of materials used to free as well as subjugate man.

 

On  Friday, January 14th from 6-9pm during the opening reception, the audiences will join in the creation of sound and images by media artist Sam Fredrickson, a series of books record the ancient great flood by artist Jeff Hogue, and 'Book of Four' by James and Yiren Gallagher will also be displayed echoing the spirit of the past.

 

The Blue Lantern was originally conceived of for an installation at Living Arts Gallery of Tulsa in 2008.  The Blue Lantern is to be viewed as taking a conceptual journey from the hand of one person and placing it into the currents of the unknown: a place of flood, death, mystery, and life. 

About the Artists:

 

James Gallagher was born 1959 and grew up in Connecticut. After graduating from art school, James moved to New York. In the city he observed trades people from Poland, Jamaica, Guyana, and Italy, and learned construction. In 1989 he moved to Taiwan and with much assistance from his mother-in-law raised two children. At this time he began painting, experimenting in photography, and collaborating with his wife Yiren on large scale environmental installations.  In 1994 he moved to Tulsa and worked to support his family.  Since 2003, he again has been making art daily.

Yiren Gallagher was born and raised in Taiwan and received her BA from the National Taiwan Normal University and her MFA from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York.  Her art draws inspiration from memories, places, motherhood, and death. Presently, she is working on a visual novel that recounts her family’s roots in Taiwan. She has resided in Tulsa, Oklahoma since 1994.

 

Jeff Hogue was born in Borger, Texas in 1959. After attending a number of schools and studying a various subjects, he graduated with a BFA in Interdisciplinary Studies (Intermedia) in 1995 at the Kansas City Art Institute. He divides his practice between making digitally generated mixed media works, oil paintings and organizing collaborative projects locally and nationally. He lives and works in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

Sam Fredrickson is a graduate of Classen SAS and the University of Oklahoma. He is a longtime supporter of local art and culture via the studio and event-space Uptown United. Currently, he is working with the Voices of Oklahoma radio project to bring listener-supported community radio to the airwaves in central Oklahoma. As a creative, Sam is interested in using the current state-of-the-art in computer technology to craft immersive and/or inter-active installation art.  


Matt Phipps was born in 1988 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He has been shooting and editing video for the past seven years. He enjoys playing with angles and architecture to sculpt his frame inside of his video camera. He has a love for Tulsa that runs deep in his blood and soaks up every bit of history that comes his way.

Lee Roy Chapman was born March 31, 1969 in San Angleo, Texas. Raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma began silkscreen printing in 1990 at a small commercial t-shirt shop in the Brady District north of downtown Tulsa. In 1995, Lee began researching Oklahoma history and has contributed to numerous historic rediscoveries.

Darren Dirksen, is a fine artist & self taught oil painter, represented by Joseph Gierek Fine Art in Tulsa, OK. Among his varied interests, he is a professional flintknapper and primitive bowyer, and has had a life-long interest in North American Archeology, Paleontology, and Ethnobotany. Dirksen was born in Ponca City OK. July 2nd 1963, now resides in Locust Grove, OK.

 

Born in 1977 in Montargis, France, Amelie Junqua studied English and the eighteenth century. When she was 16 she got her first camera and at age 25 discovered Photoshop.  She now teaches grammar, translation and how to lie convincingly during an interview.

 

Richard Baxter, Australia, questions why he is obsessed with making images, but continues to do so. He feels he might be on the verge on enlightenment, but that this could well be an egotistic delusion based on illusions of grandiosity and self importance, and a slightly autistic nature. 

 

The Blue Lantern will open in conjunction with Gary Shilling’s Secrets of the Universe and Other Works by Gary Shilling in the Project Space of IAO. In this Secrets of the Universe, the artist used mixed media of various paint and collage techniques, which he then makes into prints to create a glossy and more fluid look.  This work will consist of 68 separate pieces that will then be hung tightly to create one piece which has no plot or narrative. “There are no politics in this piece, and it asks more questions than it answers.” Shilling’s style is expressionistic and has an essence reminiscent of the 1980s New York City scene as this was where the artist made his home and exhibited his work in the mid to late 80s and early 90s.

Individual Artists of Oklahoma (IAO), is a nonprofit arts organization with a multimedia gallery and event space located on historic Film Row, at 706 W Sheridan in Downtown Oklahoma City. 

Individual Artists of Oklahoma is committed to sustaining and encouraging emerging and established artists in all media who are intellectually and aesthetically provocative or experimental in subject matter or technique.

IAO creates opportunities for Oklahoma artists by curating and developing socially relevant exhibitions in one of the finest gallery spaces in the region. The IAO Gallery features works and exhibitions that display innovative and thought-provoking concepts and approaches that broaden the dialogue with the community and enhance public understanding of the role of contemporary art and the artist.

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For more information about IAO and contemporary art in Oklahoma, please visit IAO’s Web site: www.iaogallery.org.

 

 

Contact:         Clint Stone
       
IndividualArtists of Oklahoma
       
cstone@iaogallery.org