Oklahoma artist celebrated in Nesbitt showing
Every Oklahoma landscape presents an opportunity for artist Paul Walsh to create a new painting.
“Oklahoma is the perfect theater for acting out my visual play,” Walsh writes about his work. “Our open prairies with its valleys and the sky gives it all scale and opens up before our eyes and encourages us to just enjoy.”
The Nesbitt Gallery opens the second show of its 2012-13 season with an exhibition of Walsh’s paintings with an artist’s reception beginning at 7 p.m. on Oct. 13.
Walsh, of Roff, Okla., is scheduled to be in attendance to meet the public and answer questions about his work. The reception, as well as the gallery, is free and open to the public.
Walsh, a veteran of the Vietnam War, has spent most of his adult life teaching art in Oklahoma. After teaching 35 years at Sulphur High School, Walsh retired in 2002 but is an adjunct instructor at East Central University in Ada.
Walsh’s work has been a welcome presence in the gallery’s Seven-State Biennial Exhibition for several years with an acrylic work titled “Road to Davis” and a tempera painting “College Student” earning purchase awards and entering the university’s permanent collection.
Layne Thrift, director of the Nesbitt Gallery and assistant professor of art, says Walsh’s paintings are representative of the kind of work the gallery seeks to cultivate.
“Paul’s paintings evoke the landscape and spirit of Oklahoma without any of the kitschy qualities that are sometimes associated with a regional art scene,” Thrift says. “There is great dignity as well as craft on display in his work and we’re thrilled to be able to devote an entire show to his many gifts as a painter.”
The show will run through Nov. 9.
Previously known as the USAO Art Gallery, the Nesbitt Gallery was opened under the new name in May to reflect generous donations of art from Charles and Margôt Nesbitt that form the spine of its permanent collection.
In addition to being rechristened, several refinements were made to the gallery including an improved façade and new signage reflecting the change.
The gallery, located on the first floor of Davis Hall, is open to the public from 8:30 a.m. through 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
More information about the reception and the gallery can be obtained by calling 574-1374.