Art across borders



Matt Moffett, Tulsa Girls Art School executive director, and TGAS student Saleen display some of the art shared by Tulsa and Tanzanian students.

Some young Tulsa artists are connecting with their east African counterparts through a partnership between the Tulsa Girls Art School (TGAS) and the Tulsa-based Janada Batchelor Foundation for Children (JBFC).

The nonprofit foundation’s goal is to alleviate extreme rural poverty in east Africa by operating a home and school for girls in Tanzania, ages 3-17, who were once abandoned and abused.

TGAS students started a picture on a piece of canvas, wrote a note about themselves on the back and included their picture — sort of like an artistic pen pal letter.

Ashli Sims, the foundation’s development director, collected the partially completed artwork from TGAS students and delivered the canvases in February to girls in Tanzania, who continued the Tulsa artists’ work.

Tulsa student Saleen, 15, wrote on the back of her canvas, “I like to draw and listen to music ... I play around and joke a lot, bye.”

Tanzanian student Eliza, 16, replied:

“Hi Saleen, my name is Elizabeth Ezekiel. I am in Form Two (the U.S. equivalent to ninth grade) at Joseph & Mary Secondary School. I have two brothers. I like to sing songs ... I hope one day I will be singing like (Rihanna). Also, I like sewing class. What is your favorite class? My favorite colour is green. What is yours? Our school is very small but we have (the) best teachers. They give us a lot of homework every day and we like them. Tell me about your school. Thank you.”

Eliza also elaborated on Saleen’s drawing of an elephant by adding Mt. Kilimanjaro and a whale. Saleen says knowing the girls in Africa makes “you appreciate what you have more.”

Sims returned the canvases to TGAS in April with the Tanzanian students’ notes, photos and drawings. Some added local wildlife, trees, rainbows, raindrops or a border to the canvases.

“(The Tanzanian students) thought the canvases were really cool,” Sims says. “Some girls spent more time writing the note on the back than painting. They love sharing a piece of artwork, and the fact that it will be displayed in America blows their minds.”

The Tulsa students also were more fascinated with the notes from their African pals than the paintings, Sims says.

“The art is a communication,” adds TGAS Executive Director and co-founder Matt Moffett. “It opens their minds; we are a global village. The girls get international exposure through this.”

Tulsa native Chris Gates, founder and executive director of JBFC, moved to Kitongo, Tanzania, in 2009 after graduating from New York University. Kitongo is about 30 miles east of Mwanza, the country’s second-largest city.

The 60-acre JBFC flagship campus sits on the shores of Lake Victoria and employs more than 60 people from Kitongo and the surrounding villages.

“I fell in love with the people and culture,” Gates says of his first trip to Kitongo. “I felt drawn to make a difference. The overall hospitality of the people is overwhelming.”

Today, the JBFC girls’ home and school have a waiting list for those needing a home and an education. The first graduating class is set for 2015.

The foundation hopes the girls in Tulsa and Africa will stay in touch, Gates says. For the Tanzanian students the school is the only family they have, and now, that family extends to Tulsa.

The canvases will travel between the two groups of girls a total of two times before returning to Tulsa. They will then be stretched to a frame and included in TGAS’ annual art show July 11 at Circle Cinema, 10 S. Lewis Ave. 

Also this month

Living Arts First Friday Openings

On display in the Myers Gallery, Michelle Reid’s “These Thoughts, They Travel” visually expresses the idea of thoughts taking flight and pushing through time. Virginia T. Coleman’s “The Lines of a Woman” explores the human form using simple lines in drawing and sculpture. 6-9 p.m., June 7. Living Arts, 307 E. Brady St. Free. Visit www.livingarts.org.

Gilcrease Sunday Matinee Films, “Juneteenth: A Celebration of Freedom”

Created for the Texas Institute for the Preservation of History and Culture, “Juneteenth” explores the beginning of this unique holiday and its significance today. 1:30 p.m., June 9, at Gilcrease Museum, 1400 N. Gilcrease Museum Road. Free with museum admission. Visit www.gilcrease.utulsa.edu.

BookSmart Tulsa Discussion and Film Screening

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Glenn Frankel will speak about his book, “The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend,” which chronicles the history and inspiration behind the classic John Wayne Western, “The Searchers.” A showing of the film will follow. 7 p.m., June 11, at Circle Cinema, 10 S. Lewis Ave. Free. Visit www.booksmarttulsa.com.

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November 2017

Over the past twelve years, the Williams Route 66 Marathon has become a 26.2-mile party! You might find yourself asking "Is this a race or really just a huge...

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Cost: FREE

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Wyndham Hotel
10918 E. 41st St
Tulsa, OK  74146
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Sponsor: JOYs to the World, Inc.
Telephone: 918-282-3191
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Tulsa Performing Arts Center
110 E 2nd St
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mainline art bar
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108 Contemporary
108 E Mathew B. Brady St
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Sponsor: 108 Contemporary
Telephone: 918-895-6302
Contact Name: 108 Contemporary Intern
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Oklahoma City Museum of Art
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Oklahoma City Museum of Art
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Oklahoma City, OK  73102
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All children ages 13 and under, accompanied by an adult, will be allowed in to all 2017-18 ORU Athletics ticketed sports. ALL KIDS – IT’S FREE! is strictly a promotion. These tickets have no...

Cost: $12, $17, $22

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Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave.
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Sponsor: Mabee Center
Telephone: 918-495-6000
Contact Name: Box Office
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mainline art bar
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tulsa, OK  74103
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Sponsor: mainline art bar
Telephone: 918-704-3330
Contact Name: katy eagleston

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Jenks Nutrition
124 N 3rd St
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This marks the first time this remarkable collection has been exhibited internationally. OKCMOA will present some of the most important works from the Victoria and Albert’s outstanding...

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Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
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Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
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Cost: Free with admission

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Oklahoma City Museum of Art
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Join us on Tuesday, November 21, at 5:30 p.m. in our dining room as the Culinary team from Cancer Treatment Centers of America warms you up with your favorite winter dishes! For more information or...

Cost: Free

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Cancer Treatment Center of America
10109 E. 79th Street
Tulsa, OK  74133
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join us friday november 3rd for our newest exhibit.   Norman artist JASON CYTACKI and his exquisite exhibit, 'Living is Easy with Eyes Closed'   we'll have live music with...

Cost: free

Where:
mainline art bar
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This marks the first time this remarkable collection has been exhibited internationally. OKCMOA will present some of the most important works from the Victoria and Albert’s outstanding...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


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This marks the first time this remarkable collection has been exhibited internationally. OKCMOA will present some of the most important works from the Victoria and Albert’s outstanding...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
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Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
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Come see how Tulsa offers a 'home away from home' for families caring for loved ones in medical crisis at Hospitality House of Tulsa. This free 30 minute tour is free. RSVP at...

Cost: free

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Hospitality House of Tulsa
1135 S. Victor AVE
Tulsa, OK  74104
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Sponsor: Hospitality House of Tulsa
Telephone: 918-794-0088 x205
Contact Name: Rhonda McDaniel
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join us friday november 3rd for our newest exhibit.   Norman artist JASON CYTACKI and his exquisite exhibit, 'Living is Easy with Eyes Closed'   we'll have live music with...

Cost: free

Where:
mainline art bar
111 n main street
tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: mainline art bar
Telephone: 918-704-3330
Contact Name: katy eagleston

More information

Come give those calories one last dance!  We dance in the park behind Jenks Nutrition.  But don't worry, we'll move inside if the weather gets bad.  For $5, you get a fun...

Cost: $5.00

Where:
Jenks Nutrition
124 N 3rd St
Jenks, OK  74037
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This marks the first time this remarkable collection has been exhibited internationally. OKCMOA will present some of the most important works from the Victoria and Albert’s outstanding...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

This marks the first time this remarkable collection has been exhibited internationally. OKCMOA will present some of the most important works from the Victoria and Albert’s outstanding...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

join us friday november 3rd for our newest exhibit.   Norman artist JASON CYTACKI and his exquisite exhibit, 'Living is Easy with Eyes Closed'   we'll have live music with...

Cost: free

Where:
mainline art bar
111 n main street
tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: mainline art bar
Telephone: 918-704-3330
Contact Name: katy eagleston

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

This marks the first time this remarkable collection has been exhibited internationally. OKCMOA will present some of the most important works from the Victoria and Albert’s outstanding...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

Get out with the family for a walk. Pick up a Signs of Fall Scavenger Hunt sheet and see how many things you can find on the Garden’s nature trail. Tulsa Botanic Garden is open Tuesday...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 for ages 13+; $4 for ages 3–12; 2 & under are free.

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
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Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
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Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

This marks the first time this remarkable collection has been exhibited internationally. OKCMOA will present some of the most important works from the Victoria and Albert’s outstanding...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

join us friday november 3rd for our newest exhibit.   Norman artist JASON CYTACKI and his exquisite exhibit, 'Living is Easy with Eyes Closed'   we'll have live music with...

Cost: free

Where:
mainline art bar
111 n main street
tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: mainline art bar
Telephone: 918-704-3330
Contact Name: katy eagleston

More information

Celebrate this Christmas with the experience taking North America by storm! Marking the 25th Anniversary Tour, Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker features over-the-top production...

Cost: $28 - $175

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Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
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Kick off your holiday shopping with us and support Small Business Saturday! Browse an eclectic mix of antiques, collectibles, vintage items, memorabilia, records, books, crafts and more. Find...

Cost: Free admission

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Exchange Center at Expo Square
4145 E. 21st Street
Tulsa, OK  74112
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Telephone: 918-744-1386
Contact Name: Melissa
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Come give those calories one last dance!  We dance in the park behind Jenks Nutrition.  But don't worry, we'll move inside if the weather gets bad.  For $5, you get a fun...

Cost: $5.00

Where:
Jenks Nutrition
124 N 3rd St
Jenks, OK  74037
View map »

More information

This marks the first time this remarkable collection has been exhibited internationally. OKCMOA will present some of the most important works from the Victoria and Albert’s outstanding...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

Get out with the family for a walk. Pick up a Signs of Fall Scavenger Hunt sheet and see how many things you can find on the Garden’s nature trail. Tulsa Botanic Garden is open Tuesday...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 for ages 13+; $4 for ages 3–12; 2 & under are free.

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Website »

More information

Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

This marks the first time this remarkable collection has been exhibited internationally. OKCMOA will present some of the most important works from the Victoria and Albert’s outstanding...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Tulsa Stained Glass
4131 S. Sheridan Rd.
Tulsa, OK  74145
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Sponsor: Tulsa Stained Glass
Telephone: 918-664-8604
Contact Name: Richard Bohm
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All children ages 13 and under, accompanied by an adult, will be allowed in to all 2017-18 ORU Athletics ticketed sports. ALL KIDS – IT’S FREE! is strictly a promotion. These tickets have no...

Cost: $12, $17, $22

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74171
View map »


Sponsor: Mabee Center
Telephone: 918-495-6000
Contact Name: Box Office
Website »

More information

join us friday november 3rd for our newest exhibit.   Norman artist JASON CYTACKI and his exquisite exhibit, 'Living is Easy with Eyes Closed'   we'll have live music with...

Cost: free

Where:
mainline art bar
111 n main street
tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: mainline art bar
Telephone: 918-704-3330
Contact Name: katy eagleston

More information

The Oklahoma Swing Syndicate (TOSS) hosts a Swing dance and lessons  The Oklahoma Swing Syndicate (TOSS) is the only UNESCO recognized dance organization in Oklahoma.  We are a 501c3...

Cost: $7

Where:
Community Center - South Minister Presby Church
3500 So Peoria
1/2 west of Peoria, on 35pl behind the church
Tulsa, OK  74102
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Sponsor: The Ok Swing Syndicate
Telephone: 918-450-691
Contact Name: Rita Robbins
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Cost: $30 per person (normally $40)

Where:
Tulsa Time Paint & Sip Studio
3807 S Peoria Ave Suite-C
Tulsa , OK  74105
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Sponsor: Tulsa Time Paint & Sip Studio
Telephone: 918-927-0729
Contact Name: Martin Pecina
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Making plans for this weekend? You can't do better than The Drunkard & The Olio at the historic Spotlight Theater. You know you've always wanted to go, and now's your chance. And if...

Cost: Adults $20, kids $12, seniors & military $17

Where:
Spotlight Theater
1381 Riverside Dr.
Tulsa, OK  74127
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Cost: $15-$50

Where:
H.A. Chapman Stadium
3110 E 8th St
Tulsa, OK
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Cost: $15-$44

Where:
Reynolds Center
3208 E 8th St
Tulsa, OK
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Cost: $8

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


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