Artist closeup: JP Morrison
Exploring female empowerment through fairy tales.
A defiant Bluebeard’s wife, a curious Alice in Wonderland and an indifferent Goldilocks are just a few of JP Morrison’s reconfigured heroines.
Plucked from folklore and fairy tales, these characters explore female empowerment on the canvas. Complemented by figures from the artist’s own storybook, this collection of provocative images is beautifully conceived and finely executed.
Morrison’s women, who are realistically portrayed, often find themselves displaced in a whimsical context. It is at this mysterious junction, where reality and fantasy intersect, that the artist creates something new and inspiring.
With media including paint, paper collage, ink and graphite, Morrison’s palette is diverse, although colored pencil is her forte.
“I call them paintings, not because they are primarily paint — they never are — but because ‘painting’ is often taken more seriously than ‘drawing,’” she explains. “People are usually pretty stunned when they discover they’re looking at a drawing … I think that’s a fun discovery.”
Morrison studied at the Kansas City Art Institute but calls Tulsa home.
“As a visual person, I think it makes a big difference when you are able to see plenty of beauty around you — living here makes that pretty easy,” she says. “I don’t think I’d be where I am today if we weren’t such a supportive community.”
Inevitably, Morrison’s art reflects her own experiences, though she’ll also tell you that sometimes it’s just about art for art’s sake.
“These are pieces of and about the human experience, about the stories we hand down to each other and about the joy of playing make-believe, the fantastic things our imaginations are capable of,” she says.
While many of us may have capable imaginations, few of us can translate them into the artful narratives Morrison creates.
“I love what I do,” she says. “And I hope that shows.”
What: JP Morrison, Jeremy Luther and Kim Camp
Where: JRB Art Gallery, 2810 N. Walker Ave., Oklahoma City; (405) 528-6336
When: Opening reception, 6-10 p.m., March 5; exhibit runs through March 26
THIS MONTH’S ART EVENTS
Also worthwhile this month is the 42nd annual Gussman Juried Student Competition, showcasing the broad array of talent at The University of Tulsa. The resulting exhibit will include drawings, paintings, prints, photographs, ceramics, sculpture, installations, performance pieces, animation and film.
Opening reception, 5-7 p.m., March 25. Alexandre Hogue Gallery, 800 S. Tucker Drive.; (918) 631-2739
Do yourself a favor and take a trip to Philbrook Musem of Art to view the “Hans Hofmann: Circa 1950” exhibit. Hofmann, a pivotal figure in postwar American art, created nine paintings as a study for a series of murals commissioned by Josep Sert’s 1950 Peruvian city plan, the Chimbote Project. The murals were intended to decorate a church that was never built. His bold, graphic style will not disappoint fans of abstract expressionism.
Runs through May 9. Helmerich Gallery, 2727 S. Rockford Road; 749-7941