Art show promotes lesser known artists

November 4, 2011 Latest Print Print

A campus art exhibit has been arranged to show the development of art in Oklahoma as well as to promote lesser known artists, said Linda Bosteels, exhibit curator.

The Melton Art Reference Library provided 22 Oklahoma-based art selections to The Gallery in the Visual and Performing Arts Center at OCCC. The free exhibit will remain open through Wednesday, Nov. 9.

The works are arranged chronologically, from the ledger art drawings to contemporary Native American art.  Ledger art is a type of art from the early 1900s, created by the Plains Indians.  They are narrative drawings or paintings of scenes from everyday life.

The art depicts how the artists lived and what activities they took part in, which oftentimes was hunting or battle scenes.  Much of the contemporary art consists of paintings of the land and nature, or life-like portraits.

“I really enjoyed the local aspect of the artwork,” said Catherine Griswold of Del City, who came to see the exhibit.  “I feel like I can relate better to this artwork than the usual, European-based painting.  Oklahoma is a beautiful place, and it was depicted that way in this piece.”

She was referring to a painting by Loraine Moore entitled “Farmhouse,” which portrayed an old home sitting in the prairie with a view as far as the eye can see.

“It reminds me of grandmother’s house,” Griswold said. “It is an old, worn down home, which has withstood a lot, and is weathered because of it.

“Although it is worn down, it is still beautiful in its own right.”

She added, “The view is gorgeous.”

Mary Brennfoerder, OCCC employee and supervisor of the collection, said that the consensus favorite is a painting called ‘CFO’ by D.J. Lafon.  It is a bright colored, profile portrait of a bald man who seems to resemble Dr. Evil.  Lafon died this year, but his residence and studio were both located in Norman.

Brennfoerder said several of the artists in the collection were related.  Nellie, Nettie, and Leona Shepherd were all sisters that were related in both an artistic sense as well as in family relation.

They all died in the early 20th century, and chose to donate their belongings to a local church.  Upon searching their home, church employees found a large collection of paintings in the basement.  These pieces of artwork are now property of the First Presbyterian Church of Oklahoma City, three of which are temporarily on display here at OCCC.

The Gallery will be open from 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. It is located just inside the east door of the Visual and Performing Arts building, in the room labeled The Gallery at OCCC.

To contact Phillip Weidman, email

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