George Bogart’s legacy of art explored with exhibition

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George Bogart 1987 Pandora's Box

George Bogart’s legacy of art explored with exhibition
Former students remember their teacher

JRB Art at The Elms is presenting Oklahoma artist and educator George Bogart’s art, alongside works by several artists who were at one point Bogart’s students. The exhibition opened April 1 and continues through May 1.

Featured artists include Bogart, BJ White, George Oswalt, Michele Mikesell, David Crismon, Joe Andoe, Linda Lou Warren, Caroline Farris, Larry Hefner, Jennifer Hustis, Betty Wood, Rick Barnes, and Sunni Mercer. While the primary medium will be painting, the show will also include prints and sculpture, and will fill the entire gallery space at JRB Art at The Elms.

Bogart (1933-2005) received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota at Duluth in 1956, and his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Washington in 1959. He taught at the University of Texas at Austin for eight years, at Penn State University for three years, and from 1970 until 1977 at the University of Oklahoma – minus a one year visiting guest artist’s appointment at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1978.

“Legacy” will showcase 13 oil on canvas paintings by Bogart, including one figurative piece titled Teacher, as well as 10 of his smaller works on paper. The featured artists will present paintings displaying their individual styles, some made new for this show, while Wood’s monotype and Mercer’s sculptures provide counterpoints to the abstract paintings that were Bogart’s forte.

Bogart was a brilliant artist and prodigious painter with an innate feel for color and space, as well as an exceptionally inspiring teacher. His knowledge was so vast and his attitude so congenial, he would often accumulate a following of strangers during a museum visit, spending as much time as they asked giving answers and explanations as to the art on view. He was always generous with his time and attention to his students, who remember him as someone who gave them confidence when needed, and always encouraged them to continue pursuit of their artistic education. His legacy is seen today in the work of the many talented Oklahoman artists who studied with him at Oklahoma University.

During the run of the show, the gallery will be posting remembrances and quotes from their time with George Bogart on our Facebook page, and encourage the public to reach out with their own memories and stories as well. Thus, the show will be a celebration of Bogart’s legacy in his own work, as well a display of the continued impact he has on the Oklahoma art scene today, as his words and teachings linger in the work of the artists he taught.

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