USAO News Bureau

‘Double Vision’ Captures Photos, Watercolors at USAO

Monday, November 5, 2007

 

CHICKASHA – Storefront window scenes, emotive portraits and colorful still lifes combine for a new art exhibit currently on display at the University of Science and Arts. “Double Vision” remains on display in the Davis Hall Third Floor Art Gallery through Nov. 20.

Art seniors Amy Widener and Courtney Kegans have collaborated to display their top photographs and watercolor paintings for the exhibit, which is free and open to the public. Many pieces are for sale.

Davis Hall Third Floor Art Gallery hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Kegans and Widener will host a special reception Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. during which the public may meet the artists and discuss their art.

Amy Widener, a Chickasha resident and graduate of Chickasha High School, plans to graduate in spring, 2008, with a bachelor of arts degree in fine arts and a teaching certificate in art education. Following graduation, she plans to teach art. Widener is the daughter of Chickasha residents David and Sharon Thompson.

Several of Widener’s paintings capture a look at downtown life, with many images coming directly from storefront windows, revealing a peek at what’s inside – and out. Flowers and eating utensils are common themes in other works, such as “Spoon Symmetry,” which delves into patterns and relief.

Other pieces are more surreal, like “Window Trip” and the playful “Girl’s Night In.” Images of mystic spoon-bender Yuri Gellar are conjured in the sporadic painting, “Melting Action.”

For Widener, spoons are not so much about utensils as they are about reflection.

“In the body of work I’ve created for this exhibition, the viewer will be able to see the depth and complexity of reflective objects through my observations,” Widener said. “A reflection is more than just a pane of glass or silver. Silver is not a color, but rather a microcosm of its environment. The viewers of my art will become more observant of their own surroundings to see beyond the surface and into the reflection.”

Over the past four years, Widener has shown original artwork at more than a dozen exhibitions, and her pieces hang in more than 30 private and residential collections. A two-time USAO Annual Spring Show Honored Artist Award winner, she was named the winner of the People’s Choice Best of Show award for the 2006 USAO Holiday Show. She has been consistently named to the USAO Honor Roll and Regents Honor Roll and is named in Who’s Who Among College Students.

Widener said color plays an important role in her works.

“There is a lot of color and contrast with reflections and refractions,” she said. “I like to emphasize those aspects in all my paintings.”

Indeed, some pieces rely on the use of color, such as “A Prince Among Eggs,” a painting depicting a golden egg nestled among common eggs.

For Courtney Kegans, color is an option. The Oklahoma City-based photographer prints both color and black and white film, depending on the type of photograph. Both kinds are displayed in the exhibit.

“I use my photography to capture the character of people,” Kegans said. “My work explores the relationships that people encounter with their surroundings. My art is easy to relate to and is visually stimulating.”

Kegans captures emotive facial expressions in her subjects, ranging from joviality to anger to pain. One series of lighthearted photos, entitled “Moon Bubbles 1-7,” features the stop motion process of a young woman blowing a large bubble. “Face Force” reveals an interesting and almost silly side of a young man smashing parts of his face against glass.

Kegans graduated from Putnam City High School before pursuing a bachelor of arts degree in fine arts at USAO with an emphasis in photography. She plans to graduate in December. After college, Kegans said she hopes to work in a portrait studio or as a freelance photographer for a magazine.

Some of Kegans’ prints show an intentional use of color to emphasize, while others use a much more subtle approach to color and light.

Her black and white pictures are stark and intriguing, such as “What is Known,” which captures a crisp profile of a young, concerted-looking woman. Kegans also seems to flirt with fashion in photos like “Desirable Prototype” and “Women’s Digest 1937.”

An artist of multiple media, Kegans said she chooses photography.

“My passion is painting, but photography is my career choice,” she said. “I plan to continue photography as an art form and enter as many shows and contests that I can, as well as having a ‘normal job.’”

A member of USAO’s Art Club since 2003, Kegans was named president of the student organization last year. She has displayed artwork in multiple exhibitions, including the Artifacts Art Gallery in Tulsa, and has pieces in a dozen collections across the state.

Kegans’ parents are Linda and Randy Kegans of Oklahoma City.