The Museum of the Western Prairie, the Western Trail Historical Society is scheduled to host the premiere of the interpretive art exhibition “The Stories They Could Tell: The Landscapes and Vernacular Architecture of Southwest Oklahoma” showcasing the work of local artist Brian Nichols at 7 p.m. Thursday.
Exhibition Curator Jennie Buchanan is set to host the event slated to include an interview with the artist. The exhibition gallery is scheduled to open 6 p.m. to allow guests to view Nichols’ artwork and enjoy a reception in the courtyard before the program begins. Funded in part by a grant from the Oklahoma Humanities Council, the premiere is free and open to the public.
“Brian’s paintings were inspired by the landscapes of Southwest Oklahoma and the vernacular structures nestled into them. His works engage our minds and activate our curiosity as we wonder about the stories they could tell,” Buchanan said. “His paintings give us a certain way of focusing on what can be gained by seeing buildings and landscapes through the eyes of an artist.”
More than forty paintings were created for the show and the significance of the content of each painting is explored in five categories of notes in the exhibition catalog — artist’s comments, artistic notes, subject notes, historical notes and architectural notes.
“We are fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with Brian over the past year or so as he produced the paintings of a variety of structures in a variety of locations required for this interpretive art exhibition. The richness of this exhibition is that it has allowed us to portray the honesty of the structures and the landscapes as well as the common sense and straightforwardness of our early day settlers,” Buchanan said. “We are extremely pleased to offer to our community the work of this talented young artist. The exhibition allows us to use art to present history and to use history to promote art appreciation.”
“The Stories They Could Tell” is to remain on exhibit in the first gallery of the Museum of the Western Prairie, 1100 Memorial Drive, Altus through Aug. 15.