Artists from across northeast Oklahoma will exhibit and offer their work for sale at the Second Annual Art on the Hill Festival on Friday and Saturday, April 29-30 at Rogers State University. The event is free and open to the public.
The festival will be held outdoors “on the hill” on the RSU campus in Claremore and will feature artwork in a variety of media, food and music in a festival atmosphere.
“We would like to invite the public to join us on the beautiful RSU campus for this outdoor art festival,” said Peggy Rice, First Lady of RSU and Festival Co-Chairperson. “Art on the Hill has become an annual spring tradition at the university, and the second festival promises to be even bigger and better than our highly successful inaugural year.”
The festival will be held from 12 noon to 8 p.m. Friday, April 29, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, April 30.
Festival sponsorships of various levels are available by contacting Clarice Doyle at the RSU Office of Development at (918) 343-6833.
This year’s featured artists will be Kathy Kosins, a nationally recognized jazz vocalist and abstract painter, and Jerry Emanuel, a Native Oklahoma artist known for his wood sculptures.
Kosins has won the hearts of critics and fans around the globe with her eclectic musical palette that expands the rich history of jazz. She has released several CDs and has performed and recorded with many well-known jazz and R&B artists Cyrus Chestnut, Kevin Mahogany, Mitch Ryder, and others. Stints with the J.C. Heard and Nelson Riddle Orchestras led to the 1996 release of the CD “All in a Dreams Work,” an impressive debut featuring a collection of nine originals and a cover of the Miles Davis composition “Four.” Her 2002 release of “Mood Swings” continued to bring her recognition at the national level. On her 2006 release of “Vintage,” she rediscovered little-known songbook gems which she placed alongside a few widely known, yet unexpected tunes from outside the jazz tradition, bringing her glowing reviews from journalists.
Emanuel spent last 30 years in the development industry, designing residential subdivisions and large retail centers. A Native Oklahoma artist, his most common media is wood, creating a variety of turned wood art, including sculptures and furniture. He commonly uses wood from the Southwest U.S., retaining its bark and rough edges. He recently developed a new ceremonial mace for the RSU commencement exercises.
The artwork will be displayed under tents on the campus lawn, near Baird Hall, in a festival atmosphere. In the event of rain, the festival will be moved inside the Centennial Center.
Artists may enter their work in a juried competition, which will be considered during the festival by independent judges. Awards will be announced at a ceremony during the festival.
The festival also will feature a children’s art tent with hands-on art activities for children of all ages, sponsored by the RSU Student Art Association.
Gary Moeller, longtime RSU faculty artist, is serving as Co-Chairperson of the festival.
Music will be provided by Kosins, the RSU Jazz Combo, RSU Choir, and bands from area high schools.
“This year, more musical entertainment will be part of the festival,” said Dr. Kirk Weller, RSU band director.
The public also is invited to visit the new campus art gallery, located in the recently expanded and renovated Baird Hall, home of the university’s fine arts programs. The annual exhibition of art by RSU students will be on display in the gallery.
Peggy Rice is an enthusiast of the arts, and serves as President and CEO of the Small Business Capital Corporation. In 1996, she was named the national Small Business Administration’s Financial Advocate of the Year by President Bill Clinton. Previously, she served as Director of Existing Business Development for the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce and Senior Vice President of Commercial Lending and Marketing Officer for First National Bank and Trust Company in Stillwater, Okla. She is active in numerous civic and non-profit organizations in northeast Oklahoma.
Gary Moeller is a well-known artist who serves as Professor and Head of the Department of Fine Arts at Rogers State University. Moeller is one of the university’s longest-serving faculty members. He also has taught art at the University of Tulsa and in Florida. His work, which focuses mainly on painting and drawing, has been exhibited widely in the U.S. and abroad. He received an M.F.A. in painting, drawing and art history from the University of Tulsa. He is a leader on the RSU campus, having served as North Central Association Self-Study Coordinator, which in 2004 led to the university receiving national accreditation for the maximum period of 10 years.
Art on the Hill Planning Committee members include Rice and Moeller, co-chairs, Virgil Lampton, David Wolfe, Deshane Atkins, Leonard Szopinski, Sharon Kern, Claudia Story, Brent Ortolani, Randy Riggs, Clarice Doyle, Heather Isaacs, Bryce Brimer, Denny Schmickle, Sherry Alexander, Jordan Wong and Dr. Kirk Weller.
Artist registration information is available by calling (918) 343-7740 or by visiting www.rsu.edu.