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April 12, 2013

National Weather Center hosts inaugural art biennale


Artists are taking their cues from meteorologists in the upcoming National Weather Center Biennale.

Photographer Cecil Houser is no exception.

His piece, titled “Soothing,” is a shot of mammatus clouds Houser captured in 2011 while watching storms roll through Norman.

“There’s always a calm before the storm but there’s always a peaceful feeling after the storm, and that was the case here,” Houser said on his color photograph. “You’re watching these tremendous supercells coming through an area, but then there’s also this captivating beauty.”

Houser’s piece is one of 100 works in the exhibit showcasing artists’ interpretation on the impact of weather on the human experience. The National Weather Center, University of Oklahoma’s Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art and the Norman Arts Council have teamed up to present the inaugural exhibit opening Earth Day, April 22.

Initial jurors selected the 100 works for display at the National Weather Center Atrium from more than 700 pieces submitted by nearly 400 artists from all 50 states and multiple countries. The call for entries began on Earth Day, April 22, 2012.

Exhibition curator and OU art instructor Alan Atkinson, National Weather Center Director Berrien Moore and Norman Arts Council Executive Director Erinn Gavaghan served as the initial jurors.

Gavaghan said the jurors deliberated to create a show that includes both a balance of mediums from the show’s three categories — painting, works on paper and photography — as well as a variety of represented weather from around the world. The result is an exhibit Gavaghan describes as surprising and unique.

“I think the beauty of this show is that if you like an abstract representation and you kind of have to work through something, there’ll be stuff for you,” she said. “If you like weather photography, there’ll be stuff for you. There’s such a broad range of things for people to enjoy with this show.”

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