NORMAN — The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art is celebrating the opening of its new Stuart Wing with various events for visitors from Thursday through Sunday, culminating with a free community celebration with live entertainment, artist demonstrations and more from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
The $13 million, four-year project added 18,000 square feet to the University of Oklahoma’s art museum. The Stuart Wing includes a new gallery to house the Eugene B. Adkins Collection, regarded as one of the nation’s most important private collections of Taos and Native American artists.
The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art and the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa were awarded joint stewardship of the Adkins Collection in 2007.
“We are so excited to share this unique opportunity to experience and learn so much about the art in the Eugene B. Adkins Collection and works from other collections,” museum Director Ghislain d’Humières said. “From the academic presentations of the Adkins Symposium through the community celebration, visitors are in for a number of educational and exciting opportunities leading up to the unveiling of the new Stuart Wing.”
The celebration is scheduled to begin 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday with the symposium, “Cross-cultural Influences in the Art of the American Southwest explores the confluence of Euro-American and Native American cultures in the American Southwest.”
The morning session runs from 10 to noon with a break for lunch, followed by an afternoon session from 1 to 3 p.m. Due to limited seating, reservations for the symposium are required by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Adkins Scholars’ Choice presentation will follow at 11 a.m. Friday, when faculty members from the OU School of Art and Art History and the Charles M. Russell Center for the Study of Art of the American West will select their favorite works from the Adkins collection and will give short presentations about their significance.
On Saturday, the museum will officially open the Stuart Wing to visitors, with free admission from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday’s community celebration starts at noon with free museum admission and features guest artist demonstrations, live music and storytelling, as well as a film.
Maria Martinez, a famed San Ildefonso potter, taught her great-granddaughter Barbara how to make pots. Barbara and husband Robert Gonzales will give an artist demonstration from 1 to 2:30 p.m.
From 3 to 4:30 p.m., contemporary Navajo artist Tony Abeyta will give a painting demonstration. Works by both Barbara Gonzales and Abeyta are included in the museum’s permanent collection, along with works by both artists’ family members.
Live music and storytelling are scheduled from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. with traditional American Indian flutist Paula Conlon, associate professor of Native American Music at the OU School of Music, and local flutist and storyteller Kathryn Thurman.
Throughout the celebration, the museum also will show the film “Charles Loloma, Hopi Jeweler,” which examines how Loloma managed to break the barriers that separated Indian traditionalism and mainstream modern art. Loloma’s works are in the museum’s collection.
Additionally, the museum will host free weekly gallery talks in the new Stuart Wing Oct. 25 through Nov. 29. Specific dates and guest speakers are listed on the museum’s calendar at www.ou.edu/fjjma.