Ouachita Baptist University’s Department of Visual Arts will present alumni Josh Pickens and Barb and Jim Larkin in the Hammons Gallery’s first guest artist exhibit of the semester. The exhibit, “Ink and Clay”, will feature relief prints by Pickens and ceramics by the Larkins and will be displayed Feb. 27-March 16. Pickens will also present a printmaking demonstration on Wednesday, Feb. 22, at 1 p.m. in Moses-Provine room 202.
“I wanted these artists to show at this time because we currently have a printmaking class available in the art department, offered by Summer Bruch,” said Donnie Copeland, OBU assistant professor of visual arts. “She also offers ceramics courses every semester, so the work that will be on display relates to what students are doing in a variety of studio classes here at Ouachita.”
“Through my time I hope to show art students that they should rid the habit of wishing that all they had to do is paint and may think of their non-art classes as a waste of time,” Pickens said. “Instead, I would encourage them to practice pulling inspiration from other classes in other departments and incorporating that into their art.”
Pickens encourages students to take advantage of the wide variety of classes available and the wealth of knowledge professors are willing to share. “If they don’t say something that makes you want to make art, you’re not listening,” he said. “Fuse the teachings of intelligent adults with your own approach to art making and your work will gain an added dimension worthy of critique and debate.”
Bringing in a different dynamic, the Larkins will display their pottery alongside Pickens’ prints. Their work varies in that it includes both functional and sculptural objects.
Jim Larkin describes his wife’s work as “organic, frequently incorporating torn and textured slabs. Often her glaze surfaces are runny wood ash and celadons, which pool in the tears and textures, or shinos, which can break white to orange.”
“My work is mainly wheel thrown, and I spend most of my time on functional ware—pots for cooking, serving, eating or drinking,” he added. “I never tire of studying shape and proportion and their relation to function, the little nuances of lip, belly and foot, of handle placement and gesture, and the coming together of these elements into a successful whole.”
Pickens graduated from Ouachita in 2004 with major in studio art and then went on to the University of Arkansas to earn a Master in Fine Arts degree in printmaking. He now serves as an assistant professor of art at Howard Payne University in Brownwood, Texas.
The Larkins both graduated from Ouachita in 1968. Barbara graduated with a major in art and Jim with majors in chemistry and biology. Both work out of their Hot Springs, Ark., studio and gallery, Fox Pass Pottery.
The exhibit is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Exhibits are also available on evenings when other School of Fine Arts events take place in Mabee Fine Arts Center. For more information about the exhibit or Ouachita’s visual arts program, contact Donnie Copeland at email@example.com. For more information on Fox Pass Pottery, visit www.foxpasspottery.com.
By Breanne Goodrum