Show Preview | National Weather Center Biennale

Norman, OK
National Weather Center, April 19-June 14

Don Cornelius, Breakup on Portage Lake, oil, 23 x 29.

Don Cornelius, Breakup on Portage Lake, oil, 23 x 29.

This story was featured in the May 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art May 2015 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!

From April 19 to June 14, the National Weather Center Biennale celebrates the art of climate and weather through the works of nationally recognized and emerging artists. Two years ago, the National Weather Center and the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art on the University of Oklahoma campus partnered with the Norman Arts Council to create this unique exhibition. “[This show is] about how weather impacts the lives of people and how artists represent that,” says exhibition manager Tim Stark. “This year we encouraged artists to not only submit works that were directly about weather but also their experiences with weather as it has impacted their lives, which allowed artists to think on a more conceptual level.”

The juried event includes 88 works of art from professional artists, emerging artists, and novices with exceptional skills, juried from hundreds of entries by Houston-based artist Mel Chin, who’s known for his conceptual artwork. With photography, painting, and works on paper, the variety of art spans the spectrums of style and media. “Works on paper can be anything from a drawing to a watercolor painting, a pastel sketch to [a type of] print,” Stark says. “You’ll see graphite pencil drawings, colored pencils, pastels, watercolors, mixed media, anything for which the basic supporting structure is paper. It allows for printmaking to be included, which is a large section of the art community and sometimes removed from shows.”

The Biennale was started in 2012 by Berrien Moore, director of the National Weather Center, in an effort to bring a unique view of weather to the Center. In 2013, the show won the Oklahoma RedBud award for events from the Oklahoma Travel Industry Association, and the Biennale looks to continue that success in 2015. “It’s not a theme you would normally see in a museum or gallery show,” Stark says. “It’s unique, something that could only happen at a place like the National Weather Center, with this really interesting institutional juxtaposition and the best minds in weather circling around the building. The Biennale is poised to be a very special exhibition.” —Joe Kovack

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