Off the Wall: And the Award Goes to…

Welcome to Off the Wall. We’ve skimmed the news around the museum, and want to share the highlights with you.

Written while coloring in the museum’s education space.


“The only thing they can’t teach you at art school is art.” – David Bailey



Every spring, the FJJMA hosts an exhibition featuring work entirely created by University of Oklahoma students. This exhibition has now taken place for 102 years: not only is that almost as long as the University of Oklahoma has been around, it’s at least 421 in dog years. This year’s 102nd Annual School of Art and Art History Student Exhibition is closing this Sunday, so this is your last chance to check it out! This exhibition isn’t just fun to look at–it’s a competitive juried show that highlights the diverse works of art created by students. Multiple awards with cash prizes were presented to students at the opening, including the T.G. Mays Purchase Award. This year’s guest juror was Joy Reed Belt, the owner and director of JRB Art at the Elms in Oklahoma City.


The T.G. Mays Purchase Award  is offered to a student whose artwork becomes a part of the museum’s permanent collection. This award was established in 1961. Thomas G. Mays was born in the Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory in 1877 and, with only an eighth grade education, he became a successful executive and served as President and Chairman of the Board of the First National Bank of Pauls Valley, Oklahoma. If that doesn’t make you feel like you need to step it up, I don’t know what will. Although not an alumnus of the University of Oklahoma, Mays was an ardent Sooner football fan. Boyd Gunning, then director of the University of Oklahoma Foundation, helped Mrs. Mary Mays establish a fund to benefit the OU Museum of Art. Every year, the museum selects one outstanding example of student work from the annual student exhibition to enter the permanent collection. There are currently 148 works that have been accessioned as part of the T.G. Mays Purchase Award, with multiple entries entering the collection in past years.


Named for the former chair of the School of Art and founding director of the museum, the Oscar B. Jacobson Award honors excellence in painting and sculpture. In 1964, Dr. Mark Allen Everett established the award in conjunction with the 50th Annual School of Art Students Exhibition, as it was called at that time. The awards were given to Alexandra Alaupovic‘s sculpture Head – Introspective and Jean Pickering’s untitled oil painting. Alaupovic grew up in Podravska Slatina, Croatia, and began her art career under Communist rule at the Academy of Visual Arts in Zagreb. One of her first works was a sculpture of a Serbian orphan whose family had been killed by Croatian Nazis. She eventually moved to the United States with her husband and child, where she attended the University of Oklahoma and later taught at Oklahoma City University. Her work can be found in numerous public and private collections in the United States, Canada, Sweden, Germany, Croatia, France, Japan, and Argentina.

Dr. Everett received his MD from OU in 1951 and became a devoted patron of the arts, partly because of Jacobson’s influence. During his lifetime, he donated works to the FJJMA, as well as the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History and Bizzell Memorial Library. His legacy lives on through the Oscar B. Jacobson Award.


This year the recipient of the Oscar B. Jacobson Award is Jane Hsi for her paintings Heartstrings and Surgical Unraveling of Whiteness.  The T.G. Mays Purchase Award went to Bella Blaze for her video project Dorothy. Blaze also received the Excellence in Film and Video Award for Dorothy. The Excellence in Photography award went to Beau Murphy for his photograph, American Beauty, and the Excellence in Drawing Award went to Shane Jensen for Jack. Excellence in Painting went to Gina Butler for her work Jumbled Carousel. The Excellence in Design Award went to Alexandria Jenkins for Spouses, and the Visual Art Student Association Award of Excellence went to David Stevens for his entire body of work. The Red Clay Faction Award went to Reva Kashikar for Mallard, and the Norman Arts Council Award went to Rebecca Curtis for Touch Me, Touch You, and Tuoc Nguyen for Recycle of War Art. The John R. Potts Jr. Sculpture Award went to Danielle Weigandt for #4, and Noelle Moon for Instinct. The Juror’s Choice Award went to Micah Wesley for Redskin. The Krawcyzk Award for Innovation in 2D Design went to Elizabeth Wulf for her entire body of work. The Ben Whitney FJJMA Docent Award went to Rebecca Curtis, and the Susan Baley FJJMA Docent Award went to Alix Yaw’s Final Meal. The FJJMA Museum Association Award went to the Core IV class.  The 102nd Annual School of Art and Art History Annual Student Exhibition is only on display until May 15 (yes, that is this Sunday) so stop by the museum this weekend for your last chance to see their work!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s