October 10, 2016 - Oklahoma Homes Pamela Sosnowski
When one thinks of contemporary fine art, the city of Yukon probably doesn't come to mind. Yet the downtown area's Plaza District is home to one of the state's premier galleries featuring the work of both upcoming and established modern artists, Kasum Contemporary Fine Art.
"One of the beautiful things about this gallery is that we show such a diversity of style," says Tony Morton, the gallery's director and CEO. "No one exhibit is greater than any other, simply different. We have held exhibitions which focused on everything from functional contemporary furnishings to new media video projection-based projects and expressionism to dark art."
June 19, 2016 - BY JOHN BRANDENBURG For The Oklahoman
BY JOHN BRANDENBURG For The Oklahoman Published: June 19, 2016 18shares
"The Arrival" by Laurie Justus Pace. [Photo provided]
Two Canyon, Texas, artists are exploring the contemporary West in an Oklahoma City show.
Equine oils by Laurie Pace and oil landscapes by Mary Bechtol are at Kasum Contemporary Fine Art.
Wild horses are made out of broad, multicolored brush strokes, and palette knife slashes, in Pace's animated oils.
Horses seem to materialize from the “Blue Mist” in one Pace oil, and line up across the picture plane in “The Gathering.”
By contrast, black and white predominates in Pace's “Midnight Gathering” and “Evening Shadows When Stars Appear.”
Pace is an art teacher as well as artist who founded “Visual Language Magazine” and co-founded four working groups of artists.
Bechtol is a registered nurse and artist who has raised three daughters with her husband, who is a veterinarian and wildlife photographer.
Bechtol brings a subtle, nuanced touch to her smaller oils of a “Panhandle Dust Storm” and the line of trees in a “Purple Landscape.”
More panoramic, but relying almost too much on dark marks and outlines, are Bechtol's larger paintings, such as an oil of “Sun Over (a) Field.”
Two more large format oils by Bechtol depict a “Plowed Field With Blue Poplars” and the “Big Conejos” river.
March 17, 2016 - John Brandenburg, for The Oklahoman
March 6, 2016 - John Brandenburg For The Oklahoman
March 2, 2016 - BRETT DICKERSON for 405 Magazine
Tony Morton specializes in relationships of a unique sort. The art dealer and owner of Kasum Contemporary Fine Art in the Plaza District is at the hub of a special network he has created that includes a broad spectrum of artists and patrons.
The hard part is helping all parties find what is most deeply satisfying and intriguing to them, whether they are creator or consumer. And if that happens, the business side of things will work.
Both artists and art patrons need an experienced ear, someone who easily interacts with both perspectives. And that means careful listening, which produces a deep understanding of both parties in an art sale.
Patron Support Patrons often are intimidated with the process of buying art. That’s where Morton comes in.
“With the people who come in here, the hardest thing to do is break down the barrier,” he says about those who think that a gallery is the same as a museum. In this setting, people are expected to interact, talk about their preferences and ask him questions.
He says “education is the hardest part” of what he does with prospective purchasers. It is a necessary process of carefully listening to the patron, understanding what appeals to them and then helping them learn ways to talk about what they like in art.
Morton wants his patrons to think of their relationship not as gallery/client, but as “allies.”
Artist Support Morton is not an artist; his background is in marketing. But his wife, printmaker and mixed media artist Stacey D. Miller, keeps him in touch with the artistic process. Their long-term relationship has helped in his understanding of what types of support artists need in order to pursue a career.
“Where most gallerists have purely a market experience, I’ve also had the opportunity to stand behind, be a patron for, struggle through the experience of actually being an artist. So it’s provided me with quite a bit of insight,” Morton says.
He understands the frustrations and needs that artists have.
Currently, Kasum Gallery is working with 54 artists and has a list of about 150 regular patrons who buy art that is larger than 30-by-30 inches, with another 500 occasionally buying smaller pieces.
A key element of Morton’s work is helping artists to understand what elements or aspects of their particular art are the most appealing to his patrons. And that means helping artists to understand criticism that may be upsetting. After all, art comes from deep within, so criticism can seem deeply personal. But it’s not. It’s commentary on how someone else perceives the work and has little to do with the artist as a person.
“I think that a lot of times when an artist is upset initially, that’s the deal,” Morton says about helping artists to keep criticism in perspective. “They are staying in their own perspective.”
Expanding the understanding of perspectives gives Morton the capacity to help patrons acquire art that is meaningful, and to help artists make a living and see their work have an impact on the lives of others. And when that happens, art adds value to people’s lives.
February 18, 2016 - Tami Althoff For The Oklahoman
NORMAN — Sparks fly against the garage wall at Brett McDanel's home as he welds a heap of metal into the feet of what will become his next work of art.
“It always starts with the feet,” he said. “I get an idea of what it's doing, the emotion, and it just goes from there. They really build themselves.”
McDanel's workshop is the birthplace of humanlike sculptures made from used objects, some carefully cultivated from old sheds and salvage yards, others left on his doorstep.
January 11, 2016 - Cowgirl Magazine
January 7, 2016 - SpankyStokes.com
Kjelshus Collins recently created a whole bunch of rad looking resin "Krampus" ornaments for a gallery Christmas show where he sculpted, cast, and painted 20 of these beauts! Standing 4.75" tall, these are available HERE right now for only $50. So let that yuletide cheer simmer a bit, and decorate that tree of yours with nothing by fear!
October 18, 2015 - JOHN BRANDENBURG, FOR THE OKLAHOMAN
— JOHN BRANDENBURG, FOR THE OKLAHOMAN
“Climbing Mountains” by Katie O’Sullivan.[PHOTO PROVIDED]
WORKS BY DIANA J. SMITH, KATIE O’SULLIVAN AND PAUL MEDINA
When: Through Nov. 15. Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays; 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Fridays; and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays. Where: Kasum Contemporary Fine Art Gallery, 1706 NW 16. Closing reception: 7 to 10 p.m. Nov. 13. Information: 604-6602, 818-2174 or www.kasum contemporary.com.
“A Mystical Menagerie” sounds like a fantasy circus, and that’s the feeling one gets visiting a show by Diana J. Smith and Katie O’Sullivan at Kasum Contemporary Fine Art Gallery.
Also on view is a satellite show of ceramics by Paul Medina.
Known for acrylics of dogs, Smith takes us into the realm of fantasy with her hand-built, animal-based clay figures, clothed in Celtic robes. Smith’s “Gwenvael the Protector” resembles a pale, pink-nosed dog (or skinny pig), with a fish and crow on its shoulders and a bat on its cap. No less ornate is Smith’s animal-headed “Midir King of the Isle of Falga ” wearing a cage-hat for what looks like a hand-puppet version of itself.
More human-looking is Smith’s “Morgan the Mariner” who has fish on wires sprouting from the almost fern-like vegetation atop his multiple stocking cap. Delightful, too, are smaller works by Smith, many of which bring to mind fantasy chess pieces, like “Taggert ” “Keller” and the wizard-hatted, goosefaced “Gair”
O’Sullivan, a New Jersey native who lived in Florida before moving to Santa Fe, N.M., two years ago, creates her fantasy figurative drawing-acrylic canvases spontaneously. She makes crude or at least rough drawing and painting work for her in her offbeat compositions, which depict bizarre, mythic creatures in limbo-like voids.
A strange orange, flightless bird, with faces incorporated in its body, appears to be looking back at its own tail, in O’Sullivan’s “Take My Hand ” for example. Droopy-eyed, vaguely cat-, goat- and dog-like creatures, seem to be “Climbing Mountains” in another weird, but strangely appealing O’Sullivan painting.
By contrast, veteran Oklahoma City artist Medina at least brings the search for balance, in relation to the world’s resources, to his clay and mixed-media “Balancing Act” series. Winged, mixed-media insects try to cling to and seek sustenance from three wavy, blue-gray ceramic wall wreaths in Medina’s “Circle of Bees” to name a case in point.
Faces, turned heavenward, attempt to keep multiple rocks and vegetables from falling off their foreheads, or an exposed cheek, in four more works by Medina, on wall stands.
The Smith-O’Sullivan exhibit and Medina’s solo satellite show are highly recommended.
October 2, 2015 - Darla Shelden The City Sentinel
By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
Kasum Contemporary Fine Art gallery will celebrate their new double exhibit season with a special tribute to fantasy. September 12 marked the one year anniversary of Kasum Contemporary’s opening in the Plaza District of Oklahoma City,
Gallery director, Tony Morton, says he and his wife built Kasum with creativity, whimsy and big dreams in mind.
“We wanted our season debut to pay tribute to imagination and there may be no greater extension to imagination than fantasy,” Morton said, “We are pleased to be opening our 2015-2016 exhibit season by presenting the far reaching creative works from three phantasmagorical artists in two very unique features.”
The public is invited to the opening reception on Friday, October 9, from 7 – 10 p.m. at 1706 NW 16th Street.
A native Oklahoman, Smith is well known for her animal focused acrylics on canvas. Morton suggests that she will soon be widely recognized for her work in sculpture as well.
“Diana’s new hand built clay figures are Canterbrian in many ways. They merge our own, very relative, character traits into a fantasy world of unfinished stories,” said Morton, “A place where we can pick up the pen and author our own world. It’s a place of impossibilities made possible.
“Over the last year Smith has formed, finished and fired a world of wizards. Each one is the creation of a new species clothed in the Celtic robes that reflect the artist’s heritage and topped with a proper wizarding hat,” he added.
Each piece comes with its own hand bound and stitched journal, a miniature version of the full scale Wizards Journal Exalted Tome of Quests, which will also be on display and for sale.
The Journal is a one-of-a-kind art book, created by Smith, which contains excerpts from the journal entries of questing wizards and will “allow readers to peer ever deeper into each character,” Morton added.
Smith received a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Oklahoma and her interest in masks led her into additional studies in anthropology. She has exhibited in numerous juried, group, and solo shows and has won awards for her paintings, masks and mixed media figures.
“I am very excited to show this new work alongside Katie O’Sullivan’s paintings,” Smith said. “I think it was a brilliant match-up on Kasum’s part.”
Smith has created a contest for the event where participants can write a journal entry for “Feidhlim the Steward of Wings” and post to Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #MythicalMenagerieGiveAway. Entry deadline is Nov. 9. Diana will award “Sioda, the Wizard’s Apprentice” to the winning entry on November 13.
A graduate of Parsons School of Design in New York City, O’Sullivan’s whimsical approach comes from her creative ability to discover something new in art each day Morton said.
“Katie’s compositions are an aggressively balanced combination of drawing media and acrylics on canvas.” said Morton, “They take on aspects of noted neo-expressionist and primitivist movements, inspired by creatives like Jean-Michel Basquiat, but the dichotomies they deliver are rooted in pure imagination.”
Running concurrently with “A Mystical Menagerie” will be the gallery’s first Satellite Exhibit of the season featuring surreal sculptures of Oklahoma artistPaul Medina.
“Paul’s works represent strong anthropological and contemporary social context; his most recent body of work is no exception.” said Morton. “Medina refers to his works as Balancing Acts which represent the quandary of power and of need in relation to food.”
Medina has exhibited at the Oklahoma Museum of Art, The Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, and the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona. He has amassed collectors from around the world including writer Judith Blume of New York, and Yannick Noah of Paris, France.
Kasum Contemporary Fine Art’s closing reception will be held on Friday, November 13 from 7 – 10 p.m. For more information call 405-604-6602 or visit www.KasumContemporary.com.