NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – Its makers, including artist Hugh Meade, want visitors to feel like they’re walking right into a painting.
“As we come in you can see,” he tells us, “there is a color palette being established.”
In fact, ‘Synesthesia’ is all about exploring all the senses.
“There are different textures and elements,” he continues. “Sound is also a big part of what we do. When we immerse people in art we want all the senses engaged. Some of these areas are even lightly scented as well.”
Through the ‘caterpillar speakeasy’ and into the mouth of ‘Baby Aqua’, Meade and a whole team of artists took over a little used section of the Fred Jones Jr. Art Museum.
They also took inspiration from a former OU art student of a century ago.
Olinka Hrdy is widely considered to be Oklahoma’s first modernist painter, years ahead of her time.
She painted murals all over campus and in Tulsa, then bequeathed her art to the university upon her death in 1987.
Meade says, “We became very attracted to her style of work, and also her personality. It was very clear that we would have enjoyed working together.
Only a few steps away the modern art of yesteryear adorns the gallery walls, from Georgia O’Keefe, to Thomas Moran, to Impressionists like Renoir and Van Gogh.
They were all cutting edge artists in their own times.
“We feel like our work is part of that ongoing history,” insists Meade.
This latest vision from the Factory Obscura team joins those earlier works in their own way, encouraging their patrons to explore with much more than just their visual senses.
What does chartreuse sound like?
What does fuchsia smell like?
The path to answering those kinds of questions winds through here.
For more information on the ‘Synesthesia’ exhibit, go to www.factoryobscura.com/synesthesia.
For more information on the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, go to www.ou.edu/fjjma.