Assistant Professor of Art Julie Blackstone was recently invited to present her artwork in two prestigious shows. Her embroidery piece “Knotty Girl XI: Empress Wu” is on display as part of the 2019 Irene Rosenzweig Biennial Juried Exhibition at The Arts and Science Center for Southeast Arkansas (ASC) in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Two of her other works, “Always Thinking of Fibers” and “Nandi, Zulu Queen,” will be displayed in the FiberWorks 2019 show in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The ASC exhibition opened Oct. 10 and runs through Jan. 4, 2020. The Rosenzweig exhibition is an opportunity for established and up-and-coming artists to gain recognition and earn cash awards. It is open to artists in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. Artwork in all traditional forms including paintings, drawings, original prints, fiber art, ceramics, sculpture and photography is accepted. This year’s juror is Joseph Givens, faculty member of the Louisiana State University College of Art and Design and assistant director of LSU’s Ronald E. McNair Scholars Research Program.
ASC presents programming in the visual arts, performing arts, and the sciences through exhibits, performances, classes and local partnerships. Gallery admission is free. ASC is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The FiberWorks 2019 exhibit opened Oct. 4 and runs through Nov. 24 at “ahha Tulsa” at the Hardesty Center in the Tulsa Arts District, a connecting place for artists, cultural organizations and the public. The exhibit provides Oklahoma fiber artisans an opportunity to showcase their work from traditional crafts to innovative art. This year’s juror is Betty Busby, fiber artist and founder of a custom ceramic tile manufacturing firm in Los Angeles. She graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a major in ceramics. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, noon to 9 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 7 p.m.
Blackstone earned a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Central Oklahoma and a Master of Education, also at UCO. Early in her career, she served as an intern with an advertising agency in Leeds, England. After her graduation from UCO, she worked as an artist/designer at the Glasshaus Stained Glass Studio while teaching as an adjunct at Oklahoma City Community College. Her first work at OBU began in 1981 in the ceramics lab. In the years before becoming a full-time faculty member in 1997, she helped run the lab, sold artwork in galleries and taught private lessons. In 2019, she won OBU’s Distinguished Teaching Award, the highest honor for OBU faculty members.
Although she teaches a variety of mediums, she is best-known for her textiles and fibers. Her work has been accepted in numerous shows, on a regional and national level. She is a three-time “Best of Show” winner in FiberWorks, two-time winner of the Handweavers’ Guild of America Award for Excellence, two-time winner of the Rachael Valliere Award for Best Original Handwoven piece, winner of the Joe Handley Award for Excellence in Weaving and recipient of the Silver Needle Award for Excellence in Weaving. In 2017, she had a fiber art piece accepted in the Handweavers Guild of America’s annual international juried exhibition of small-scale fiber works, hosted at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft.Blackstone is a member of the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition, Fiber Artists of Oklahoma and Handweavers’ Guild of Oklahoma. She has had her work displayed all over Oklahoma City, Shawnee and Tulsa. Her work has also been displayed at the Oklahoma State Capitol and in the collections of many OBU faculty and staff.