FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Director of Marketing & Communications
OKLAHOMA CITY - The Oklahoma Arts Council and OETA have teamed up to provide visitors to the Oklahoma state Capitol an interactive educational experience based on the special sculpture exhibit on display on the Capitol grounds titled "Allan Houser at the Capitol: A Legacy in Bronze." A museum-quality cell phone audio tour of the exhibit is now available and is the first of its kind at the Capitol. The Oklahoma Arts Council may introduce additional audio tours in the near future to accompany other works of art.
Using their cell phones, visitors can access the audio tour for free to learn about Allan Houser's role as one of the 20th century's most influential artists. From Houser's birth in southwest Oklahoma as the first free member of the Chiricahua Apache tribe, to his years of studying art as a student in Santa Fe, to his rise to prominence and recognition of his groundbreaking approach to Native American art, the audio tour covers the entire spectrum of Houser's life. The audio tour was produced by OETA and voiced by Dick Pryor, host of the Oklahoma News Report. The audio tour consists of six segments, one for each of the five temporary sculptures and one for Houser's permanent sculpture, "As Long As the Waters Flow," which has greeted visitors at the Capitol's south plaza since 1989. Each segment is approximately two minutes in length.
Oklahoma Arts Council Executive Director Amber Sharples said she is thrilled to introduce the audio tour technology for the thousands of Oklahoma residents, students and out-of-town guests who will visit the state Capitol during 2014.
"With hundreds of priceless works of art on display, the Capitol is effectively an art museum, and museums often provide audio tours to enrich their guests' experience. Working with our partners at OETA, we are thrilled to introduce this technology to provide an immersive educational opportunity. At their fingertips, visitors can now have a deeper understanding of the history of our state, the story of Native Americans in Oklahoma, and the role of one of our most celebrated artists, Allan Houser."
Dan Schiedel, OETA Executive Director, said, "OETA is proud to partner with the Oklahoma Arts Council in sharing the renowned work of Allan Houser at our State Capitol. It's an opportunity to demonstrate the vital role the arts play in educating people about Oklahoma history and culture."
Five large-scale sculptures were installed on the grounds of the Oklahoma state Capitol in January as part of a year-long statewide celebration of renowned Oklahoma artist Allan Houser. The five sculptures comprise a special exhibit titled "Allan Houser at the Capitol: A Legacy in Bronze." The Capitol is one of 12 locations throughout Oklahoma that are celebrating the 100th anniversary of Houser's birth during 2014.
The five temporary Allan Houser sculptures on display at the Capitol include:
- "Singing Heart" 56"H x 32"W x 36"D (east entrance)
- "Morning Prayer" 107"H x 44"W x 39"D (east entrance)
- "Spirit of the Wind" 126"H x 96"W x 72"D (north plaza)
- "Warm Springs Apache Man" 49"H x 42"W x 42"D (west entrance)
- "Hunter's Vision" 52"H x 75"W x 28"D (west entrance)
Houser's sculptures are on display on the Capitol grounds through December 15, 2014. Managed by the Oklahoma Arts Council, the special exhibition and audio tour are made possible through generous donations by Friends of the Capitol and The Kerr Foundation, Inc., with installation made possible by Manhattan Construction Company.
To go along with the exhibit, the Oklahoma Arts Council has created educational materials based on the five sculptures that are available online through the Council's "Teaching with Capitol Art" curriculum. The curriculum offers resources for teachers, parents, students and others interested in teaching or learning about Oklahoma history and art through the artwork at the Capitol. "Teaching with Capitol Art" resources are available at arts.ok.gov.
In partnership with museums and cultural institutions taking part in the statewide celebration, and made possible through generous support by the Fort Sill Apache Tribe, the Oklahoma Arts Council created additional educational resources based on the Houser centennial event for The Oklahoman's "Newspapers in Education" February publication. The publication was provided to more than 30,000 students in 586 participating schools across the state.
Information about "Allan Houser at the Capitol: A Legacy in Bronze" is available at arts.ok.gov.
Information about the statewide celebration of Allan Houser, including exhibitions, events and educational opportunities, is available at okhouser.org.
About Allan Houser
A member of the Chiricahua Apache tribe, Oklahoma-born Houser is considered one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. As a teacher, Houser passed along his approach of Native American art as a form of self-expression rather than a means of earning a living. Designated as an Oklahoma Cultural Ambassador in 1984, Houser died in 1994. His monumental sculpture "As Long As the Waters Flow" is a permanent fixture on the Capitol's south plaza, where it has been standing since 1989. His piece "Dialogue" is part of the State Art Collection and is on display in the Betty Price Gallery on the Capitol's first floor.
About the Oklahoma Arts Council
The Oklahoma Arts Council is the official state agency for the support and development of the arts. The Council's mission is to lead, cultivate and support a thriving arts environment, which is essential to quality of life, education and economic vitality for all Oklahomans. The Council provides more than 500 grants to over 300 communities statewide each year, organizes professional development opportunities for the state's arts and cultural industry and manages hundreds of works of art in the public spaces of the state Capitol. For more information visit arts.ok.gov.
OETA-The Oklahoma Network is the state's only PBS station, providing all Oklahomans with educational content, community initiatives and digital experiences that collectively encourage lifelong learning. Learn more at www.oeta.tv.