Magic of the Land: Paintings BY Carol Beesley, Jim Keffer, and Karl Brenner

Please join us for an Artist Reception for Magic of the Land at Myriad Gardens Crystal Bridge Conservatory from 12-1 pm. Complimentary refreshments will be served.

Carol Beesley, MFA, is a professor emeritus of art at The University of Oklahoma where she taught painting, drawing, ceramics, art history, and humanities for 24 years before moving to Santa Fe in 1997. A recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship to study art history at Columbia University, Beesley received an M.A. in ceramics from the University of Dallas and an M.A. in American Literature from the University of Kentucky, before receiving her MFA from the University of California in Los Angeles. In 2007, after Beesley received a commission to create four monumental paintings for the Catlett Music Center on the OU Norman Campus as well as several murals for the Schusterman Learning Center on the OU Tulsa campus, Beesley moved back to Oklahoma. Known for her distinctive large paintings of the American landscape, Beesley is a serious collector of photographs and contributor to the collection at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art at OU.

Jim Keffer is a self-taught artist. His work is born from a lifetime of observing places in the landscape and places of the heart. He started painting when he was 47 years old and says, “My past journeys are connected to my future travels and I have an infinite source of places, thoughts, and things to paint in my style which I call modern primitive.” Painting for him comes from a primal place. Also drawing inspiration from Matisse who said, “A painting is a moment in the life of the artist not a moment of nature.” As his painting journey has progressed, Keffer has come to own this as his truth. From his studio near Guthrie, Oklahoma, Keffer, now 67, continues painting and observing with his wife, Laurie, a dog, and numerous cats. He calls his studio “Rhythms.” Keffer says he will retire when the brush falls from his hand.

Living and Painting landscapes in and around Durango, Colorado has occupied Karl Brenner’s life since retiring from surgical practice. The special color harmonies, the interesting perspectives in nature, and the changing seasons keep drawing him back outdoors to paint on site. Despite the gusts of wind which blow down his easel, and the freezing temperatures which occasionally render the oil paint too stiff to use, he waits for that rare moment when everything comes together, and a worthwhile “heartfelt declaration” happens.


In the Direction of the Sun Opening Reception

  • Saturday, February 15, 1-3pm
  • Visitor Center, Crystal Bridge Conservatory south lobby
  • Exhibit run: February 15-March 23, 2020

View one-of-a-kind works by local artists Kyndall Rainey and Danny Joe Rose III on display in the Crystal Bridge Visitor Center. Meet the artists, purchase an original piece of art, and enjoy $3 mimosas from Double Shot Bar Services, along with complimentary hors d’oeuvres.

Exhibit related events:

  • Artist Workshop with Kyndall Rainey:  Tuesday, February 18, 5:30-6:30pm
  • Artist Talk with Danny Joe Rose III, Thursday, February 27, 5:30-6:30pm

Permanent Sculpture

MBG muskrats

Sculpture Addition to the Children’s Garden

“Friendship” Sculpture: Well-known Boston artist, Nancy Schön, has captured the true nature of friendship in this bronze sculpture of two prairie dogs on display in the Children’s Garden.

Don Narcomey Storytelling chair

Story Teller Chair

“Storyteller’s Chair” Sculpture: Oklahoma City artist, Don Narcomey, created this Sculpture with bois d’ arc wood (Osage Orange), an extremely hard and decay-resistant wood used in the past for fence posts and bows to shoot arrows. It is a magical addition to storytime in the Children’s Garden.

mbg gold fish

Gold Fish Sculpture

“Goldfish” Sculpture: This Texas Cream Limestone sculpture measuring approximately 18” x 4’ x 5’ 10” displayed on the lake level is a Fancy Tail Goldfish. This sculpture was created by Oklahoma City artist, Kendall Howerton.

 “Gateway” Sculpture

“Gateway” Sculpture: Artist Hans Van de Bovenkamp created the 14-foot red abstract sculpture as a means to connect the organic forms of nature with urban architecture and the environment. You can find this sculpture in the northwest corner of the Gardens.