STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — If "the purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls," as Pablo Picasso said, the OSU Museum of Art offers an inspiring space to do just that with activities for people of all ages.

Its exhibitions and activities offer anyone in the community chances for both introspection and communication.

"The guests complete the artwork," museum associate Gianna Martucci-Fink told the Stillwater News Press . "The museum is a safe zone. There are no wrong answers."

As one of the anchors for Downtown Stillwater's burgeoning cultural district, the museum is open to the public at no charge.

It hosts a schedule of temporary exhibits combined with permanent exhibits and ongoing public events, like the hands-on family art activities offered on Second Saturday and the monthly Final Friday Art Crawl which takes people on a tour of participating galleries, studios and businesses.

A selection of 30 rarely seen works of Asbentee Shawnee and Seminole artist Benjamin Harjo Jr. featuring sculptures, prints and works on paper that are held in several private collections is on display in the gallery from July 10 until Dec. 2.

The museum will celebrate the Harjo exhibition with a reception on Oct. 4, an artist presentation in which Harjo will demonstrate his printmaking techniques on Oct. 5 and a lunch-and-learn presentation with the exhibition curator on Oct. 6.

This is not your grandmother's patchwork.

The pieces in the exhibit push the boundaries of quilting, combining sophisticated fabrics and techniques to express philosophical, artistic and scientific concepts. Some even incorporate unusual elements like LED lighting.

In addition to the art on display, the museum offers opportunities for people of all ages to find inspiration in its Art Lab which is available any time the museum is open.

Education and Programming Coordinator Casey Pankey said the Art Lab's hands-on activities are inspired by current exhibits and it always has books and games as well as the George R. Kravis II Innovation Lab, an area with two computer stations outfitted with Adobe Creative Suite that is available for the public to use to create digital art.

The museum also offers resources for educators and home school families through the Art Lab.

The staff is also developing a station for recording oral histories in connection with an upcoming exhibition of the works of mid-20th century artist J.J. McVicker, who spent his career at Oklahoma State University. The exhibition, called Centering Modernism, debuts Sept. 25.


Information from: Stillwater News Press,