Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Mother Road Revisited

Last night was the Grand Opening of my friend Natalie Slater's gallery show, which is also her Tulsa University masters thesis.  If you will read previous posts, you'll remember that I helped her for about a year as she gathered vintage images of places on Route 66.  My postcards were the main source of those images.   She then bought a small vintage trailer and traversed all of Route 66 taking photos of the same sites in their current condition.  For the show, she built 20 "light boxes", which resemble picture frames lighted from behind.  On the floor in front of each box, she installed  foot-operated headlight dimmer buttons taken from old trucks from the 1950s.  These were used to light the boxes, which in turn made the vintage images dissolve into her photos of the current site taken from the exact place and angle as the old.  (Sorry about my description here, but it's not easy to explain!)   Along with those incredible light boxes, Natalie also assembled several other installations, including a lighted map of Route 66, a reproduction of a '50s room, and the trailer she used for her trip, which she actually brought into the art space as a further addition to the atmosphere of the large gallery.

The show was incredibly well attended, including friends from our Tulsa Route 66 group Brad and LaSandra Nickson, Marian Clark, Ron McCoy and Frank Gierhart.   I was also able to reunite with Theresa Vallera from the Art Department of Tulsa University who was tremendously  helpful to me when I had my own gallery show during the 2004 International Tulsa Route 66 Festival.  

Here are some photos from Natalie's show, taken by Ron M.
The Trailer
 Natalie made a set of  lenticular postcards, which she sold at the show. When held at different angles, the images changed from the old to the new.  Amazing!
 Here's Marian Clark viewing one of the light boxes.
A floor-mounted button activates each of the light boxes
 Teresa Vallera, Marian Clark, and me.
 One wall of light boxes
 Lighted map of Route 66, cleverly leaning on a set of vintage Samsonite luggage
 Natalie, barefoot, chatting with some of her friends
 Among other things, Natalie made metal "plates" commemorating her trip down Route 66.  During the trip, she glued the plates in front of each of the sites she visited.
The show took place at "Living Arts", an art space in the Brady Arts District of Tulsa, not far from Route 66
And outside.... the Weinermobile!!
The show will continue  until April 25th, with Michael Wallis speaking and signing books the last evening of the show.  Congratulations to Natalie for this remarkable project!!!

1 comment:

Beth said...

That looks like some fantastic and fun work. Congrats to Natalie!