Oklahoma City University | Art exhibit takes on existential threats Skip to content

Art exhibit takes on existential threats

Oklahoma City University’s next art exhibit, “Dystopian Hope,” featuring the work of three artists, will open March 13 in the Hulsey Art Gallery. The gallery is in the Norick Art Center at 1608 NW 26th St.

Virginia Wagner, one of the artists represented in the exhibit, will give a presentation at 6 p.m. March 23. Sarah FitzSimons and Kyle Larson are the other two artists.

“Dystopian Hope” will be on exhibit through May 5. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

Curator and gallery director Heather Lunsford said the show strives to illustrate the ties between the artist’s view, the writer’s voice and the filmmaker’s perspective in the current climate of political upheaval, unprecedented weather events and deadly viruses.

“Dystopian works ask ‘What if humanity cannot be rescued from its worst impulses?’” Lunsford said. “In this way, dystopian themes allow us to engage with and face the most difficult environmental, social and political issues in our times and grant us the permission to be scared and unsure, mortal and flawed. But there is a hopefulness in dystopian storytelling and art —showing us that it is possible to fight back against systems of wealth and power with compassion or empathy and help dismantle oppression and abuse.”

Dystopia translates as “bad place” from ancient Greek, with the traditional interpretation of dystopian art forms as bleak warnings of the dangers of totalitarianism and how it leads to disaster. In many dystopian works, the viewer is presented with brutality or immoral circumstances that tend to offer an exaggeration of humanity’s fears. Dystopian narratives allow their creators to take threads of current reality and push them to their limit — apocalyptic climate change, coup, nuclear war, etc.

For more information, visit the Nona Jean Hulsey Art Gallery website at okcu.edu/art.

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