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In the Gallery - IAO

Written by David Tamez on Tuesday February 7, 2012




Ben Pendleton & Kevin Thomas Exhibitions


Individual Artists of Oklahoma will exhibit the work of two emerging artists, Ben Pendleton and Kevin Thomas, this February. Ben Pendleton will present a body of mixed media work that featuring photography entitled Beyond the Borders. Kevin Thomas will exhibit a series of paintings which explore the concept of 3=1. Beyond the Borders and 3=1 will open with an artists’ reception on Friday, February 10th from 6:00 to 9:00pm. The exhibitions will remain on display through March 3rd, 2012.

Born and raised in Oklahoma, Ben Pendleton earned an associate degree from Oklahoma City Community College in the area of film and video production. Pendleton spent the following four years working part-time as an editor, camera operator, camera assistant, production assistant, photographer, and field producer. After realizing that he had been working in the process of other people’s artwork and not producing his own work, Pendleton quickly stopped freelancing and got a steady full-time job. At this point, he began showing more of his own work in group exhibitions throughout Oklahoma City.

When producing his own work, Pendleton embraces as many different types of material as he feels fits his work. He rarely produces more than one or two pieces with the same material, visual aesthetic, or subject. With Beyond the Borders, Pendleton mined his fascination with old photographs and his own childhood memories. “It’s great to look at old photos and imagine putting yourself inside that moment,” states the artist. He asks himself a series of questions including, “What were the people like? What was happening before, after or while the pictures was taken? How do people in this picture remember this moment?” The installations, Pendleton has created around the photographs are attempts to experience what it was like to be in these photographs. Using a variety of media, he surrounds the photographs with objects that convey the atmosphere of the image.

Kevin Thomas is an Oklahoman artist and art educator. Since 2003, he has taught at Edmond Santa Fe High School. He pursued his undergrad studies at Oklahoma Christian University. In 1998 he received his MFA in illustration, painting and drawing from Savannah College of Art and Design. In 2010, he received his Master of Education in Education Administration from the University of Central Oklahoma, and is currently pursuing an Education Doctorate in Education Administration.

Of his work to be exhibited at Individual Artists of Oklahoma, Kevin Thomas explains, “The works in 3=1 convey a constructivist sense of reality. This philosophy denotes that personal experiences make up our realities. There is a universe full of many pathways, from which each of us must choose.” The paintings will represent pathways intertwined from the aspects of the body, mind, and soul. Thomas continues, “Body, mind, and soul represent the three facets of humanity, 3=1. The thinking process involved in the conceptualization of these paintings denotes a controlled chaos, similar to that found in life. The rhythmic flow demonstrated in each painting is a reflection of my deeper insight and understanding of reality.”

The exhibitions of Ben Pendleton and Kevin Thomas will open in conjunction with the photography of Jeff McCullough in the IAO Project Space.