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Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art to host virtual closing event of "OK/LA" exhibit, feature OKC, LA mayors to discuss artist Ed Ruscha

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The work of Ed Rushca, who created the piece "OKLA" will be discussed by Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti in a virtual panel on March 5.

The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art will host a virtual closing event on Friday for its exhibit “OK/LA” with Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

“OK/LA” showcases the work of six former Oklahoma artists who found success in Los Angeles, California. The exhibit features the artists’ comparative works about Oklahoma and California’s politics, atmospheres and landscapes. 

Mayor Holt and Garcetti will discuss artist Ed Ruscha and his connection to the Oklahoma City and Los Angeles communities, according to a press release. 

Kaylee Kain, director of communication for the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, said that “OK/LA” was originally going to be shown at the museum from June to October of 2020, and all six artists were going to attend the closing event. After delays due to COVID-19, the exhibit opened in September 2020, and the artists will no longer be able to attend the closing exhibit. 

Kain said the museum staff was happy to receive a call from Mayor Holt, who was described in a press release as “longtime Ruscha enthusiast.” Kain said Holt asked about the connection with the similar Ed Ruscha exhibit — Ed Ruscha: OKLA  — open at the Oklahoma Contemporary Museum of Art and offered to be a panelist along with Mayor Garcetti for the Fred Jones event.

“If it wasn't for this odd world we live in, we may not be able to have a really cool event, such as Mayor Holt and Mayor Garcetti on the same Zoom call,” Kain said. 

The virtual panel will also feature guests Mark White, curator of the “OK/LA” exhibit and executive director of the New Mexico Museum of Art, and Alexandra Schwartz, the co-curator of the Oklahoma Contemporary Museum of Art’s “Ed Ruscha: OK/LA” exhibit. 

The Fred Jones’s “OK/LA” exhibit will close on March 7, and the Oklahoma Contemporary “Ed Ruscha: OKLA” exhibit will be open through July 5, according to a press release. 

The Fred Jones virtual panel will start at 3 p.m. on March 5. Those interested in virtually attending can sign up on the Fred Jones’ website

“I’m excited to see this hard work of the museum staff, the artists and the mayors come together and celebrate the life and work of Ed Ruscha,” Kain said. “This is a way for the museum and the public to show (those involved in the exhibit) that we see their work and we really appreciate them.”

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