Karen Mosbacher

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Karen Mosbacher News: Looking for the Future, February 11, 2021 - Joy Reed Belt Karen Mosbacher News: Looking for the Future, February 11, 2021 - Joy Reed Belt Karen Mosbacher News: Looking for the Future, February 11, 2021 - Joy Reed Belt Karen Mosbacher News: Looking for the Future, February 11, 2021 - Joy Reed Belt

Looking for the Future

February 11, 2021 - Joy Reed Belt

The headline in Wednesday’s Oklahoman got my attention, “Chesapeake Looks to Future.” The article presented a brief review of the origin and history of Chesapeake Energy, founded in the 1980’s by two young men, Aubrey McClendon and Tom Ward. The article mentioned that Chesapeake became a nationally recognized energy company and was a primary influence on the future growth and development of Oklahoma City. The complexity and diversity of Chesapeake’s business dealings were also covered, as well as the untimely death of Aubrey and the subsequent decline of the company. Through what appears to be thoughtful stewardship of the current president and administrative team, it was reported that the company has survived bankruptcy and subsequent restructuring, able to retain several core assets, and is moving forward as a much different company.

The first time I heard of Chesapeake was in the early 1990’s when I got a call from Aubrey asking me to meet with him about finding personnel for his fledgling company. You will recall that during the second act of my career I provided Executive Search, Outplacement, and Organizational Development Services to Corporations. Aubrey’s offices were in, what was then, Three Chopt Square on Western. I had just purchased the building next to Flip’s across the street. When I met with Aubrey, I remember being impressed with his extraordinary energy, his vision, his fearlessness as well as his good manners. Well thankfully, I found him the kind of person he had envisioned to provide the executive support he needed to thrive and consequently was retained to perform searches on an ongoing basis throughout the years. When my husband, John, died in 2013, Aubrey was one of the first people to call with condolences. He wrote me an extraordinary letter telling me how John’s shaping of The Paseo had inspired him to create the Chesapeake campus. And the flowers Aubrey sent filled a room. He also visited the Gallery a few weeks after John’s funeral asking if I would find him some core employees for a new company he was organizing. I believe that Aubrey’s lasting legacy will be all the case studies written about his leadership style and how we should envision, plan and build a responsible future, as individuals, as families, and as citizens.

In my role as Art Gallery owner, I am seeing evidence that artists are also looking to the future for direction and inspiration. Some of them are changing styles, others are changing mediums and yet others subject matter. More frequently than not, artists are painting what they feel. They are becoming a little less concerned with what they think they can sell because they are experiencing a primal need to paint what they feel. The focus of art buyers is also changing. A short time ago people were primarily interested in buying what they considered to be a good investment, a piece of art that would appreciate in value. Now, people are looking for something that speaks to them. In this time of extraordinary attacks to our health and economic well-being, people want art that makes them feel better, more in control. They want the art they live with to speak to them, to make them feel more secure. Since I have always believed that the purpose of art is to elicit emotional responses, I love this shift. Why wouldn’t you buy something that makes you feel good, reaffirms your belief system, stirs a memory or moves you to tears? It’s called emotional enrichment and who doesn’t need to be enriched in these extraordinary times? We have already seen and experienced our collective pasts. We are living, or at least striving to live, through the present. But our primary responsibility as human beings are to work together, in ways both small and large, to build a promising future for all mankind. Art offers inspiration, methodology and many other tools which can lead us in creating a brave new future.



Jack Fowler, "Owl," Oil on Canvas, 36 x 48 in., $3,380

Behnaz Sohrabian, "Forever Red," Oil on Canvas, 48 x 48 in., $1,800

Jack Fowler, "Cow in the Moonlight During a Pandemic," Acrylic on Canvas, 36 x 18 in., $1,950

Karen Mosbacher, "Viola Sonata I. Impetuoso, R. Clarke," Oil and and Wax on Canvas, 43 x 43 in., $5,500

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