"From The Estate" & "Signifiers"


OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma -- Fall is on the way and nature brings with it strong color, simpler shapes and a certain truth of what is real. On September 2, 2016, JRB Art at The Elms will open with solo exhibitions of three artists, D.J. Lafon, J.P. Morrison and Julia Margaret Brigham, whose work consists of the representation of real and existing things. The exhibitions will open with a reception from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. on Friday, September 2nd, 2016 during the Paseo’s First Friday Gallery Walk and continue through Sunday, September 25th.

An accomplished painter of people, D.J. Lafon (1929-2011) is known for his skill in using a sophisticated visual language to capture the interest of the viewer. Lafon often mused that his work was an attempt to understand what motivates people to do the strange things they do. Every brush stroke, every detail is thoughtfully placed on the canvas to enhance the meaning of the painting. Born and raised in Utah, Lafon earned a BFA and MFA from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. He is in many museums, public and private collections.

In 2003 the inaugural exhibit at JRB Art at The Elms was D.J. Lafon. Gallery Director Joy Reed Belt, remembers her relationship with Lafon began with a fortuitous recommendation by another legendary Oklahoma artist, Michi Susan. In the following eight years, until his death in 2011, Lafon had several solo exhibitions in the Gallery. “Those, shows always had a theme,” remembers Belt, “because Lafon often worked in series.” “There was the “Farm Series”, the “Business Man Series”, and “The Water Color Series.” One of the most popular exhibits recalls Belt was titled “Uncommon Influences.” That show featured paintings of 15 writers, musicians and artists who greatly influenced and inspired Lafon’s career. These people included: Aubrey Beardsley, Isabelle Bishop, Robert Crumb, Edwin Dickinson, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Fernand Leger, Reginald Marsh, Milton Resnick, Egon Schiele, Chaim Soutine, and Ralph Soyer. Portraits of these artists were painted in the style in which they would have painted. Composers included Giaomo Puccini and Kirt Weill; poet Ezra Pound and author Oscar Wilde. The upcoming September show of Lafon”s work at the Gallery will feature work from his estate.

Pictorial storyteller, J.P. Morrison, a native of Tulsa, who currently lives and works between Tulsa, Oklahoma and Brisbane, Australia. She is a life-long homeschooler who earned her BFA in 2007 from The Kansas City Art Institute. Highly imaginative and curious, J.P.'s most frequently used medium is colored pencil but she also integrates LED lights into her paintings. The characters in her paintings are often introspective female protagonists. Storytelling is present in all her paintings. Who demonstrate a variety of belief systems while challenging the status quo.

New to JRB Art at The Elms, is Julia Margaret Brigham, born and educated in Oklahoma, but living most of her life in New Mexico. Julia is an award winning artist. After working in watercolor for 35 years, Julia changed her medium to fiber and thread to create Studio Art Quilts. She paints by using a standard sewing machine in free-motion mode. The needle becomes the paint brush, the thread the paint, and the fabric collage the canvas. Bright, saturated joyful colors are a hallmark of Julia's work. Her paintings are in collections in Europe, Australia, the Caribbean and throughout the United States.