Native American Artist Jeanne Rorex-Bridges coming to OJC September 26th
Jeanne Rorex-Bridges is an award-winning artist of Cherokee ancestry from Oklahoma will be conducting workshops, presenting a lecture and bring an art exhibit to Otero Junior College tomorrow, September 26. Rorex-Bridges lives on a hill in rural eastern Oklahoma, part of the farm and ranch land where she was raised. It is here that she paints and runs her successful art business with her husband James. There are still some seats available for the workshops to be given at 9am and 1pm. To sign up for a workshop session please contact Debbie Phillips, coordinator of campus and community events at 384-6863 or Debbie.Phillips@ojc.edu to reserve a seat.
Jeanne’s work has become nationally known, winning many awards in Native American art shows. For several years, Rorex-Bridges has incorporated paintings depicting the shared history of Southeastern Indians and African Americans with her Native American work. Rorex-Bridges is best known by collectors of Native American art.
Jeanne Rorex-Bridges began her career as a professional artist twenty five years ago. Rorex-Bridges attended Bacone College in Muskogee, Oklahoma, a private junior college known as the Indian College. There she took classes with strong focus on Indian art. The flat style of painting, originated by the Kiowa Five was one of her favorite styles. “To produce Indian Art, you should understand the human anatomy, the tradition and history of Indian people, and be able to portray your feelings in the work, Indian Art is not just a pretty picture” stated Rorex-Bridges.
Jeanne Rorex-Bridges explains, “In the Oklahoma Flat Style, you apply solid color in the shape of what you are drawing, for example a woman in a blanket, understanding the position of her shoulders, arms and back under the blanket.” Pure Indian art would only allow fine lines of another color with gradual changes of flat colors to shade the blanket. “Over the years, I have developed my own style by keeping the basic Flat Style while adding background work and shading,” Rorex-Bridges said, “I have always mixed my own colors from tube paints because I like lots of color but muted, softer colors.”
The story of Crossing Bok Chitto was Rorex-Bridges’ first illustrations for a children’s book. Written by Tim Tingle, a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, the book is a moving original story about the intersection of cultures between the Choctaw Nation and the plantation slaves of Mississippi that escaped slavery by crossing the Bok Chitto river that separated them. “Bridges created mural-like paintings with a rock-solid spirituality and many of the illustration serve essentially as portraits, they’re utterly mesmerizing – strong solid figures gazing squarely out of the frame, beseeching readers to listen, empathize and wonder,” said Tingle.
Workshops will be taught by Jeanne Rorex-Bridges along with her husband James, “JR”, using her unique techniques to create a painting. The hands on workshops will be held at 9am and 1pm in Humanities Center room 115. Supplies will be provided with student and participants needing to bring their own brushes. A list of brushes will be given to those wishing to attend when they call Debbie Phillips at 384-6863 to reserve a seat. Workshops are limited in size with only a few seats still available.
The noon time lecture “Artist, Business Woman, Entrepreneur” to be given by Rorex-Bridges in the OJC Humanities Center room 113 will give attendees an insight not only into what it takes to become a professional artist but the business side perspective too. Her lecture will include Jeanne’s path to making art a sustainable career for her and her husband and the various art styles they do; painting, tiles, metal work, book illustration, greeting cards and postcards just to name a few. Lecture is free and open to the public.
Jeanne Rorex-Bridges will have on display during her visit in the Humanities Center lobby her artwork from 8am until 6pm Wednesday, September 26th. Jeanne and her husband-business partner will be the guests of honor at an artist’s reception from 3:30pm-5:30pm. All OJC students and the public are invited to attend. It will be an opportunity to meet the artists and talk with them about their work and inspiration.
Photo Caption: Jeanne Rorex-Bridges and her business partner husband JR are featured for the OJC Guest Lecturer’s Series on Wednesday, September 26th. Rorex-Bridges is an award winning artist of Cherokee ancestry from Green Country, Oklahoma whose work will be on display in the Humanities Center lobby from 8am-6pm.