Today is the final day to see acclaimed Oklahoma photographer M.J. Alexander’s new exhibit “Portrait of a Generation: Sons and Daughters of the Red Earth” at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive. The museum is open from noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays.
On view in the first-floor Founder’s Gallery, the exhibit features Alexander’s wonderful portraits of dozens of Oklahoma children. The exhibit accompanies Alexander’s new limited edition art book “Portrait of a Generation — The Children of Oklahoma: Sons and Daughters of the Red Earth.”
For the follow-up to her 2007 book and exhibit “Salt of the Red Earth,” which featured Oklahoma centenarians, Alexander embarked on a quest to feature the youngsters who will determine Oklahoma’s future. Her mission took her more than 11,000 miles to 50 towns and cities, from Cimarron County to Beaver’s Bend and Mangum to Picher.
Along with her images of more then 250 Oklahomans — primarily children from newborns to college freshmen — the acclaimed Oklahoma City photographer gathered family genealogies, state history and personal stories from the youngsters.
From American Indian dancers at the Red Earth Festival in Oklahoma City and intrepid fishermen at the Okie Noodling Festival in Pauls Valley to artists performing at the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain and belt buckle-boasting champions at the International Finals Youth Rodeo in Shawnee, she tried to highlight the range of interests, ethnicities and philosophies of our state’s youth.
The project also took her to my hospital room at Integris Baptist Medical Center and my Del City front lawn. My daughter, Brenna Faire McDonnell, born June 25, 2010, is featured in the book and in the flier posted above. She was photographed held aloft in her daddy’s hands when she was just 100 hours old.
The large-scale version of her photo is one of the four portraits clustered together near the museum entrance (opposite the reception desk).
While attending the museum’s Family Day festivities on Saturday, I got another chance to admire these photos. Alexander has done a fantastic job of capturing the vitality and variety of Oklahoma’s children, and the exhibit is definitely worth seeing this afternoon before it closes.
For more information on “Portrait of a Generation,” go to www.sliceok.com/portrait.
The Oklahoma City Museum of Art also is showcasing a pair of new exhibitions worth checking out – “George Nelson: Architect, Writer, Designer, Teacher” and “New Frontiers – Jill Downen: Counterparts.” For more information, go to www.okcmoa.com.