June 4, 2018
Oklahoma History Center to Present “A Sense of Time and Place: Work by Greg Burns”
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma History Center is honored to present a selection of works by famed Oklahoma artist Greg Burns. The exhibit “A Sense of Time and Place: Work by Greg Burns” will consist of 10 drawings and paintings that have been chosen by the artist specifically for display at the History Center. The exhibit will be located on the third floor of the History Center in an area of the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation Gallery known as Curators’ Corner. The exhibit will open Thursday, June 21, and will close Saturday, September 29. It may be viewed during the History Center’s normal hours of operation, Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Oklahoma History Center is located at 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive in Oklahoma City.
Burns, although not native to Oklahoma, was moved there as an infant to be treated for arthrogryposis, a muscle and joint disorder that severely limits or prevents movement of the extremities. A graduate in fine arts from the University of Oklahoma, his intricate pen-and-ink drawings and watercolors have received international recognition. Realizing his gift at a very early age, Burns said, “I can’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t drawing. I won several art competitions beginning in high school and then, in 1978, was honored to receive the Governor’s Art Award for the state of Oklahoma from David Boren.” Among the driving forces in his career was a desire to refute the advice of an uncle who told him not to waste his time being an artist. Undaunted by his uncle’s words, he made $50,000 his first year as a professional artist. “If the truth be told, my first sale was to my grandmother. She bought a painting for $50,” said Burns.
His method is anything but conventional. Burns draws with a permanent ink roller ball cradled in his right hand and then colors his drawings with watercolor washes. The watercolors are applied with a brush held in his teeth so that his hand and arm will not drag over the wet paint. Typically his art pieces take a few days to a couple of weeks to complete, depending on size and subject matter.
The Oklahoma History Center is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society and is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, National Archives and is an accredited member of the American Alliance of Museums. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.