"Light Fantastic" art featured at OkEq in December

Melanie Potts’ inspiration comes from her having lived in the country. Photo provided.

Melanie Potts’ Light Fantastic series focuses on the idea of seeing something that is taken for granted and even looked down upon; that “something” is light pollution. This December, Tulsa’s Oklahomans for Equality art gallery will be lit-up with the art of Melanie Potts. The show opens with a reception Thursday, December 7 and will be on display at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center throughout the month.

Potts was born in Fort Hood, Texas and now lives in Tulsa. She has several exhibits and series to her credit. Her inspiration for Light Fantastic comes from having lived in the country. When she is in the suburbs and in cities, Potts speaks of what’s missing: “The lack of stars has always been a notable thing. At night in the country, you could tell how far you were from the city by the glow in the sky. And, like many, I learned to detest that city glow because it blocked out the lights of the stars.

There are brilliant lights that surround us each night. Photo provided.

“As time progressed, I learned to see the direct lights around me, rather than look up. I looked forward to the brilliant lights that surround us each night. Thinking of these lights and the missing starlight, I realized that if we view lights as just that - a combination of chemical and electric reactions - then the light of the stars starts to seem less brilliant compared to the light of the car facing you at an intersection.”

Her art demonstrates this brilliance by transferring the images she sees into paintings. She focuses on creating impressionistic images to extend the feeling given from the ‘light pollution’ of cities and suburbs. The paintings are created and hung in a sideways or upside-down orientation from the way they were originally seen to allow the viewer to juxtapose the images and their light sources.

Melanie Potts transfers the images she sees into paintings. Photo provided.

“I want to encourage the viewer to observe the painting and while decoding one aspect, begin to view and decode in their own way the reflection of another. These reflections include but are not limited to personal experiences with city lights, memories of locations that had a similar light pattern, thoughts of star gazing images and even nostalgia for rainy nights.”

Her paintings range in size with varied scenes and implications of light. Each stands alone but all have enough similarity to connect them as a series both visually and conceptually.

The month-long show begins with a reception on Thursday, December 7 from 6-9 p.m. at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center, 621 E. 4th Street in downtown Tulsa. There will be a door prize drawn of the artist’s work. The show continues throughout the month.

Oklahomans for Equality (OkEq) seeks equal rights for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT+) individuals and families through advocacy, education, programs, alliances and the operation of the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center. www.okeq.org.

Copyright The Gayly – December 3, 2017 @ 7:30 a.m. CST.