Wednesday, January 27, 2010
"PWA Art Deco". What in the world is that? If you read my previous post, you’d have learned that it stands for Public Works Administration. It was a government program to employ workers during the Depression to help construct public buildings. Will Rogers High School and Webster High School are examples of such constructions during that time. Emphasis was on more horizontal lines rather than the skyscraper designs of its predecessor ZigZag style.Will Rogers High School was designed by Leon B. Senter and Joseph R. Koberling, Jr. and built in 1938 according to their Tulsa Preservation Commission page. The school was listed in the National Register in 2007. It amazes me that when it opened in 1938/1939 they had well over 1,000 students enrolled! When I saw this building and read about the horizontal emphasis of these PWA buildings, I couldn’t help but think of the correlation between the earth and trees with the building’s lines. Therefore, when I outlined the compositional plan for this painting, the dramatic tower was meant to parallel the lone conifer to the right and the low horizon with the repeated horizontal lines in the building. All the colors were kept rather subdued so as to suggest a harmony with nature as well as the age of this learning institution that’s graced our city for over 70 years. The painting is acrylic on 11 x 14" prepped mdf.
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