Two alumni featured in art exhibit at NSU's Vaughan Library

Showcasing the artwork of two alumni, the John Vaughan Library at Northeastern State University is hosting an exhibit by photographer Brenda Kaye Bradford and artist Martin Bradford.

The display is on the second floor landing and can be viewed during library hours. The Vaughan Library is open 7:30 a.m. – 2 a.m. Monday – Thursday; 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Friday; 1-5 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. – 2 a.m. Sunday.

Martin and Brenda are in-laws. Brenda is married to Martin's brother Steve. She displays her work under the name Brenda Kaye.

Brenda's interest in photography was sparked while attending NSU. One semester while assembling a difficult course load, she decided to include a photography class "to mix it up." Her interest in the medium blossomed and she has pursued it since.

"My favorite photographic subjects are trees, reflections and people," she said. "I like to find people with texture in their faces, or to capture them while they are doing something interesting."

Like many photographers, Brenda has moved away from film and entered the digital age. She uses a Canon EOS 7D and prefers shooting in color, though she does "experiment with black and white."

"For this exhibit, I chose photographs with which I have my own memories," she said. "For me, the experience of going out to take the pictures is as much fun as taking them. These photographs include experiences I wanted to share with other people. Hopefully they will see things that make them feel good, smile, or even something they can laugh at."

Brenda graduated in 2007 as one of the first to hold a bachelor's degree in visual communications. She works in the Vaughan Library as an archives assistant.

Martin Bradford claims a lifelong interest in art which began in childhood when his family lived in the United Kingdom. Fascinated by the nation's history and artistic subject matter, he took up drawing. As a student at NSU in the 1970s, he was a founder of the Art Nouveau club.

Participating in his first contest, he entered a piece called "Steam Pump Tigers" into the Northeast Oklahoma Art Show in Pryor and was named best in show from 120 entries.

"If I had to describe my style in one word it would be eclectic," Martin said. "I will take from any style – except abstract and modern which I've never really cared for. Right now I am really interested in the artistic styles of pre-World War II and the 1940s, whether it be old Hollywood, posters, caricatures, cartoons or comic books."

Martin's part of the exhibit includes many mediums. His first artistic love is drawing, and several pieces in pencil and colored pencil are displayed. Also in the exhibit are paintings in acrylics and watercolor.

"Often, my subject matter is whatever is on my mind when I wake up in the morning," he said. "Some concepts are actually something I dreamed about. I also like to work with new ideas. Sometimes I'll draw or paint a piece and someone will ask me to create something similar to it, and that has always been difficult for me."

Now retired, Martin taught at Westville Public Schools and Bacone College before concluding his career in education as the principal at Watts High School. He graduated from Northeastern in 1976 with a bachelor's degree in art education and in 1988 with a master's degree in junior college teaching.

The Brenda Kaye and Martin Bradford exhibit is open until Jan. 22. For more information call Amanda Chappelle at (918) 444-3230. 

Published: 1/20/2012 1:08:57 PM

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