Art outside the box
Since he took over as Executive Director of the Leslie Powell Gallery, Matt Hughes has been itching to get outside of the box of what has traditionally been considered fine art. It was his desire to open the gallery up to work outside of the mainstream. Ultimately, he wanted visitors to be able to experience art that branches out beyond the landscape, portrait and still life.
“I just really wanted to show people there is more to art than what you think or what you expect to see in a museum or a gallery,” Hughes said.
Hughes’ dream became a reality when he met Ashley Morrison, a tattoo artist who works at Elite Skin in Lawton. The two began talking about Hughes’ vision earlier this year. That talk grew into the idea to hold an exhibit featuring the work of tattoo artists.
“I told Ashley that I wanted to do this, and I knew she’d have an in,” Hughes said. “I basically told her ‘I’m going to trust you and let you pick the people you’d like to have in the show from local shops.’”
Knowing that he wanted a unique experience, Hughes put no restrictions on the work that the artists could bring. He gave them no specifics and was ready to accept everything from photos of tattoos to concept work on tracing paper.