Arts & Culture
Factory Obscura's Synesthesia Exhibit
A new kind of art experience is coming to the Fred Jones Jr Museum of Art on the campus of the University of Oklahoma in Norman. Synesthesia is the latest work by Factory Obscura, an Oklahoma City-based collaborative company creating interactive, immersive art experiences with a multidisciplinary team of artists. The project at FJJMA invites participants to explore the sensory memories that exist between layers of color and texture, opening June 23 and continuing through June 2023.
Synesthesia is inspired by the permanent collection of the Fred Jones Jr Museum of Art, in particular the work of Olinka Hrdy, who began her career as a student at the University of Oklahoma from 1923-1928. Synesthesia asks to open your senses and explore what exists between the layers of Hrdy’s work, and what memories live in the spaces between. What does chartreuse sound like? What does fuchsia smell like? Answers and exploration await you in Synesthesia , where you are invited to gently touch, crawl, explore, and discover.
“When the museum invited us to create a new immersive experience inspired by their collection, our team spent time with the work and found we were all drawn to similar artists and styles,” said Kelsey Karper, co-founder and Director of Logistical Creativity at Factory Obscura. “Olinka Hrdy’s work stood out to us immediately, with beautiful color palettes, and fantastic layers of line and texture. FJJMA has a vast collection of Hrdy’s work, which we were fortunate to view and draw inspiration from.”
The University of Oklahoma’s Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art is one of the nation’s finest art museums at a public university. Strengths of the more than 20,000 object permanent collection are the Weitzenhoffer Collection of French Impressionism, 20th century American painting and sculpture, traditional and contemporary Native American art, and much more. Through its growing collections, diverse exhibitions, and programs, the museum has long created opportunities for university students and the greater-Oklahoma City metro to derive knowledge, understanding, and enjoyment from the visual arts.
“We are incredibly excited to play host for the next year to an immersive experience by Factory Obscura,” said Thomas Smith, Wylodean and Bill Saxon Director of the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art. “The Synesthesia installation provides a new opportunity to introduce our audience to an art experience like no other. Additionally, Synesthesia provides an introduction for Factory Obscura’s audience to become more familiar with our exceptional permanent collection through the use of Olinka Hrdy’s artwork.”
“Synesthesia was a new challenge for the team,” said Tammy Greenman, co-founder and Director of Strategic Creativity at Factory Obscura. “We knew we wanted to incorporate more senses than we have before, such as smell and taste, and we knew we had to create for a space that at first glance would not be easy logistically to create density in. In the end, we were up for the challenge. We’ve created a wondrously immersive sensory memory experience that takes participants on a journey through layers of color and texture, and combines sound and smell and light to transport you to another time and place in your life. This project allowed the artist team to create in new and interesting ways. We cannot wait for the public to experience it.”
In addition to the Synesthesia art experience, Factory Obscura will also open a temporary pop-up shop inside the museum, featuring merchandise from Factory Obscura and the FJJMA, alongside handmade items created by local artists, and other goods you won’t find anywhere else.
While the art experience is open at FJJMA for a full year, the museum will offer a series of free programs, including Synesthesia Saturdays, with family programming focused on engaging one of the five senses. Visit the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art's website for the latest details on events and programs.
Synesthesia opens with a Party on the Patio from 5:30-8:30 p.m. June 23. Members of FJJMA or Factory Obscura’s Mix-Tape are invited to get the first look at 5:30, then it will open to the public from 6:30-8:30. The Party on the Patio will feature food trucks, and entertainment from Inspyral Circus and Bronte. Attendees to the Party on the Patio are invited to wear monochromatic attire, in shades of one of the following colors: soft yellow, chartreuse, baby aqua, lavender, or fuchsia. Admission at FJJMA is always free.
Synesthesia is organized by Factory Obscura in collaboration with the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art and supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Norman Arts Council.
For more information, visit the website here.
The museum's gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from 1-5 p.m. Sunday. The museum will also be closed on the following university holidays: New Year's Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Easter Sunday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Eve.
Admission to the museum is complimentary, thanks to a donation made by The University of Oklahoma Athletics Department.