Oklahoma City art museum display inspires NWOSU Art Society to donate 'Quilts and Color' book to library

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Oklahoma City art museum display inspires NWOSU Art Society to donate 'Quilts and Color' book to library

December 2, 2015

 Metcalf, Kelsey and Jeffries
Representing the NWOSU Art Society in the donation of the ‘Quilts and Color’ book is President Amanda Metcalf (left) along with the J.W. Martin Library Director of Library Services Susan Jeffries (right) and Professor Ken Kelsey (center) who attended the museum display where the book got its origin.

A Northwestern Oklahoma State University (NWOSU) instructor is donating the book “Quilts and Color” to the J.W. Martin Library on behalf of the NWOSU Art Society (NAS) after making a recent trip to view a quilt display at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.

Ken Kelsey, instructor of history and fine arts, took members of his museum studies class on their second field trip to an in-state museum on Saturday, Nov. 7. The group saw nearly 50-quilts on display in the “Quilts and Color” exhibition on loan from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. While on the trip, Kelsey thought of the craftsmanship of the quilters who had previously displayed their art at the annual NAS Art Show held in the library. The opportunity presented itself, and Kelsey thought it was appropriate to donate this book on behalf of NAS.

“Mr. Kelsey has always been such a big supporter of our club and art show, so we thank him for thinking about us with this donation," Amanda Metcalf from Enid, president of NAS and music major said.

Creators of the book and collection display were Paul Pilgrim and Gerald Roy. They found, from the late 19th to mid-20th centuries, quilts with similarly bold and striking designs and were influenced by 20th century art developments such as abstraction, optical art and the color field movement. Quilts from the 1800’s to present can be found inside the publication that was donated to the library.

“The book is focused on seeing quilts as works of art,” Kelsey said.

Campus community members as well as the public will soon be able to view the craftsmanship of the Northwestern quilters that Kelsey spoke of, along with talented artists in other categories as the 13th annual NWOSU Art Society Art Show will take place March 6-26 in the J.W. Martin Library. Art in a number of categories will be accepted into the show from students, employees, retired employees and alumni from all of Northwestern’s campus sites.

“The NAS Art Show is so important to the community,” Kelsey said. “It highlights the art created by Northwestern’s students, employees, retired employees and alumni. It also gives students an opportunity to practice critiquing works of art and talking about them.”

In Kelsey’s museum studies course, he and his students have open discussions about the museums and art pieces they travel to see. Museum studies, HIST 4412, is a 2 credit hour history course available to both graduate and undergraduate students.

“It only meets for two Saturdays,” Kelsey said about the history course. “On the first Saturday we went to Woodward for the Oklahoma Museum Association conference… The course does require a 16-hour service-learning project.”

For more information about NAS and its annual art show please visit www.nwosu.edu/art. For more information on Kelsey’s museum studies course please contact Kelsey at (580) 327-8523 or