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Kasum Contemporary Fine Art Brings Mix of Modern Art to Downtown Yukon

By Pamela Sosnowski

When one thinks of contemporary fine art, the city of Yukon probably doesn't come to mind. Yet the downtown area's Plaza District is home to one of the state's premier galleries featuring the work of both upcoming and established modern artists, Kasum Contemporary Fine Art.

"One of the beautiful things about this gallery is that we show such a diversity of style," says Tony Morton, the gallery's director and CEO. "No one exhibit is greater than any other, simply different. We have held exhibitions which focused on everything from functional contemporary furnishings to new media video projection-based projects and expressionism to dark art."

The gallery was first established in 2010, later relocating to the Plaza District, and rebranded as Kasum Contemporary Fine Art in 2014. Morton and his wife ran Paseo Originals Art Gallery when the owners decided to retire and close the gallery.

"When they retired my wife and I just weren't ready to," says Morton. "We had compiled an incredible clutch of artists, the gallery had a great following and so we decided to build upon that and open a new facility in the heart of the Plaza District. In many ways we were inspired by the district, its eclectic nature, the diversity of traffic it draws and the progressive energy throughout."

Exhibitions typically last 5 to 6 weeks with multiple artists being featured at any given time. Recent exhibitions have included oil paintings by Mary Bechtol, a performance art series by Silene Tomentosa, and installation pieces by Gayle Curry.

""It is our philosophy that while anyone can create art, artists are rare; true artistry exists in the conception, the delivery and the drive to exceed the expected in all capacities. (Our) eclectic consortium of gallery artists are defined by their provocatively bold artworks which challenge the observer as much as the artist; be it through technique, concept, emotion or the sheer deafening volume of compassion behind the work," explains Morton.

The gallery hosts several events that are free and open to the public, some of which include exhibit receptions, lectures, and demonstrations. Seasonal patron events are by invitation only and usually limited to gallery clients. The gallery also displays its artwork to regional and international art fairs, an occasionally hosts off-site exhibitions.

A full-service art gallery, Kasum Contemporary Fine Art not only deals in artwork sales, but can arrange leasing and provides collection management, art lighting consultations, maintenance assistance, and relocation services. Its commitment to service and showcasing intriguing art has earned it media attention and press, including the Oklahoma Gazette's Best of OKC reader's poll award.

The gallery accepts submissions from contemporary artists that are seeking representation; directions are posted on the gallery's website, but there are requirements. "Selecting the artists we represent is about a lot more than just great art," says Morton, "We are looking for artists that have fantastic art work, unbelievable passion, undying motivation and the ability to grow value in their work."

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