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A sneak preview of the sixth season of “Art in the Twenty-First Century,” the only primetime national television series focused exclusively on contemporary art, will be offered April 3 and 4 [TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY] and April 11 and 12 [WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY] at East Central University in Ada.

ECU’s Art Department will screen the programs in partnership with Art21 as part of its Access ’12 initiative.

“We will be one of many world premiere sites for this Peabody Award-winning series on PBS,” said Dr. Brad Jessop, director of ECU’s School of Fine Arts. “We will show all four episodes, beginning with ‘Change’ on April 3.”

Each screening will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Ataloa Theatre in the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center. The screenings are open to the public at no charge.

Through in-depth profiles and interviews, the four-part series reveals the inspiration, vision and techniques behind the creative works of some of today’s most thought-provoking artists.

“Change” on April 3 features artists who bear witness, through their work, to transformation – cultural, material, and aesthetic – and actively engage communities as collaborators and subjects. Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, Ghanaian sculptor El Anatsui and American photographer Catherine Opie are featured.

The second episode, “Boundaries,” on April 4 presents artists who synthesize disparate aesthetic traditions, present taboo subject matter, discover innovative uses of media and explore the shape-shifting potential of the human figure. David Altmejd, assume vivid astro focus (an alias of Brazilian-born New York-based artist Eli Sudbrack), Lynda Benglis, and Tabaimo are featured.

In “History” on April 11, artists play with historical events, explore and expose commonly held assumptions about historic ‘truth,’ and create narratives based on personal experiences. Marina Abramović, Glenn Ligon and Mary Reid Kelley are featured.

Through sculpture, paintings and installations in “Balance” on April 12, the artists grapple with equilibrium and disequilibrium as they create highly structured works that challenge conventional notions of perception and representation. Rackstraw Downes, Robert Mangold and Sarah Sze are featured.

OETA The Oklahoma Network’s schedule shows the season will premiere on April 14. “History” will be broadcast at 6 p.m. April 14, at 3 a.m. on April 15 and 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. on April 16.

Art21 Access ’12 is an international screening initiative created to increase knowledge of contemporary art, ignite dialogue and inspire creative thinking through hundreds of public screenings and events that tailor the ideas presented in the series to the interests and concerns of local audiences.

“Art21 Access ’12 provides an opportunity for organizations around the country and the world to experience a central goal of Art21 – dialogue inspired by contemporary art and the ideas it expresses,” said Susan Sollins, executive producer of Art21.

“We hope that participating organizations find ways to best utilize the Art21 materials for their respective communities and that audiences will take full advantage of the events in their area and discover the life-changing potential of viewing creative role models at work. Our goal is that these events spark new conversations, and expose all kinds of viewers to the important work of the artists profiled in the series.”

Art21 Access ’12 events are presented in partnership with the Arts Business Council, Emerging Leaders of New York Arts, National Guild for Community Arts Education and the YMCA.

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