Jay Exon

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"Noodlin' is a Colorful but Dangerous Way to Fish" by Jay Exon.

Jay Exon is an American painter specializing in abstract art. He began flourishing a brush painting scenery for the theater during his apprenticeship with noted set designer Richard Ellis. In 2015, Jay began painting full-time and soon developed a career as an independent artist. Though his abstract style is a departure from that of his formal training, he brings to each work a sense of theatricality.

Jay lives and works in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

"My paintings are serendipitous discoveries revealed through open-minded experimentation. I paint as if treasure hunting, inspired by possibilities in pursuit of the novel. There are no accidents on my canvases, only coincidences. Perhaps Robert Motherwell of the New York School put it best: "In the brush doing what it is doing, it will stumble upon what one couldn't do by oneself.”"

Jay Exon at Gierek Gallery in Tulsa

June 29, 2022 In Galleries, News By Ana Berry

Having started his career as a full-time artist in 2015, Jay Exon seems to have found his sweet spot many artists struggle with- focusing on his art full time while someone else markets and sells it. “I think as an artist; you’re painting for you. You’re not painting for what sells because you can get into a trap of not evolving and just producing the same painting over and over again,” explains Jay.

Jay’s art is exclusively represented at the Joseph Gierek Fine Art Gallery in the Meadow Gold District on

historic Route 66, which is an excellent opportunity for Jay to sell his work and an honor for him to be in such a revered gallery. “Just having my art on the walls next to other art that blows me away is such an honor.” recounts Jay.

Many artists know how difficult it is to be creative and manage their business; that is why Jay feels being represented by a gallery of this caliber allows him to focus on his painting full time and not worry about marketing and sales.

For 39 years, Joseph Gierek Fine Art Gallery has been a destination gallery frequented by repeat customers and visitors traveling to Tulsa, admiring the extensive collection of paintings, sculptures, glass, collage, and mixed media works. “The gallery is well established, and Joseph has a great reputation for carrying the best names from the East Coast to the West Coast as well as many local Oklahoma artists.”

Growing up in Tulsa, Jay started painting for theatrical stage sets at the American Theater Company. Having learned technical skills in art design, woodworking, and color theory prepared him perfectly for his career as the full-time abstract painter that he is today. Tulsa has innumerable opportunities for artists to get their names out there, and for Jay, having his art on the walls at the Designer Showcase and Parade of Homes is where people started to respond to his work. Jay had a couple purchase seven paintings for their home from these showcases, and when it comes to buying multiple paintings from one artist, he says, “it’s about relationships and finding people who like your work. Buyers need to find something they want to look at every day.”

Jay advises that when you purchase just one painting from an artist, you become a collector and that “collectors must understand that an artist is going to evolve and change so that they won’t get stuck in one style. It’s neat to be involved in the artists’ journey as they create.”

Jay is a fan of bold colors – pink being his favorite. When standing in front of his large pieces, you are immediately drawn to the vibrancy and power of his chosen colors. His colors reflect his mood and inform the naming of the work, which he does with his sister. “The names all have an inside story. I try to keep them interesting and comical.”

Another benefit for an artist to be exclusive to a gallery is the anticipation from new and long-time collectors. Collectors – and friends – are always looking for what’s coming next from the artist. Asking, what is the next piece or series you will paint? Being represented at one gallery gives people a consistent place to revisit and follow the artist’s evolution. And for the artist, the gallery is a container for that evolution because sometimes a painting happens in an afternoon, and sometimes it takes a year. For Jay, being represented at the Joseph Gierek Fine Art Gallery is an opportunity to feel supported so he can focus on his art. “I think for many artists, you can have doubts, but when you have that cheerleader who reinforces that you’re doing good work, it is so meaningful. It’s great if it sells, but just receiving that feedback about your art and value is just as important.”


The Curve Gallery: SEPT-OCT 2018 (Muskogee, OK)

Landon Thomas Designs: JUNE-AUG 2018 (Tulsa, OK)

Art Live, The Meridia : FEB 2018 (Tulsa, OK)

Plein Air Pop-Up, West Elm: FEB 2017 (Tulsa, OK)

Michael Brothers Hair: JUNE-NOV 2016 (Tulsa, OK)


Holiday Art Show, Joseph Gierek Fine Art: DEC 2021 (Tulsa, OK)

Members Exhibition, Living Arts: FEB 2020 (Tulsa, OK)

Holiday Art Show, Joseph Gierek Fine Art: DEC 2020 (Tulsa, OK)

Impressions of Landscape, Landon Thomas Designs: DEC-JAN 2019/20 (Tulsa, OK)

Canvas and Dance, Skiatook Arts Center: OCT 2019 (Skiatook, OK)

2019 Parade of Homes: JUNE 2019 (Tulsa, OK)

46th Annual Designer Showcase, Harwelden Mansion: MAY 2019 (Tulsa, OK)

Yin and Yang, Chrysalis Salon: MAY-JUNE 2019 (Tulsa, OK)

Fresh Oklahoma 2019, Landon Thomas Designs: FEB-MAR 2019 (Tulsa, OK)

Abstracted, Tulsa Artery : JAN-FEB 2018 (Tulsa, OK)

Kindred Art Show: NOV 2017 (Jenks, OK)

Contemporium, Skiatook Arts Center : AUG-SEPT 2017 (Skiatook, OK)

Decopolis Fine Arts Show: NOV-DEC 2016 (Tulsa, OK)

About Pickens Museum

Osage Warrior in the Enemy Camp by Sculptor John Free. Seeking to attain his tribe's highest war honor by touching his enemy. This action among indigenous peoples is called "Counting Coup".
Osage Warrior in the Enemy Camp by Sculptor John Free. “Osage Warrior in the Enemy Camp” is a bronze created by Osage Artist John Free. The bronze, eight feet high and twelve feet long) was enlarged to 1-1/4 life size through the efforts of John Free of the Bronze Horse foundry in Pawhuska and Hugh Pickens. Pictured (L-R): Hugh Pickens, Executive Director of Pickens Museum and Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear of the Osage Nation.
Three Faces of the Pioneer Woman by Artist Daniel Pickens. “Three Faces of the Pioneer Woman” is a mural painted by fine artist Daniel Pickens. Daniel was born in Lima, Peru in 1974 and is currently living in Stockholm, Sweden. This mural is at our Ponca City location.
“"War Club" by Native Artist Yatika Starr Fields was recently acquired from Garth Greenam Gallery to Pickens Museum. Personal and social struggle have long been integral to the artist’s practice. After joining the Water Protectors at the Dakota Access Pipeline in 2016, Fields increasingly centered the Indigenous history of hope and struggle in his work, particularly in his studio practice. In his 2017 series, Tent Metaphor Standing Rock, Field recovered tents after the infamous February 22, 2017 police raid on the protesters. The artist recombined the vivid tenting material—the mainstay of middle-class camping holidays that has become an icon of homelessness and protest movements—into traditional Indigenous patterns, anti-pipeline slogans, and into dynamic, compelling abstract compositions. As in his graffiti works, Fields blurs the line between abstraction and representation, creating stylistic compositions out of recognizable elements, and setting them against dynamic, swirling fields of color and twisting forms. The works blur the boundaries between political polemic and abstraction, between distress, resistance and hope.
Three Faces of the Pioneer Woman by Artist Daniel Pickens. Our mural "The Three Faces of the Pioneer Woman" is located in City Central at our Ponca City location.
Doctor Pickens Museum of Turquoise Jewelry and Art. Pickens Museum displays art works at NOC Tonkawa campus. Pictured (L-R): Dr. Cheryl Evans, NOC President, Hugh Pickens, Executive Director of Pickens Museum, and Sheri Snyder, NOC Vice President for Development and Community Relations. (photo by John Pickard/Northern Oklahoma College) This art is at our Tonkawa location
Native American Artist Yatika Starr Fields Completes Mural for Pickens Museum.
The World's Largest Naja. Future location of Pickens Museum on Route 60 and "U" Street West of Ponca City
Architectural Renderings of Pickens Museum.
Aerial View from East of Future location of Pickens Museum along Route 60 at "U" Street West of Ponca City
Display of Turquoise Jewelry.
Drum player by Allan Houser. This stone carving is part of the collection at Pickens Museum.
"Red Man" by Native American Artist Fritz Scholder. Pickens Museum Director Hugh Pickens on right.
Osage Warrior in the Enemy Camp.
Native American Jewelry Artist Tonya Rafael with a silver frame she created to honor my wife Sr. S.J. Pickens. My wife and Tonya worked together over the years creating new jewelry art pieces. My wife had an eye for color and would often design a spectacular piece and ask Tonya to execute it for her. A skilled silversmith, Tonya would sometimes stay in our guest house, set up a workshop, and work for days at a time on a Squash Blossom, Bolo, or Bracelet my wife commissioned. The piece is a silver picture frame that Tonya cut out of thick silver plate. Around the edge of the picture frame are 95 small turquoise stones. In the top is a large spiny oyster stone in the shape of a heart. The frame contains a photo that Tonya took of my wife a few years ago. Dr. Pickens is wearing one of her favorite outfits and if you look closely you can see a special squash blossom and necklace that Tonya created for my wife. In the bottom of the frame is an inscription.
Native American Artist Jolene Bird. Jolene Bird is an accomplished artist who learned her craft from her grandfather over 20 years ago. Jolene makes her jewelry in the tradition of the Santo Domingo Pueblo in New Mexico. This is a Fender Stratocaster guitar onto which Jolene has attached pieces of Kingman and Sonoran Turquoise highlighted with Jet. The stars are in Abalone, Mother of Pearl, Pipestone, Yellow Serpentine, and Spiny Oyster. The artistry in this piece is simply breathtaking and has to be seen to be believed. Consider that this is a three dimensional mosaic, a three dimensional jigsaw puzzle if you will. Jolene told me that each individual piece of turquoise had to be cut, shaped, and ground down to fit perfectly with the other pieces. Each individual piece probably took six to eight hours to produce and there are literally hundreds of pieces covering the guitar.
American Indian by Paul Manship This piece at Pickens Museum is the only known existing copy of this sculpture.
Painting by Peruvian Artist Josue Sanchez. Photo Credit: Hugh Pickens Pickens Museum

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