TULSA, Oklahoma - The Tulsa Artist Fellowship is a 2015 creation of the George Kaiser Family Foundation designed to expand Tulsa’s art scene.

Since then several dozen artists from all over the country have come to Tulsa, and have been given space to live and work.

One of those artists Joel Daniel Phillips, from San Francisco, has an exhibit at the Philbrook Downtown. It focuses on the oil business, particularly in California. He researched hundreds of photographs in the LA Public Library. He whittled that group down to just a few and created the images in his exhibit.

“What I was searching for in these images was images that walk the line between beauty and terror, “ he said.

Like his re-creation of a photo of the Hancock refinery fire in Long Beach California in 1958. That fire took three days to get under control, people died and surrounding neighborhoods were adversely affected.

That fire was one of those incidents that lead Californians to question the oil industry’s great promise. Two of the images show Venice Canal and Venice Beach and Huntington Beach populated with dozens of oil rigs. Those rigs are gone from the horizon and from our cultural memory.

His question:

“How did it happen, and how do we keep that kind of thing from happening.”