You auto make a truck stop, as Oklahoma City Museum of Art serves as a vehicle for Jonathan Hils' sculptures of wheel merit 

Jonathan Hils: Intersection
daily through Jan. 3, 2011
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch

In general, a truck in the air or on its end signifies something bad is about to happen. Unless it's art.

For "Intersection," Jonathan Hils' five-piece exhibit at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, the all-American pickup takes center stage, via steel and aluminum frames intended to explore society's relationship with the vehicles.

Glen Gentele, curator and OKCMOA president, said Hils focuses on two areas in his work. One is abstract sculpture; the other, the migration of oversized vehicles into the general public's usage, whether to haul heavy equipment or simply transport children around town.

"He finds the phenomenon of vehicles "? and Americans' identity through what they drive "? as being of significant value in his work," Gentele said.

While two of the automotive sculptures in "Intersection" are suspended from the ceiling, another truck piece stands vertically on its front, and comes filled with 15,000 colorful plastic balls.

"You might find them in a children's play area at Chuck E. Cheese," Gentele said, noting the work reveals more linear detail in the frame as museumgoers look closer. "What I see is that it's inviting and reminds you of a time that's playful, but not really accessible "? perhaps a loss of childhood pleasure."

Roughly halfway through its run until Jan. 3, 2011, "Intersection" is the second installment in OKCMOA's "New Frontiers" series, designed to promote the work of individual contemporary artists. Although a New Hampshire native, Hils currently teaches at the University of Oklahoma.

Gentele said visitors from both in and out of town have enjoyed the exhibit, even those who stumbled in by accident.

"A couple of folks walked in and said, 'Wow, this looks great! This is amazing! Who did this?," he said. "And I was really proud to be able to say, 'Jonathan Hils, professor of sculpture at OU." "?Rod Lott

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