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Cover Story: art in the heat Slinging words and vegetables “I like working outside at the market mostly because the people I work with are amazing and I like learning about Oklahoma's growing season and lately the seasons have been highly influential in my work,” poet Lauren Zuniga said. “[My] new book is called The Smell of Good Mud and I think it has stemmed from a new awareness of the earth that surrounds me.” Zuniga, a nationally touring poet and teaching artist, works once a week at the Urban Agrarian Farmers Market at Saint Anthony Hospital in Oklahoma City. Zuniga supports herself as an artist by being an artist, and said she uses her time at the farmers market to support her local food habit. On top of her writing, performing and hawking vegetables weekly, she also is a full-time mom, the founder of Oklahoma Young Writers and is working toward publishing her next book this fall. That schedule makes for a busy summer. “[The farmers market’s] really not hard,” Zuniga said. “It's just one day a week. The other stuff gets tricky. Trying to work, perform, mother and run a business is the part that I have not quite mastered. Sometimes you resent your art more when it is paying your light bill, sometimes you are more grateful.” Writing from the earth “I spent a large part of my life on my family's ranch south of Norman,” poet Zakk Flash said. “Growing up, I've had cattle, horses, goats, sheep, pigs, donkeys, and llamas. The work is hot, dirty, sweaty, and much more satisfying than any ‘job’ I've ever had. Man was born of clay and nothing sinks his roots deeper than digging in the dirt.” Flash is one of those people that seems to have a hand in everything. A rancher, a poet, an officer with the Chickasaw Nation, a photographer and a community organizer — he does it all. He recently took over the group Outlaw Poets and has taken home the Extreme Championship Poetry Slam60 belt, a huge honor for a slam poet. And all of that, according to Flash, is very much inspired by the outdoors. They

are his roots. “Working outside influences my writing and art in so many ways,” Flash said. “I don't feel I can experience the full depth and resonance of life in town. As Edward Abbey said, ‘Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit.’ We maintain our connection to nature, and ultimately each other, by experiencing the winding and crooked trails through the woods. My poetry, especially, speaks to the inherent wildness and unpredictability of the outside world. Every poem is ultimately a love poem.”

Daughter of the Forest A Poem by Zakk Flash Her body is not so fine-boned as the owl mask she wears - nor is her cry a harbinger of dark futures. It is a field, coffee-brown and rich; she is ripe with green hope. Each breath she takes gives birth to a series of dying clouds. They will fall to give rise to the forest’s song. She is the daughter of the forest, an Indian princess; she is indigenous wildflower. Every tree that punctures the red clay holds her voice in its branches: It is the owl’s radiant call. It is the cooing of doves. And the roots that spread like a lover’s lotus arms, that thread their way like the fibers of her own desire, that explode flower-by-flower they drink deep. I like to think that someday I’ll find the source of water in her halcyon eyes. When I do, I will baptize myself in their depths. And I will gladly sink below the surface.

“Anxiety Machines” Art Show Exhibition POP Staff

The University of Oklahoma School of Art & Art History welcomes visiting artist Sara Schneckloth as the first exhibiting artist of the 2011 fall semester. Schneckloth’s exhibition “Anxiety Machines” is open from Aug. 22 through Sept. 2 in the Lightwell Gallery. Schneckloth photo provided will host an undergraduate drawing workshop, at 9:30 a.m., as well as a graduate drawing workshop, at 3 p.m., both on Thursday, Sept. 1, in the Lightwell Gallery. Schneckloth is also scheduled to give a free public lecture at 1:30 p.m. Thursday in the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art followed by a closing reception of her exhibition from 5 p.m. to 7p.m. in the Lightwell Gallery. Schneckloth explores contemporary drawing by incorporating a variety of media into her work. She introduces sculptural elements into her drawings, blending the traditional with the experimental. Schneckloth comments on drawing as “an expanded

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practice in which it is possible to articulate ideas and sensations in a range of media. Drawing for me is about experimentation, discovery, and making surprising connections between ideas and materials.” Schneckloth “creates images that speak to the physical and emotional processes of remembering. The notion of the gesture factors strongly into her work, figuring as both the mark on the page and as an invitation for viewers to intimately interact with her drawings.” The University of Oklahoma’s Lightwell Gallery is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and is located on the second floor of the Fred Jones Art Center, 520 Parrington Oval, in the OU Arts District. For more information on Sara Schneckloth please visit www.saraschneckloth.com. For more information on the University of Oklahoma School of Art & Art History please visit www.art.ou.edu. For special accommodations call 405.325.2691 or email art@ou.edu.

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Friday, Aug. 19, 2011

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