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Volume 34 No. 3 | Summer 2019
Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition PHONE: 405.879.2400 1720 N Shartel Ave, Ste B, Oklahoma City, OK 73103. WEB: ovac-ok.org Editor: Krystle Brewer, firstname.lastname@example.org Art Director: Anne Richardson, email@example.com Art Focus Oklahoma is a quarterly publication of the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition dedicated to stimulating insight into and providing current information about the visual arts in Oklahoma. Mission: Supporting Oklahoma’s visual arts and artists and their power to enrich communities. OVAC welcomes article submissions related to artists and art in Oklahoma. Call or email the editor for guidelines. OVAC welcomes your comments. Letters addressed to Art Focus Oklahoma are considered for publication unless otherwise specified. Mail or email comments to the editor at the address above. Letters may be edited for clarity or space reasons. Anonymous letters will not be published. Please include a phone number. 2018-2019 Board of Directors: President: John Marshall, OKC; Vice President: Douglas Sorocco, OKC; Treasurer: Dean Wyatt, Owasso; Secretary: Laura Massenat, OKC; Parliamentarian: Jake Yunker, OKC; Susie Marsh Agee, Pauls Valley; Marjorie Atwood, Tulsa; Bob Curtis, OKC; Gina Ellis, OKC; Jon Fisher, OKC; Barbara Gabel, OKC; Saiyida Gardezi, OKC; Susan Green, Tulsa; Kyle Larson, Alva; Travis Mason, OKC; Diane Salamon, Tulsa; Chris Winland, OKC The Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition is solely responsible for the contents of Art Focus Oklahoma. However, the views expressed in articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Board or OVAC staff. Member Agency of Allied Arts and member of the Americans for the Arts. © 2019, Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition. All rights reserved. View the online archive at ArtFocusOklahoma.org.
Oklahoma Art Writing and Curatorial Fellowship Special Issue 4
Letter from the Guest Editor
About OVAC’s Art Writing and Curatorial Fellowship
R E D E F I N I T I O N S A N D P R O V O C AT I O N S 6 The Art of Words
Megan Rossman issues a challenge for contemporary critics and art writers
Danny R. W. Baskin asks us to decolonize our mindsets and decentralize our practices
Reclaiming Black Spaces
Christina L. Beatty offers BlackSpace Oklahoma as a model for community rebuilding
A Cooperative Challenge for Emerging Regions
K. Samantha Sigmon invites us to conceive of new means for engaging artists in the community
RESPONSES AND REVIEWS 12 THIS IS NOT: Months Later, Crystal Z Campbell’s Performance Piece Still Haunts Tulsa Liz Blood meditates on a landmark performance at Living Arts
14 16 18
Marjorie Bontemps reviews Charica Daugherty’s exhibition at TAC Gallery
Queen Bee is Stinging Mad: Liss LaFleur and JD Samson
CJ Charbonneau explores a recent show that reimagines the history of Stonewall
Alexander Tamahn: Constructing New Realities
Zack Reeves takes us 100 feet in the air into the world of restoring architectural detailings
Histology: An Ekphrasis
Gretchen VanWormer responds to Peggy Weil’s 88 Cores and to her own sedimented memories
Figure and Ground: Douglas Shaw Elder and Skip Hill’s Melrose Sessions
John Selvidge examines a lively instance of artistic collaboration
R E C O N S I D E R I N G C U R AT I N G 22 REMIX: Cultural Collaborations
Narciso Argüelles previews an exhibition that remixes individual artistic practices
Color and Not Color: Pink Beyond the Spectrum
Catherine Crain probes our associations with a loaded color
OVAC News EKPHRASIS: Art & Poetry
In this fifth-anniversary edition of the column, two sisters respond to each other, in poetry and painting
ON THE COVER
Top row from top left: 1. Ebony Iman Dallas, Bliss Internal, 2018. Acrylic on canvas. 2. Two women in Pussyhats, image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Middle row: 3. Alexander Tamahn, Restoration of Adams Hotel, 2019. Terra cotta. Photograph by Zack Reeves. 4. Liss LaFleur, Queen Bee is Stinging Mad, 2019, installation view. Photo by Silvia Beatriz Abisaab.5. Charica Daugherty, Selika Lazevski -The French Equestrian, 2019. Oil on canvas. Photograph by Marjorie Bontemps. Bottom row: 7. Model Citizen: Here I Stand was part of a larger show, Hello, Penumbra, curated by Jessica Borusky of Living Arts of Tulsa in partnership with the Tulsa Artist Fellowship. Photo credit: Destiny Jade Green 8. An artist installation by MacKenzie Turner on view in spring 2019 at the Walker Stone House in Fayetteville. This historic house is run by the University of Arkansas School of Art for student shows, as well as exhibitions proposed by the community. 9. Still image from Peggy Weil’s 88 CORES (From -1 Meter to -3051 Meters), 2017. Original score by Celia Hollander. Digital video, 4 hr. 29 min. Courtesy of Philbrook Museum of Art.
Letter from the guest editor Summer is here, and with the ozone alert days comes a special issue of Art Focus Oklahoma, devoted to writings by participants in OVAC’s groundbreaking Oklahoma Art Writing and Curatorial Fellowship (OAWCF) Program. This issue is the second such special one (check out Jan/Feb 2016 for the first!), and it demonstrates the program’s growth. Since it began in 2010, OAWCF has supported four cohorts of arts writers, curators, artists, and advocates, and in the past nine years, those previous participants have continued to lead conversations about the vital role the arts hold in society, moved into new positions across the country, launched innovative ventures (such as past fellow Kelsey Karper’s collaborative Factory Obscura), published books and articles (read our fellows’ essays on Art Review OK), and curated countless exhibitions, including the upcoming shows by the current fellows at the University of Tulsa’s Henry Zarrow Center for Art and Education in downtown Tulsa, opening on the First Fridays of July and August. The Oklahoma arts scene has also developed since the program’s beginnings, with increased attention paid to the vibrancy of practices statewide, from Guymon and Enid to Bartlesville and Ada and everywhere in between. Large-scale public art initiatives, from Under Her Wing Was the Universe to Rick Lowe’s upcoming work in conjunction with the centennial of the nation’s worst race massacre in history, and an influx of artists and writers joining Green Country as part of the Tulsa Artist Fellowship have helped to foster a more mature and complex set of circumstances for the arts statewide, and our needs now differ from those I articulated in this space three years ago. Then I called for increased discourse about the arts in Oklahoma; today I ask us all to elevate our conversations and to increase our criticality. To be clear: when I say “criticality,” I don’t mean negativity. I hope, instead, to recall crit sessions in art school or creative writing class, to that feeling of camaraderie spurred by a jumble of apprehension, excitement, and pride as we offer our work to a supportive, invested, and, yes, critical community for feedback. It is a profoundly generous gesture to give time and thought to a subject, to find it worthy of sustained attention. Constructive feedback pushes us to excel, to propel our work, and to invest in our communities; it is also a two-way process of give-and-take, a conversation. Critical conversations open new avenues for artistic practice and create spaces for considering what we’re doing (and what we’re missing) within a larger ecosystem. This represents an opportunity to model this type of criticality for a wider audience. Especially now, we’re in need of productive, critical, and civil conversations nationwide, and the arts can guide this movement. The arts aren’t just a balm for society, the amuse bouche to other sectors’ entrees—we are integral, economically, politically, socially, intellectually. So, in this issue, you’ll see our fellows accepting this charge. From essays urging us to recognize our privilege and decolonize our worldview to those acknowledging the importance of reclaiming obscured histories and reimagining our communities, the authors here have initiated the types of conversations in which they hope to participate. I hope you’ll join in by writing in to OVAC (firstname.lastname@example.org), contacting the authors, or raising these issues with your friends and colleagues. I think we’re ready to level up. Who’s with me?
Kirsten F. Olds Lead Mentor, Oklahoma Art Writing & Curatorial Fellowship
About the Oklahoma Art Writing & Curatorial Fellowship
The writings contained in this special issue of Art Focus Oklahoma were completed as a capstone to the Oklahoma Art Writing & Curatorial Fellowship (OAWCF). The program aims to train promising writers and curators by expanding their professional education and experience. This distinctive, year-long program awards selected fellows the opportunity to participate in a structured and innovative curriculum designed to encourage new writing and curatorial projects. The Fellowship offers each participant the opportunity to cultivate skills and knowledge by providing access to leading regional and national curators, critics, organizers, and academics through public lectures and intimate, hands-on workshops. The 2018 fellows gathered in Tulsa six times throughout the year and also traveled to regional partner cities in Denver, Santa Fe, and New Orleans to meet with leaders in the art communities therein. Fellows completed required readings and writing assignments throughout the course of the program. During four of the sessions, nationally prominent and active arts professionals attended the sessions, engaged in dialogue with the fellows, presented on public panels, and met with each fellow one-on-one to critique and coach their writing samples. Additionally, fellows collaborated to design experimental curatorial lab projects. These projects will be broken up into two joint exhibitions at The University of Tulsa’s Henry Zarrow Center for Art and Education in downtown Tulsa. The opening reception will be a part of Tulsa Arts District’s First Friday Art Crawl on July 5th and August 2nd, from 6–9pm. This is the fourth installment of the OAWCF program, which was also held in 2010, 2012, and 2015. The Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition (OVAC) presented this program in partnership with The University of Tulsa, Gilcrease Museum, Philbrook Museum of Art, and 108|Contemporary.
2018 MENTORS heather ahtone, Senior Curator, American Indian Cultural Center Museum, Oklahoma City, OK Orit Gat, Independent Writer, New York, NY,
and London, UK
Lauren Haynes, Curator, Crystal Bridges
Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR Zoe Larkins, Assistant Curator, Museum of
Contemporary Art Denver, Denver, CO
Sharon Louden, Artistic Director, Visual Arts
at Chautauqua Institution, Chautauqua, NY
Michael Maizels, Assistant Professor of Art
History, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR
Kirsten Fleur Olds (Lead Mentor), Associate
2018 FELLOWS Narciso Argüelles, Edmond, OK Danny Baskin, Fayetteville, AR Christina Beatty, Oklahoma City, OK Liz Blood, Tulsa, OK Marjorie Bontemps, Tulsa, OK C.J. Charbonneau, Kansas City, MO Catherine Crain, Tulsa, OK Zack Reeves, Tulsa, OK Megan Rossman, Oklahoma City, OK John Selvidge, Oklahoma City, OK Samantha Sigmon, Bentonville, AR Gretchen VanWormer, Stillwater, OK
Professor of Art History, University of Tulsa, Tulsa, OK Jennifer Scanlan, Exhibitions and
Curatorial Director, Oklahoma Contemporary, Oklahoma City, OK
Cameron Shaw, Founding Editor, Pelican Bomb, New Orleans, LA Buzz Spector, installation and book artist, writer, curator, and Professor of Art, Washington University in St. Louis, MO Kate Van Steenhuyse, Co-Founder, Harvester Arts, Wichita, KS Catherine Whitney, Chief Curator,
Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, OK
Lindsey Preston Zappas, Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Contemporary Art Review Los Angeles (Carla), Los Angeles, CA
OVAC is looking forward to the next iteration of this program in 2022. For more information, please visit write-curate-art.org. n
ART WRITING & CURATORIAL FELLOWSHIP The Art of Words by Megan Rossman
A photo of the author, Megan Rossman, at the Factory Obscura Beyond installation in 2018.
I am a novice when it comes to art. Most people are. We experience art, and our brains generally respond in some way. We love it. We hate it. We kind of like it. Sometimes we’re so ambivalent we don’t even notice it. Often, we can’t put into words why we feel a certain way about it. Why do the canvases so famously splattered by Jackson Pollock inspire spiritual rapture in some and repulsion in others? I see paintings all the time, and I sometimes think, “That’s dumb,” or “That’s beautiful,” but more often my emotional response doesn’t register in words. That’s most likely when I encounter something I love. The feeling travels through my nerves, and then my mouth sputters in an attempt to explain that feeling, and it’s even worse when I hit the keyboard. This is one curse of a writer. Your words never can do justice to intangibles. Still, we try. Understanding how elusive words can be, I know art writers and critics face a difficult task. How does one explain or pass judgment on a topic as subjective as art? It’s something I’ve often asked myself when attempting to write about art. Why should anyone care what I think? And, for that matter, why does anyone else’s opinion carry more weight than my own? When I see most works by Warhol or Picasso I’m baffled by the adoration, but they’re two of the most famous artists who ever lived, so, personal tastes aside, I know I must be missing something. Everything resides within a context. Although it’s human nature to make declarations about things we know nothing about, this is where
someone with an art education—and not necessarily a formal one—can offer insight. The problem is when they don’t. They know the nuances and back stories of the revolutions, movements, and general culture, but discuss them in such a way that whatever they’re trying to say is lost in pretentious, ponderous passages and jargon, rendering their messages nearly indecipherable. Instead of filling gaps they create new ones. A layperson like me may not be the target audience for a lot of art writing—it is, after all, a niche audience—but no readership benefits from verbose verbiage. In some cases this is probably just bad writing, but it often comes across as an exclusionist tactic that insulates the author from questions and criticism. “If you don’t understand, you just don’t get it” seems to be an oft-used deflective attitude.
In this age of internet, there are vast and readily accessible learning resources, so there is an easy solution to bad, boring, and pretentious art writing: don’t read it. You don’t need it. It doesn’t deserve your time. n Megan Rossman is a photography editor and writer in Oklahoma City.
The relevancy of art criticism in modern times is a subject the art world seems to collectively and publicly mull over, and proponents would benefit themselves—and everyone who wants to learn about it—by remembering their words have an audience who’s trying to follow along. Cultural criticism in all forms is a worthy endeavor, it helps us learn and grow, and sometimes is even entertaining, but it quickly can become a masturbatory exercise in the wrong hands. If you’re snoring your way through this, by all means, abandon ship. There are great, knowledgeable writers out there like New York magazine’s Jerry Saltz and his wife Roberta Smith, co-chief art critic at The New York Times, who both write in a language that anyone who is English-literate can easily comprehend. Along with big names like them are countless others spattered across the globe, the vast majority working in much lower-profile outlets, but offering equally valuable opinions and insight. As Saltz himself said last year on the podcast In Other Words, “I love a lot of younger critics that I’ve been seeing writing on blogs, in magazines, online, in social media. Doesn’t mean criticism’s dead. On the contrary, criticism is waking up again. I see more and more people taking matters into their own hands, doing what you’re doing, doing a podcast, writing idiot things like me online, on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, whatever it takes to get through.”
Top: Hyperallergic is an all-around great resource for learning about contemporary art. Middle: Lindsay Preston Zappas, a 2019 OVAC Curatorial & Art Writing Fellowship mentor, founded Contemporary Art Review Los Angeles (Carla). The site and magazine offer writing that is “bold, honest, approachable.” Bottom: Pulitzer Prize-winning Jerry Saltz knows a thing or two about art criticism.
On Decentralization by Danny R.W. Baskin
With the internet connecting people easily from all parts of the globe, artists, galleries, and buyers no longer need to be in the heart of the art market to participate actively within it. A slew of online platforms allows for connections to occur from artist to artist, artist to dealer, and importantly, dealer to collector. Instagram, Twitter, and more platforms have made viewing the ebb and flow of aesthetic trends easier and faster than ever. More active online participation has grown with sales through sites like Artsy, Firstdibs, and Maecenas. Connecting with artists can be done easily with email, Facebook, or newer sites like Foundwork. All of this adds up to a slow and steady movement of galleries, art spaces, and artists away from central art hubs such as New York and L.A., a circumstance commonly defined as decentralization. Even with more affordable living, more space to create, and an ease of participation within art spheres, here in the non-coastal area of the country many artists still face feelings of art-world FOMO or fear of missing out; of jealousy of cohorts closer to coasts; of disappointment in the lack of buzzworthy shows that draw the eyes of the world. While partially this FOMO can stem from pride, other parts can correlate directly to financial gain and professional development. Showing at a New York or Los Angeles gallery looks good on an art resume. Working at a New York institution with name recognition can lead to a good job anywhere. A lack of commercial or critical success of a show means that the investment of time and effort taken to participate on the artist’s part can feel wasted. It can be hard to feel invested in the non-coastal art world, even while living in the age of decentralization. To actively de-centralize thinking about the art world is a major and necessary step to successfully and happily living in a non-coastal art scene. Decentralization is much more than living in Stillwater rather than Soho. It directly relates to the idea of decolonization, a call for inclusion, such as moving away from Eurocentric timelines
Screenshot of @jerrygogosian Instagram account, May 2019.
in museums, pushing away from the white male gaze, or understanding that there is a Marshallese population in Springdale, Arkansas, that has a distinct and complex art history of its own. It can refer to gender fluidity and all things non-binary within the arts. Decentralization and decolonization both deal with purpose, whom art is for and how to provide it to them. Communities that have been historically given less opportunity for financial gain in this country are often left unable to afford the spaces, schools, and opportunities in the major coastal art centers. Marginalized communities are all across our country and the artists within those communities are making work in the places they live. The rise of advertising and sharing work online gives artists within these communities the opportunity to participate in an art world without living in a downtown New York loft, or otherwise gentrified arts district. Even costs of travel to these major art cities continue to drop, giving artists in more remote areas of the country the ability to see major museum and gallery exhibits without living directly in the cities these exhibitions are held within. Advertisements for massive shows are not hidden within the pages of elite, multi-syllabic essay-based art
magazines, but are now strewn across social media for everyone to see. To live decentralized is to actively be a part of decolonization, but being aware of the correlation between decentralization and decolonization is key. To push toward this connection on all ends, in order to grow a strong, supportive, and open arts community at large is important and difficult work and artists that focus on this work here can make major shifts in their artistic communities and community as a whole. It is difficult but important work. Valuing the voices that have been historically unable to participate within the coastal art system is to invest further in the art community at large. Shifting ideas of personal success from being accepted by the art world, to creating acceptance within the art world, and widening the scope of the art world that is defined, can help alleviate more than just FOMO, it can help uplift communities. While financial stability is always a struggle for artists, no matter the art city, shifting narratives and creating real change within one’s community can be within reach here. n Danny R. W. Baskin is an artist and arts organizer working in Northwest Arkansas.
ART WRITING & CURATORIAL FELLOWSHIP Reclaiming Black Spaces by Christina L. Beatty
and space. Inspired by a trip to Harvard University’s Black in Design conference in 2017, the three came together to found BlackSpace Oklahoma to bridge black communities with the resources to encourage social and spacial change, foster hope, and broaden the pipeline to the professions of city planning, architecture, and design. Deeply passionate about the role that arts, historic preservation, and authentic cultural expression can play in community development, I was elated about the possibilities for this intergenerational, multidisciplinary group, and BlackSpace’s first public project did not disappoint. Throughout the month of March 2019, the Northeast Oklahoma City Storytelling Project lecture series explored local history, storytelling methods, and ways that community history, assets, and values can inform architectural design and the built environment. Community members were invited to share their stories, as oral histories or by participating in a digital storytelling workshop.
The Northeast Oklahoma City Storytelling Project occurred throughout the month of March 2019.
I first met Gina Sofola at a placemaking conference in Denver. The only two black women in the room, we leaned over and introduced ourselves, not realizing how closely we were already connected. Gina began to tell me about her work as a consultant in construction and facilities management, particularly on the Page Woodson project, the redevelopment of old Frederick Douglass High School into residential housing and a community-based performing arts center. Gina has been a tireless advocate for this particular black space for more than a decade, working to get the vacant school building added to the National Register for Historic Places then
and continuing to shepherd how its legacy is preserved and communicated through the built environment today. Back in Oklahoma City a few months later, I learned about BlackSpace Oklahoma, the passion project Gina and her two cofounders initiated after meeting while they were students in OU’s Regional and City Planning program. Vanessa Morrison brought her human relations and social work perspective from years of crisis response and management, and Eyakem Gulilat contributed his perspective as an MFA-trained photographer whose work explores connections across cultures, time,
I had the pleasure to moderate the final session featuring Hans Butzer, Dean of OU’s College of Architecture, and Rick Lowe, internationally renowned artist best known for establishing Project Row Houses in Houston’s historically black Third Ward. Rick spoke about his work as social sculpture, a phrase introduced by German artist Joseph Beuys, who married his political ideals and aesthetic practice to describe how art can very literally shape society and the built environment. One outcome of the Storytelling Project will be a digital human experience map tying the community’s stories to the physical place where each event occurred. The map will be available online to provide historical and cultural context for any future real estate development. This level of thoughtfulness is precisely what will be required for Northeast Oklahoma City to maintain its cultural identity. After decades of disinvestment, the community’s inexpensive land is attractive and in danger of being developed
out of context. The Storytelling Project and resulting human experience map document the rich lived experiences and cultural assets woven into both the built environment and the collective memory of the community. Once recorded, the possibilities for use are endless. Part of the discussion with Rick and Hans centered on how we can push past literal expressions such as murals, statues, and plaques, and incorporate stories into architecture and design in a more abstract sense. One of my favorite examples of how to accomplish this comes from the forthcoming American Indian Cultural Center and Museum, which is still under construction. During a recent behind-the-scenes tour, Senior Curator heather ahtone pointed out ten striking arched beams on the exterior of the facility that represent the ten miles per day that Native Americans were expected to cover by foot during the period of Indian Removal. The theory of social sculpture suggests that everything is art, any aspect of life can be approached creatively, and anyone can be an artist. This moment calls for creative interventions by all of us who care about Northeast Oklahoma City to shape and rebuild a community that reflects all of its social, economic, political and cultural legacies. The vision of BlackSpace to reclaim those stories and equip a new generation to understand and participate in the processes that shape communities feels like the divine intervention we sorely need. n Christina L. Beatty is an arts administrator with over fifteen years of experience in community planning, organizing, and development. She is passionate about the role that arts, historic preservation, and authentic cultural expression can play in building stronger, more vibrant communities. BlackSpace Oklahoma works to strengthen Black communities for social and spatial change, envisioning a present and future where Black people, spaces, and culture thrive. Visit blackspaceok.org and follow on social media @ blackspaceok.
The University of Tulsa’s School of Art, Design and Art History is an intimate school where students are encouraged to thrive as an individual with their own goals, talents and vision. As an arts management undergraduate student, Ronald Taylor wanted to merge his passion for the creative arts and the non-profit world. “My dream is to run a contemporary art gallery or indie cinema, and this program put me on the straightest path,” Taylor said.
At TU, students are not confined to a classroom. From curating an art show for a group of graduating seniors at the Tulsa Girls Art School to developing programming at Circle Cinema, Taylor has networked with talented professionals and gained real-world experience. “TU has landed me in environments that have been great for discussions of social responsibility and learning the benefits of arts education firsthand,” he said. After taking a few arts management courses, Taylor knew his career path was limitless. “ There are no wax wings here, and flying high is encouraged,” he said. “TU wants you to succeed. Every assignment, lecture and critique make you a better artist, a sharper professional and a keener individual.” Please Follow us on Facebook and Instagram. www.facebook.com/utulsaschoolofart/ @utulsaart For more information, visit www.cas.utulsa/edu/art/ or call 918.631.2739 • TU is an EEO/AA institution
ART WRITING & CURATORIAL FELLOWSHIP A Cooperative Challenge for Emerging Regions by K. Samantha Sigmon
Intersections: A month of art and performance supporting women, installed on April 2018 at the artist cooperative, Fenix Fayetteville. The space was generously given for the pop-up group to install the show and hold programming.
For many decades, the Northwest corner of Arkansas has maintained a culture that might be best described as a long-simmering soup made of backwoods self-reliance. Starting around the 1970s, this region, with its long history of making, melded with the academic environment of the University of Arkansas and the ethos of hippie-types who did-it-themselves. Here, creatives started and ran cooperative studio and gallery spaces consisting of dues-paying artist-members and built community far from the crowded and critical urban art worlds. Being born and raised in Northwest Arkansas, I have been shaped by this environment and have noticed it change over the last few years. As an active participant of the arts scene, I continue to champion the region’s creative roots, as well as support the arts as they grow and evolve. Most recently, larger and more corporate arts initiatives have majorly impacted the creative economy, as the founders of Walmart have recently doubled-down on support for the arts. Through the funding and founding of worldclass arts entities and initiatives, the formally separate cities of Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, and Bentonville are increasingly
intertwined under the cultural umbrella called Northwest Arkansas (NWA), dragging the art world to its doorstep with institutions like the Walton Arts Center, Theatre Squared, 21C Museum Hotel, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and the University of Arkansas School of Art. It seems that nearby towns such as Tulsa, Ft. Smith, and El Dorado are also experiencing a new interest from funders to rejuvenate downtowns by investing in the arts and may see comparable growth patterns. With these developments—when local creatives share a small region with national interests so suddenly—alternative models may arise that call for a collective action different from the standard arts cooperative model. The increase of new funding sources, larger organizations, and therefore greater media scrutiny have revealed an overarching problem with the old cooperative model: an identity crisis. In the past ten years, a handful of small NWA artist-run cooperatives have fractured into several different entities and locations, which I believe was due to the initial problem of not agreeing on what they were and therefore not being able to focus on what type of funding to seek, artists to include, or
operations procedures. Are they a cooperative group of artists that pays membership and governs themselves? Do they represent artists on their walls to court private collectors and cultivate a new art-buying class? Do they want to receive grants for projects within the community and develop a board made of local leaders to align with larger funders’ giving initiatives? Due to this initial confusion of responsibilities about the cooperative organization and the building in which it is housed, fissures have appeared among artists of different ages, philosophies, and abilities. Although begun with an abundance of heart and hope, sustaining such an initiative takes a physical and psychological toll on its members, many of whom burn out from the volunteer hours it takes to run the space as well as the disagreements with others in the group on how it is run. The long, stressful process of keeping a collective on life support can breed bitterness that breaks the arts scene instead of binding it together with a vibrant community space. Offshoots from fractured organizations form new cooperatives in spaces—sometimes even across the street from the original—under the
left: An artist installation by MacKenzie Turner on view in spring 2019 at the Walker Stone House in Fayetteville. This historic house is run by the University of Arkansas School of Art for student shows, as well as exhibitions proposed by the community. right: A memorial studio at Fenix Fayetteville dedicated to an original Fayetteville Underground cooperative organizer. Fenix Fayetteville is a cooperative space that features many of the same members as the previous Underground.
same model, with many of the same members, and the same financial and operational problems, with an idea that this time will be different. It often is not. Even though the community knows well these cautionary tales, at nearly every group meeting of creative thinkers I’ve attended, the idea of starting a cooperative space is always reached like the climax of a brilliant new idea. The failures of previous organizations are rarely viewed as a sign to critique the cooperative model itself. This is not to say there aren’t long-running models such as Tulsa Artists’ Coalition or Urban Art Lab, but as someone that has been an insider in the development of several new arts groups in NWA, I am beginning to believe that as our communities continue to grow and connect with other, larger art scenes, organizers should at least question the instant turn to the traditional cooperative model. The need is ever present to foster a vibrant, collaborative artistic community, so if not a cooperative, what then? Perhaps instead of circling around a space and standardized operation, our local arts scene can become a circulation of thought untethered to a particular building or group of individuals—a movable locus that can act as a catalyst for experimentation and critique. Instead of
jumping to one seemingly easy and positive solution, we spend time hearing each other’s needs and create goals around what is lacking before deciding on the best model, or develop programming without a need to formalize the group at all. There are spaces, artists, organizations, and people which can all be brought together around important driving factors related to creative production in the region without the need for project longevity. In the Fall 2018 Art Review Oklahoma’s profile of the emerging artist collective Arts Group, founders said they were not going to be confined to any specific space and would focus instead on inclusive initiatives within the collective, like studio visits, art discussions, and pop-up shows. Even their Facebook cover photo proclaims, “We’re like the other art collectives, except nothing like them.” This emphasis on studio visits and group discussions allows them to concentrate on the art being created in the region and the connections among members, rather than diverting a finite amount of attention to running a physical space and its operations. In 2017 and 2018, I was part of a group of women who gathered as a curatorial group for two multidisciplinary month-long exhibitions championing NWA women in the arts. We
came together for the events around giving the money to charities that helped women, but did not require our own space or formal group to plan and welcome participation. Yet these ideas are just a start. Being responsive to the needs of the region can return us to a foundation of highlighting the exciting and experimental in our local arts scenes, and let us become active participants in the complex creative communities that now coexist with the global. Instead of proposing one alternative to a cooperative, I hope art communities take time to think about what they really need, and question the nowstandard model as they create vibrant new collective structures. n K. Samantha Sigmon is a local arts organizer and writer based in Northwest Arkansas. She is an Interpretation Manager at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art who has worked on two exhibitions opening this summer: Nature’s Nation: American Art and Environment and Color Field. She is launching a cultural critique group and publication called Parlor; founded Backspace, a Do-It-Yourself arts venue in Fayetteville; and has curated many exhibitions surrounding social issues and contemporary art in NWA.
ART WRITING & CURATORIAL FELLOWSHIP THIS IS NOT: Months Later, Crystal Z Campbell’s Performance Piece Still Haunts Tulsa by Liz Blood First there came a loud clanging. It was rhythmic, intentional. A mix of chinking and clanking. This beginning to Crystal Z Campbell’s performative work, Model Citizen: Here I Stand, felt appropriate inside of Living Arts of Tulsa—a space made of brick and large-pane windows, concrete and exposed pipe. It sounded like someone might be building something inside, or tearing it apart. Then a naked black man appeared. He was holding two long, yellow metal rods like staffs and hitting them on the floor. Then another naked black man appeared doing the same. They walked and glided in uncertain patterns around the gallery, which was broken up by large red, concrete pillars. A third black man appeared and continued in the same way as his colleagues: spinning around the room, banging and clanging, swirling the steels staffs on the cement floor like metal detectors searching. They swept themselves beneath banners inscribed with different declaratives: THIS IS NOT A MONUMENT THIS IS NOT EQUITY THIS IS NOT ACKNOWLEDGEMENT THIS IS NOT ORIGINAL
The men (performers Nicos Norris, Daniel Pender, and Kolby Webster) scraped the concrete floor, the walls, wielded the rods like large paintbrushes—arching them over columns and walls and scraping them down corrugated metal doors. Audience members expressed almost every kind of reaction you might imagine. They raised eyebrows, stared at the performers, looked away, moved out of the way, goaded each other, left, looked at their phones, took pictures, laughed, whispered, and two people even bowed. I wondered what kind of audience member I was being before realizing that must be part of the point— thinking about how a work works on you. You become part of the show. Performance work is easy to avoid for this reason. It can hold up what feels like too large a mirror.
In this work, the performers looked like they were searching for a mass grave from the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 (also called the Black Wall Street Massacre), above which Living Arts is rumored to be built. Each clang recalled the massacre and what it must have been like to hear (bullets raining down on the streets and the people of Greenwood—one of the most affluent black neighborhoods in the U.S.), to see (wooden-wheeled wagons cart off the dead), to smell (the firebomb smoke). To live with those memories for the rest of your life. I wanted Campbell’s piece to be over almost immediately once it had begun. That tells me more about my whiteness than much else I’ve considered. It was difficult to stay, and not just because it went on too long—which it did. It started late and lasted an hour and fifteen minutes, rather than the publicized length of one hour, including an artist talk. The same effect could have been achieved in the shorter amount of time. Despite the length, the piece was shot through with beauty. Occasionally, one of the performers stopped to kneel, or to raise his hands up and wide as if in a prayer. These moments felt sacramental and, during a few of them, I blinked back tears. Imagine what it means to have an art gallery on top of a mass grave—the willingness, the willfulness, the whiteness necessary for that kind of moving on, forgetting, and erasure. Half a year later, I’m still thinking about the show, considering how close the word whiteness is to witness, and how easy it is to be one and not the other. The three men moved about freely in an area of Tulsa where they once would have risked death by doing so. The massacre began because of an alleged assault of a white elevator operator, Sarah Page, by Dick Rowland, a black man. These men glided about the room in a perfect display male vulnerability, something rarely
given public space. This space, layered over spaces of death and racism, felt rare, raw, and strong. It also felt old. Near the end of the piece, piano music began. The composition, written and played by James G. Williams, was an interpretation of “Ol’ Man River,” which Paul Robeson sang in 1936’s Showboat. Campbell was clear in wall text and online about her piece’s inspiration: figure drawing, surveillance, and the life of Paul Robeson. Unsurprisingly, Robeson isn’t someone we typically learn about in the Oklahoma educational system. The internationally-known vocalist and actor was active in the Civil Rights Movement and, during the McCarthy era, was blacklisted and interrogated by the U.S. House of Representatives Un-American Activities Committee. For years until his death, Robeson was heavily surveilled by the FBI. During that Committee interview, he said that it was in Russia where he felt for the first time like a full human being. He didn’t feel the pressure of color there as he did here. A congressman asked why Robeson didn’t move there. “Because my father was a slave and my people died to build this country,” Robeson replied. “And I’m going to stay here and have a part of it, just like you.” n Liz Blood is a writer and editor whose work engages with place, memory, contemporary art, and social justice. She is a 2019 Tulsa Artist Fellow and a 2018-19 Oklahoma Center for the Humanities Fellow. Crystal Z Campbell is a multidisciplinary artist and writer of African-American, Filipino, and Chinese descents. Campbell’s practice ruptures collective memory, imagines social transformations, and questions the politics of witnessing using physical archives, online sources, and historical materials. Campbell is a 2019 Tulsa Artist Fellow and recipient of the Tulsa Arts Integration Award.
Top & bottom: Model Citizen: Here I Stand was part of a larger show, Hello, Penumbra, curated by Jessica Borusky of Living Arts of Tulsa in partnership with the Tulsa Artist Fellowship. Photo credit: Destiny Jade Green.
ART WRITING & CURATORIAL FELLOWSHIP Black Victorians by Marjorie Bontemps
Installation view of Black Victorians at TAC Gallery, April 2019.
It is the role of a black artist to make the invisible be visible. When history failed to narrate black culture during the early 19th century, Tulsa artist Charica Daugherty decided to right that omission by painting 19th century notable figures in the monumental exhibition called Black Victorians. Installed in the Tulsa Artist Coalition (TAC) Gallery, the series features twenty paintings by Daugherty inspired by photographs of black men and women living in the Victorian era. The presence of blackness in this exhibition, like the portrait of the Black Prince, who poses majestically with a background of the London Tower, offers viewers the opportunity to reconsider the place and the social dynamics of blacks during the Victorian age. Daugherty’s exhibition invariably stirs new dialogue on the subject of black culture during that era and how it is reflected in today’s representation of black people globally. Daugherty came up with the idea for Black Victorians while doing some research for
her master’s degree at Oklahoma State University in Teaching Learning with an emphasis in Curriculum. While browsing the internet, Daugherty stumbled upon some historical photographs and stories of black Americans and Europeans in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Although TAC has shown work by other black artists dealing with black subjects, this show ignites some thought-provoking interest and curiosity in viewers. Visitors were struck by the mere fact of seeing these portraits of black Victorians and of black Americans. When we see portrayals from this time period, we generally do not see black individuals represented; when we do, we might see them as servants, slaves, or otherwise in the service of white narratives. In short, we see them through the lens of the systematic oppression imposed on blacks throughout history, rather than as agents of their own narratives, as social leaders or accumulators of actual or cultural capital. Daugherty corrects this lacuna in representation, and in her paintings, we can see how each portrait show the
extensiveness of what blacks in the Victorian era looked like. This series reiterates the artist’s desire for society not to view individuals through the social construct of race. Her interest in creating figurative painting has evolved as an emerging artist. She delights in the pleasure of inventing new color palettes to get the right tone of “brown” onto the canvas. In Woman in Red Turban, for example, all the elements—facial expression, lines and movements depicted on the turban, the color structure of her face—work together to convey the subject’s humanity. There is a sense of self awareness, pride, and intelligence that emanates from each portrait. Selika Lazevski—The French Equestrian emphasizes pleasure and the construction of self. By depicting Lazevski holding her riding stick with both hands, Daugherty validates her right to participate in the equestrian sport as a black Victorian woman. The force of this painting represents the many dimensions of what
From left to right: all oil on canvas paintings by Charica Daugherty from 2019: Black Prince, Alexandre Dumas – Haïtian French Author, and Selika Lazevski -The French Equestrian. All photos by the author.
black culture had done, can do, and continues to do, regardless of the immense adversities black individuals face in life. Another prolific figure from the literary world during the Victorian era was Alexandre Dumas, who wrote such famous books in the early part of the 19th century such as The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers, and The Prince of Thieves (about Robin Hood), just to name a few. In her portrait of him, Daugherty clearly depicted Dumas’ physical characteristics, such as in the lines sketched sculpturally upward to show the pronounced wave and thickness of his hair. One can also see how Dumas’ visage could easily “pass” for a white Frenchman. In reality, though, Dumas reveals a mixed race heritage resulting from France’s colonial interests in Saint-Domingue (present-day Haïti). In addition to the depictions of Lazevski and Dumas, Black Victorians includes portraits of black Americans of the era that reveals the presence of black Americans and their life style.
Daugherty grew up in Tulsa during the 1980s and was raised by a white mother and a black father; it was instilled in her to acknowledge both sides of her heritage. Growing up in a Christian family played a fundamental role for Daugherty, and she channeled those beliefs and a social consciousness about the Christianity in black culture into her paintings, so as to encourage viewers to fully embrace and demonstrate love for everyone regardless of their background or heritage. As an artist and as a Christian, she is committed to providing a broader perspective on the convergence of past and present society and how multidimensional black culture is. n Marjorie Bontemps is an artist, art advocate, philanthropist, and curator with a Master’s degree in Museum Science & Management from The University of Tulsa. Her curatorial practice is focused on historical African anthropology and contemporary art. She can be reached at Mbontemps2003@yahoo.com.
ART WRITING & CURATORIAL FELLOWSHIP Queen Bee is Stinging Mad: Liss LaFleur and JD Samson by C.J. Charbonneau
Liss LaFleur, Queen Bee is Stinging Mad, 2019, installation view. Photo by Silvia Beatriz Abisaab.
Who decides history? In the 2015 film Stonewall, a fictional white man incites a riot after police raid the Stonewall Inn in New York City, effectively setting into motion the Gay Liberation movement. Who started (and starred in) the riots that shook New York City and beyond in the summer of 1969 is the stuff of legends. Iconic figures such as “Saint Pay Them No Mind” Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, and others have been credited with sounding the rallying cry or throwing the brick that set off the demonstrations. The attribution is hotly contested among different groups, though all would agree it wasn’t a white teenager from the Midwest as portrayed in the Hollywood version. Most recognize that cinematic versions of history have only a nodding acquaintance with the truth, but really all history is (necessarily) a version of the facts according to the reporter. As in the film, the “true” story of Stonewall has
long been perceived as having a predominantly male cast of characters. But what if it didn’t? Queen Bee Is Stinging Mad, an immersive installation at Front/Space Gallery by artist and activist Liss LaFleur, aims to re-imagine the Stonewall origin story with a female protagonist. Fundamental to the exhibition at Front/Space is the grid of black and white xerox prints that form the image of a stained-glass window on the south wall. The overall image features a floral pattern, with a central seated figure dressed in a suit and tie. One cannot help but come face-to-face with this figure as you enter the space; this is where the story begins. The accompanying text identifies the figure as the activist Stormé DeLarverie (1920–2014), a woman of color and self-described “drag king” that the artist presents as the instigator of the Stonewall riots.
Three pedestals toward the center of the gallery hold a total of eight square crystal objects, serving as vases for a single red rose. Each bears an inscription, and with phrases such as “Queen Power Exploded With The Fury Of A Gay Atomic Bomb,” one can assume this represents accounts from the riot. The artist references glass as a material that conveys the body in flux: fluidity of gender, of identity. Othered bodies in a state of shock, crying out. A video installation features a virtual stained glass window, echoing the one in the xerox grid seen in the entry. The title of the video refers to the first newspaper article published after the riots, headlined “Homo Nest Raided – Queen Bees are Stinging Mad.” The glass mosaic is an apt metaphor for anecdotal history, the manner in which the narrative of this traumatic event was pieced together by assembling eyewitness accounts of the riot and its aftermath. History is in the telling.
Soundtracking the show is a 33-minute audio loop, a collaboration between LaFleur and musician JD Samson. The playlist can be found on a poster from the archives of the Stonewall Veteran’s Association, which lists all the songs known to be in the jukebox at the Stonewall Inn in the summer of 1969. Originally there was a plan for a dance party in the space, which might have pulled the theme together a little more cohesively. Without the supporting documentation, the artwork itself doesn’t necessarily speak to the larger political content that motivates this exhibition. The artist acknowledges that though the show is an homage to DeLarverie as a “dyke pillar, mother figure, and butch WOC (woman of color),” the ambiguity of the work serves as a reminder of the problematic nature of remembered history. What the work does do, however, is situate the viewer in a historic place and time. The music, the stained-glass window imagery, and the altarlike presence of the pedestals with flowers point to this nightclub as a sacred space in queer culture. A place, perhaps, whose story needs recuperation. According to LaFleur, the wider focus of the show is an exploration of the portrayal of queerness throughout history, the nightclub as a site of political possibility, and the forgotten or ignored roles of women in the LGBTQ civil rights movement. In attempting to destabilize and question what we actually know about the Stonewall story, the artist reclaims it for DeLarverie and the other women involved. This summer marks the 50th anniversary of the riots, and it feels appropriate to start pushing back against those tidy, simplified stories. It’s time to do the work to embrace the more complex and interconnected narratives that actually exist. n The exhibition appeared at Front/Space Gallery March 1 – 27, 2019. C.J. Charbonneau is an independent writer and curator who lives and works in Kansas City, MO, and a 2018-19 OVAC Arts Writing and Curatorial Fellow. Liss LaFleur uses video, glass, and performance to examine representations of queerness and the future of feminism. Her artwork has been exhibited and screened extensively including presentations at the TATE Modern, Cannes Court Métrage, PBS, the Reykjavik Art Museum in Iceland, and the Czong Institute for Contemporary Art in South Korea. JD Samson is an American musician, producer, songwriter and DJ best known as a member of the bands Le Tigre and MEN.
All images: Liss LaFleur, Queen Bee is Stinging Mad, 2019, installation view. Photo by Silvia Beatriz Abisaab.
ART WRITING & CURATORIAL FELLOWSHIP Alexander Tamahn: Constructing New Realities by Zack Reeves
architectural terra cotta pieces a hundred feet into the air, Tamahn’s painterly style emerges. The sculptures are wild and bulbous in a way that reminds me of the wild slashes of paint he tends to employ as his backgrounds, or even the bulbousness of the fingers and arms he so often uses as subjects. Originally an adolescent addiction counselor, Tamahn got his start in art—and this may sound dramatic—when a friend betrayed him. “A friend of mine submitted my art behind my back to an art director,” which led to his work being featured on HGTV and some DIY networks. Now he works full-time as an interdisciplinary artist, this restoration being just one facet of his practice.
Alexander Tamahn, Restoration of Adams Hotel, 2019. Terra cotta. Photograph by Zack Reeves.
From 120 feet up, Downtown Tulsa looks pretty small. “One major stipulation was not being afraid of heights,” says a grinning Alexander Tamahn, holding one of the terra cotta detailings from The Adams, an in-restoration apartment building being built from the exoskeleton of the historic Adams Hotel on Fourth and Cheyenne. In between teaching his students how to create murals and working on his own fine art, Tamahn works his own version of a day job: redoing by hand the terra cotta detailing on the 1928 building. “You acclimate pretty quickly,” he says as he sponges a sand-and-latex compound onto one of the pieces. “Once you’re up there, it’s a lot easier to zone out and focus on the work. You just want to be aware enough to be sure-footed and not make a misstep.” One misstep was the building falling into disrepair: several of the terra cotta adornments around the top of the building have either been lost to time
or ruined by weather, and so Tamahn is working to restore the original sheen of the pieces—shaped like the rook of a chess set—and create new ones. Many of the pieces are from the top of the building—120 feet up—and Tamahn goes up himself to check their quality. The sculptures are sanded down, glazed, and then re-glazed before being drilled with rebar to attach them to the building. It’s now April, and he’s been working on it since August. “Because the building is on the registry for national landmarks, it’s really stringent for what can and cannot be used. Every exterior surface has to be checked out by hand.” Hands happen to be one of Tamahn’s best subjects. A painter who often works in acrylics and murals, Tamahn creates chaotic, beautiful, and inspired art that represents the black experience. His work depicts hands in different situations: disembodied people shaking hands, fists rising from the bottom of the frame, even hands flipping the bird. Even in the small
At first, it feels that Tamahn is out of his element in this indoor work area, where hard hats are mandatory and the men passing by me eye my camera and notebook with a suspicious glare. I’ve certainly never seen him wearing a construction vest before. But in a way, he’s in the perfect place. “I was always the kid who was tinkering with stuff: LEGOs, K’Nex, PlayDoh, clay; I’ve been doing stuff like this for a long time.” His work can be seen in several spaces around Tulsa, including murals on Living Arts and Elgin Park. And soon, you’ll see his work all over the historic Adams Hotel. “This work was something I was really intrigued by; I never necessarily intended to go into restoration, but why not?” You can find out more about Alexander Tamahn at alexandertamahndesign.com. n Zack Reeves is a writer based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He serves as the Marketing Coordinator for Philbrook Museum of Art and is a frequent contributor to The Tulsa Voice. Find more at zackreeves.com.
Histology: An Ekphrasis by Gretchen VanWormer
Each core in Peggy Weil’s video, 88 Cores (From -1 Meter to -3051 Meters), glides over the projector screen like a memory. One core seafoam, another bleached white. Weil asked the National Ice Core Laboratory for scans of 88 representative cores: cylinders of ice drilled from Greenland’s ice sheets and preserved in a 55,000-foot freezer in Colorado, temperature -36°C. In the Ice Lab’s cold, clean exam room, scientists sample these cores and uncover the past. Volcanic ash, sea salt, bubbles of air trapped like expired breath. Today, a Sunday, I watch Weil’s 88 Cores flow upwards over the screen, feel my body begin to sink, beneath the ice. * Weeks later, my older sister Heidi writes, “Do you remember Jim’s last name? The therapist?” Jim was our father’s shrink years before Dad ended his life. Our father’s been dead over a decade now. I can’t remember the man’s name, but I picture Dad standing inside the open door of our family home, a gust of wood smoke sneaking inside as he says, “I’m going to see Jim.” I ask Heidi if everything’s all right. She says, “Yes. All of a sudden I just wanted to Google him.” I play the alphabet game in my head, get nowhere. What does surface: a slideshow of our father at the door. “I’m going to AA,” “I’m going to church,” “I’m going.” * Some cores look fogged, like breath on glass. I wish I could draw a heart for me, a moon for my sister, the way we used to draw in the back seat of the family car, our parents arguing in front. When a new core begins, I see the old core more clearly, contrast turning this core gray, the next emerald green. And always some pattern of darkness: handwritten letters, fizzy stars, misshapen crosses. I take a deep breath, listen to the video’s eerie score, its undertone happy, tech-y, blippy, overtone slow and gloomy, a bow drawn too long. * Twenty years ago, in college, Heidi dreamed of freezing brains and slicing them into wafer-thin sheets. Our father wasn’t dead yet. Brains were still fun. Histology: the microscopic structure of tissues. Her first job was working on sleep
studies in Boston. Study participants were desynchronized. No windows, no time cues. No sense of how long they’d been asleep or awake. Heidi became desynchronized too. Shift work. She rubbed her face, woke participants, handed them a memory game. Watched as they squinted in the soft-blue computer light. Later, she told me, “After you’ve only slept six hours, three nights in a row, your brain’s functioning like you were awake 24.” Each hour a brilliant blur, no way of knowing how far below Greenland she’d sunk, or when she’d resurface. * Cores slip by, white flecks gleaming like planets. Something about this ice feels holy. Over an hour into this Sunday service, and I’m mesmerized by the glacial crawl of ice. Its rainbows and stipples. Moon rocks. Then, mid-core, an enormous, yawning gap, black as a cavity. The space so large it feels like an ending. I mourn this break, and am surprised when more ice flows by, marked by a Sharpie: a scientist’s arrow pointing up, toward the place of excision. Even more now, I want to know what this ice knows. Its depths and splices. Fissures. One core glows like an x-ray: black and white, with a compound fracture in the ribs. * Heidi remembers Jim’s name, and it’s as though a cracked slide is replaced in the projector. A tiny, frosted gift. What flashes across my brain: every time my child tongue touched ice. The paper-toweled cubes I licked when sick. Tiny globes nibbled off a wool mitten. Icicles snapped inside a snow cave I built with Heidi. The snow packed around our fragile bodies, so blue and divine. n
Still image from Peggy Weil’s 88 CORES (From -1 Meter to -3051 Meters), 2017. Original score by Celia Hollander. Digital video, 4 hr. 29 min. Courtesy of Philbrook Museum of Art.
Gretchen VanWormer is the author of a chapbook of essays, How I See The Humans (CutBank, 2015), and her essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, The Journal, Brevity, and elsewhere. She lives in Stillwater, OK. Peggy Weil’s video was on view at the Philbrook Downtown Feb 1, 2019 - May 19, 2019.
ART WRITING & CURATORIAL FELLOWSHIP Figure and Ground: Douglas Shaw Elder and Skip Hill’s Melrose Sessions by John Selvidge
Left: Douglas Shaw Elder, OKecoSCAPE CXI #2, 2018–2019. Plywood, 14 x 20 x ¾ inches. Photo credit: John Selvidge. Right: Douglas Shaw Elder and Skip Hill, detail of FROTTAGE #3, 2018–2019. Mixed media on paper, 18 x 24 inches. Photo credit: John Selvidge.
This spring, Douglas Shaw Elder and Skip Hill’s collaborative exhibition The Melrose Sessions transformed the interior of the Norman Depot, an art-friendly railway station along the Heartland Flyer line, into probably the most psychically charged waiting area in the state. Viewers who lingered there with enough time to explore the horizons its artists opened together likely realized its 22 works paid rich dividends for sustained looking. Of these 22 works, thirteen of them are signed by both artists, and then six by
Elder alone and three by Hill alone. Two of Hill’s impressive solo pieces, together the diptych Jardim do Amor: The Dreams are So Vivid, present ecstatically crowded but balanced compositions on four-foottall canvases that feature tropical birds and ravens, familiar to repeat viewers of his work, perched amid colorful flora. Inks and acrylics made luminous with resin embrace paper collage elements naturally into the picture plane, and everything rests within a field of burnished gold that renders the dream-birds in these “gardens of love”
majestic and otherworldly in the manner of Klimt’s most iconic paintings. As so often in Hill’s work, I find that it’s ultimately the eyes that arrest attention. Alert yet languid at once, birds gaze out at the viewer unrelentingly throughout the Melrose sessions. In the two Jardim pieces, their staring becomes uncanny by way of cut-out photographs of human eyes pasted via collage over where their own would be, achieving a disembodied surrealist effect á la Man Ray or Max Ernst.
When collage isn’t used, as in the thirteen smaller “blocks” and “frottages” done with Elder, Hill tends to ink the birds’ eyes anthropomorphically, as ellipses—more human than avian—in a way that makes them seem eerily conscious, reflecting our own act of looking thoughtfully back at us and even compelling some kind of psychological communion with them. There’s much that can be said about Hill’s masterfully vibrant palette—these works pop with color—or the lyrical arcs and swoops of his lines. In terms of the fluidity and motion they suggest, however, it’s instructive to notice that he consistently situates his birds as pure potentiality: always at rest, and never in flight as far as I’ve seen. Held within their gaze, viewers aren’t granted the kind of release that flying birds might offer but tend to stay suspended with them in a moment of balanced, easeful tension, limned within their dreamscape. You can almost even hear the rustle of leaves. The dreams are vivid, indeed. When realized in tandem with Elder’s sculpted wood surfaces, something interesting happens to Hill’s visionary vistas. The seven “blocks” presented feature inks over polychrome plywood that’s etched and carved in dialogue with the figures inked upon it. As a result, birds’ contours emerge in three dimensions, their bodies take on weight, and pictorial arrangements necessarily become sparer to give these outward curves room to breathe. Flowers protrude in relief or withdraw into recessed divots, and the plywood occasionally shows through the ink to give a raw and palpable texture to feathers and petals. The variegated grain of the wood sometimes manifests patterns on its own that might be taken for clouds or even smoke in the less populated areas above the horizon line—a feature that’s often cut very conspicuously across the blocks and appears in some form in all thirteen collaborative works. This distinct horizon line becomes especially important insofar as it anchors most of the works as landscapes, establishing distance within just about
every tableau and tying each at least somewhat to a sense of place. Less pronounced in many of the blocks, this movement towards landscape becomes more evident in the six “frottages,” executed on paper via the technique (in French, the verb “frotter” translates as “to rub”) of holding the paper against an uneven surface and rubbing a crayon or pencil against it to reveal the texture beneath. Here, this process delineates the horizon line itself and also discloses trails of black, vaporous lines or jagged hash marks that either complement the forms of the birds, sometimes giving them a dappled texture, or other times overwhelm them altogether. When this happens, their bodies become translucent to reveal what might be fields of rough grass or dense thickets behind them as the picture’s ground overtakes its fading figures. When comparing these emergent marks, the surface for these frottages can be identified as one of Elder’s solo contributions to the Melrose sessions, the carved plywood panel OKecoSCAPE CXII #2. A relief sculpture, its halforganic material has been coaxed into an unromantic landscape by scooping and gouging into its surface. What could be stalks of wheat rise toward a dark wooden knot of a sun that sits just over a roughly hewn horizon with a stained and hazy sky above it. As an elegant yet disarmingly raw landscape itself, the gravity it exerts via frottage on Melrose’ collaborative work—the unqualified physicality of its jagged surface rising up through the paper to disturb and distort Hill’s natural habitats of birds with coal-like smudges— can be understood to carry aspects of death. Less idealized natural forces like destruction, erosion, and time intrude upon the imaginal space of the dream as imprints of the raw, earthbound, and real insist themselves from below. Two extreme frottages seem figured as nearly uninhabitable landscapes, their birds almost crowded out of the picture by the obdurate black overlaying them, its dense and murky mist possibly rendering the air unbreathable.
Like this OKecoSCAPE, Elder’s other solo Melrose works lend themselves to thinking about landscape-as-ecosystem in this subtle, materials-focused, and fairly minimalist way. Textures emerge as the wood’s own, their grains and strata revealed by artful cutting but certainly not “created” by the artist in any sense. This emphasis on organic but inert materials puts the Melrose sessions’ dream tableaux of forests or jungles into dialogue with their actual physical constituent, wood, and shifts its focus from its birds to include the trees they rest upon and the surfaces that sustain them. Reframed in terms of ecological urgency, the gaze of Hill’s birds and the interface of human and winged animal (or even angel?) it seems to encourage can be read recontextualized: as a call to conscience, a challenge, perhaps even an invitation back into the garden if we can earn the right to live there. n
John Selvidge works in Oklahoma City as a staff writer for a humanitarian organization and maintains creative freelance projects on the side. His art writing, magazine writing, and poetry have appeared locally, nationally, and internationally, and he has worked as a screenwriter, actor, and producer for independent films as well as in nonprofit development for the Ralph Ellison Foundation.
ART WRITING & CURATORIAL FELLOWSHIP REMIX: Cultural Collaborations by Narciso Argüelles
Years ago I was part of a collaborative art group named the Border Art Workshop/ Taller de Arte Fronterizo. It was a group of artists from Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego, California, cities that are across from each other along the U.S.-Mexican border. Our artwork included performance art and immersive art installations. It was that experience that began my interest in collaborative art projects. Fast forward to OVAC’s Oklahoma Art Writing and Curatorial Fellowship. As a fellow, I have enjoyed a wonderful year filled with scholarly activity. The fellowship ends with selected exhibitions at the Henry Zarrow Center for Art and Education in the Tulsa Arts district. I was blessed to have my proposal, REMIX: Cultural Collaborations, accepted for exhibition in the Sherman Smith Family Gallery this August. I am also blessed with co-curators John Selvidge and K. Samantha Sigmon, who are working with me to put this exhibit together. The premise of the exhibit is simple. Invited artists from different cultural backgrounds are put in teams of two and collaborate on one art piece. For this exhibit I reference hip-hop culture in the title to describe the art-making practice of borrowing imagery from different sources and the act of collaboration itself. Borrowing from Different Sources
Appropriation has always been an accepted practice from the Dadaists’ photo-montages to Andy Warhol and Banksy. Cultural appropriation has also occurred from modernism to the 21st century, though it has been re-examined under a new light. For REMIX, the artists seem to work in their own visual language. Denise Duong is one of the participating artists in REMIX and has a very recognizable illustration style. I am teaming her with Aidan Danels, who also works with illustration but adds graphic design cues. My hope is that by teaming up artists who work in different styles and media, exciting new combinations will be explored. Collaboratively produced artwork could be as distinct as two artists doing two different panels in a diptych or the work could be woven together as in one unified work. The artwork could be large scale 2-D work with perhaps 3-D and installation elements.
Some of the artists in the exhibition reference their culture as part of their artwork, such as Native American artist Anna Tsouhlarakis and Somali American artist Ebony Iman Dallas. Anna Tsouhlarakis is a multidisciplinary artist whose work ranges from performance and video to installation. While her work doesn’t draw on the style of traditional Native arts, her subject matter is deeply rooted in her culture. In contrast, Ebony Iman Dallas often delves into her personal history while using the aesthetics of Somali art. Denise Duong also references her culture in her artwork, which visually looks like a combination of illustration and street art. Then there are artists included in REMIX who don’t use their heritage as subject matter. Costa Rican-born artist Carlos Barboza’s work varies, from photo realistic acrylic and digital painting to a looser modern style for his murals. Another artist in the exhibition, John Eric Obsborn, is an artist, designer and teacher. He is the author and illustrator of the sci-fi graphic novel, Enigma Machine, about an ex-soldier and a robotic little girl. Aidan Danels is an emerging artist with a whimsical illustration style that borrows from graphic design. All three artists could be described as using pop culture in their artwork. A seeming outlier, Klint Schor is a well-known and accomplished sculptor in Oklahoma City. His subject matter is form itself: line, shape, form, color, and so on. I am looking forward to working with all the artists and seeing how they collaborate. Will it be a shared canvas where both artists trade off working on it? Would it be panels like diptychs? Knowing the artists and their work I can imagine what some of this will look like. This is where the REMIX comes into play, the “how” of the collaborative process. The cultural collaborations are the “who” in this project. The REMIX Team
I have two great curators helping me on the project. K. Samantha Sigmon is a local arts organizer and writer based in Northwest Arkansas. She is an Interpretation
Aidan Danels, Untitled, 2019. Watercolor, ink and markers.
Manager at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and in that capacity has worked on two exhibitions that open this summer: Nature’s Nation: American Art and Environment and Color Field. In addition to launching a cultural critique group and publication called Parlor, she is the founder of Backspace, a do-it-yourself arts venue in Fayetteville, and has curated many exhibitions surrounding social issues and contemporary art in Northwest Arkansas. Co-curator John Selvidge works in Oklahoma City as a staff writer for a humanitarian organization and maintains artistic freelance projects on the side. His art writing, magazine writing, and poetry have appeared locally, nationally, and internationally, and he has worked as a screenwriter, actor, and producer for several independent films as well as in nonprofit development for the Ralph Ellison Foundation. n Narciso Argüelles is a Chicano artist, activist, and educator. His work has been included in exhibitions in museums and galleries across the United States and internationally in venues such as the Sydney and Johannesburg biennials. He teaches art at the high school and college levels.
Left: John Eric Osborn, Enigma Machine, 2019. Illustration for graphic novel. Image courtesy of the artist. Right: Carlos Barboza, Tease, 2019, mural. Image courtesy of the artist.
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ART WRITING & CURATORIAL FELLOWSHIP Color and Not Color: Pink Beyond the Spectrum by Catherine Crain
Think Pink. What comes to mind? The soft pastels in a bouquet of flowers, straining your jaw as you chew sugary neon bubblegum to form the perfect bubble, the rosy flesh of an open wound, thousands of fuchsia pussyhats marching through the streets of Washington? There are countless answers to that question, but what is more significant is how that response develops. Does your understanding of this idea stem from experience or expectation? Does it begin with the physical interpretation of sensory markers that inform your perception, or a cultural establishment presenting you with ideas that define archetypes structuring our ideas of the world? It’s both. One informs the other, one does not exist without another. These broad questions hit at issues at the heart of artistic discourses for centuries. Exploring how one experiences their surroundings and how that subsequently works to construct and reinforce cultural tropes is vital, and pink is a perfect case study. No color in contemporary culture has been more politicized, gendered, and categorized. This allows us to examine these categories of definition critically. Pink is first experienced on the physical level. Traditionally, red and violet lightwaves travel to meet our eyes, with some waves being absorbed by the object being perceived, thus producing what we interpret to be a diluted red.1 As this continues throughout our lives, pink becomes more than those lightwaves and pigments— it becomes an association with an experience or a feeling. In Naima Lowe’s untitled digital media piece, a haunting video masked in a vibrant pink hue, the physical experience is immediate. A fractured figure in iridescent plastic moves in fluid movements, as the sound of rushing water and a strong jazz trombone drown out the outside world. The 10-minute scene overwhelms the senses with a wash of pink. The shimmer of the reflective pink haze catches the viewer’s attention, and the images beneath slowly begin to reveal themselves, with a figure with braids and striped socks moving across the frame.
Left: Mamie Eisenhower and the 1953 Inauguration Gown, image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Right: Naima Lowe, Untitled (still), 2019. Image courtesy of the artist.
Beyond the formal evaluation of the work, it also elicits other associations; for me, it’s candy wrappers. The plastic shine recalled a Watermelon Jolly Rancher— the crinkle as you unwrap it, and the assaultingly sweet flavor that stains your mouth. Nothing overtly references this, but the cultural lexicon associating pink and plastic to sugary candy has left its mark; it embeds itself into the social consciousness until experiences of pink that are not filtered through our own senses become truth in our minds. Color then becomes not color— it is an idea that marks your upbringing, your cultural background, and the forces that have constructed your view of the world. We can see this the more we examine the origins of these expectations. For example, many of us associate pink with women, but this is a recent cultural connection. Pink, a diluted version of red, was indicative of young boys until the early 20th century. Blue, a color representative of the Virgin Mary in art history, was a symbol of purity and assigned to young girls.2 During the Holocaust, gay men were forced to wear bands with a pink triangle, which led to pink symbolizing the antithesis of heterosexual masculinity.3 This became cemented in western culture in the 1950s when Mamie Eisenhower chose a powder pink frock as her inauguration gown, sending the color to the hearts of post-war households across the country.4 These seemingly concrete ideas are thoroughly fluid, and a critical examination of these connections reveals how they are created, and their implications.
1 Rebecca Boyle, “Stop the Foolishness: Of 2 Julia Wolkoff, “Why Jesus and Mary Always Wear Red and Blue Course Pink Is a Color,” 7 March 2012. Retrieved in Art History,” 19 December 2018. Retrieved from from popsci.com/science/article/2012-03/ artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-jesus-mary-wear-red-blue-art-history metaphysics-color-and-defense-pink 3 Barbara Nemitz, ed., Pink: The Exposed Color in Contemporary Art and Culture (Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz, 2006).
So, how can we define the color pink? As a physical experience or a cultural definition? How much of our idea of this seemingly certain universal idea is actually formed through our physical interaction? How can new paths be formed for those of us that experience the world differently? Pink is an enigma. Pink defies classification. It is everything and nothing; although it can be quantified scientifically, it is ultimately defined by the subjective experience of the viewer. Pink is not feminine, just as blue is not liberal and red is not violent. These ideas are in many ways limiting, and potentially damaging. It is with these ideas in mind that Pink: An Exploration was formed. An upcoming exhibition that places regional artists in conversation with one another, Pink: An Exploration reveals the complexities of pink through multidisciplinary works, including Lowe’s video. These questions allow us to investigate how the world we experience is formed, or not formed, through our sensory perceptions. Deconstructing these concepts reveals opportunities for recoding, and ultimately frees us to redefine the systems that shape our everyday lives. n Catherine Crain has been the Public Engagement Manager at 108|Contemporary since 2017. This fall, she is returning to school to pursue a Dual Master’s Degree in Modern & Contemporary Art History and Arts Administration & Policy at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. 4 Dominique Grisard, “Real Men Wear Pink”? A Gender History of Color,” in: Regina Lee Blaszczyk and Uwe Spiekermann, eds., Bright Modernity: Color, Commerce, and Consumer Culture (London and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017).
Earlier than expected, our first Photography Studio Hours were held last month. This new benefit was added to your membership because we know the importance of professional photographs in artists’ applications. We will continue to have Photography Studio Hours once a month, so keep an eye out and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions! Over the last year, our Oklahoma Art Writing & Curatorial Fellows have honed both their writing and curatorial skills through the Fellowship, which has culminated in this special issue of Art Focus Oklahoma and a Curatorial Lab at the Henry Zarrow Center for Art & Education in Tulsa. The first two exhibitions, To Belong and Stripes Around My Shoulders, open July 5th and two additional exhibitions; Pink: An Exploration, and REMIX: Cultural Collaborations, open on August 2nd. This special edition of Art Focus Oklahoma and these brilliant exhibitions mark the end of a year-long study and
exploration of contemporary art criticism and curation. This month also brings our Annual Members’ Meeting, which will be held at Artspace in Oklahoma City at 2pm, July 27th. We hope you will join our celebration of the last year’s successes, and bring news ideas of ways OVAC can impact the community over the next year. Attending the meeting is a great way to have your voice heard and to network with other artists. Please RSVP to email@example.com, call 405-879-2400, through Messenger on facebook.com/OKart, or the Facebook event. We hope to see you there! Sincerely,
Krystle Brewer Executive Director
Krystle Brewer, Executive Director
Thank you to our new and renewing members from February through April 2019 Eric Lyons Todd Scaramucci Cindy Van Kley Alyson Atchison Felix S. N. Blesch Caryn Brown Andy Mattern Soni Parsons Angie Piehl Briana Hefley-Shepard Christian Dixon John Gooden Sarah Morgan Matt Moffett Jamie Sloan Alex True Barbara S. Scott Sarah Engel-Barnett Daniel Farnum Dean Wilhite Diane Salamon
The Doodle Academy Leslie Dallam Jean Keil Michael Downes Mark Wittig Deborah Burian Clyde Kell Jack Fowler Joshua Garrett Lindsey La Ville Clay Cockrill Marjorie Atwood Carla Cain Brandi Boyer Kelly Queen Cindy Swanson Julia Swearingen Joan Cowden Glenn Herbert Davis Jacqueline Iskander Eric Kimberlin
Terri Higgs Tawnya Corrente Holly Bjorkstrom Laurie Spencer Amber Duboise Bill McClure Clara Folks Malcolm Zachariah Tammy Brummell Don Holladay Maddie Schmidt Courtney Segrest Nancy Harkins Liz Dueck Jim Franklin Ayanna Najuma Sandy Sober Rachel Davis Todd Jenkins Chazz Grey Phyllis Price
Connie Rish Byron Shen Sabrina Sims Carol Webster Kelli Monsteller Jim Rode Natalie Baca Andrea Martin Linda Guenther Andrew Boatman Gayle Curry Joseph Kirk Polly Sharp Karam Cheong Linda Savage Patricia Jellerson Doug Hoke Katie Pernu Didier Jegaden Albert Vadnais John and Susanne
Blake Diane Coady Darran Newsom Jolene Loyd Forbes Sarah Ahmad Erica Bonavida Dian Church Danie Helm Taylor Painter-Wolfe Liz Roth Melanie Shelley Erin Latham Chris Ramsay Gayla Hollis Melissa Gray Cayla Lewis Kaylee Huerta Melinda LittleCook Romy owens Janis Walker Anke Dodson
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EKPHRASIS: Art & Poetry edited by Liz Blood
Shannon Smith, An Invocation for Healing, 2019, watercolor on paper with acrylic detail, 16” x 12”
Shannon Smith is an African American portrait artist based in Oklahoma City. Smith’s work has been featured in local and regional shows and galleries including at Oklahoma Contemporary, Current Studio, DNA Galleries, The Paseo Plunge, and CFA Studio in Albuquerque. Smith recently created the cover art for Oklahoma Today magazine. Her work can be seen at shannonnicoleart.com.
Jasmine Elizabeth Smith is an emerging poet from Oklahoma City. She is working towards her MFA in poetry at the University of California in Riverside, where she explores the migration of African Americans in various historical contexts and eras. She is a Cave Canem and Gluck Arts Fellow. Her work has been featured in POETRY and Black Renaissance Noir.
Ekphrasis is an ongoing series joining verse and visual art. Typically, the artist and poet do not know one another, but in this special case they are sisters. Also typically, the artist submits an existing work, but Shannon wanted to create something for Jasmine. Both works lift off of the page and call to one another. This iteration of Ekphrasis is also the columnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fifth birthday. Thank you for reading and supporting art in its many forms in Oklahoma. Hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s to the next five!
An Invocation for Blue How sometimes, we consider the shade of the prairie sky. Imagine how we might unbolt within its yards, our names cross-stitched, gros point and orange when this land does not accept us. Blue to describe song, our tongues survival of rag holler, field gospel, and childhood moans. Stronging our aches sundown, our sound, two gripped fingertips lashing stringed instruments prayer. Call and I will respond, hold space for you in this blue-bark dark. Sister, yesterday, a blue bird landed upon my front step. As often, I was inconsolable, stripping the old story from bones. These days, I find symbolism in everything. Perhaps this bird was a reminder, how blood is blue before rushed with air. And sometimes, sister, this color the condition of beauty. How we gather, fill canning jars with slips of blue sage, flux weed, chicory, hazel, and rose. And when set against a windowsill, we imagine how something blue within ourselves and history might blossom.
e k p h r a s i s 27
Gallery Listings & Exhibition Schedule
June 6, 2019 – August 1, 2019 Holisso Pisachi: Brent Greenwood The Pogue Gallery East Central University 900 Centennial Plaza (580) 559-5353 ecok.edu
Wigwam Gallery 117 W Commerce St (580) 481-3150
July 2019 Visions of the Heartland: Alan R. Ball, Kelly Langley, David Walsh August 2019 Artists Now and Then: Jo Johnson, Vikki McGuire, Lauren Florence 523 Barnes St (580) 327-ARTS (2787) gracefulartscenter.org
The Goddard Center 401 First Avenue SW (580) 226-0909 goddardcenter.org
May 17, 2019 – August 18, 2019 Images of the Floating World August 31, 2019 – October 20, 2019 Frida Kahlo’s Garden Price Tower Arts Center 510 Dewey Ave (918) 336-4949 pricetower.org
Nesbitt Gallery University of Science and Arts Oklahoma 1806 17th St (405) 574-1344 usao.edu/gallery/schedule
Foundations Gallery Rogers State University 1701 W Will Rogers Blvd (918) 343-7740 rsu.edu
Chickasaw Nation Welcome Center 35 N Colbert Rd (580) 369-4222 chickasawcountry.com
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July 4, 2019 – September 22, 2019 A Texas State of Mind Larry G. Lemons Chisholm Trail Heritage Center 1000 Chisholm Trail Pkwy (580) 252-6692 onthechisholmtrail.com
Centre Gallery Southeastern OK State University 1405 N 4th PMB 4231 (580) 745-2000 se.edu
Spring 2019 – Summer 2019 Sam Sidders Metcalfe Museum 8647 N 1745 Rd (580) 655-4467 metcalfemuseum.org
Donna Nigh Gallery University of Central Oklahoma 100 University Dr (405) 974-2432 uco.edu/cfad June 11, 2019 – March 10, 2020 Snapshots in Time February 2019 – January 2020 1920s Edmond: Ain’t We Got Fun? Edmond Historical Society & Museum 431 S Boulevard (405) 340-0078 edmondhistory.org July 2019 Heather Porter August 2019 Austin Navrkal September 2019 David Padgatt Fine Arts Institute of Edmond 27 E Edwards St (405) 340-4481 edmondfinearts.com Melton Gallery University of Central Oklahoma 100 University Dr (405) 974-2432 uco.edu/cfad University Gallery Oklahoma Christian University 2501 E Memorial Rd (800) 877-5010 oc.edu
Redlands Community College 1300 S Country Club Rd (405) 262-2552 redlandscc.edu
Owens Arts Place Museum 1202 E Harrison Ave (405) 260-0204 owensmuseum.com Guymon All Fired Up Art Gallery 421 N Main (580) 338-4278 allfiredupok.com
June 25, 2019 – August 11, 2019 Art of the Aloha Shirt: John “Keoni” Meigs Museum of the Red River 812 E Lincoln Rd (580) 286-3616 museumoftheredriver.org
The Leslie Powell Foundation and Gallery 620 D Avenue (580) 357-9526 lpgallery.org Museum of the Great Plains 601 NW Ferris Ave (580) 581-3460 discovermgp.org
Downtown Art and Frame 115 S Santa Fe (405) 329-0309 Firehouse Art Center 444 S Flood (405) 329-4523 normanfirehouse.com Jacobson House 609 Chautauqua (405) 366-1667 jacobsonhouse.org June 6, 2019 – September 8, 2019 Between the Isms April 25, 2019 – December 31, 2019 Leviathan I: Aesthetics of Capital Fred Jones Jr Museum of Art University of Oklahoma 555 Elm Ave (405) 325-4938 ou.edu/fjjma
June 3, 2019 – July 11, 2019 The Eloquent Vessel Lightwell Gallery University of Oklahoma 520 Parrington Oval (405) 325-2691 art.ou.edu May 10, 2019 – July 12, 2019 The Skies Have It David Holland MAINSITE Contemporary Art Gallery – 122 E Main (405) 360-1162 mainsite-art.com May 9, 2019 – July 20, 2019 Changing Fashions on the Prairie August 1, 2019 – August 31, 2019 Early Norman Schools Display September 9, 2019 – November 2, 2019 Quilt and Handicrafts Show Moore-Lindsey House Historical Museum 508 N Peters (405) 321-0156 normanmuseum.org The Depot Gallery 200 S Jones (405) 307-9320 pasnorman.org
May 9, 2019 – July 6, 2019 Map-ify: James Bailey July 18, 2019 – August 31, 2019 Urban Abstracts: Lawrence Hultberg ArtSpace at Untitled 1 NE 3rd St (405) 815-9995 1ne3.org Contemporary Art Gallery 2928 Paseo (405) 601-7474 contemporaryartgalleryokc.com June 13, 2019 – July 7, 2019 Alicia Saltina Marie Clark July 11, 2019 – August 4, 2019 Film Photography Group Show August 8, 2019 – September 8, 2019 Kayla Ayrn, Emily J. Moore, Jarica Walsh September 12, 2019 – October 6, 2019 Tony Thunder DNA Galleries 1705 B NW 16th St (405) 371-2460 dnagalleries.com
Exhibit C 1 E Sheridan Ave Ste 100 (405) 767-8900 exhibitcgallery.com May 30, 2019 – August 29, 2019 Patrick Riley: Retrospective Gaylord-Pickens Museum, home of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame 1400 Classen Dr (405) 235-4458 oklahomahof.com Grapevine Gallery 1933 NW 39 (405) 528-3739 grapevinegalleryokc.com Howell Gallery 6432 N Western Ave (405) 840-4437 howellgallery.com In Your Eye Studio and Gallery 3005A Paseo (405) 525-2161 inyoureyegallery.com Individual Artists of Oklahoma 706 W Sheridan Ave (405) 232-6060 individualartists.org JRB Art at The Elms 2810 N Walker Ave (405) 528-6336 jrbartgallery.com June 7, 2019 – August 11, 2019 Prix de West Until July 14, 2019 Horseplay June 15, 2019 – October 20, 2019 Layered Stories: America’s Canyonlands July 19, 2019 – March 2020 Passport August 30, 2019 – May 10, 2020 Colors of Clay September 14, 2019 – January 5, 2020 Caballeros y Vaqueros National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum 1700 NE 63rd (405) 478-2250 nationalcowboymuseum.org Nault Gallery 816 N Walker Ave (405) 642-4414 naultfineart.com May 21, 2019 – June 27, 2019 Connect: Collect Print as Object Nona Hulsey Gallery, Norick Art Center
Oklahoma City University 1600 NW 26th (405) 208-5226 okcu.edu
Science Museum Oklahoma 2100 NE 52nd St (405) 602-6664 sciencemuseumok.org
Inasmuch Foundation Gallery Oklahoma City Community College Gallery 7777 S May Ave (405) 682-7576 occc.edu
April 19, 2019 – December 31, 2019 Postwar Abstractions: Variations March 1, 2019 – December 31, 2020 From the Golden Age to The Moving Image: The Changing Face of the Permanent Collection June 22, 2019 – September 22, 2019 Van Gogh, Monet, Degas: The Mellon Collection of French Art from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts June 22, 2019 – December 1, 2019 Photographing the Street June 22, 2019 – December31, 2019 Apichatpong Weerasethakul: Fireworks (Archives) Oklahoma City Museum of Art 415 Couch Dr (405) 236-3100 okcmoa.com June 8, 2019 – August 6, 2019 Making Space: Summer Mural Series, Part 1 Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center 3000 General Pershing Blvd (405) 951-0000 oklahomacontemporary.org Oklahoma State Capitol Galleries 2300 N Lincoln Blvd (405) 521-2931 arts.ok.gov July 5, 2019 – July 27, 2019 Print on Paseo August 2, 2019 – August 31, 2019 Tour de Quartz September 6, 2019 – September 28, 2019 Paseo Photofest Paseo Art Space 3022 Paseo (405) 525-2688 thepaseo.org Red Earth 6 Santa Fe Plaza (405) 427-5228 redearth.org
August 10, 2019 – September 21, 2019 24th Annual Cherokee Homecoming Art Show and Sale Cherokee National Historical Society, Inc. 21192 S Keeler Dr (918) 456-6007 cherokeeheritage.org
June 13, 2019 – July 29, 2019 Entwined: Erica Bonavida, Leslie Waugh Dallam, Darci Lenker and Lizzie DiSilvestro August 16, 2019 – September 28, 2019 Natural State Christie Owen The Vault Art Space and Gathering Place 111 East Paul Avenue, Suite 2 (405) 343-6610
Ponca City Art Center 819 E Central (580) 765-9746 poncacityartcenter.com
Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art 1900 W Macarthur (405) 878-5300 mgmoa.org
Gardiner Gallery of Art Oklahoma State University 108 Bartlett Center for the Visual Arts (405) 744-4143 art.okstate.edu June 11, 2019 – Sept 14, 2019 The Southwest in Motion April 16, 2019 – August 17, 2019 It’s a What? August 6, 2019 – December 14, 2019 Little Nemo’s Progress September 24, 2019 – January 25, 2020 Invited Oklahoma State University Museum of Art 720 S Husband St (405) 744-2780 museum.okstate.edu
Modella Art Gallery 721 S Main Modellaartgallery.org
Chickasaw Visitor Center 901 W 1st St (580) 622-8050 chickasawcountry.com/explore/ view/Chickasaw-visitor-center
Cherokee Arts Center 212 S Water Ave (918) 453-5728 cherokeenationart.com
Eleanor Hays Gallery Northern Oklahoma College 1220 E Grand (580) 628-6670 noc.edu
June 7, 2019 – July 21, 2019 Roadside Neon Todd Sanders August 2, 2019 -September 22, 2019 Building on the Body 108|Contemporary 108 E MB Brady St (918) 895-6302 108contemporary.org Aberson’s Exhibits 3624 S Peoria (918) 740-1054 abersonexhibits.com June 7, 2019 – July 21, 2019 Stillness/Movement: Contemporary Works from the Korean Cultural Center August 2, 2019 – September 22, 2019 Into the Land of Spectres: Shona Macdonald August 2, 2019 – September 22, 2019 Together/Apart The Lady Minimalists Tea Society ahha Tulsa 101 E Archer St ahhatulsa.org May 10, 2019 -September 15, 2019 Bob Dylan: Face Value and Beyond March 29, 2019 – July 14, 2019 Pultizer Prize Photographs June 21, 2019 – October 13, 2019
Recall/Respond: Tulsa Artist Fellowship and Gilcrease Museum Collaboration Gilcrease Museum 1400 Gilcrease Road (918) 596-2700 gilcrease.utulsa.edu Henry Zarrow Center for Art and Education 124 E MB Brady St (918) 631-4400 gilcrease.utulsa.edu/Explore/ Zarrow Alexandre Hogue Gallery University of Tulsa 2930 E 5th St. (918) 631-2739 utulsa.edu/art Holliman Gallery Holland Hall 5666 E 81st Street (918) 481-1111 hollandhall.org June 6, 2019 – July 6, 2019 Route 66 Group Show Joseph Gierek Fine Art 1342 E 11th St (918) 592-5432 gierek.com June 7, 2019 – July 12, 2019 Then, Here/Now: Creating Community in the Center Living Arts 307 E MB Brady St (918) 585-1234 livingarts.org Mainline 111 N Main Ste C (918) 629-0342 Mainlineartok.com June 27, 2019 – August 9, 2019 Clayton Keyes and Jonathon Sobol M.A. Doran Gallery 3509 S Peoria (918) 748-8700 madorangallery.com Lovetts Gallery 6528 E 51st St (918) 664-4732 lovettsgallery.com June 1, 2019 – Nov 10, 2019 Larry Clark: Tulsa June 1, 2019 – Nov 10, 2019 OK: Jason Lee Photographs Philbrook Downtown 116 E MB Brady St (918) 749-7941 philbrook.org
March 1, 2019 – January 5, 2019 Sharon Louden April 24, 2019 – July 7, 2019 Collection Spotlight: Lusha Nelson June 23, 2019 – October 6, 2019 Wondrous Worlds: Art and Islam through Time & Place Philbrook Museum of Art 2727 S Rockford Rd (918) 749-7941 philbrook.org Pierson Gallery 1307-1311 E 15th St (918) 584-2440 piersongallery.com Urban Art Lab Studios 2312 E Admiral Blvd (918) 747-0510 urbanartlabstudios.com July 2019 My Black Life Black Moon Tulsa Tulsa Artists’ Coalition 9 E MB Brady St (918) 592-0041 tacgallery.org Tulsa Performing Arts Center Gallery 110 E 2nd St (918) 596-2368 tulsapac.com WaterWorks Art Center 1710 Charles Page Blvd (918) 596-2440 waterworksartcenter.com
Weatherford SWOSU Art Gallery 100 Campus Drive (580) 774-3756 swosu.edu
The Gallery at Wilburton 108 W Main St (918) 465-9669
Plains Indians and Pioneers Museum 2009 Williams Ave (580) 256-6136 nwok-pipm.org
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To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition, we launched a campaign to raise $200,000 for an investment fund that will fund our Grants for Artists program for years to come. Thank you so much to everyone who has contributed to this campaign and to those that helped us celebrate over the last year. To donate to the campaign, listen to our oral history project, and explore our interactive timeline, visit ovac30th.org.
30TH ANNIVERSARY CAMPAIGN CO-CHAIRS Jean Ann Fausser, Tulsa Ken Fergeson, Altus Sam Fulkerson, OKC Steve Mason, OKC Travis Mason, OKC
Thank you to our generous supporters who believe, like us, that artists have the power to enrich communities throughout Oklahoma. SUSTAINER Jon Fisher Sorocco Family Foundation HEADLINER Chip & Shannon Fudge VISIONARY Ken Fergeson, NBC Oklahoma John McNeese BENEFACTOR Jean Ann & Tom Fausser John Marshall CHAMPION Gov. Bill Anoatubby, The Chickasaw Nation Ray Anthony & Elizabeth Brown Richard Belger Dan Burnstein Trust DTD Cresap Family Foundation Bob Curtis Hillary, Peter, & Rowan Farrell Brian & Titi Fitzsimmons Sam Fulkerson & Suzanne Mitchell Joan S. Maguire Bill Major, The Anne and Henry Zarrow Family Foundation Steve Mason Travis Mason McAfee & Taft Jim Roth, Oklahoma City University School of Law Lance Ruffel Trustmark Title Laura Warriner Christopher & Lori Winland 30
ENTHUSIAST 8-bit Business Solutions Alias Forensics Otto & Ellen Duecker Gina Ellis Edward & Brenda Granger William D. Hawk Thomas Hill, Kimray, Inc. Michelle & Peter Junkin Sen. Julia Kirt & Nathan Guilford, DDS Kym Koch, Koch Communications Tom & Kathy Ryan Diane Salamon Sue Moss Sullivan Tim & Jarica Walsh SPONSOR Marjorie Atwood Cody & Kelly Barnett Rick & Tracey Bewley Robert & Paula Boone Betsy & Dub Brunsteter Paul Caraway Jack & Stephanie Chapman Mickey Clagg, Midtown Renaissance Gary & Fran Derrick Joel Dixon Elizabeth K. Eickman & Marvin Quinn Enable Midstream Tom Farris Frank & Liz Eskridge Pat Gallagher & Doug Parr Susan Green Nellie Green Metro Management Inc. Walt & Jean Hendrickson Jane Jenkins
Tom & Jann Knotts Kerr Family Foundation Anthony McDermid, AIA Ellen Moershel Deborah Nauser Frank & Elaine Parker Scott Reed Meg Salyer Elliott Schwartz Marjorie & Ralph Shadid Carl & Beth Shortt Curt Stamp Alyson Stanfield Mark & Debbie Stonecipher Kyle & Sara Sweet Jim & Beth Tolbert Charles & Renate Wiggin Amy Young SUPPORTER Virgina R. Anderson Marilyn & Andy Artus Magnolia Charitable Foundation Billie T. Barnett Marjorie Bontemps Chandra & Steve Boyd Krystle Brewer & j. Hinkle Bob & Connie Bright Judy Federa Arlene & Dave Fuller Barbara Gabel Dan Garrett Erinn Gavaghan Joseph Gierek, Joseph Gierek Fine Art Minisa Halsey Lindsay Harkness Jonathan Hils Ken & Linda Howell Leighton Kirkpatrick, Red River Photo
Kent Larason Dave & Lana Lopez Mike & Lea Morgan Diane & Eric Offen Jessica Phillpot Ernesto & Lin Sanchez Villarreal Sandy Schlezinger Randel & Dana Shadid Jay Shanker & Sara Jane Rose Craig & Alicia Smith Smith & Pickel Construction Linda Whittington Dawn Williams, PLLC The Wilson-Simons Trust Nancy Yoch, Don Cies Real Estate Inc. ADVOCATE Becky & Alex Weintz Carol Beesley Miranda Bergman Terry Brown Randy & Sandra Cassimus Ryan Cunningham Doug Dalton Shortgrass Country Museum Allison Hix Melinda Johnson Kermit & Sarah Frank Lauren Weathersby Cayla Lewis Mandy Messina Michelle M. Metcalfe Sterling Smith Regina Turrentine The Vault Art Space and Gathering Place
Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853â&#x20AC;&#x201C;1890). Daisies, Arles, (detail), 1888. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond. Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon. Photo: Travis Fullerton. ÂŠ Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Art Focus Ok l a h o m a UPCOMING EVENTS June 24 Aug 2:
24 Works on Paper, Stillwater
Opening of To Belong, Tulsa
Opening of Stripes Around My Shoulders, Tulsa
Opening of Pink: An Exploration, Tulsa
Opening of REMIX: Cultural Collaborations, Tulsa
OVAC Grants for Artists Deadline
Annual Members’ Meeting, OKC
Aug 12 Sept 20:
24 Works on Paper, Tahlequah
12x12 Preview Exhibition, Tulsa
12x12 Preview Exhibition, OKC
12x12 ArtFundraiser, OKC
1720 N Shartel Ave, Suite B Oklahoma City, OK 73103 The Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition supports Oklahoma’s visual arts and artists and their power to enrich communities. Visit ovac-ok.org to learn more.
Non Profit Org. US POSTAGE PAID Oklahoma City, OK Permit No. 113