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ART GROUP: Thriving Collectively by Carleigh Foutch

A curious onlooker at Art Group’s April exhibition

If you’ve ever considered a career in the arts, chances are countless arguments were made against pursuing this particular line of work. The strange aversion to the arts can make life as an aspiring artist seem lonely and isolated, but Art Group, a new art collective located in Oklahoma City, is aiming to change that. Founders Virginia Sitzes and Katelynn Knick want to use Art Group to connect emerging artists in the state of Oklahoma to showcase local talent and dispel the idea that art is not a viable career path. Sitzes and Knick, who met at the University of Oklahoma in 2015 while both studying art, started the conversation and idea about Art Group by simply talking about the kind of art that mattered to them. “Being an artist

can be isolating once you leave the structure of academia and move on to figure out your own path. As we started planning meetings and events, it was clear that we could do so much more,” Knick said. What started out as a potluck with friends, food and fun talks took on an identity of its own, and with some tenacity and initiative, turned into the art collective it’s now known for today. “Art collectives have been happening for ages, all across the country,” said Knick. “The general idea of Art Group isn’t any different from the collectives that formed in the past or that exist here already, but what does make it unique is that...it’s a collective that is specific to the needs of emerging artists and even more specific to being an emerging artist in Oklahoma.

“We’re excited to contribute by creating this platform and subcommunity for our peers. I would like to see more and more opportunities for emerging artists come from the initiative of Art Group and the skills we are developing together as artists.” Sitzes agrees.“We really just wanted to have a space where we could keep talking about art as well as get feedback within our own practices with other artists in Oklahoma. I am excited for Art Group to not only keep growing, but to keep providing more and more opportunities for the artist who is trying to sustain their life doing what they love,” she said. (continued to page 22)

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