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ArtOFocus k l a h o m a

Okl a ho m a V i s u al A r ts C o al i t i on

Vo l u m e 2 2 N o . 5

September/October 2007

Samantha Lamb page 5

ArtOFocus kl a h o m a Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition P.O. Box 1946 • Oklahoma City, OK 73101 ph: 405.232.6991 • e: visit our website at: Executive Director: Julia Kirt Editor: Kelsey Karper Art Director: Anne Richardson Art Focus Oklahoma is a bimonthly publication of the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition dedicated to stimulating insight into and providing current information about the visual arts in Oklahoma.

Yousef Khanfar Edmond


Nathan Opp Tulsa




On the Cover: Samantha Lamb Oklahoma City Warming the Keys – The Trees Will Talk Series, Photography

Shan Goshorn Tulsa


3 Michi Susan 5 Samantha Lamb


6 7 8 10

Pierson Gallery

Visiting Artist Program


Yousef Khanfar Nathan Opp

12 On the Map 13 OklaDada 14 ART 365: Sarah Atlee

member agency

This program is supported in part by the Oklahoma Arts Council


business of art

16 How I did my Homework 18 Artists PR 20 Creativity Coach

OVAC news

19 New & Renewing Members 20 Round UP 21 At a Glance 22

gallery guide

Mission: The Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition supports visual artists living and working in Oklahoma and promotes public interest and understanding of the arts. 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 Anonymous letters will not be published.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. Art Focus Committee: Janice McCormick, Bixby; Sue Clancy, Norman; Michael Hoffner, Stephen Kovash, Cindy Miller, Debbie Nauser, Roger Runge and Sue Moss Sullivan, Oklahoma City. OVAC Board of Directors 2007-2008: Kathleen Rivers, Ada; Richard Pearson, Rick Vermillion, Edmond; Jonathan Hils, Norman; Skip Hill, Stephen Kovash (Vice President), Suzanne Mitchell, Ira Schlezinger, John Seward, Carl Shortt, Suzanne Thomas, Lila Todd, Sydney Bright Warren, Elia Woods (Secretary), Oklahoma City; Joey Frisillo, Pam Hodges, PhD (President), Sand Springs; Cathy Deuschle, Elizabeth Downing, Jean Ann Fausser (Treasurer), RC Morrison, Tulsa; Eunkyung Jeong, Weatherford 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 National Association of Artists’ Organizations. © 2007, Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition. All rights reserved.


Through an Artist’s Eyes: A Profile of Michi Susan

Michi Susan, Oklahoma City Tea Ceremony 301-07 Mixed Media 24”x30”

by Kelsey Karper Viewing a work by Michi Susan is like experiencing a visual incarnation of her spirit. Joyful and complex, the layers of color and pattern communicate a lifetime of experiences. Born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, Michi’s style successfully blends Japanese tradition with her contemporary Western world. In her studio in the Paseo Arts District in Oklahoma City, Michi told me that she discovered her interest in art when she was in the sixth grade. Her parents collected art and nurtured her interest. Her mother was a painter and had learned embroidery techniques in Paris. Michi’s formal art education began

at Japan Women’s University in Tokyo, one of only two women’s universities at the time. The acceptance was very competitive and Michi came highly recommended from her high school art teachers. Michi left Japan at the age of 35 after meeting her husband who was in the civil service. They first went to Louisiana where Michi says she learned a lot from their artist community. She was immediately taken in with a group of southern American women artists. She recalled the weekly meetings they had, drinking wine and discussing art. The group would invite other women to join their discussions as well,

including the likes of Deborah Butterfield and Judy Chicago, who would take a detour to Louisiana while visiting the Dallas Museum of Art for various engagements. Michi and her husband finally came to Oklahoma in 1978 where Michi felt she was accepted into the art community right away. “Oklahoma has been so nice to me, even when I just started,” Michi said, thinking back on her time here. “I can’t get away from Oklahoma.” Her Paseo studio is filled with her creations, ranging from petite paintings to sculptures continued page 4


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continued from page 3 that equal her in size. Michi has been steadily at work, preparing for her upcoming exhibition at JRB Art at The Elms in October. Her work most often comes in series and this exhibition will be no exception. She plans to include her sculpture from her Folk Festival series, as well as two-dimensional works from her other series Poem, Tea Ceremony, Wildflower and Kimono Landscape. Always evolving, Michi has begun two new series titled Birdsong and Kabuki that will be included as well. She stated that she likes working in series because you can just keep going. To avoid tiring of any one series, she’s always working on several different themes. A close look at any one of Michi’s pieces will reveal multiple layers of paint, fabrics and papers, ranging from traditional Japanese papers to plain brown paper bags. She also incorporates small bits of things like puzzle pieces and twigs that she collects, bringing unique texture to her canvases. When asked about her creative process, Michi said that the designs for her compositions just come into her mind. Because of the heavy mixed media and collage elements in all of her pieces, she works with her canvas or paper lying flat on the floor. She begins by laying on designs and papers, cut or torn to fit her vision. Then comes what she calls “the fun part” of embellishing with jewels, sticks and other objects.

Michi Susan, Oklahoma City Poem 308-06 Mixed Media 30” X 40”

Michi sees all of her works as landscapes. “They are all mostly Oklahoma scenes,” she said. “These are Oklahoma colors to me.” The vivid and brilliant colors that she is known for in her work give us a glimpse of how the world looks through her eyes. Her love for Oklahoma is apparent when talking with her and Oklahoma loves her, too. Recently, she was given the Oklahoma Artist of the Year Award by the Paseo Artist’s Association. The upcoming exhibition of Michi Susan’s work will be held at JRB Art at The Elms, 2810 N. Walker Ave. in the Paseo Arts District in Oklahoma City. The opening reception is October 5th, beginning at 6 pm. The exhibit will run through October 28th. For more information, visit ■ About the Author: Kelsey Karper is the Editor of Art Focus Oklahoma and a photographer working in historic and alternative processes. She can be reached at

Michi Susan, Oklahoma City Bird Song 405-07 Mixed Media 30” X 40”

Michi Susan in her studio in the Paseo Arts District in Oklahoma City.



(left) Samantha Lamb, Oklahoma City, Days of Rest – Photosynthesis: Turning Light Into Life Series, Photography

Samantha Lamb: Young Talent

(middle) Samantha Lamb, Oklahoma City, Tosseling in the Waves – Photosynthesis: Turning Light Into Life Series, Photography (right) Samantha Lamb, Oklahoma City, All the Rest – Photosynthesis: Turning Light Into Life Series, Photography

by Lori Oden I first saw Samantha Lamb’s photography on display at Sauced Café in the Historic Paseo Arts District this past Spring. Her work immediately captured my attention; I quickly abandoned my quest for a mocha. With the exception of one image, the show featured color photography. However, the work had unmistakable silver saturation. Color photography is undeniably beautiful, but I tend to prefer historic and traditional photography for many reasons, but mainly because of the silver element. Here was a color process that particularly interested me. The metallic paper process gave Lamb’s work a distinctive, luring appeal. Besides the different color process she used, her subject matter also captivated me. Lamb has excellent command of composition and uses depth-of-field with perfection. In one of my favorite images, a faceless, young girl with miss-matched, holey argyle socks plays an accordion. Her patchy skirt against weathered, wooden steps provides interesting textures and shapes. The image gave me a sense of loneliness, but also joy. A majority of Lamb’s work has this type of dichotomy. Additionally, Lamb’s work finds beauty in simple, everyday objects. She focuses her camera on a green apple sitting next to a sink; a glass jar against a blue wall; and a leaf floating in rippling water. To compliment the photographs, Lamb uses a variety of framing techniques. She uses old, multi panel windows that alternate photographs and clear glass to create a story line. Shadow boxes feature a photograph, an object that relates to the image and shredded pages from a book. Lamb inter-mingles traditional frames as well. Lamb was born in Oklahoma City. She attended high school in Yukon where she enjoyed theatre. Her grandparents lived in Hobart; she visited almost every weekend. Her grandparents’ farm holds her fondest memories, and is the place where she does most of her photography. She poetically stated, “The farm is a well of inspiration for me.” Currently a senior at the University of Central Oklahoma, Lamb has been taking photographs for only a few years. She began her college career as a journalism/broadcasting major and anchored the University

News Channel 22 during her freshman year. However, she began to fall out of love with that career choice and at some point she realized there was something else she needed to do, but did not know what it was supposed to be. According to Lamb, 2004 was a pivotal year. She said, “I had gone to church my whole life but I found faith in 2004. I would get so sad that there were these breathgiving sights I saw everyday, but I just could not keep them so I picked up a camera and started to capture them with film.” That summer she traveled Europe and changed her major to photography in the Fall. She said, “The experience of Europe, plus my love for nature are behind my creativity and individual style.” Her Uncle was a camera enthusiast and she received her first film camera from her father, a Canon AE1. Lamb is versatile; she continues to use the Canon, but also a twin lens reflex camera (medium format) and a digital Canon 5D. When I met with Lamb to talk about her photography she brought along a sketch book, which she keeps with her, along with her cameras, at all times. In her short career thus far Lamb has initiated several series, including: The Trees Will Talk, the Polaroid Project, Photosynthesis, and Faceless Portraiture of a Country Girl. In addition, Lamb has made album covers and promotional packages. A promising future is in store for this young, talented lady. Her passion for photography oozes from her skin and conversation. She hopes to eventually publish books and work with children. She loves to travel as well and hopes to visit Ireland soon to create a series of images about shepherds and their sheep. In addition to her photography, Lamb enjoys fishing, baking and working on the farm with her family. She loves folk music and finds inspiration for her images from the lyrics and beat of the music. Lamb is now the proud tenant of an art studio in the Avalon Building on Paseo, unit #7. You can view her work on her website Her work is also on exhibit through midSeptember at Dreamer Concepts Studio at 324 E. Main in Norman. ■ About the Author: Lori Oden is the Executive Director of the Paseo Artists Association. She is also an accomplished photographer, specializing in nineteenth century processes. Oden can be contacted at


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(left) Alexandre Hogue, Tulsa, 1898-1994, USA White on White, Oil, 41”x32”, 1972 (right) Pierson Gallery, Tulsa

Tulsa’s Pierson Gallery to Host Centennial Show by Cathy Deuschle I’ve frequented Linda Pierson’s gallery and frame shop for many years, sometimes for practical reasons but often to find solace, to find something to smile about. Beyond the concern shown my art, and Linda’s general sympathy towards artists (she’s an artist herself), the character of the shop, the quirky and democratic nature of the place, is restorative. When little dangling folk art figures made from whittled sticks and pecan nuts share space with the sophisticated and highly pedigreed work of artists such as Alexandre Hogue and Doel Reed; and vintage Native American weaving, jewelry, and pottery mingle with the current work of Tulsa area artists, then some artificial boundaries have, within this small space, been transcended and the world feels roomier, more accommodating. Art, if not people, can get along. That seems to be Linda Pierson’s assumption. Despite, or maybe because of, such wildly varied company, the eloquence of each piece still comes through. More trading post than art vault, this space welcomes tradition, craft, history, and highly individual vision. The gallery walls and


cabinets are full, and both frames and art are stacked to the ceiling of the adjacent shop. A number of the tailor made, or closed corner, frames could arguably be called art as well, so fine is the craftsmanship. Surveying all the art amassed, it becomes apparent that the overarching theme is Oklahoma. It’s a theme explored from countless angles as the work displayed cuts across cultures and time periods and synthesizes, through style, content, and media, a wealth of expressive possibilities. Given this love for the local, it’s natural and fitting that the Pierson gallery should present a show in September entitled, Oklahoma Artists: A Centennial Celebration. Included will be art that touches on Oklahoma from statehood to the present. Oscar Brousse Jacobson, Doel Reed, and Alexandre Hogue, three seminal Oklahoma artists and teachers at OU, OSU, and TU, respectively, will have work shown, as will two other early influential artists and teachers: Emilio Amero, a Mexican American muralist and lithographer, and J. Jay McVicker. Charles Banks Wilson, named an Oklahoma cultural treasure in 2001 and well known for both his portraits of famous Oklahomans and his murals at the State Capital depicting the

history of Oklahoma from 1541 to 1900, is well represented here. The gallery will also display numerous pieces by Mike Larsen who is recognized for his State Capital mural entitled Flight of Spirit depicting Oklahoma’s five Indian ballerinas, and for the eight murals ringing the lobby of the Quartz Mountain lodge that commemorate both the history of the Oklahoma Arts Institute and the history of the region. There will no doubt be bawdy folk art metal sculptures by the late Robert Maker as well as work by celebrated Native American artists, Woody Crumbo and Fred Beaver. Many other Oklahoma artists past and present will be represented as well. Together, these distinct voices will leave the viewer with a strong, though by no means conclusive, feel for the regional flavor of this land, its people, and mostly, its art. Oklahoma Artists: A Centennial Celebration opens September 27 at 5 pm. The Pierson Gallery and Boston Avenue Frame is located at 1311 E. 15 St., Tulsa. Find them online at ■ About the Author: Cathy Deuschle is an artist and a teacher living in Tulsa.

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Yousef Khanfar:

IN SEARCH OF PEACE by Lori Oden It could be argued that photography is a universal language. A photograph, whether you are fond of it or not, speaks to what you like or dislike about yourself and/or the world. It can provide information or visual evidence of a place far from home. For Yousef Khanfar, he hopes his photographs not only communicate peace, but inspire it. Khanfar grew up in war-torn Middle East; his family was driven from Palestine. When he was eighteen he came to the United States and currently resides in Edmond, Oklahoma. He travels the world taking color photographs with his 4x5 large format camera. Khanfar published his first book, Voices of Light, in 2000. It is a collection of landscapes taken from his travels. In 2001 he found himself stranded in London on September 11. Unable to return home he began writing, often through the night and into the morning. He stated, early in his life, “I have chosen to carry my camera instead of a gun and promote peace around the world; I believe peace is a finer horse to ride than violence.” September 11 proved to arouse that passion again and Khanfar began a pursuit to photograph peace. In 2006, In Search of Peace, was finally published. He writes, “I felt there was an emotional storm inside me that never touched down. I wrote on papers that seemed to be drinking all the ink I could offer. I could feel every stroke of my pen weeping the dark tears into the white pages, searching for the truth.” The words that Khanfar wrote seemed to drive away the madness that was swelling within him. Later the madness was quieted again with images.

Yousef Khanfar, Edmond, Glow, USA, Photography “So, let the peace glow on all mankind, as though there were no divine, and let the divine glow on peace, as though there were no mankind.”

For the next several years Khanfar photographed landscapes that verbalized peace. His book is divided into three movements that he describes as a visual symphony: sublime, freedom and divine. One of my favorite images is titled Souls. Fog begins to envelop the elongated base of dark trees. Dots of green grass and vines start to pop up from the earth floor. How appropriate that Khanfar uses trees to represent souls. A tree weathers storms and drought, heat and cold and is born again each spring. The photographs do not need words because they communicate on their own. They speak peace, joy, appreciation for the beauty this earth gives, and takes away all anxiety, fear and hate. He accomplished his goal. How do we give this book to everyone in the world? Yousef Khanfar has been recognized as one of the world’s top photographers and a selection of the images from the book will be on exhibit at the Fine Arts Institute in Edmond with an opening and book signing on September 6 from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm. In Search of Peace recently received the 2007 IP Award for Outstanding Book of the Year in the “Most Life Changing” category. The Fine Arts Institute is located at 27 East Edwards in Edmond. To learn more about Yousef Khanfar and his work visit his website at ■

Yousef Khanfar, Edmond, Blossom, USA, Photography

About the Author: Lori Oden is the Executive Director of the Paseo Artists Association. She is also an accomplished photographer, specializing in nineteenth century processes. Oden can be contacted at


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(left) Nathan Opp, Tulsa, Separate Lives, Oil on Linen, 68”x42”

Creeping Alienation:

(right) Nathan Opp, Tulsa, Pass Through, Oil on Canvas, 56”x49”

Intimate Spaces by Nathan Opp by Janice McCormick As Nathan Opp’s exhibit Intimate Spaces at the Tulsa Artists’ Coalition Gallery in August demonstrates, it is within the confines of the bedroom and kitchen that, paradoxically, a lack of intimacy stands out most clearly. The play of light across surfaces, the placement of ordinary objects, reflections in mirrors and glass, and the architectural features all work together to create a zigzagging movement through his compositional spaces, thereby subtly capturing the tension between the couples depicted. What Opp captures is the sense of being isolated, of each individual quietly withdrawing into the self and concomitantly putting a psychical distance between the self and the other. In the kitchen scene of Pass Through, Opp plays the meaning of the architectural description (of the title) off against the visual image. In architectural terms, a “pass through” is a connecting opening through which the prepared food can be handed to where it will be consumed. Visually, however, due to the slightly elevated vantage point from


which we look down on the scene, the dark brown cabinets over the counter cut off this connection. In fact, the male cook’s head is cut off from direct view, it can only be seen as a rather indistinct reflection in the microwave’s glass door. Furthermore, there is a sharp contrast in the level of activity each one is engaged in: the cook works busily at the sink while the woman sits inert, her right arm rests on the counter and the left one rests on her thigh. The female’s vacant gaze off to the side further adds to this interpersonal disconnect. A pair of green pears on the window sill serves as counterpoint to the empty seat in the foreground, suggesting what is lacking. Another work, tentatively called Heated, is also set in the kitchen but it conveys a clearer narrative than Pass Through. Here, the two figures in the foreground are almost uncomfortably close to the viewer. The large format of the painting places the viewer on the same level with those depicted. The result is a sense of interrupting their argument. Indeed, you find yourself taking sides with the woman in the

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Nathan Opp, Tulsa She Knew, Oil on Canvas 36”x42”

imagined heated discussion as you recognize the rude blue of the lit up cell phone held by the man. The irony is not lost: that which connects two people over a long distance serves to disconnect the two people occupying the same room! In Separate Lives the stark contrast between the fairly dark figure of a young man outlined against the lit up closet grabs your attention initially. He stands on one leg, bending over as he tugs at his pant leg, like a question mark. Behind him is a bed, covered with a muted red blanket. He seems to be the only occupant in this bedroom. Gradually, as if growing accustomed to the darkened room, the eye follows the diagonal line of the light bluish-grey sheet from the lower left-hand corner up to his lower leg, across the soft grey threshold of the closet to a relatively bright grey spot and red strip on the open door. You recognize that this is a reflection of the bed in a full-length mirror attached to the door. It is only now in that indirect reflected vision that you make out a second figure, only her head is left uncovered by the red blanket. Now the narrative becomes clearer: he is dressing or undressing by the light of the closet light so as to not wake the other person asleep in bed. Either way her

presence does not relieve his solitude. The dark green of the walls, the muted red and the various shades of gray create a somber mood. As these works show, Opp portrays alienation, of separation, not as a highly theatrical, angst-ridden affair, but rather a quiet, mundane situation that creeps up on you. But don’t let this ordinariness mislead you into overlooking the paradox at the heart of Opp’s work. The very places where you expect intimacy - sexual intimacy in the bedroom and the communal breaking of bread in the kitchen - is where you experience its profound absence. ■ About the Author: Janice McCormick has been writing extensively about art in Tulsa and Oklahoma since 1989. She is a long time volunteer for the Tulsa Artists’ Coalition. Currently, she is teaching philosophy part-time at Tulsa Community College.


rev iew (far right) Artist Joshua Kramb with a young art lover at the Weatherford Library (top left) Artist Joshua Kramb with children at the Weatherford Library (bottom left) Visiting Artist Program Director E.K. Jeong, Visiting Artist Carmen Lizardo and Linda Hays, a member of the Weatherford Arts Council, stand with a work by Lizardo

Sought-after Artists in Red Dirt, Oklahoma by Trent Lawson I had the opportunity and pleasure to spend some time with Carmen Lizardo and Joshua Kramb during their stay at the Visiting Artist Program in Weatherford, Oklahoma. The artists gave lectures, demonstrated their process, and were around to meet-n-greet and get to know. On Wednesday, Kramb spoke at the downtown library about his process to a group of eager children who each had their favorite piece and made suggestions for titles of each of Kramb’s “Untitled” works. In the evening, a reception for the artist was held, during which Josh gave a more detailed lecture with a slideshow. His program showed the evolution of his artwork and thought process: from an interest in jazz music - noticing how a musician and his instrument, his tool, were connected and really of one body - to tracing the outlines of people, trying to capture their likeness in the simplest of forms - to overlapping lines of traced tools and objects, creating an abstract, almost biological form. These simple black and white line drawings then took another step into color, and became his latest work, which was on display in the gallery on the campus of Southwestern Oklahoma State University. Thursday dawned, and with it a spontaneous, collaborative, earthworks drawing in the Oklahoma red dirt. Carmen Lizardo had been taken with the sight of one of our native trademarks and was just itching to get out and create something with it. A patch of red earth was all it took. Grabbing a stick, Carmen started making lines and smoothing the dirt. Josh then took over creating a circle and mirrored figure outlines that he colored with crushed pastels. Meanwhile, Lizardo took a cup of dirt and went to take some self-portraits with the mud smeared on her face. The photos were then slightly manipulated digitally with overlays of an Oklahoma map on one and the Trail of Tears on another. These photos


were printed on a large scale, each being over four feet square, and hung for the reception that evening. That afternoon, Kramb led another talk at the library (being so popular the first time) and brought a roll of paper in order to trace the outlines of the kids – both demonstrating and involving the children in his artistic process. A second artist’s reception was held, and it was Carmen’s turn to speak. Her work is a little harder to pin down. Primarily a photographer, Lizardo’s work is very personal, ranging from feelings about being a mother to her place in this society, using herself as model and subject. Her newest work deals with her patriotism, thinking back to the time when she became a citizen of the United States, considering it more of a home than the Dominican Republic, where she lived until she was 19. Some of this series was on display in the gallery, work done on punch cards. They can feel a little lonely, usually being a solitary image in the center of lines of ordered numbers. The Visiting Artist Program is fairly new, but shows great promise in promoting and encouraging the artistic and cultural experience in Small Town, OK. Other artists for upcoming events are international artist Ja-Hong Ku, Corazon Watkins from Norman, OK, and Thomas Fielder from New York. Keep your eye out this fall for the next series. For more information about the program, contact EK Jeong, (580) 774-3035, or ■ About the Author: Trent Lawson is a mixed media painter working out of Oklahoma City. He can be reached at

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Tonkawa Heart in the Park by Sue Moss Sullivan I have taken several road trips to Tonkawa to attend openings at the Eleanor Hays Gallery located on the campus of Northern Oklahoma College, but this trip was for a different reason. Audrey Schmitz, director of the gallery and instructor of art and art history at NOC, had invited me to view a recently completed Oklahoma Centennial project located in downtown Tonkawa, a 45 foot diameter labyrinth. The idea of a labyrinth in this small town whose motto is “The Wheatheart of Oklahoma” was intriguing. I was expecting a very large installation in a wheat field outside of town that could be viewed from I-35. Instead, I walked with Audrey on Grand Street, past the Centennial Park (built in 1994 to celebrate the founding of Tonkawa, prestatehood) to discover a beautiful jewel resting on half a city block: a heart-shaped paver labyrinth, whose shape, colors, materials and text all honor the history, community and devotion of the citizens of Tonkawa to this place they have called home, from 1879 to present.

(top) Birds-eye view of the 45’ wide diameter labyrinth. British author Jeff Saward, labyrinth expert and historian believes Tonkawa’s Heart in the Park is the “first public heart-shaped labyrinth of this type in America – maybe even the world.” (middle) Cast Wheatheart: Relief sculpture by Audrey Schmitz cast in iron by Tonkawa Foundry. This feature at the entrance of the labyrinth serves as a “pausing stone” for a moment of reflection prior to walking the path. People are encouraged to touch the wheat when departing the labyrinth to leave a bit of themselves there (an energy reservoir). (bottom) The labyrinth was officially born at 6 pm, Sunday June 3, 2007 – after many months of planning and 18 days of hard labor. HIP committee members stand with builders Marty Kermeen and Jorge Puga to celebrate the moment.


The original concept and design of this project belongs to Audrey. She combined a lesson from art history about the importance of a community creating meaningful monuments with her interest in labyrinths to create a lasting memorial “to the aspects in our community that are distinctively Tonkawa.” Audrey said instead of a more expected, traditional public art project, she chose the labyrinth concept because participants “…walk a path that leads to a center and then out again – unlike a maze that can result in dead ends or confusion. Labyrinth historian Jeff Saward, from England, suggests that societies build these true paths in times of need – when a community needs unification and focus. A labyrinth is a tool for connecting with what’s really important in life and gives us a place to pause and reflect.” To execute the design, Audrey turned to Marty Kermeen, of Yorkville, Illinois, an internationally known labyrinth builder and designer, who fine-tuned the complicated design. He arrived in June, accompanied by his assistant, Jorge Puga, and began the 18 day building process, meticulously placing thousands of pavers and other carefully chosen materials to complete the installation. Tonkawa citizens rallied behind

the project, raising funds to help with financing and even assisting in the installation when they could. Ken Crowder, commercial and fine art photographer (and Audrey’s partner) photographed every aspect of the project to record this extraordinary effort for Tonkawa’s history. Every part of the design speaks to the community of Tonkawa, from the “history walk” which runs on the outside edge of the heart, to the “pausing stone” which serves as a place for reflection as you enter and leave the path inside the heart. This feature, a “wheatheart” relief sculpture by Schmitz, was cast in iron by the Tonkawa Foundry. If you look skyward from this stone, you can read the town motto painted on the granary co-op that holds the economic base of the town. The golden color of the walking path represents agriculture, while the narrower divider lines in blue pavers symbolize the color of the Salt Fork River which runs nearby. The unique crownshaped crossing that is at the halfway mark of the path recalls the historic Yellow Bull Crossing on the Salt Fort; the diamond shaped flint, plucked from the river, serves as the jewel in the crown. A new sidewalk inlaid with stone “paintings” of additional Tonkawa history, a legend explaining the design and interpretation of the labyrinth, and beautiful landscaping complete Schmitz’ design. It is the perfect complement to the traditional gazebo in the Centennial Park, built in 1994. Velva Rence, one of 15 Heart in the Park committee members, convinced the Tonkawa Historical Society to support the project with the words “If you don’t have vision, you perish.” Tonkawa has vision and is “on the map” in Oklahoma. The dedication of Heart in the Park will be October 6, 2007. For details check All photographs are by Ken Crowder. Additional images can be viewed at Heart in the Park will be featured in two upcoming books: The Labyrinths of Oklahoma – A Path to Inner Peace due out in September 2007 and a book by British author Jeff Saward due out in 2008. ■ About the Author: Sue Moss Sullivan is an Oklahoma City artist and former OVAC Board President. She can be reached at

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(left) Brent Greenwood, Edmond There Goes the Neighborhood, Acrylic on Canvas (right) Shan Goshorn, Tulsa Pieced Treaty; Spider’s Web Treaty Basket, Mixed Media Weaving. Two recent tobacco compacts between US Government and the Sovereign Cherokee Nation were cut up and used to weave this otherwise traditional Cherokee Basket. This piece was recently acquired by The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, Washington D.C.

Creating a Dialogue through Art: OklaDADA’s Voice in the Centennial by Anne Allbright For many, this year has been an exciting time, a time to recognize and celebrate our state’s centennial. Museums, cultural centers, galleries and libraries alike, are just a few places that are highlighting aspects of our statehood through public programming. Unfortunately, blinded by such excitement, we have made a crucial mistake overlooking the various perspectives of American Indians in our state’s history. Recently, I was asked by an Oklahoma Indian artist, “who owns history?” After pausing to reflect, I realized I should take the question a bit further and ask the general public, whose history is being told, and in what light is their story being shared? Is our retelling of history inclusive of the many voices that make up this state? As a museum enthusiast and professional, I am disappointed to report that important aspects of our statehood’s history are casually being shortsighted at these exhibits, perhaps because they are less than desirable aspects of our collective past. As a sixth generation Oklahoman, I realize that my family benefited from the opening of Indian Territory to settlers, which in return enabled them to profit economically. However, I also acknowledge that this land came at a great cost for many American Indians. At the turn of the twentieth century and well into the 1900s the national and local government insisted that Indians assimilate into mainstream white culture at all cost. Indians survived this brutal process and are entitled to share their stories and perspective as a legitimate part of the history. Hopefully, it is not our intention to portray a skewed version of our state’s history. Perhaps we should regard the centennial as a time to discuss an inclusive view of history, and not just as a time to celebrate. As OklaDADA suggests, this should be a time for dialogue. Two years ago, OVAC sponsored an emerging group known as OklaDADA, with the intention of providing an organization where Indian people, artists and community supporters, could network and promote “indigenous perspectives to create opportunities that give voice to Indian cultural identities.” Since then, OklaDADA has become self-sustaining, but still maintains a friendship with OVAC. The group formed out of the need to keep Indian artists in Oklahoma and to recognize their achievements in maintaining a strong sense of Indian identity. The DADA artists were the first comprehensive group in Western Art History to fully explore the idea of “gesamtkunstwerk,” the “whole work of art”, including all the senses and recognizing the spiritual nature of creative work.  This relates to the way many Indian artists work, recognizing the importance of the spiritual connection and the full encounter of the work and the relevance of the image.

One forthcoming objective of OklaDADA is to make sure that Indian voices are not overlooked during the centennial, but instead are heard authentically, therefore enriching the way this moment in history is recorded for future generations. OklaDADA intends to accomplish this through an art exhibit Current Realties: A Dialogue with THE PEOPLE, which will explore past, present and future realities for Indians who “are a significant part of the Oklahoma experience.” This exhibit is open to the public, November 9th - December 31st, 2007 at IAO Gallery, 811 N. Broadway, Oklahoma City. Current Realities serves to complete and bring meaningful levels of understanding to the centennial, including tribal voices and perspectives. The opening reception will take place on November 9th from 6-9 p.m. with light refreshments served. On Saturday afternoon, a discussion will be held between those who wish to participate, both Native and non-Native, offering perspectives on this significant time in Oklahoma’s history. Continuing into the evening on Saturday, November 10th a series of short films will be shown, made especially for this exhibit by Indian artists. Some months ago I attended an OklaDADA meeting where a member explained to me that “art has the capacity to explore, investigate and to heal.” It is important that a constructive dialogue begin between all of the players in our collective history, and what better way to do that than with art? Each piece at the Current Realities exhibit will be original and new, ensuring this to be a unique and educational experience. Some works will be patriotic and nationalistic in theme while others will address more sensitive and uncomfortable issues such as: boarding schools, assimilation, annihilation and extermination. Regardless of the artist’s particular message, it is the sincere hope of those involved that exhibit goers will walk away with an understanding that Indians are an essential part of Oklahoma history. As one member put it, “brutal honesty and soul searching” will be displayed in this exhibit, whereas another member conveyed “a complex set of stories and unique experiences” will be shared. Those who are interested can learn more about OklaDADA through their website at There are over 60 participating artists involved in the OklaDADA group and many members have links to their personal websites on the OklaDADA website. ■ About the Author: Anne Allbright is an instructor of history at the University of Central Oklahoma where she researches and writes about the American West. She can be reached at


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ART 365

Article 2 of a six part series highlighting one of the six artists selected for Art 365

Sarah Atlee, Norman Hinton Geary Ink and Collage on Found Fabric

ART 365: NEW ART EXHIBITION by Stephen Kovash

Art 365 is a new exhibition created by the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition to give Oklahoma artists an opportunity to create innovative artwork in collaboration with a national curator. The selected six artists will each receive a $10,000 honorarium.

technologies. Liz Roth was previously profiled in the July/August edition of Art Focus Oklahoma. Norman artist Sarah Atlee will be profiled for this article. The remaining artists will be profiled in subsequent issues over the course of the next year.

The guest curator chosen for the exhibition is Diane Barber. Barber serves as Co-Executive Director of DiverseWorks in Houston, where she is also the Visual Arts Director. She is responsible for developing and implementing the organization’s visual arts, curating exhibitions and organizing educational projects. DiverseWorks houses two on-site galleries featuring a combined fourteen to sixteen exhibitions a year.

Originally from Norman, Atlee was raised in Albuquerque where she completed her BFA at the University of New Mexico. She received her MFA from the Rochester (NY) Institute of Technology before returning to Oklahoma in 2006, where her mother and a number of relatives continue to live. Atlee is quick to point out that living in Oklahoma is not a “consolation prize.” “I chose to come here, and I love it,” states the artist. “Among other things, I was thrilled to discover that Oklahoma has a growing contemporary art community. I was welcomed into this local web of support and I’m continually impressed by the art of the area. My project for Art 365, which is called Normal, OK, is a direct response to Oklahoma’s environment and people.”

Reviewing the proposals, Barber found many artists defining and exploring American identity, whether they named it literally or not. According to Barber, the selected proposals consider aspects of the American identity through icons, introspective explorations, symbolic natural worlds, consumerism and surveillance. Barber has already made studio visits with all the participating artists and will be conducting several more over the project year. The six selected proposals are from artists Sarah Atlee, Norman; Betsy Barnum, Edmond; Joseph Daun, Oklahoma City; Ashley Griffith, Oklahoma City; Darshan Phillips & Aaron Whisner working collaboratively as Live4This, Tulsa; and Liz Roth, Stillwater. Their work represents painting, printmaking, mixed media, sculpture and modified

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Atlee’s body of work is diverse and shows emerging talent in a number of media. Her most recent work, especially the Art 365 project, focuses on caricatures that would be at home illustrating the New Yorker Magazine. According to the artist, the Normal, OK project has two components: “Signs” and “Folks.” Observing billboards and road signs along the highways to and from central Oklahoma provided the inspiration for the “Signs” series. She was especially taken with the more rickety billboards,

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Artist S arah A tlee

(left) Sarah Atlee, Norman Peoria Jenks Ink and Collage on Found Fabric (right) Sarah Atlee, Norman Lawton Amarillo Ink and Collage on Canvas

overwritten by years of advertisements and distressed by the elements and the passing of a thousand vehicles over the years. The colors and textures she has observed will be represented by a series of multi-panel, multimedia abstractions. The inspiration for the “Folks” series came from an “incredibly fun” game Atlee plays when traveling. When she sees a highway sign with two town names on it, she pretends it is someone’s first and last name. The mission is to assign an identity to the person...who are they? What do they do? Where do they live? What do they look like? (I’ve always wondered about Roff Latta, who apparently lives outside of Ada). Atlee has written enough of these character sketches to populate an entire imaginary community, which is called Normal, OK, by the artist. Normal is located in the fictional Opteemah County and is home to the group of characters being brought to life by Atlee. The citizens of Normal include Hinton Geary (Ink and collage on found fabric), a retired English teacher who wears bow ties and believes he is a host vessel for super intelligent aliens. Lawton Amarillo (Ink, collage and acrylic on canvas) is cousin to Dallas Amarillo and is a somewhat shady “eco-warrior.” Peoria Jenks (Ink and collage on found fabric) is a 72 year old bootlegger who uses her shotgun to battle drug dealers.

addition to the original pieces which will be part of the project, she is looking into producing a book and making it available through an ondemand publisher. Atlee has embraced the concept of working “collaboratively” with show curator Diane Barber. According to the artist, the discussions “helped me form new ideas and gain more understanding of where I’m at.” Atlee is comfortable working on long term projects and is allowing for evolution during the year-long process. “It was great to have Diane’s fresh take,” states the artist. “I have also been posting these works to my website and MySpace, and I’ve been getting valuable feedback from my colleagues through those channels.” The work by Atlee and the other selected artists will be shown at the Untitled [ArtSpace] at 1 NE 3 in Oklahoma City, March 14-April 26, 2008. Plans are also in the works to tour the show. The Art 365 project is funded in part by the Oklahoma Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Oklahoma Arts Council, Allied Arts, Kirkpatrick Foundation, and Jean Ann Fausser. ■ About the Author: Stephen Kovash owns the Gallery at Urban Art, is an OVAC Board Member and has a day job with the Environmental Protection Agency. He can be reached at

The town of Normal has actually become overpopulated. The artist realized that there are more characters than she had time to portray. In

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How I did my Homework by Sue Clancy “What price should I put on this painting?” is a question that has crossed almost every artist’s lips. This concern is most evident when an artist is first beginning to exhibit their art and offer it for sale to the public. While we all agree that art has intrinsic value beyond commerce, the question of pricing art is one that comes up frequently. In a recent article titled Nail Your Prices Alyson Stanfield, of Art Biz Coach (www., says “I can’t tell you how to price your work and you shouldn’t depend on someone else to tell you either. Sure you can elicit our opinions, but it’s up to you to do your homework.” I totally agreed and it got me to thinking about my own ‘homework’ and what I’ve experienced regarding setting my own artwork prices. Starting out Some 20 years ago or so, I was just beginning to exhibit my art in restaurants, café’s and participating in the occasional juried exhibit. In order to figure out my prices, I specifically looked for other artists who were at my level – exhibiting in café’s and getting accepted to the same juried exhibits that I was as well as those who were much more advanced in their careers. I made a point to look for artists and galleries who were actually selling. I took a year to do my research and went to many openings and talked with those on my “artists to watch” list regularly. I had a notebook in which I kept statistics on 10 to 12 artists (and galleries) similar to those kept for baseball players. After that research time period, I then set my base price at the rate of the artist with the vitae/exhibit experience level that most matched my own. I soon learned that artists that ‘make it’ (and have regular sales) have prices that are set on math & fact and not upon emotional feeling about their artwork. What I looked for and wrote in my statistics research homework book: a) I looked for artist’s who were creating artwork in the same medium (the subject matter in the artwork wasn’t my focus) and about the same size/scale as I was. Over the next year I went to as many of the artist’s openings and or exhibits as I could. Frequently, I’d go more than once to the same exhibit because sales may happen opening night, or they may happen later on during the duration of the exhibit. b) I’d read each artist’s vitae carefully and make note (in my ‘statistics’ book) of what kinds of exhibits the artist participated in. This would be especially critical when following artists who were more advanced in their careers and were where I hoped to be someday. I’d also begin to watch those galleries (and make notes) in which I saw these artists work. c) I looked for artists who had stable, on-going, growing artistic lives who would talk to me. (I learned about sales and all sorts of business related things best from first hand accounts.) d) I worked in mediums and sizes like the artists I was watching but using my own subject matter. I spent my year making my own art and noting – keeping statistics - on approximately what I spent on art materials to make each painting as well as about how much time each took to create. Then, after a year of homework, I ‘set’ my prices. i.e. an 11”x17” size is X price based roughly upon the price at which other artists work –at my


career level- were exhibiting and selling. It also considered my costs in materials and time. This gave me a mathematical formula from which I could price any size of my art. If 11”x17” size is X amount, then 9”x15” size are W and 15”x 20”s are Y amount. However, I learned that when starting out it is much better to start at low prices that are about what the market is bearing –and actually sell- than to price too high (priced to cover true time costs for example) and keep oneself out of the market. I also learned that the price is the same whether the art is sold from the studio or from an exhibit. Prices stay the same or go up. They never go down! (If they go down it potentially offends those collectors who bought your work at the higher price and that wouldn’t be good for your future – because you want repeat collectors!) Fast forward about 5 or 6 years After a number of years doing the café, restaurant and juried exhibits, I began to apply and be ‘looked at’ by some lower profile galleries. This was the next level ‘up’ and I was excited at the prospect. However, I kept hearing “We really like your art but your prices are a bit too low for us…” kinds of statements. So I revisited my homework and looked again at those artists – in Oklahoma - who had been just ahead of me in their career development. I learned, by observation and talking with the artists I was watching, that prices were set so that the gallery commission was considered. (“Always assume the gallery will take 50%” said one artist.) Again I evaluated other artists who were exhibiting and selling at those galleries I wanted to be in. I noted the work that was the same size and media as mine – or as close to it as possible - and at what price it sold. I determined which artist’s career level was the closest to mine with the exception that they were in the gallery. With that ball park idea I bumped all my prices up to that level. Boy, was it scary for a while. Then I got accepted to that level of gallery and started to get some regular sales. I worked at improving my art, exhibit level and my exhibit experience. I practiced talking to people about my art, doing a mailing list, getting publicity and other business techniques. I also stretched myself by participating in more and more exhibits, at different degrees of difficulty. Long story short, eventually I ‘graduated’ to galleries with white walls and newspaper reviews! Now, I was beginning to sell art regularly and I was approaching the point where my art was paying for itself. The cost in materials and time was recouped and I was looking at profit! I was also having difficulty keeping up with demand. Around this period I got some of the best advice from Bert Seabourn who said to increase prices by 10% ONLY when you can’t keep up with demand. The Next Big Step So I decided (about 10 plus years ago now) to have my art be my only income. I soon realized that my prices needed to reflect the next level

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business of ar t

as I got into small to medium museums and regular representation at commercial galleries. Back to my homework! I looked at artists in the Oklahoma region and surrounding states as well as nationwide. I learned how to budget and keep business records and calculate my overhead costs so that a portion of my price would cover my overhead as well as the gallery commission and materials costs. I learned that the price should be the same whether the art is sold in Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, New Mexico or Ireland. If artwork doesn’t sell at one exhibit in one location it often does in another. This is why I watched artists over a period of about a year or more so as to follow their artwork – and sales - over time. I discovered that different geographical locations and different types of galleries handle art at different price levels. In some galleries the prices start at $100 dollars and don’t go over $1,000. In other galleries they start at $1,000 and go up to $10,000. As a result, art will ‘fit’ and be accepted and/or sell better in some locations than in others. An artist can find those ‘good fit’ places only by doing their homework.

It really does pay (pun intended) to set prices which are structured mathematically and systematically rather than based on emotion. This way, the prices are based on size, materials, market place, career level, etc. A set price structure gives you an idea of what kind of exhibit venue in which your work – and price - will ‘fit’ best. Galleries and collectors can then come to trust your price structure, and you! Art does have value independent of the market and the role of culture goes beyond brute economics but to sell art doesn’t have to mean “selling out”. Price alone is not an indicator of worth or lack thereof… but that’s another article topic. We’re talking here about doing our homework so as to find the best HOME for our WORK! ■ About the Author: Sue Clancy is a full-time professional artist whose artwork can be seen internationally and locally at Joseph Gierek Fine Art gallery in Tulsa ( or at Downtown Art & Frame in Norman. She checks her email,, occasionally, too.

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PR: The Responsibility of Artists to Themselves by Nathan Lee

Checklist for artists  Talk with the gallery about how they handle PR. Ask to be involved if possible.

I have attended many exhibitions in the past featuring the works of many artists. Some of the shows are well attended and some of them garner a sparse reaction. Reputation in many cases plays an important role in how much attention an artist gets for an exhibition. The best way to build a following and a potentially large crowd for a show is to work at building your reputation and being as visible as possible. In other words, you have to pay your dues. There is also another factor that many artists, including some of the more established artists, fail to consider. It helps greatly to do as much PR (public relations) yourself as possible. When you sign a contract with a reputable gallery, it usually outlines the responsibilities that the gallery takes on as far as hanging the show, curatorial duties and PR for the show. Even when they do send out press releases, the emerging artist can still be at a disadvantage. Work with a gallery hand in hand and ask questions about the press releases they send. Ask to see them and if you can insert relevant information that you think might enhance your show. Ask yourself these questions: Why is my show important? Why is it a newsworthy event? What makes my exhibition different and interesting? I once acted as a curator for a show that featured several noted artists, some of which had very impressive resumes. What made this particular show so engaging wasn’t just the quality of the art but the social tie-in as well. The artists in this show were African American and the goal of the exhibition was to bring attention to minority artists of quality. Those aspects were interesting not only to art patrons but also to people that had never been to an art exhibition. Many publications were intrigued by the concept and that original idea is what helped to make that particular event a success. Sometimes you have to toot your own horn to get people to listen to your story. One should never nag local media outlets but you should be vigilant and persistent. Learn to write outstanding press releases and get into the habit of being people friendly. This wasn’t natural for me but I find that artists with people skills are the ones that manage to entice others to take a closer look at their artistic endeavors. Remember that visual art, although from the soul, is still a profession that needs to be nurtured and grown just as any other self started business. Do not be afraid to become well versed in public relations and marketing. They do not cheapen your work or make you less of an artist. As long as the work is honest and quality, you need not fear gaining experience and expertise in areas that enhance the vision that you created. ■


 Learn about writing press releases and how to approach media outlets.

 Come up with a good story about why your art should be considered for coverage.

 Keep all contacts, even those that don’t publish your article or accept your press release.

Talk with people involved in marketing and promotions. Even if they are not art related they may be able to give you some valuable information that you can apply to the business side of your art.

Stay positive and focused. Determination and dedication trumps many shortcomings you may have as a visual artist. Don’t work harder, work smarter!

The U niv Un iveersit rsityy of Tulsa Scho ol of A nts choo Arrt P Prrese esen Aug ust 23 - SSeept pteemb mbeer 28


Paintings by members of Zeuxis An Association of Still Life Painters, Opening Reception: August 23, 5-7pm Alexandre Hogue Gallery S ept pteemb mbeer 27 - 28

ALFR ED O JJA AAR, Feagin Guest Artist FRE

Lecture: Sept 27, 7pm, Lorton Lecture Hall Workshop: Sept 28, 11am-1pm, Alexandre Hogue Gallery O ct ob er 4 - 26 cto

R ED H E AT Contemporary Works in Clay HE

A National Juried Exhibition, Judy Onofrio, juror, Juror’s Lecture: Oct 4, 4pm, Phillips Hall 211 Opening Reception: Oct 4, 5-7pm, Alexandre Hogue Gallery

OVAC news

Letter to the Editor Dear Kelsey, About 5 or 6 years ago, a couple of artist friends and I sat and philosophized around an outside table on the Paseo and talked of, what else? – Art, and the state of the arts in Oklahoma City. In that conversation, we discussed the lack of young artists emerging into the art scene and wondered and worried how that would impact our city. It had been a long time since a major wave overwhelmed the status quo. At the time, there were a few young artists who showed promise but very few who shined so bright as to eclipse the more established artists that dominated our artistic microcosm. Many of the artists who helped create the contemporary art scene in Oklahoma back in the 60s and 70s still dominated both walls of our galleries and the administration of those establishments. I am proud to be counted as one of those established artists but I wish to be “replaced,” so to speak, with new talent who would interject fresh energy and vision upon the landscape. I should say that the term “established artist” is a polite way of saying “old” artists. It is a mantel that some have earned and wear proudly, but it is so important that new artists emerge to keep our city thriving as a creative place to work and live. In the last couple of years, that has all changed. Slowly, new exciting work began to grace the art venues and names of artists I have never heard of began to herald the coming of a new Renaissance here in our small burg. It is a natural progression that was way over due. In large part, I credit the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition’s push for that youthful change with their Momentum Exhibition and the Individual Artists of Oklahoma with its injection of young artists on their board. The conscience decisions of the

Untitled Gallery to mix both generational camps in their schedules have contributed to this surge as well. These organizations have contributed greatly to this new surge of creative power. I salute them! They have always provided an encouraging hand and space for the “new” to contribute and grow. It is common knowledge that young artists learn from the experienced. I know that I was inspired by the likes of Michi Susan and DJ Lafon as I was coming of age. I also know that the energy of the new visual language being shouted today also inspires all artists, both novice and not so young. New creativity can and does revitalize even the most staid among us. Artists like Clint Stone, Nathan Lee, Romy Owens, Paul Mays and Joe Slack, to name only a few, seem to have come from nowhere. But as we know, back when we older creative types lamented the lack of up and coming artists, they were honing their craft and vision in their studios, garages and back rooms in obscurity. It is interesting to me that the burst of new talent seemed to happen all at once, like the phenomena of the seasonal migration of bird or an eclipse of the sun. It is a new and exciting time for the arts right now. I am excited to bear witness to this flourish of new talent and the city is better for it. The collective creative forces have always been good here even when the ventures were slim and opportunities were few. Things have changed somewhat now, like the rejuvenation of our downtown area and it is wonderful that hopefully, the new artists whose groundswell is so imminent right now will sustain us for another two decades or more. Paul Medina

Thank you to our New and Renewing Members from May and June 2007 Jane Ford Aebersold David Allen Eileen Anderson Sarah Atlee Tommy Ball Valerie Banes Donna Barnard Marwin Begaye Brandon Beichler Lynne Nichols Betterton Rick and Tracey Bewley Carissa Bish Elaine Bitting Meloyde Blancett-Scott Andrew Boatman Betty C. Bowen Patti R. Bray Benjamin D. Brockman Rachael Brozovich Jack and Judy Bryan Gayle Canada Carol Castor Josh T. Cleveland

Shannon Cuykendall Tunde Darvay Adrienne Day Ashley Desmond Anke Dodson Steven J. Dosser Denise Duong Chris Elliott Don Emrick Sam Ewing Father Phil Katy Folks Samantha Franklin Gloria Galasso Kristin Gentry Martha Green Brent and Kennetha Greenwood Stephanie Grubbs Steve Hicks Harold T. Holden Carla Houston Diann Harris Howell

Curtis Hoyt Eric Humphries Courtney Hunnicutt Claudia Hunter Daniel Hurst Jennifer Cocoma Hustis Jessica Irvin Garvin Isaacs Scott Jones Stephanie Jung Courtney Kegans Joseph K. Kirk & Daniel G. Hardt Carol Koss Trent Lawson Nathan Lee Steve Lewin Leslie Lienau Lovett’s Inc. Frame and Gallery Phyllis Mantik Paul Mays James McDaniel

Amy McIntsoh Suzanne Wallace Mears James G. Meeks Eva Miller Natalie Moore Chad Mount Regina Murphy Deborah Nauser Hunter Nesbitt Paula Nickl Amber O’Kelley Oklahoma City Museum of Art Judy Osborn Tash Parker Lou Ellen Paschal Giang Pham Elena Pound Brandon Reese Joe Romero Kolbe Roper June Roys Ben Safley

Mallory Sawin Denny Schmickle Ali Seradge Staceyleigh Shafer Mark Sharfman Byron Shen Ann C. Sherman Vanessa Somerville Clint Stone and Shannon Claire Cassie Stover Spencer Ulm Jordan Vinyard Russell Wadlin Terri Wagner Sara Wallace Sharon Webster Christopher Westfall George Whitlatch Richard Wills Pam Woolbright Eric Wright Dave and Charlotte Wylie Jason A. Zaloudik


OVAC news

Round Up OVAC welcomes six new board members who began their terms in July 2007. Cathy Deuschle, Tulsa, lives with her husband, three children, and too many dogs. She paints, draws, and does mixed media assemblages that she shows regionally. In addition, she teaches at Philbrook and contributes articles to Art Focus Oklahoma. She has degrees in art history and education from Colby College and Harvard University respectively. Elizabeth Downing, Tulsa, is a photographer exploring the unseen elements of the everyday world and the textures of urbanity. Elizabeth was born in Dallas, Texas and moved to Vermont to attend Middlebury College. She is an active member of the community, serving as a board member at the Tulsa Artists’ Coalition Gallery and a crew member for Tulsa Young Professionals. She and her husband own Oklahoma Digital Forensics Professionals, a computer forensics company in downtown Tulsa. Jonathan Hils, Norman, is an assistant professor at the University of Oklahoma School of Art where he directs the contemporary sculpture program. The recipient of the 2005 OVAC Artist Fellowship Award, he has exhibited extensively across the United States and his work is represented in private, corporate and museum collections. He works extensively with several art consulting firms and is currently represented by Walker Fine Art in Denver, CO. R.C. Morrison, Bixby, is a native Oklahoman. He holds BS (1969) and MS (1973) degrees from OSU, Stillwater. After spending fifteen years in New York and Michigan, he returned to Tulsa in 1992. Not a trained artist, he has devoted his efforts to supporting artists via organizations like the Tulsa Artists’ Coalition of which he is a past president. He resides with his wife Vicki in Bixby. Richard Pearson, Edmond, is originally from Florida and moved to Oklahoma in 1999. He is the Vice President of Integris Health. He has had a long term interest in art and believes that OVAC is the right vehicle for encouraging artistic community in Oklahoma.


September/October 2007

Sydney Bright Warren, Oklahoma City, has been a volunteer for the 12x12 for the past two years. She currently works as a psychotherapist in Oklahoma City and as a Geriatric Care Manager. Sydney holds a Master of Social Work from New York University, a Master of Education from the University of Central Oklahoma and a Bachelors degree in Psychology from the University of Colorado.  She is married to Anthony Warren and has a 19 month old daughter named Sarah. We would also like to thank our board officers who were elected at the OVAC Annual Meeting (thanks to Artsplace Ponca City for hosting!). The OVAC Board President is Pam Hodges, PhD, Vice President is Stephen Kovash, Treasurer is Jean Ann Fausser and Secretary is Elia Woods. SAVE THE DATE! The annual 12x12 Art Show & Sale will be September 29, 2007. This year, 12x12 will be held at the Fred Jones Industries Building at 900 W. Main in downtown OKC. Expect fantastic art, delectable food, live music and much fun! Thanks to OVAC’s summer interns! Lance Waldrop, a graphic design student at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford helped with many design related projects this summer. Katie Carter also volunteered her time to help around the OVAC office while home from the Kansas City Arts Institute. Thanks! Welcome Baby Guilford! OVAC Executive Director Julia Kirt and her husband Nathan Guilford became parents to Roger William Guilford on July 13, 2007. Congratulations! Do you have OVAC memories? 2008 will mark OVAC’s 20th anniversary. If you’d like to share pictures or stories, please send them to ■

Ask a Creativity Coach by Romney Nesbitt

Dear Romney, I’ve rearranged my schedule so I can work on my art for an hour each day but when I sit down to start I feel nervous and hyper, my brain races with negative self-talk and I don’t get much done. Any suggestions? -Nervous Dear Nervous, Many creative people think they have trouble starting when the real problem is stopping. In order to begin working you need to feel calm and self-confident. Here is a modified version of a breathing exercise designed by Eric Maisel, author of Coaching the Artist Within, that will help you stop negative thinking and nervous body energy so you can start positive action. You’ll need a clock with a second hand and three minutes. Sit at your work place. Listen to your self-talk, then create a short phrase to positively address your fear or feeling such as “I am calm and centered,” “My ideas are right on time” or “This is the moment for action.” Break this phrase into two parts (ex. This is the moment/for action). Look at the clock. Watch the second hand tick by for one minute. When the second hand reaches the “12” take a deep breathe and hold for five full seconds until the second hand reaches “1” then exhale forcefully through your mouth for five seconds. Repeat until you have completed sixty seconds. During the next minute mentally repeat your twopart phrase during each ten-second breath. You’ll be surprised how much concentration it takes to keep your breathing controlled (and your brain is too engaged to generate negative self-talk!). In just a couple of minutes you’ll feel centered, relaxed and ready to work. Take control of your work time by coming to a complete stop before you start and your remaining fifty-seven minutes will be more productive. About the Author: Romney Nesbitt is a creativity coach, artist, teacher and writer living in Tulsa. She welcomes your coaching questions for future columns. Contact her at

AT a G L A NCE (left) Alexis Winslow, Norman, I’m Thunder, 16”x20”, Acrylic on Canvas (middle) Alexis Winslow, Norman, Elise, 16”x20”, Acrylic on Canvas (right) Alexis Winslow, Norman, Wednesday, 16”x20”, Acrylic on Canvas

At a Glance by Susan Grossman The tiny gallery space of the Norman Arts Council is a perfect venue for a special group of friends. The Heartbreakers, a series of acrylic portraits painted by Alexis Winslow, is a study of many expressions.

statement, painting darker images poses more of a challenge for her.She undertook the series in an effort to develop her portraiture skills and is based on hundreds of photos taken with her omnipresent camera.

This installation feels a bit like a personal yearbook. The artist has created an intimate snapshot of her women friends at this unique time in their young lives as the group begins to disperse in pursuit of life goals. Winslow deftly captures the subtle nuances of lighting, nicely reflected in her subject’s eyes and off of their skin. Although the color palette is dark, it suits the nightlife settings and as the artist said in her

We look forward to the future work of this insightful 25 year old University of Oklahoma graduate. ■

Out of Oklahoma: Contemporary Artists from Ruscha to Andoe

About the Author: Susan Grossman is assistant director of marketing for University of Oklahoma Outreach and a freelance writer based in Norman. She can be reached at

Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art One of the finest university art museums in the nation.

September 29, 2007 - January 6, 2008

Focusing on artists from Oklahoma who have established national and international reputations during the past half-century, this exhibition includes works by such artists as Joe Andoe, Carolyn Brady, Leon Polk Smith, and Ed Ruscha. This exhibition co-organized by the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art and the Price Tower Arts Center of Bartlesville has been designated as an official Oklahoma Centennial exhibition.

Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art The University of Oklahoma 555 Elm Avenue Norman, Oklahoma 73019 (405) 325-3272 s Image: Leon Polk Smith; U.S., 1906-1996; Red-Black, 1958; Oil on paper; 25½ x 25½ in. Gift of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and the Hassam and Speicher Purchase Fund, 1989


galler y gu ide


Gallery Listings Ada


60 Years of Printmaking Through September 14 New Acquisitions: Leon Polk Smith, Matisse, Woody Crumbo September 19 – October 27 University Gallery East Central University 1100 E. 14th (580) 559-5353

Michelle Mikesell, Juergen Strunck & Robert Adams Opening Reception, September 8, 7-9 pm The Leslie Powell Foundation and Gallery 620 D Avenue (580) 357-9526

Bartlesville Out of Oklahoma: Contemporary Artists from Ruscha to Andoe Through September 16 Oklahoma Moderne: The Art and Design of Olinka Hrdy September 28, 2007 – January 13, 2008 Price Tower Arts Center 6th and Dewey (918) 336-4949

Chickasha Tim Sullivan Through October 19 University of Sciences and Arts of Oklahoma Gallery-Davis Hall 1806 17th Street (405) 574-1344

Durham Journeys by Patty Plummer Romance of the West September 6 – November 30 Metcalfe Museum Rt. 1 Box 25 (580) 655-4467

Edmond Rodkey’s Flour Mill: An Edmond Icon Exhibit October 15 – November 30 Edmond Historical Society 431 S. Boulevard (405) 340-0078 Lisa Homan Conger Opening Reception, September 14 Shadid Fine Art 19 N. Broadway (405) 341-9023

El Reno Centennial Portraits by Lou Hale Through September 14 Anthony Ross–Signs of the Road: Route 66 September 20 – November 1 Redlands Community College (405) 262-2552


Norman Coral McAlister Through September 14 Ceramics Auction September 21, 7-10 pm Firehouse Art Center 444 South Flood (405) 329-4523 Samantha Lamb & Amanda Weathers-Bradway Through September 15 2007 Dreamer Artist Market Every Saturday through December 1 Dreamer Concepts Studio & Foundation 324 East Main (405) 701-0048 Oklahoma (Red People): Choctaw Art & Culture Through September 29 The Inner Culture of Mirac Creepingbear October 7 – November 25 Jacobson House 609 Chautauqua (405) 366-1667 Oklahoma Moderne: The Art and Design of Olinka Hrdy Through September 9 Out of Oklahoma: Contemporary Artists from Ruscha to Andoe September 29, 2007 – January 6, 2008 Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art 555 Elm Ave. (405) 325-4938

Oklahoma City The Art of Corazon Watkins and J. Lynn Kelly October 11 – October 27 Opening Reception, October 11, 5:307:30 pm City Arts Center 3000 General Pershing Blvd. (800) 951-0000 Denise Duong and Matt Seikel September 7 – September 29 Opening Reception, September 7, 6-10 pm Michi Susan, Patrick Riley, Carla Anglada October 5 – October 27 Opening Reception, October 5, 6-10 pm JRB Art at the Elms 2810 North Walker (405) 528-6336

Exhibition Schedule Ruth Ann Borum Opening Reception, September 7, 7 pm Erin Cox Opening Reception, October 12, 7 pm Friskee Gallery 2412 ½ N. Shartel

Oklahoma Artists: The Series, Eugene A. Bavinger Through October 14 The Baroque World of Fernando Botero September 13 – December 2 Oklahoma City Museum of Art 415 Couch Drive (405) 236-3100

Eyes of History Through September 9 Sam Hyden: Instant Reveries Through September 24 Photography by Maxwell MacKenzie Through October 14 International Photography Hall of Fame 2100 NE 52nd Street (405) 424-4055

Teddy Schultz Opening Reception, September 7, 6-10 pm Tom Mills Opening Reception, October 5, 6-10 pm Paseo Art Space 3022 Paseo (405) 525-2688

Prix de West Invitational Through September 9 Traditional Cowboy Arts Exhibition September 29 – December 2 Fort Marion Art October 5 – December 31 Samuel Colt: Arms, Art and Invention October 13, 2007 – January 6, 2008 National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum 1700 NE 63rd (405) 478-2250 Narciso Argüelles Through September 2 Oklahoma State Capital Galleries 2300 N. Lincoln Blvd (405) 521-2931

Don Narcomey: Fault Lines Josh Buss: Roger Mills County September 7 – October 27 Opening Reception, September 7, 5-8 pm Untitled [ArtSpace] 1 NE 3rd St. (405) 815-9995

Park Hill 12th Annual Homecoming Show Through October 28 Cherokee National Historical Society, Inc. 21192 S. Keeler Drive (918) 456-6007

Ponca City Works by Walter Wimberley Opening Reception, September 14, 6-8 pm Artsplace Ponca City 319 East Grand Ave (580) 762-1930

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Annual Fine Arts Festival September 15 – 16 Works from Art Educators October 7 - 28 Ponca City Art Center 819 East Central 580-765-9746

Shawnee If God Guides Me Rightly: The Art and Life of Fr. Gregory Gerrer Through September 30 Here and There: The Worlds of Rose-Lynn Fisher October 12 – November 25 Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art 1900 West Macarthur (405) 878-5300

Stillwater Amy Newell Through September 14 Stan Welch September 19 – October 12 Annual Faculty Exhibition October 17 – November 9 Gardiner Art Gallery Oklahoma State University 108 Bartlett University (405) 744-6016


Collecting Collections of an Intangible Universe September 6 – 27 Holy/Oil October 4 - 25 Living Arts 308 S. Kenosha (918) 585-1234

Art With Heart Invitational Through October 17 Eleanor Hays Gallery Performing Arts Center Northern Oklahoma College 1220 East Grand (580) 628-6670

Tulsa Mazen Abufadil: Artifacts September 13 – October 13 Gay Larson: Liths October 18 – November 15 Apertures Gallery 1936 South Harvard (918) 742-0500 Space Silence Spirit: Maynard Dixon’s West Through September 30 Gilcrease Museum 1400 Gilcrease Road (918) 596-2700 Alternative Outsider Artists September 6 – 27 Nancy Smart October 4 - 25 Liggett Studio 314 S. Kenosha (918) 694-5719

Untamed: The Art of Antoine-Louis Barye Through September 2 Focus 4: Lucy Gunning September 30 – December 30 The Philbrook Museum of Art 2727 South Rockford Road (918) 749-7941 Many Voyages: Crystal Cardenas September 7 – 29 Food For Thought: Elia Woods October 5 - 27 Tulsa Artists Coalition Gallery 9 East Brady (918) 592-0041

Alexandre Hogue Gallery Phillips Hall, The University of Tulsa 2930 E. 5th St. (918) 631-2739

Woodward Photo Exhibit September 1 – 29 Caster/Miller October 6 - 31 Plains Indians and Pioneers Museum 2009 Williams Ave (580) 256-6136 Contact editor for information about submitting listings at publications@ For a more complete list of Oklahoma galleries, visit ovaclinks.html.

Brooke Apker Knight October 4 - 28 Tulsa Performing Arts Gallery 110 East 2nd Street (918) 596-7122 Red Heat: Contemporary Works in Clay October 4 – 26 Opening Reception, October 4, 5-7 pm

Crystal Cardenas, No Me Quitte Pas, at the Tulsa Artist’s Coalition.


HERB PARKER | Nature Based Environments

4 p.m. | Thursday, September 27 Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art | Mary Eddy and Fred Jones Auditorium

555 Elm Avenue, Norman, OK 73019 tel. (405) 325-4938 | Visual Art Student Association | VASA

Sponsored by the Campus Activities Council Speakers Bureau

for accommodations on the basis of disability call (405) 325-2691 prior to event


ArtOFocus k l a h o m a Annual Subscriptions to Art Focus Oklahoma are free with membership to the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition. Membership forms and benefits can be found at or by phone (405) 232-6991. Student Membership: $15 Individual Membership: $30 Family/Household Membership: $50 Patron Membership: $100 Sustaining Membership: $250

PO Box 1946 Oklahoma City, OK 73101

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Art Focus Oklahoma, September/October 2007  

2007 September/October Art Focus Oklahoma is a bimonthly publication of the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition dedicated to stimulating insight...

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