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spill. Combining traditional sculptural methods with a contemporary perspective, Marie’s work poses koan-like questions: What is an oar without water? What can you see through a window that is opaque? Who fishes with a broken boat? Marie’s spare installations project a palpable silence that speaks equally of absence and presence. One work consists of a fishing net and a discarded door laid on the ground. The phrase “Something in the air between us,” also the work’s title, is written in the dust on the door’s windowpane. The message’s author is unclear, as is the history of this seemingly found tableau. Even if the window was sparkling clean, all it would reveal is the gravel underneath. Marie’s next exhibition, Environmental Cues, explores “the culture shifts of small fishing communities” through her evocative blend of anthropology and craft. Marie is also a member of OVAC’s first Art Writing and Curatorial Fellowship. Sarah Engel and Sherwin Tibayan, recipients of the Student Awards of Excellence, create quasi-mythic images of the American West that seem pulled straight from Oklahoma’s collective unconscious. Both comment on our state’s changing physical and psychic landscape as consumer culture takes over. Engel, a senior in media arts, combines photography with sewing and horticulture in her mixed-media compositions, some of which include live plants. For her series Myth of the Dreams of Stuffalo, Engel created toy buffalo figurines and photographed them in a traditional landscape. The buffalo, often used as a symbol for Oklahoma’s history, stands in for the people who have adapted the land to their changing needs. Engel plans to use her award to fund a new multimedia project examining homemade musical instruments such as cigar box guitars. Tibayan, a graduate student of media arts at OU, also uses photography, particularly for its ability to reduce landscape to a two-dimensional object. Blank billboards are the subject of Tibayan’s recent project Horror Vacui. About these ambiguous non-advertising objects, he asks, “How much of their collective fate is the result of the equally empty, economically underdeveloped spaces that tend to surround them?” Along with this award, Tibayan is also one of this year’s Momentum Spotlight artists, and recently volunteered at a photographers’ portfolio review event in Santa Fe featuring top professionals in the field. He describes these experiences as “very humbling,” but also encouraging and inspiring him to work harder. The Award of Excellence will facilitate Tibayan’s ability to travel and continue his investigations. Viewers are invited to learn more about Glenn Herbert Davis and Cedar Marie by attending a free artist talk at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art on October 21. You may also view video profiles of the artists on OVAC’s YouTube Channel at n Sarah Atlee is a painter living in Oklahoma City. Her current project, Occupied, examines the working lives of Oklahomans. She can be reached at

(top) Sarah Engel, Norman, Of Moss And Men (detail), Digital photograph (center) Cedar Marie, Norman, Old Man Jenkins, Mixed media (wood, epoxy, copper, paint), 17’x5’x2’ (bottom) Sherwin R. Tibayan, Norman, Impact, Near Dallas, TX, Archival Pigment Print, 24”x36”

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Art Focus Oklahoma, September/October 2010  
Art Focus Oklahoma, September/October 2010  

2010 September/October Art Focus Oklahoma is a bimonthly publication of the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition dedicated to stimulating insight...