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ArtOFocus k l a h o m a

Ok l 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 7 N o . 5

September/October 2012

Art OFocus k l a h o m a from the editor The fall is always an exciting time of year. As the weather cools down, the arts activity in Oklahoma increases. As you’ll see in this issue of Art Focus Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition has a busy season ahead. OVAC’s Oklahoma Visual Arts Fellowship awards (p. 4) were granted earlier this year to two artists, both based in Stillwater. Additionally, two Norman artists were selected to receive the Student Awards of Excellence. They were each chosen by a guest curator out of the applicant pool from artists around the state, recognizing their artistic merit and outstanding vision. You’ll learn more about their work in this article. We’re also anxiously anticipating the opening of our Concept/OK: Art in Oklahoma exhibition. Not only is this the first presentation of our new exhibition, but it will also be the inaugural event at the Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa’s Hardesty Arts Center. Narciso Argüelles is one of two artists selected for the Concept/OK Residencies (p. 8). In addition to residency artist projects, Concept/OK also features a survey of Oklahoma artists and an exhibition exchange with Kansas City. We hope you’ll join us at the opening event on December 16, 1-5 pm. On October 13 from 8 pm-Midnight, we’ll open the Momentum Tulsa exhibition. Three young artists received Momentum Spotlight awards to create new bodies of work for the exhibition (p. 17). They will be highlighted amongst the juried show of Oklahoma artists ages 30 and younger. Of course, we couldn’t do any of this without our donors and supporters. On September 28, we’ll host the 12x12 Art Fundraiser. The 12x12 is our only annual fundraiser, which helps us to serve artists statewide through professional development, grants, awards, exhibitions, and more. It’s not just a good cause, though. It’s a wonderfully fun event with 150 Oklahoma artists, 25 local restaurants and live music. I look forward to seeing you at some of the many art events happening this fall.

Kelsey Karper publications@ovac-ok.orgb

P.S. Watch our YouTube channel for video interviews with the Fellowship award winners, Momentum Spotlight artists, and Concept/OK artists. Videos will be posted there as they become available.

Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition 730 W. Wilshire Blvd., Suite 104 Oklahoma City, OK 73116 ph: 405.879.2400 • 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. 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. OVAC Board of Directors July 2012 - June 2013: R.C. Morrison, Bixby; Patrick Kamann, Margo Shultes von Schlageter, MD (Treasurer), Christian Trimble, Edmond; Eric Wright, El Reno; Traci Layton, Enid; Suzanne Mitchell (President), Norman; Jennifer Barron (Vice President), Susan Beaty (Secretary), Bob Curtis, Gina Ellis, Hillary Farrell, Michael Hoffner, Kristin Huffaker, Stephen Kovash, Carl Shortt, Oklahoma City; Joey Frisillo, Sand Springs; Jean Ann Fausser, Susan Green, Janet Shipley Hawks, Kathy McRuiz, Sandy Sober, Tulsa 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. © 2012, Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition. All rights reserved.

View the online archive at

Support from:

On the cover Narciso Argüelles, Oklahoma City, La Luna, Ink, spray paint on birch. See page 8.



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4 Oklahoma Visual Arts Fellowships 2012

Each year, the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition awards four individual artists for outstanding vision. Meet this year’s award-winning artists.

8 Heaven Spots: Concept/OK Residency Artist Narciso Argüelles crosses the borders of identity and art

Selected as one of two artists for OVAC’s inaugural Concept/OK Residency, Oklahoma City artist Narciso Argüelles blurs the boundaries of gallery and street.

10 Making the Points: The art of finding one’s self, life and passion in pointillism

Oklahoma City artist Ronna Pernell found comfort and focus in her art, particularly through the stipple technique.

12 No Reservations: The Art of Joseph Buchanan

Working in painting, sculpture, furniture design, music and more, Tulsa artist Joseph Buchanan draws on a variety of life experiences in his art.

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14 Blooming Currents: Chad Mount

In a recent exhibition in Oklahoma City, artist Chad Mount tells the story of an artwork lost at sea.

p re v i e w s 16 Art on the Move: Momentum Tulsa Spotlights Oklahoma’s Young Artists

Three Spotlight artists are creating new bodies of work to debut at the annual Momentum Tulsa exhibition, which highlights Oklahoma artists ages 30 and younger.

18 Beneath the Surface

A unifying theme of nature brought a quartet of Oklahoma City artists together for a collaborative exhibition.

20 Remembering the Dearly Departed

Now in its 18th year, the Dia de Los Muertos Arts Festival in Tulsa invites the public to celebrate and remember loved ones lost.


f e a t u re s 22 On the Map: Chickasha’s Rock Island Arts Festival Promotes Community

Building a sense of community around the arts, the Chickasha Area Arts Council presents the Rock Island Arts Festival showcasing a myriad of art forms.

business of art 24 Ask a Creativity Coach: Fear is Your Path to Success

The Creativity Coach offers advice on how to go from your comfort zone to embracing unlimited possibilities – and how to deal with the fear in the middle.

at a glance

25 Fusion: A New Century of Glass

The Oklahoma City Museum of Art recently celebrated its tenth anniversary with an exhibition of glass works from the past decade.

OVAC news

26 Inch by Inch: Small Art Raises Funds for Oklahoma Artists

OVAC’s only annual fundraiser, the 12x12 Art Fundraiser, will be held September 28, 2012.

28 OVAC News 29 New and Renewing Members 30

(p. 4) Tara Ahmadi, Norman, Three Minutes of Headless Life, Video still (p.10) Joseph Buchanan, Tulsa, Wisdom, oil on canvas, 60” x 60” (p.18) Diana Smith, Oklahoma City, Wolf/Dog Series III, Acrylic/Mixed media collage, 30” x 40”

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Oklahoma Visual Arts Fellowships 2012 by Tiffany Barber

Angela Piehl, Stillwater, Chandelier, White pencil on black paper, 38” x 56”

Each year, the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition awards four individual artists for outstanding vision in two categories: Oklahoma Visual Arts Fellowships and Student Awards of Excellence. A guest curator chooses the awardees from applications submitted by artists. This year’s Fellowship recipients are Matthew Boonstra and Angela Piehl, both from Stillwater. Tara Najd Ahmadi and Jessica Tankersley, both from Norman, received this year’s Student Awards of Excellence. This year’s guest curator is Allison Peters Quinn, Director of Exhibitions at Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago. The year was 1979 and Iran was in the throes of revolution, torn between various expressions of imperialism. There was a distinct rift between the autocratic Pahlavi monarchy, supported by propertied capitalist


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classes, military and police; and working and middle classes who favored Muslim clergy, particularly Ayatollah Khomeini who was in exile in Paris. Shah Pahlavi eventually fled and Khomeini’s theocratic Islamic Republic replaced the traditional government system in Iran. These ruptures led to armed conflict and exacerbated existing border tensions, from a hostage crisis in Tehran’s American Embassy to the Iran-Iraq War. Iran’s educational curriculum was changed to strictly adhere to Islamic tenets and the broadcasting of any music other than martial or religious on Iranian radio and television was banned. This history serves as a backdrop to Tara Najd Ahmadi’s artistic practice. Born in Tehran in 1983, Ahmadi’s work – which includes drawing, painting, film, video, sound and

performance – broadly examines the politics of historical erasure and censorship. More specifically, for Ahmadi, personal history is a site of recovery and resistance. Her recent work, Productive Frustration (2012), consists of three video works that function more as diaries, the first of which explains the artist’s interests in making such work as well as the pain and politics of memory. The second video in the series poetically interrogates Iran’s larger political history, and the third frames Ahmadi’s criticisms of ‘the art world’ and the artist’s ongoing conceptual concerns. The first video begins with Ahmadi’s voice. A distorted image of a wooden maquette figure appears. Next, the image switches to a miniature doll with affixed limbs swinging. The video ends with a vacated image of a

blue wall. The second video in the series begins with a photograph of Ahmadi and her father. A vintage photograph of a car in a forested area of tall trees occupies the screen as the artist’s voice tells of leftist insurgent responses and the imprisonment of her father. The next frame is a dismembered baby doll in a crib, perhaps symbolizing a fractured existence signaled by the forced absence of Ahmadi’s father. The third video features a splicing of still photographs of two women eating, engaged in some kind of dialogue or conversation. In the next frame, a female figure wearing yellow gloves washes dishes and looks back at the camera. In the last frames, the artist questions the invention of art world jargon and market demands as well as the absurdity of these inventions while an unseen figure dissects a mushroom with miniature eating utensils. Arabic music interspersed in Ahmadi’s Productive Frustration seemingly evokes a romantic nostalgia for a

departed history. Just as Ahmadi’s video work is rich with history and content, Matthew Boonstra employs a post-Minimalist approach to sculpture. Following Minimalism, Boonstra uses mass-produced, industrial materials such as steel, rubber, plastic and lead to explore relationships between human bodies and constructed environments. Where 1960s Minimalist sculptors were concerned with reducing an object to its most essential elements, purportedly emptying that object of history and content, Boonstra’s work is deeply motivated by relationships between bodies, objects, and systems of production, not just with an object’s material properties. And though Minimalism’s affinity for subjectivity and objecthood is rooted in a phenomenological discourse that privileges perception as a primary means of engaging with the world, Boonstra’s approach to

phenomenology seems rooted in sociology. That is, Boonstra’s work explores the changing relationships between people, industry, and environment with special attention to potential for social change. A practice of interviewing generations of industrial workers, touring factories, and visiting post-industrial landscapes informs Boonstra’s work. In Ghosts of Detroit (2009-2010), Boonstra produced a series of silhouettes rendered in used motor oil on paper. Have You Tried Walking? (2011) features a steel-sculpted gasoline funnel atop a pair of plaster legs, one knee slightly bent with the other leg straight. The work’s title suggests a relationship of dependency, signifying in the artist’s words, “our dizzying physical and psychological relationship with oil.” Human, Human, Human (2011) also features a steel-plaster composite of human meets simple industrial devices: a key on a continued on pg. 6

Matthew Boonstra, Stillwater, Manufacturing Sympathies, Iron Shavings, magnets, steel, plaster, video projection

Tara Ahmadi, Productive Frustration (Still), Video

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key ring. The key’s bow is sculpted of steel while the key’s grooved blade is comprised of both steel and a figure’s plaster torso. The key ring dons a plaster foot, a humorous take on the ball-and-chain conundrum. Jessica Tankersley shares Boonstra’s interests in the relationships between human and machine, but uses herself as subject in her work. While Boonstra’s practice focuses on earlier forms of technology and maintains a commitment to figuration and the human form, Tankersley works with video, electronics, code, and internet-based mediums such as YouTube to explore newer media forms. Tankersley’s practice is also heavily informed by a posthumanist discourse popularized by theorist Donna Haraway in the 1980s. In 2011, Tankersley created Sapphira, an avatar and the artist’s alter ego. As Sapphira, Tankersley performs notions of Haraway’s cyborg theorizations through a series of projects wherein the artist constructs fantastical narratives and scenarios to explore limits of mortality. For Tankersley, technology is a medium itself, a non-space symptomatic of supermodernity, a material of transience that exists between the real and the virtual. Tankersley’s work questions the interlocking relationships between technology and globalization, specifically interrogating how forms of new global culture instrumentalize technology to construct local and shared global identities.

Similarly, Angela Piehl investigates constructions of identity in terms of gender, sexuality, and the organic body through collage, drawing, painting, and printmaking. Piehl examines notions of femininity, luxury and lifestyle through a gender-queer lens. Piehl’s earlier collages are densely saturated with color and literal reproductions of photographic sources from popular culture magazines. Her current work, however, is more interpretive. While it still incorporates patterns from jewelry, pillows, and other found images frequently associated with femininity, Piehl’s recent production moves away from collage into drawing and painting. The artist’s recent paintings and drawings begin from culling images like pearls and chandeliers from magazine advertisements, which represent evocations of excess and luxury for the artist. Piehl mines publications such as Martha Stewart Living, VOGUE, and O magazine for source material then abstracts and combines the images with organic material like flesh, hair, tentacles, eggs, fat, bone and muscle. Piehl’s composite figures are at once aesthetically pleasing and disturbing, enchanting yet repulsive. In works like Headdress (2011), Imperious (2010), and Moribund (2011), Piehl extends the formal elements of her drawing practice to subtly critique how popular media and the advertising industry construct and produce feminine codes.

Though each artist works within their own set of varying mediums, Ahmadi, Boonstra, Tankersley, and Piehl’s practices are joined by formal and conceptual concerns. Each artist explores representations of bodies; the construction of real and imagined narratives – personal, national, virtual; and the fraught relationships between technology, industry, popular media, and humanism. Watch video interviews with the Fellowship artists at n Tiffany Barber is a freelance visual arts writer and organizer. Her curatorial projects have featured work by artists responding aesthetically to the conditions of urbanization in the contemporary moment. Tiffany is a PhD student in Visual and Cultural Studies at the University of Rochester. Her writings on contemporary art have been published in Beautiful/Decay, THE Magazine Los Angeles, Public Art Review, Art Focus Oklahoma and online publications for ForYourArt, Americans for the Arts, LatinArt, and Evil Monito Magazine.

Jessica Tankersley, Norman, Twitter Heart, Electronic sculpture, 8’ x 14’ x 23’


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art gallery

Grand Opening Thomas Moran “Venice at Sunset”

Melton Art Gallery, UCO Art & Design Building, Opening Reception: 4-7 pm, Oct. 25 Featuring selected works from the College of Fine Arts and Design’s collection, along with selected works from the Melton Legacy Collection. Exhibit continues through Nov. 30.

For more information: (405) 974-2432 • 77

Heaven Spots: Concept/OK Residency Artist Narciso Argüelles crosses the borders of identity and art by Holly Wall

Narciso Argüelles, Oklahoma City, Milagros, Digital archival print, 11” x 14”

Borders and boundaries are ingrained in Narciso Argüelles’ identity. The Californiaborn, Mexico-raised urban artist and public school teacher, now living and working in Oklahoma City, spent most of his life on one side or the other of the thin line that separates the United States from Mexico. No matter which side of that line he was on, he always got the feeling he didn’t quite fit in.


American always find their way into Argüelles’ work—mostly urban art created with paint, spray paint, stickers, markers, paper, wood and yarn, decorating walls, billboards, signs, windows, and public transportation, as well as the standard paper and canvas.

“Even though I’m Mexican, the Chicano people who lived on the U.S. side would treat me differently—even though I looked just like them and I spoke English the way they did,” he said. “Ironically, I call myself Chicano now.”

Those ideas will invariably find their way into his residency project for the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition’s (OVAC) Concept/OK: Art in Oklahoma exhibition at the Hardesty Arts Center in Tulsa. His project, Heaven Spots, is named for those “hard-to-reach areas, sometimes high spots on buildings, where socalled street art is done.”

Those ideas about identity, immigration, race and what makes someone Mexican or Mexican-

“The title Heaven Spots has a dual meaning on the street, but I want to re-contextualize the

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meaning, where the viewer can imagine these areas as potential areas to touch the divine or as portals to some far-off place,” Argüelles wrote in his project proposal. Part of his project will occupy the Hardesty Arts Center’s gallery, while other elements will be found in public areas nearby. He plans to work with local artists to create both permanent and temporary murals and other displays of public art on buildings and bridges, while his work inside the gallery will mostly consist of portraits drawn in electrical tape. Though viewers may not immediately realize it, Argüelles is making a political statement through his portraits, drawing faces that don’t always appear prominently—or if they do,

they’re usually negatively connoted—to segue to discussions about issues like immigration and racial profiling. “That’s the way I sneak it in—I appeal to humanity,” he said. “Sometimes you have to appeal to the humanity of people. It’s a way of talking about divisive issues.” It’ll also be a way for Tulsans to see themselves in a way they haven’t before—especially the population that resides mostly on the east side of town. “There’s always a place; they always talk about the ethnic part of town in relation to the white part of town,” Argüelles, who teaches high school on the south side of Oklahoma City, a predominantly Latino community, noted. “Those places don’t exist on a map. If you pick up a map, it doesn’t say ‘East Los Angeles’; it just says ‘Los Angeles.’” Part of the purpose of his two-fold project is to bridge the gap between street art and gallery art, especially for the Latino community in Tulsa. It’s a gap he’s experienced while teaching Latino students in Oklahoma City. They understand what galleries and museums do, but they don’t necessarily believe they have a place within their walls. They’re not confident their work is worth displaying on a gallery wall. Galleries seem sterile, fragile, off-limits. There’s a disconnect, he said. “For some reason, they don’t make this jump,” Argüelles said. “I tell them, ‘You know, you can exhibit this work. You don’t have to paint on a wall.’” Argüelles plans to shuttle viewers from the various street art locations to the gallery, taking them back and forth from places that might seem comfortable to them—whether that be on the street or in the gallery—to others that are not, and helping them make the connection between the two. He also plans to spend some of his residency working with street artists, students, and the Latino community to create a dialogue about art. “Art on walls has a long tradition in many cultures, including the Mexican culture that I belong to,” he wrote in his project proposal.

“From Aztec murals, the murals of Diego Rivera, and the Chicano murals and graffitiinspired work of the 1960s, there is a rich history of art on walls. As a youth, I explored and experimented with street art and eventually including it in work as an artist. As a professional artist, I was excited to include urban art in installation art pieces around the world.” Argüelles said some people are surprised to learn that a Christian mission trip originally brought him to Oklahoma City from Los Angeles; they consider his left-leaning message about immigration and it doesn’t meld with their far-right perception of Christianity. “I don’t like to put things in categories like that,” he said. “What I talk about is love—it’s hope, it’s charity. Those things are parts of people. I got that from my church teachings, and that’s how I approach my artwork. Love, hope—that’s at the core of my artwork. It might be a little bit in-your-face, but I think Jesus got mad at people a couple of times. “The goal of the artwork is to communicate an idea to change the world,” he said. “That has always been the goal of my artwork. And having the opportunity to be in Tulsa, at a new location—I don’t take that responsibility lightly. I want to make a good impression for the people, because I do represent a group of people.” Concept/OK: Art in Oklahoma will be held December 16, 2012 – February 16, 2013 at the Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa’s Hardesty Arts Center. The exhibition includes residencies, a survey of contemporary Oklahoma artists, and an exhibition exchange with Kansas City. For more information, including related workshops and public events, visit n Holly Wall is an award-winning journalist who’s written about art, business and family matters for various newspapers and magazines in Oklahoma. Currently, she’s the news editor for This Land Press, where she writes daily commentary on local and national news as it pertains to the state, as well as long-form, narrative stories. She lives in Tulsa with her two sons.

(top) Narciso Argüelles works with actress and model Megan Bednarz on imagery for Heaven Spots. The final version will have performance art aspects as well as site-specific art work. Photo by Narciso Argüelles. Lasers provided by Toucan Productions. (botom) Narciso Argüelles, Oklahoma City, Culti-Multural, Digital print on inkaid treated metal, 36” x 24”

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Making the Points: The art of finding one’s self, life and passion in pointillism by Barbara L. Eikner

Ronna Pernell, Oklahoma City, Eyes of Innocence, Pen and ink, 9” x 12”

Ronna Pernell did not attend an elite art school or develop her skills under a master painter. Her creativity and passion was drawn from the soul of her creative mother and unplanned life circumstances. At a very early and formative part of her life, she found herself in need of support and comfort and art provided a source to fill that vacuum. Art was that security blanket she held on to for sanity and to keep the rhythms of life moving. The point was simple: stay focused, hold on to life and keep her family together. Art was the peace, the comfort, the point! So as she painted and developed her style, this self-taught artist found the point – pointillism, also known as stipple. This skill rose to the top of her artistic abilities and became an art and talent, which led to commissions and art shows.


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The use of the stipple technique began in the late 1400s, but became a reluctant part of the art scene by noted postimpressionists Georges Seurat and Paul Signac in 1886. The pointillism technique of painting uses small dots of color and is applied in patterns to form an image or group of images. Though Seurat, Van Gogh and others in the postimpressionism era used more color and larger dots, the artist, Pernell stayed with the colors of black, blue and sometimes red. The viewer is drawn to the piece to the technique and detail, then he has to step back to get the full effect of the intonations of the image. The skill of pointillism exists in creating depth, movement, mass, tones, shades and emotion without lines of solid color but making points explode into shapes and forms. The use of the human eye and brain are vital to this art form.

Pernell has been a professional artist for over six years and a creative closet artist for over thirty years. She drew, painted, experimented and kept her work to herself. Pernell’s mother passed in 1999 and in order to maintain her sanity with another life-changing event, she drove herself deeper into the art of pointillism. Up to this point, she had kept all of her art to herself. Pernell was moved to the professional realm when a woman from Ghana, West Africa saw her work and told her that her art was to be shared. Pernell stepped out to do a joint show in 2006 called Capture Moments. When it turned out that the other artists did not show up, Pernell was suddenly hosting her first solo exhibition, which was a resounding success. She was on her way.

Pernell’s most recent exhibition was a group show entitled Gumbo, curated by Inclusion in Art at Living Arts of Tulsa in June 2012. Ronna Pernell is a native of Oklahoma City. See more of her work at n Barbara L. Eikner is a frequent contributor to Art Focus, member of Tulsa Artists’ Coalition, OVAC, and author of Dirt and Hardwood Floors. She can be reached at

In a chance meeting with Walter ‘Clyde” Orange, the original drummer of the hit group The Commodores, he brought her one of many private commissions. In a comment about Pernell, Orange stated, “…wonderful, talented artist. Her unique style and distinctive detail is something you don’t see.”

Ronna Pernell, Oklahoma City, Nubian Queen, Pen and ink

Ronna Pernell, Oklahoma City, Songbird, Pen and ink, 14” x 11”

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No Reservations: The Art of Joseph Buchanan by Erin Schalk

Joseph Buchanan, Tulsa, Birth, Oil on canvas with paint and electricity, 48” x 72”

Artist Joseph Buchanan, who is fluent in many creative forms, defies the limits of categorization. He communicates his experiences through powerful sculptures and vigorous paintings. Buchanan’s talents overflow into music composition, innovative furniture, and interior design. He believes that continued challenge is essential for discovering one’s identity, entirely and honestly. He refuses to be bound by the


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limits of one media form or process of creating. “There is a death to art when one defines it as something,” Buchanan commented. “All of the artists that I have known who lived an artist life, who had true original thoughts, lived each day not knowing why they were but only knowing who they were.”

For Buchanan, being an artist is not a profession as much as a vocation. He feels that an artist’s life should stem from desires beyond self-promotion and should strive to shape humankind in a meaningful way. Buchanan describes himself as akin to a river’s mouth or the onset of a thunderstorm in that he hopes to be remembered, not as the end result of a famous name or trademark, but as a spark which precipitates a series of events.

Buchanan has lived what he describes as a full life, with art always an indispensable part. His father was in the Navy, so Buchanan spent his childhood in numerous countries throughout the world. Exposure to multifarious cultures established a wellspring of experiences for Buchanan at an early age. Soon his passion for art materialized. “At the age of eight I was sculpting and painting. I would make sculptures out of the plastic that held the parts together for my model cars. Some six feet tall,” Buchanan remarked. “At the age of nine years, I sat on the shoreline in Iceland, took a screw driver and hammer, made my first stone sculpture out of lava rock, and brought it home to my mother. They used my paintings and drawings for test patterns on the Naval Station Network after it went off the air at 10 pm.”

For more information on Buchanan’s artwork and gallery events, visit n Erin Schalk is a recent graduate from the University of Oklahoma, and she is an artist and writer who currently lives in Okinawa, Japan. Visit her website at

Joseph Buchanan, Tulsa

Buchanan’s love for his young daughter adds immeasurably to the breadth of his life experiences. She is his driving force: the stimulus for his current work as well as continual source of joy. Buchanan’s full life, however, has not always been one of happiness. He explains that significant trauma has also contributed to his work’s development, and that he finds ways to release personal sorrows into his art. Earlier this year, he suffered with health problems and underwent heart surgery. Buchanan considers himself principally a sculptor, but to protect himself from complications due to strain, he now focuses on painting. “With paint I find ways to share my texture and shadows that come easily for me with stone,” Buchanan explained. “I have created ways of painting with electrical current by adding metal to the paint and floating it above the canvas in a solution that I electrically control.” Buchanan paints with electricity, both figuratively and literally. He mixes metal powder into his oils, and after painting numerous layers of pigment and metal, he immerses the canvas in a solution bath. Buchanan then uses electrodes to conduct paint across the surface. As a result, Buchanan’s paintings capture momentary dynamic energy in actual space. Webs of line burst from these charged canvases, shifting from quietly lyrical to crackling with static. Intense blacks and saturated colors punctuate the composition and amplify this sense of frenetic visual activity. Correlations between Buchanan’s paintings and sculptures are apparent. Unconfined line is also an essential element of his abstract sculptures, and these carvings often sweep dramatically around the form’s contours. Sections of the stone are deeply hewn away, leaving recessed spaces where dramatic shadows pool. Buchanan balances this depth with elevated, light-catching areas and successfully creates a constantly shifting interplay of light and dark contrasts across the sculpture’s exterior. Buchanan consciously chooses to create an enigmatic atmosphere in his artwork. “Understanding all of something is like taking away all the shadows from a room…which leaves no space for secrets and enchantment,” he observed. Joseph Buchanan is the proprietor of Joseph Buchanan Gallery in Tulsa.

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Blooming Currents: Chad Mount by Krystle Brewer

Chad Mount, Oklahoma City, Old Growth, Acrylic, oil, pencil on hardboard, 18” x 18”

Live on the Plaza’s August art walk in Oklahoma City showcased some of the best local artists the city has to offer. Included in the night’s lineup of art openings was the work of the immensely creative and talented Chad Mount, also known as Tribalbot. His latest body of work, Blooming Currents, is not only a fantastical collection of illustrative abstract expressionistic paintings, but tells a fabulous narrative of a couch surfer named Cédric who finds himself shipwrecked. After being hosted by Mount and sleeping on his couch, Cédric asks him to write in a book he takes with him on his travels. Instead of


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writing, Mount paints a picture of a creature plucked from the sea. A few years after their brief encounter, Mount received an e-mail from Cédric with news of a shipwreck. The sea creature painting, the book, and all of Cédric’s belongings are now somewhere between South Korea and Jeju Island slowly drifting to the sea floor. The creature, once conjured up by Mount after a diving trip, had been reclaimed by the ocean. With news of Cédric’s latest adventure and misfortunes, Mount was moved to paint a new body of work from the perspective of the creature painted in the book as it journeys

to the dark abyss in the depths of the ocean. His paintings function as windows into the underwater world including sea life, mystical colors and organically moving forms. The title of the show comes from his specialized process of layering and mixing the paints so that they begin to look like growing and expanding blooms. Mount’s paintings are mostly acrylic with some use of oils and other “secret ingredients.” He uses cool and vibrant colors to depict his underwater scenes. The pieces vary in size and shape including large scale, small groupings, and even circular “bubbles.”

One of the most intriguing aspects of his work is that they can be enjoyed from across the room for their composition, color and movement but viewed closer, you see the hidden details. What was once seen as just organic black marks turn into delicate “tendricle”-covered creatures. You can also begin to appreciate the sparkles of light that photographs cannot capture. Mount invites his viewers to closely inspect the works in order get lost in their own sense of curiosity and wonder. “Often as adults we are conditioned and programmed to lose that connection with our inner child. It’s a beautiful thing to see [viewers] get lost in their imagination.” said Mount as he watched viewers take a closer look at the work. The work is not only of high craftsmanship and each piece can thoroughly be enjoyed in its own right, but when all placed together in their meticulously chosen spot, the pieces begin to interact with one another and tell Cédric’s story. You begin the descent down into the water as you move from one piece to the next around the gallery. This congruous body of work turned the gallery space into a whole new environment that could not be experienced otherwise. The narrative of the fictitiously painted creature comes to life as he traverses through color and swirling waters. The glimmering specks of light and highly glossed finish give the images the illusion that they are moving and living pieces from the sea that no still camera could capture. More of Mount’s work can be found at n Krystle Brewer received her BFA from Oklahoma City University and is currently pursuing a Masters in Art History at Oklahoma State University. She can be reached at

(top) Chad Mount working in his studio in Midtown Oklahoma City. (bottom) Detail of one of Chad Mount’s paintings featured in his exhibition Blooming Currents.

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ART ON THE MOVE: Momentum Tulsa Spotlights Oklahoma’s Young Artists by Kelsey Karper

Highlighting Oklahoma artists ages 30 and younger, the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition presents Momentum Tulsa: Art Doesn’t Stand Still on Saturday, October 13, from 8 pm Midnight at Living Arts, 307 E. Brady. While the juried exhibition represents a snapshot of Oklahoma’s up-and-coming artists, the Momentum Spotlight commissions allow three artists to fully realize ambitious ideas. The $2,000 Momentum Spotlight awards were selected by the curators from an open call for proposals. The lead curator for Momentum Tulsa is Raechell Smith, director of the H&R Block Artspace at the Kansas City Art Institute. Laura Reese, a University of Oklahoma student, was selected as Emerging Curator. Momentum Spotlight artists are Samantha Dillehay of Norman, Amanda Sawyer of Stillwater, and Libby Williams of Tulsa. Secrets Dillehay’s project, titled Secrets, employs text in a visual manner to emphasize the message in her conceptual installation works. Working with materials such as mirrors, cassette tapes, and clothing hangers, she expresses a very personal narrative in the very public exhibition setting. These “visual journal entries” offer the viewer a glimpse into the artist’s hidden emotions. “When I was a child, I read a lot of children’s books that were abridged from classic literature,” said Dillehay. “I was really drawn to metaphors that I could relate to. Looking back on that now, I believe that it had a huge impact on how I viewed my world. When I started making art, the visual metaphors that I utilize just seemed to fall into place for me.” Dillehay discovered writing before exploring visual art. It wasn’t until she studied the work of artists like Barbara Kruger and Tracey Emin that she found a way to unite the metaphors she was creating in words with the visual metaphors in her artwork.

Amanda Sawyer, Stillwater, Immulato, Pen and ink, 22” x 19”


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“I expect that the viewers will have a lot of questions about the meanings behind the phrases [in my Spotlight project],” she said. “The nature of my work lends itself to voyeurism and identity. People want to know things about other people. I think that is the society we live in today. By seeing my work, it raises curiosity about the language as

juxtaposed with the materials. This is how it engages the voyeur, inviting you in visually and then asking you to decipher its code of words into a meaning that relates to you.” Vocem A series of intricately detailed pen and ink drawings make up Sawyer’s project entitled Vocem. The fantastical drawings include female characters, each representing specific issues related to the working and reproductive rights of women. “In this particular body of work, I examine the current political and social issues that are blatantly anti-women,” said Sawyer. “Over 1,000 new bills have been introduced across the country that restrict access to affordable and potentially lifesaving medical procedures. My work examines not only the root of such legislation, but the consequences as well.” Working in an improvisational drawing style, Sawyer does not plan her works in advance. Instead, the drawings reflect her train of thought while pondering the complex issues related to the current political and social climate surrounding women’s rights. “I explore these questions and concerns through my drawings because it is my most effective tool of communication,” the artist said. “As a new mother to a daughter, I feel it is my duty to speak in whatever manner I am able to bring light to events happening around us so that I can ensure that she grows in a community where reaching her full potential is obtainable and not a distant dream of a past America.”

me to explore new corners of my imagination and engage in fantastic journeys while existing in a practical reality.” Her series will contain works on two scales. Paintings on canvas will mirror the size of the artist’s own figure. These paintings are accompanied by smaller-scale works on paper, offering the viewer a more intimate escape. “Working in this way will allow me to develop a variety of spaces to explore, from large open spaces to delicately intricate hiding places,” she said. “I would like the viewer to experience each piece, large or small, as an independent environment for them to enter. I want them to step back or lean in whenever appropriate in order to best enter and explore the spaces I have created.” The work of the three Spotlight artists will culminate during the exhibition opening on October 13. The opening event features live music and an emphasis on audience interaction. Tickets are $7 in advance or $10 at the door. The exhibition will remain on display through October 25 with free gallery hours. For more information, please visit Watch video interviews with the Momentum Spotlight artists at n Kelsey Karper is associate director of the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition and editor of Art Focus Oklahoma. Contact her at

The Language of Color In The Language of Color, Williams’ project offers an escape to imaginary landscapes. “When I paint I create complex, invented landscapes of spaces I have never seen,” Williams stated in her project proposal. “These scenarios contain hiding places, adventures and sanctuary that I am unable to come by in my day-to-day life. I create these spaces through a personal language of organic abstraction in which colors communicate in harmonious, though often unexpected, dialogues. This language has become an important outlet for

(top) Samantha Dillehay, Norman, Self Portrait of a Sort, Installation, 16” x 12” x 2” (bottom) Libby Williams, Tulsa, Contortion Earth, Oil on canvas, 32” x 28”

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Beneath the Surface: Unifying theme of nature brings quartet of Oklahoma City artists together for collaborative exhibit by Susan Grossman this fall. The artists originally debuted their collaboration in fall 2011 at Individual Artists of Oklahoma Gallery in Oklahoma City. Each is creating new works to include in the exhibit as the success of the first depleted parts of their collections. Curry, who sold nearly all of her work, is creating new works based on her interest in the Tao Te Ching, an ancient Chinese text consisting of spiritual teachings, folk wisdom, political instruction, observations of nature and mystical insight. “I interpreted each of the 81 verses authored by the Chinese prophet Lao Tzu,” Curry said. “Through this installation, my goal is to capture the heart and spirit of the Tao Te Ching and inspire visitors to explore and appreciate the mystical teachings of the Way.” One large painting anchors the collection, titled Color the Way while the other 80 are smaller six-by-six-inch pieces that serve as support to harmonize the whole. The world of canines is the focus of Smith’s work. “Dogs evolved from wolves and now research shows us that the Chihuahua and the Great Dane share the same skeleton,” Smith said. “That amazes me.”

Natalie Friedman, Oklahoma City, Aiko’s Garden, Art quilt, 33.5” x 26.5”


Perhaps it was serendipity that brought four distinct mixed media artists together. They knew each other, but not well as they gathered for a grant writing workshop a few years ago. At that time this quartet discovered their work shared a common theme; nature. While they did not receive the grant each was seeking, the group from

“We did not get the grant but we had the idea that we could go ahead and create an exhibit of our works together anyway,” said Natalie Friedman. “While we are all different we discovered that we had this theme of nature in common with our work. That theme is not obvious at first glance so we came up with the name Beneath the Surface.”

Oklahoma City was granted something else. The opportunity to create an exhibit of their work called Beneath the Surface.

Friedman, along with Gayle Curry, Diana J. Smith and Janice Mathews-Gordon, will unveil the latest incarnation of Beneath the Surface at Leslie Powell Gallery in Lawton

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She pours through old books and magazines for pictures of dogs and wolves. Employing a collage technique, Smith groups hundreds of these images based on color and value, cuts out each one and adheres it to the canvas. The small images become one composition. A wolf is perfectly depicted with hundreds of dog elements in her collection called Behind the Eyes of Dogs. “There is a push and pull for the viewer with collage that I really like,” Smith said. “I ask that viewers look first from afar, and then approach to discover all of the intricate elements that make up the piece.” For Friedman, Japanese gardens, art and culture serve as her inspiration. Her process involves building up complex layers of color and light using paper and paint. For this exhibit Friedman has deepened her repertoire by employing fiber art in the form of art quilting.

“This is my debut for this medium,” Friedman said. “Art quilting utilizes the same basic definition of quilting which is layers and stitching; a top layer, a filler and backing. My pieces adhere to this but are a huge departure as they are placed on canvas and painted.” Friedman uses vintage kimono fabric and embellishes her pieces with beading and hand stitching. The many layers invite the viewer to go deeper into the piece. “I have found that I love this process of art quilting because it is a different way to do what I have been doing,” she said. “It is not an analytical process at all and it really appeals to me.” Her collection, entitled Bamboo Rake reflects her love of all things Japanese, gardens in particular. Formations by Mathews-Gordon explores growth and change. Underlying this theme is the difficulty we can face moving into adulthood, a time that that can be filled with both self-doubt and possibilities. Her depiction of this theme is centered on a backdrop of abstract suggestions of the flat, rolling plains of the southwest. “Textures are an important element of this series,” she said. “Buckled, wrinkled papers cover the surface. Other elements are then added including corrugated paper or natural materials such as bark, sticks or leaves. After the surface is built up, paint is added, lots of it – scribbled, scrubbed, dripped splattered – emphasizing the varied textures and forms.” Beneath the Surface opens Saturday, September 8 at Leslie Powell Gallery in Lawton and will remain on display through October 19. Visit www.lpgallery. org for more information. n Susan Grossman is a lifelong journalist and public relations specialist who currently works as a development officer. Her hobby job is freelance writing for a variety of local, regional and national publications covering everything from art and architecture to sports. Reach her at

(top) Janice Mathews-Gordon, Oklahoma City, Journeyman, Acrylic and mixed media, 18” x 18” (bottom) Diana J. Smith, Oklahoma City, Progeny, Acrylic, mixed media collage, 12” x 12”

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Remembering the Dearly Departed by Karen Paul

Bartholic Family, Altar to Bob Bartholic, part of the 2011 Dia de Los Muertos Festival.


Ruby Lopez, Altar to the Fallen Soldier, part of the 2011 Dia de Los Muertos Festival.

Clint Stone, Altar to Conducir Nunca Recto, part of the 2011 Dia de Los Muertos Festival.

The mystical connection between life and death takes a variety of artistic forms during the Altared Spaces exhibition, November 1-3, 2012 at Living Arts in Tulsa. The exhibit is a part of the 18th annual Dia de Los Muertos Arts Festival which will be held on November 1, 2012.

created this ephemeral event reflecting the complexities of life and death.

once owned, these altars portrayed a view of death that was both joyful and sorrowful.

The Dia de los Muertos festival was founded in 1994 by Living Arts’ Executive Director Steve Liggett, who had heard about the Day of the Dead altars being created in Oaxaca, Mexico.

By remaining true to a series of traditions deeply rooted in Hispanic culture, the Altared Spaces exhibition and Dia de los Muertos festival eliminate perceptions that Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is another version of Halloween. Using Mexican and Aztec traditions as an artistic guide and consulting with Chicano artists in the community, Living Arts has

“I went to Oaxaca in 1993 to see what Dia de Los Muertos was really like. What I found was an amazing experience,” he said.

“At night, we went into graveyards and the scenes were amazing. The altars were created with such obvious love, care and intensity. There were beautiful flowers and scenes depicting what the dead did in life. Everything was so well done. It was very poignant,” he said.

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During his trip to Oaxaca, Liggett saw altars in art galleries and public places that individuals had created to celebrate their loved ones’ lives. Integrating visual representations of the departed, symbols of their lives and items they

After his amazing experience in Oaxaca, Liggett decided to emphasize the day’s celebrations in an arts festival format. “In most Anglo cultures, the death of a loved one is something that we experience for a short time. After we bury our loved one, we often

want to move on. In Hispanic cultures, the dead are often thought of as still here. If you remember them, even if it’s for one day, they can come back to you. That’s the significance of Dia de los Muertos,” he said. For Liggett, the idea of celebrating the memory of departed loved ones is something that has value both culturally and artistically. “What we’ve created at Living Arts is very similar to installation art. The altars people make are really just built for one place. Then it’s done. It’s significant only for a certain amount of time and they will never be like this again,” he said. Personal altars created to remember the dead are displayed during the Altared Spaces exhibition which opens in conjunction with the Dia de los Muertos festival but the altars themselves remain on display until November 3, 2012. Like the loved ones they honor, these altars are complex and unique. Many altars include traditional Dia de los Muertos imagery such as marigolds and skeletons, while others remain intensely focused on personal artifacts like photographs and possessions of loved ones. As a whole, they provide a dignified look at the relationships that exist between the living and their departed loved ones. The altars also offer an artistic outreach opportunity for Living Arts. Over the years Living Arts opened up the scope of artistic expression displayed at the exhibition by inviting the entire community to participate. Everyone who wanted to remember their loved one could create an altar as long as they met the space requirements for construction. Living Arts expects nearly 60 altars at this year’s event. “We provide the tools someone needs to learn how to be a part of it. First, we provide an altar building talk called ‘Digging the Days of the Dead,’ where we discuss how to get started. We show slides of home altars and video from my trip to Oaxaca and talk about how to create altars that respect traditions and encourage new creative adaptations from these traditions,” Liggett said. “We also offer a skeleton workshop where people can learn how to create papier-mâché skeletons they can integrate into their altars or bring out to the festival.” Drawing on Dia de Los Muertos’ traditional roots in the Catholic Church and pre-Hispanic cultures, Father David Medina of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Tulsa will bless the altars as part of the exhibition’s opening night activities along with the Matachina drummers and dancers. “The Catholic Church in Tulsa really embraced the event about three years ago when Father Medina agreed to participate,” Liggett said. The blessing by the Catholic Church and the influx of Hispanic culture in Oklahoma is helping bring the event even closer to its original roots. “When we originally started this event 18 years ago, our participants were 90 percent Anglo-American. Now, I would say that the event is 60 percent Hispanic-American, which I really love. We really don’t want our event to become gentrified. We want it to remain true.” Altared Spaces is scheduled November 1-3, 2012 at Living Arts, 307 E. Brady, Tulsa. The opening night of the exhibition will be held as part of

Steve Liggett, Altar to my Uncle Delmas, part of the 2011 Dia de Los Muertos Festival.

the Dia de los Muertos Arts Festival on November 1, 2012 from 5-10:30 p.m.. For more information on these events or the pre-festival altar building workshops, visit n Karen Paul is a freelance writer based in Norman, OK. Paul specializes in artsbased articles. You can contact her at

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Chickasha’s Rock Island Arts Festival Promotes Community by Hannah Cruz

The Rock Island Arts Festival includes artist booths featuring a variety of media.

Art has the power to unite. That’s exactly what Virginia Savage hopes will happen during the 4th annual Rock Island Arts Festival (RIAF) in Chickasha. “Personally, my goal for the festival and what I hope people walk away with is a strong sense of community,” Savage, festival co-chair, said. “I am a firm believer in the power of art and in the power of art making — especially when done in community, with friends, family, parents and children, neighbors, employees, co-workers, caregivers and patients. It is what makes us human. It is one of the most powerful things that connects us all to our common humanity.” Sponsored by Chickasha Area Arts Council (CAAC), the family-friendly, free festival takes place in the historic Rock Island Depot


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The Children’s Creation Station at the Rock Island Arts Festival gives young attendees a chance to stretch their imaginations.

10 a.m. to 9 p.m. September 28-29 and 1-5 p.m. September 30. The tree-lined streets of downtown Chickasha will be bustling with crowds enjoying the work of artists, live entertainment, hands-on activities and the aromas of Oklahoma foods.

Art featured at the festival will include ceramics, fibers, glass, graphics/drawing, jewelry, metals, paintings (oil, acrylic, watercolor), photography, sculptures, wood, mixed media 2D, mixed media 3D, leather and beadwork.

Julie Bohannon, former CAAC chair, said the festival has blossomed over the years to meet the artistic demands of the community.

Art will be displayed for sale under the big top tent, as well as in individual spaces. In an effort to educate visitors, some artists will be demonstrating the techniques they use to create their work.

“The RIAF is a rallying point for arts in the Chickasha community and provides an opportunity for culture and the arts to bloom,” she said. The festival highlights many local artists and performers living, studying and working in Chickasha by providing a juried art show, art sales, art demonstrations, a wide range of live music and performers on stage, and more.

Street performers, including aerial silk, martial arts, jugglers, Sooner Tumblers, dance students, square dancers, ropers, vertical pole acrobats, line dancers and much more will entertain crowds. Additional entertainment will include live music by local bands and performances by

(top) Performances at the Rock Island Arts Festival include aerial silk dancers, among many other art forms. (middle) The Rock Island Arts Festival features artist booths from a variety of media. Myron Beeson, a painter, wood carver and musician, was included in the 2011 festival.

professional actress Vanessa Adams Harris, portraying Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher, a Chickasha native who became a key figure in the Civil Rights movement in Oklahoma. Beyond the traditional art forms, wine and beer sampling and purchasing will be available from several Oklahoma wineries and breweries. Other tastings available will include sweet treats from local bakeries, and savoring fine cheeses and chocolates made by Oklahomans. Many opportunities will exist for children and adults alike to participate in the artistic process. The “Creating Art from Trash” area offers participants a chance to use their imagination to create treasure from trash. Graffiti walls will be placed throughout the grounds giving attendees of all ages an opportunity to stop, draw a picture, leave a message or enjoy the previous work. Savage said the “Children’s Creation Station” is one of her favorite parts of the festival, and one she considers highly important — she believes children’s imaginations are “a precious resource for themselves as individuals to be able to dream up new ideas and to solve problems in creative ways.” “I am very concerned that children are losing the opportunities to develop these skills since they have very little free time to just be children,” she said, on skills like creative problem solving. “I am very concerned about nurturing children’s imaginations.” The station gives children free access to art materials, allows them to stay as long as they want, and then take home their creations. “Basically, it is more than just a place they can jump in and out of and voila, have a cookie-cutter finished product,” Savage said. “I see children linger, building their worlds, treasure boxes, space ships, aliens, painted rocks and having a good time with art.” Other children’s activities at the festival include the “Treasure Trove,” offering children the opportunity to dig in the sand to search for “valuables.” However you experience the festival, Savage said she hopes visitors gain a greater appreciation of the importance of arts. “Art can break down barriers of social class, culture and religion. It brings us together and helps us feel connected, helps us remember that we are all in this world together,” she said. “I believe that art is pretty much an antidote to contemporary alienation that so many of us feel as we focus more and more of our time on screens of all shapes and sizes rather than on faces. As we look more to screens for answers, we forget that we are great resources of information.” The festival is made possible by Chickasha Area Arts Council and its members, the City of Chickasha, and the support of many sponsors, businesses and residents from Chickasha and the surrounding areas. For more information on the festival, visit For more information on Chickasha Area Arts Council visit n Hannah Cruz received a BA in journalism and minor in studio arts from Texas Tech University. Though she’s a California-girl at heart, she lives and works in Norman, Okla., with her husband. Contact her at

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Ask a Creativity Coach:

by Romney Nesbitt

Fear Is Your Path To Success Dear Romney, I’ve found a new gallery that looks like a fit. They’re welcoming new artists but I’ve been burned by galleries before. I’m afraid to put myself out there again. Can you help me? -Cautious Dear Cautious, Your fear may be real but it’s holding your future hostage. You need a strategy to push past your fears to experience the possibility of increased sales. The strategy I’ll offer is from a new book titled The Tools: Transform Your Problems into Courage, Confidence, and Creativity by Phil Stutz and Barry Michels. Imagine three sections on a piece of paper. The left section is marked “Comfort Zone,”

the middle area is “Fear” and the last area is “Unlimited Possibilities.” In your galleryfree Comfort Zone you feel safe but a tad unfulfilled. Look at the “fear” section. It’s covered with your worst fears: “I’ll get ripped off!” and “My work won’t sell.” The last section is star-studded with words such as “Success,” “Sales,” “Publicity.” To get from Comfort Zone to Unlimited Possibilities you will have to move through Fear. Fear is your path to success.

Developing creative thinking skills 173,000 kids served An agency of state government •


business of art

Stutz and Michels call this strategy “The Reversal of Desire.” Humans naturally desire to avoid fear and pain and seek pleasure, but without some discomfort we will never get what we want. “Reversal of Desire” means you reverse what you normally desire (to avoid fear) and instead desire fear because fear is all that is between you and success. Going through fear is a temporary discomfort and when fear is

confronted, it shrinks. The “Reversal of Desire” plan has three statements: 1. “Bring on the fear.” 2. “I love fear.” 3. “Fear sets me free.” Use this technique whenever you feel anxious about taking an action. Let’s say you need to call the gallery. Before you call focus on your anxious feelings. Feel the fears (“Bring on the fear.”). Now feel your fear energy coursing through your body like expensive high-octane fuel that will propel you to your desired goal (“I love fear.”). Make the call (“Fear sets me free.”). Look back to see your fears shrinking in the distance. You’ve just landed in Unlimited Possibilities. Each time you take control of your future by exchanging comfort for fear you gain the freedom of unlimited possibilities. It’s a good trade. n Romney Nesbitt is a Creativity Coach and author of Secrets from a Creativity Coach. She welcomes your comments and questions at Book her to speak to your group through OVAC’s ARTiculate Speakers Bureau.

AT A GLANCE Fusion: A New Century Of Glass by Leslie Fast The Oklahoma City Museum of Art’s 10th anniversary was honored with Fusion: A New Century of Glass. The exhibition showed from June 14th to September 9th, which included over 47 works from 20 internationally and nationally known glass artists. One of the museum’s most loved and permanent exhibits, Illuminations: Rediscovering the Art of Dale Chihuly, was complemented by Fusion as an acknowledgment and tribute to modern day glass. These featured artists explore the meaning of humanity, environment and daily existence through twisted and vibrant forms. “What we wanted to do with this exhibition,” museum curator Alison Amick said, “was to take a new and different look at glass by focusing on works of the past decade by a new generation of artists.”

The exhibition reinterpreted basic ideas of glass such as Judith Schaechter’s An Invocation, which primarily focuses on traditional stained glass through modern ideas. Amick explained, “We were interested in how the artists use glass to comment on contemporary culture and society.” Many pieces expressed a striking reminder that old mediums never die as long as new ideas of society emerge.

Fusion revealed a timeline of the past, present and future, where society could see which direction modern glass art is headed today. n Leslie Fast is a soon-to-be graduate at Southern Nazarene University majoring in cultural and communication studies. She is a freelance artist, emerging book illustrator, and enjoys painting school murals during the summer. To contact visit

Fusion also served as a celebratory landmark for the 50th anniversary of the American studio glass movement. “You have artists that are reinterpreting historical models in a contemporary way, and also looking at the society in which we live,” Amick commented.

Judith Schaechter, American, An Invocation, Stained glass mounted in light box, 24” x 33” x 6”

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INCH BY INCH: Small Art Raises Funds For Oklahoma Artists

Attendees enjoy live music by local musicians at the 12x12 Art Fundraiser 2011, which raises funds for the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition. Photo by Candace Coker.

The Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition’s 12x12 Art Fundraiser fuses 150 of Oklahoma’s finest artists with local restaurants and live music to create a memorable one-night-only event. Held on Friday, September 28, 7:00 pm at 50 Penn Place, 1900 NW Expressway in Oklahoma City, the 12x12 Art Fundraiser raises funds for the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition’s (OVAC) programs to help artists across the state of Oklahoma. “Attending OVAC’s 12x12 Art Fundraiser is such fun and a great opportunity to purchase fabulous art from local artists,” said 12x12 Committee Co-chair Gina Ellis. “I find it extremely rewarding to assist OVAC in their efforts of supporting Oklahoma artists, who help enrich our lives through their creativity.” For 12x12, each artist must create a work that conforms to the dimensions of twelveby-twelve inches. The artwork is sold in a surprising silent and blind auction, meaning bidders will not know what others have bid. Bids for each piece begin at $168. Collectors who fear losing a piece of art in the auction


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may “Buy It Now” to trump the auction. Additionally, attendees can purchase $5 chances to win prize packages.

Dress for the party is evening casual and drinks will be served from a cash bar. Hors d’oeuvres are provided by 25 popular restaurants.

Catch a preview of the art at To see the exhibition in its entirety, art lovers will have to attend the one-night event.

The 12x12 Art Fundraiser is sponsored by Chesapeake Energy, Kirkpatrick Bank, and Ackerman McQueen. OVAC is an Allied Arts member agency.

The 2011 12x12 raised $65,000 through sponsorships and art sales with more than 1,000 in attendance. This year, Steve Boyd and Gina Ellis chair the volunteer 12x12 Committee, while Ira and Sandy Schlezinger serve as Honorary Chairs of the committee.

Tickets to the 12x12 Art Fundraiser are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. They are available by phone at 405-879-2400, online at, or at ticket outlets: Blue Seven, Full Circle Bookstore, New Leaf Florist, Guestroom Records (Norman & OKC) and Café Evoke (Edmond).

For more information, please visit or call OVAC at 405-8792400. n

Attendees admire the artwork at the 12x12 Art Fundraiser 2011, which raises funds for the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition. Photo by Rex Barrett, Glass Eye Studios.

(top) Brunel Faris, Wounded Hand (1977), Collage. This artwork will be available for auction during the 12x12 Art Fundraiser, raising funds for the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition. (bottom) Michi Susan, Poem 101-10, Mixed media. This artwork will be available for auction during the 12x12 Art Fundraiser, raising funds for the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition.

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september | october 2012

The 2012 Oklahoma Art Writing and Curatorial Fellowship wraps up this September 15 with the last public panel from 1- 3 pm at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. Visibility & Vitality: Contemporary Art Criticism Now features critics and editors discussing their practice and the field. Panelists include Sylvie Fortin, David Pagel, and Gregory Volk. The free presentation will be moderated by Shannon Fitzgerald. See OVAC would like to give a special thanks to our 2012 summer interns: Leslie Fast, Cayla Lewis, and Kurt Nagy. Leslie is a Cultural and Communication Studies senior at Southern Nazarene University with a minor in Art. She was a guest writer for the OVAC blog, assisted with database management and bulk mailings. Cayla Lewis received her BFA in Printmaking from the University of Oklahoma. Among other tasks, Cayla assisted with an exhibition installation, our social media accounts, and served as Art Focus liaison for Norman. Kurt is a senior at the University of Central Oklahoma majoring in Photographic Arts. He oversaw updates to the OVAC Virtual Gallery, creating online portfolios for new member artists. All the interns represented the arts community through their participation in the Chamber of Commerce Greater Grads intern development program. Thank you for everything that you’ve done this summer. We appreciate all your hard work! We celebrated the June OVAC Annual Members meeting at the charming Savage Art Gallery in Tulsa. Notes from the meeting and a summary of OVAC’s year of services can be found in the member section of OVAC’s website. We 28

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are pleased that the membership added three new OVAC Board members to help lead the vision and service of the organization. All have been involved with OVAC and supported the organization in various ways already. New members are: Bob Curtis, a retired teacher from Putnam City Schools has his BA in Art from Oklahoma State University, as well as a MA of Education from the University of Central Oklahoma and is on the National Board of Certified Teachers. For 23 years, he travelled extensively with World Neighbors. Now he serves as the Secretary for both the Oklahoma Alliance for Arts Education and Friends of Nepal Pariwar. Curtis is also affiliated with Central Bonsai Society, Individual Artists of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Art Guild, Oklahoma Art Education Association and volunteers for PAMBE Ghana. Bob holds the title of Chapter treasurer for Barbershop Harmony Society. Kristin Huffaker is a Senior Attorney at AT&T. She earned her JD and BA in Political Science at the University of Oklahoma She’s a past committee member for the 12x12 Art Fundraiser and Momentum OKC. Renee Porter currently works as a Federal Contractor as the President of Advancia Corporation. She has her BS in Journalism, MS in Management Info Services and MBA, all from the University of Oklahoma. She also keeps herself busy by serving on the Executive Committee of the Oklahoma Business Roundtable, Board of Native American Contractor’s Association, Norman Public Library Advisory Board and is a nominee to the State Chamber of Oklahoma

Board. Porter also serves on the OVAC 12x12 Art Fundraiser Committee. OVAC Officers include continuing leaders Suzanne Mitchell, Norman, as President; Jennifer Barron, Oklahoma City, as Vice President; and Margo Shultes von Schlageter, MD, Edmond, as Treasurer. Susan Beaty, Oklahoma City, was elected Secretary. Thanks to these officers for their leadership. Art People The City of Oklahoma City has appointed the first Arts and Cultural Affairs Liaison, Robbie Kienzle. With a first priority of coordinating the city’s one percent for the arts program, she will also coordinate activities with local arts groups and look for new opportunities. Kienzle served as Head of the Urban Redevelopment Division for Oklahoma City’s Planning Department and has more than 20 years of experience connecting arts, architecture and urban redevelopment to support the City’s growth and development. Welcome Robbie and we are so glad to be working with you and pleased the City of Oklahoma City is investing in the arts. Lead Mentor for the Oklahoma Art Writing and Curatorial Fellowship and past Art 365 and Momentum guest curator Shannon Fitzgerald has been named Executive Director of the Rochester Art Center in Rochester, MN. Fitzgerald’s work with Oklahoma artists and the community over the past few years has been greatly beneficial. See for more information about her appointment. Congratulations Shannon. n



20% Discount for OVAC Members! Experience an all-inclusive four-day retreat taught by renowned artists from across the U.S. Immerse yourself in art and be inspired by the natural beauty of Quartz Mountain in autumn. October 11-14

Solarplate Etching with Dan Welden Digital Photography: Illusions with Connie Imboden Abstractions in Watercolor with Jan Heaton

October 25-28

Polyester Plate Lithography with Kathryn Polk Illustrating for Children’s Books with Mike Wimmer and Jime Grabowski Painting - TBA Digital Photography - TBA

Info and Registration at OAIQUARTZ.ORG

(405) 605-7500

November 1-4

Drawing for Beginners with Richard Hull Alternative Methods in Printmaking with John Hitchcock Digital Photography - TBA

Thank you to our new and renewing members from May and June 2012! Denise Alexander Eileen Anderson Narciso ArgĂźelles Sarah Atlee and Emmy Ezzell Betsy Barnum Gary Bennett Michael W. Benton Cynthia Boatright Bill Boettcher Patti R. Bray Barbara Broadwell and Charleen Weidell Buford Buchannon Amena Butler Pattie Calfy Jean Artman Campbell Eleanor Davy Carmack Josh T. Cleveland Candace Coker Bryan Cook Susan Correll Betty Dalsing

Mireille Damicone Alicia Diehl Ginna Dowling Chelsea Dudek Douglas Shaw Elder Gina Ellis Don Emrick Ellen Etzler Jennifer Lynn Farrar Carolyn Faseler Lauren K. Florence James and Yiren Gallagher Joeallen Gibson Leanne Gross Stephanie Grubbs Britni Harris Pat Harris Brian and Sarah Hearn Carla Hefley Laura Anne Heller Scott Henderson Geoffrey Hicks

Geneva Hudson Eric Humphries Claudia Hunter Jennifer Cocoma Hustis Didier Jegaden Todd Jenkins Coy and Stephanie Johnson Joseph K. Kirk Andrea Kissinger Carol Koss Stephen and Christina Kovash Rebecca Lowber-Collins Vicki Maenza Phyllis Mantik Traci Martin Cindy Mason Michael McRuiz Michelle Metcalfe Madison Miller Stacey D. Miller Caryl Morgan Sarah Iselin and Frank Parman

Guy and Caroline Patton Scott Perkins Nancy Peterson Cheryl Poland Ann Powell Chris Ramsay Suzanne King Randall Brent Richardson Harold and Audrey Ripper Aaron Robinson Lisa Rutherford Erin Schalk Sherry Schoenfeldt Carol Shanahan Carl and Beth Shortt Silver Joe Slack Geoffrey L. Smith Anne Spoon William R. and Nancy Struby Shirley Sutterfield Patrick Synar

James and Linda Taylor Jim and Robin Tilly Jim and Beth Tolbert Kristal Zwayer Tomshany Tom R. and Carol Toperzer Carolyn Trimble J. Diane Trout Harwood Alex True Kristen Vails Debra Van Swearingen Paula S. White Dawn Williams Cherra June Wilson Michael J. Wilson John Wolfe Betty Wood Eric Wright

ovac news


Gallery Listings & Exhibition Schedule

Ada Edgar Heap of Birds September 3 – October 12 The Pogue Gallery Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center 900 Centennial Plaza (580) 559-5353


Goddard Center Fine Art Photography Biennial Through September 7 Ardmore Art Guild’s Juried Exhibit September 11-29 Henk Pander October 2 – November 10 The Goddard Center 401 First Avenue SW (580) 226-0909

Bartlesville From Process to Print: Graphic Works by Romare Bearden Through September 2 Price Tower Arts Center 510 Dewey Ave. (918) 336-4949

Edmond Linedrives and Lipstick Through September Edmond Historical Society & Museum 431 S. Boulevard (405) 340-0078 Nancy Junkin Through October Fine Arts Institute of Edmond 27 E Edwards St (405) 340-4481

Lawton Beneath the Surface: Gayle Curry, Natalie Friedman, Janice Mathews-Gordon & Diana Smith September 8 – October 19


gallery guide

Reception September 8 7-9 pm The Leslie Powell Foundation and Gallery 620 D Avenue (580) 357-9526

Norman Judy Osburn & Brett McDanel September 7 - October 27 Firehouse Art Center 444 South Flood (405) 329-4523 Caddo Art & Cultural Events Through October Jacobson House 609 Chautauqua (405) 366-1667 Vernet to Villon Through September 2 The Cult of Personality: Andy Warhol, Harold Stevenson & Portraiture Through September 2 Oklahoma Clay: Frankoma Pottery Through September 16 A Century of Magic: The Animation of Walt Disney Studios Through September 2 James T. Bialac Native American Art Collection: Selected Works September 20 – December 30 Silent Witness Reception Wednesday Oct 3 at 5:30pm Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art 555 Elm Ave. (405) 325-4938 MFA Show September 14-28 Reception Friday Sept 14 6pm Graphic Design Association (GDA) Exhibit October 3-18

Reception Thursday Oct 4 6pm Fish 2012 International Art Exhibit October 23 – November 7 Reception Thursday Oct 25 6pm Fuego Friday October 26 5-8pm Ray Troll Lecture October 30 10:30am Lightwell Gallery, University of Oklahoma 520 Parrington Oval (405) 325-2691 Circles and Squares: Curtis Jones Metal Morphosis: the 2012 Sculpture Show NAC Individual Artist: David Wang Drive By Press Students Through September 22 Bespoke 2012: the MAINSITE furniture & lighting show NAC Individual Artists 2012-13 Opening Artist October 12 – November 17 MAINSITE Contemporary Art Gallery 122 East Main (405) 360-1162

Oklahoma City Cell Phones in Summer Through September 15 E.CO October 26 – January 5 2013 [ArtSpace] at Untitled 1 NE 3rd St. (405) 815-9995 Boo Ritson October – December Reception Tuesday Oct 9 5:30-7:30pm City Arts Center 3000 General Pershing Blvd. (405) 951-0000

Michael Kirby Opens September 14 Jake Scott and Sean Vali Opens October 12 DNA Galleries 1705 B NW 16th (405) 371-2460 Photofest September 7 – September 29 Reception Friday Sept 7 Carol Beesley, John Wolfe, Patrick Riley October 5 – October 27 Reception Friday Oct 5 6-10pm JRB Art at the Elms 2810 North Walker (405) 528-6336 Will James: The A.P. Hays Collection Through October 14 National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum 1700 NE 63rd (405) 478-2250 Ted Conley (East Gallery) Through September 9 Cody Lee Dopps of Our Land (North Gallery) Through September 2 Margaret Aycock (Governor’s Gallery) Through September 16 Oklahoma State Capitol Galleries 2300 N. Lincoln Blvd (405) 521-2931

Fusion [A New Century of Glass] Through September 9 The Art of Golf Through October 17 American Moderns, 1910– 1960: From O’Keeffe to Rockwell September 27 – January 6 2013 Oklahoma City Museum of Art 415 Couch Drive (405) 236-3100 Photofest on Paseo September 7-29 Sam Echols October 5-27 Paseo Art Space 3022 Paseo (405) 525-2688 Ultramodern: New Media & Furniture Design September 7-30 Reception September 7, 6-10 pm Bert Seabourn & Don Holladay October 5-28 Reception October 5, 6-10 pm Paseo Originals Art Gallery 2920 Paseo (405) 604-6602 Hippotherapy Fundraiser September 7 – October 3 Reception September 7, 6 pm Focus on Light October 5 – 31 Reception October 5, 6 pm Visions in the Paseo Art Gallery 2924 Paseo (405) 557-1229

Park Hill


17th Annual Cherokee Homecoming Art Show and Sale Through October 7 Cherokee National Historical Society, Inc. 21192 S. Keeler Drive (918) 456-6007

Earth Chronicles Project, The Artist’s Process: Oklahoma September 15 – October 28 Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art 1900 West Macarthur (405) 878-5300

Ponca City Marwin Begaye: Prints Through September 23 Photography: The Manipulated Image September 28 – November 11 Ponca City Art Center 819 East Central (580) 765-9746

Stillwater The Influence of Oklahoma: Modernism from the Collection of Kelly Knowlton Through September 21 Department of Art Faculty Exhibition September 24 – October 11 The Veil: Visible & Invisible Spaces October 15 – November 2 Gardiner Gallery Oklahoma State University 108 Bartlett Center for the

Tulsa Discover the Real George Washington Through September 23 Panoramic Landscapes of the American West Through October 7 Gilcrease Museum 1400 Gilcrease Road (918) 596-2700 Petite + Powerful: Rebecca Latham & Jody Naranjo September 15 – October 13 Reception September 15, 10-5 Lovetts Gallery 6528 E 51st St

Become a member of the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition! Join today to begin enjoying the benefits of membership, including a subscription to Art Focus Oklahoma. PATRON - $250

-Listing of self or business on signage at events -Invitation for two people to private reception with visiting curators -$210 of this membership is tax deductible. -All of below

FELLOW - $125

-Acknowledgement in the Resource Guide and Art Focus Oklahoma -Copy of each OVAC exhibition catalog -$85 of this membership is tax deductible. -All of below

FAMILY - $60

-Same benefits as Individual level for two people in household


-Subscription to Art Focus Oklahoma -Monthly e-newsletter of visual art events statewide (sample) -Receive all OVAC mailings -Listing in Annual Resource Guide and Member Directory -Copy of Annual Resource Guide and Member Directory -Access to “Members Only” area on OVAC website -Invitation to Annual Meeting Plus, artists receive: -Inclusion in online Virtual Gallery -Monthly e-newsletter of opportunities for artists (sample) -Artist entry fees waived for OVAC sponsored exhibitions -Up to 50% discount on Artist Survival Kit workshops -Associate Membership in Fractured Atlas, with access to services such as insurance, online courses and other special offers.


-Valid student ID required. Same benefits as Individual level.

(918) 664-4732

Visual Arts (405) 744-4143

Antibodies Through October 7 The Philbrook Museum of Art 2727 South Rockford Road (918) 749-7941 Native Visions: 20th Century Native American Art Through October 31 Pierson Gallery 1307-1311 East 15th St. (918) 584-2440 September Salon: TAC Members’ Show September 7-29 Reception September 7,

6-9 pm New Genre, New Works: Don Thompson October 5-27 Tulsa Artists Coalition Gallery 9 East Brady (918) 592-0041 Red Heat: Contemporary Works in Clay September 27 – October 25 Reception Sept 27 5-7pm Alexandre Hogue Gallery Phillips Hall, The University of Tulsa 2930 E. 5th St. (918) 631-2739


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Are you an artist? Y N  Medium?_____________________________________ Would you like to be included in the Membership Directory? Y  N Would you like us to share your information for other arts-related events?




Detach and mail form along with payment to: OVAC, 730 W. Wilshire Blvd, Suite 104, Oklahoma City, OK 73116 Or join online at

ArtOFocus k l a h o m a Annual Subscriptions to Art Focus Oklahoma are free with OVAC membership. U pcoming Events Sept 5: Momentum Tulsa Artist Entry Deadline

730 W. Wilshire Blvd, Suite 104 Oklahoma City, OK 73116 The Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition supports Oklahoma’s visual arts and artists and their power to enrich communities.

Non Profit Org. US POSTAGE PAID Oklahoma City, OK Permit No. 113

Visit to learn more

Sept 7: Momentum OKC Emerging Curator Application Deadline Sept 8:

ASK Workshop: Portfolio & Proposal Boot Camp, OKC

Sept 15: Visibility & Vitality: Contemporary Art Criticism Now, OKC Sept 28: 12x12 Art Fundraiser, OKC Oct 13:

ASK Workshop: Portfolio & Proposal Boot Camp, Tulsa

Oct 13: Momentum Tulsa Opening (continues through Oct 25) Oct 15: OVAC Grants for Artists Deadline Oct 19: Momentum OKC Spotlight Artist Application Deadline Nov 1:

Art 365 Exhibition Artist Entry Deadline

September Photofest

Featuring Christa Blackwood, Cathleen Faubert, Karen Hayes-Thurmann, Sarah Williams Hearn, & Romy Owens

Opening Reception: FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 7 6 - 10 P.M.

October Carol Beesley John Wolfe Patrick Riley Opening Reception: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 5 6 - 10 P.M. Gallery Hours: Mon - Sat 10 am - 6 pm Sun 1 pm - 5 pm

2810 North Walker Phone: 405.528.6336




Art Focus Oklahoma, September/October 2012  

2012 September/October Art Focus Oklahoma is a bimonthly publication of the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition dedicated to stimulating insight...

Art Focus Oklahoma, September/October 2012  

2012 September/October Art Focus Oklahoma is a bimonthly publication of the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition dedicated to stimulating insight...