The Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition (OVAC) has recently triumphed through the highly competitive grant process for the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) and will receive a $10,000 grant to be used towards an ambitious inaugural exhibition at Tulsa's future Visual Art Center (VAC).
The Visual Arts Center will certainly be a game changer for Tulsa's arts community providing a venue that will dramatically increase opportunities for local artists and also bring recognized artists to Tulsa from around the country. A building of such importance is certainly worthy of a grand opening and OVAC, with the aid the NEA's grant, has plans to make it huge.
The NEA is a Federal-funded agency that supports all artistic disciplines such as visual and performing as well as dance and writing through a competitive selection process. OVAC applied for the grant in March and just received notification that they were chosen for this financial award.
While the inaugural exhibition's title and opening date are still in the works, the specifics of the event and the opportunities it holds for local artists are undeniable.
The exhibition will offer several components that will maximize involvement from local artists. The first part of the exhibition is a survey group exhibition that will be juried by survey curator Liza Stratton of New Haven, Conn. Stratton is the curator and gallery director of ArtSpace in New Haven, where she organizes exhibitions for emerging artists on the east coast.
From the artists selected for the survey exhibition, Stratton will select three to five artists to participate in a highlighted group exhibition and artist exchange. These artists will receive an honorarium to create a body of work and will show their work at the VAC as well as ArtSpace in New Haven. As part of the artist exchange, three to five artists of Stratton's choosing from New Haven will exhibit alongside Tulsa's highlighted artists at the VAC.
The third component of this ambitious exhibition is Oklahoma's first-ever artist residency program in which artists will create temporary public projects. While these two-month residencies are up for interpretation, artists interested in applying must submit a proposal for a project that enables community interaction through a continuously visible online presence and/or a physical contribution to the project.
Projects Curator, Alison Hearst, of Fort Worth, will guide residency artists through this unique residency opportunity offering valuable critique and advice. Hearst is the co-founder of Subtext Projects and Curatorial Research Assistant at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.
The general public will be offered the opportunity to expand upon their knowledge and interest in contemporary art through supplemental interactive public programs, curator lectures, artist panel discussions and special education tours. In a continued effort to put Tulsa on the map as an artistic destination, the VAC will produce a catalog to be sent to various curators across the country. OVAC will also create video artist profiles that will be available online and displayed in the galleries to provide the public with a heightened understanding the work the artists are creating.
Through its successful programs such as Momentum and Art 365, OVAC has already opened tremendous professional opportunities for Oklahoma Artists to continue working in Oklahoma. The chance for artists to create a critical dialogue with recognized artists and curators has proven successful in transforming what artists are capable of producing.
This critical feedback is a valuable intellectual gift that OVAC is excited to be able to offer its artists through much of its programming.
"Artists can really make a lot out of a little turn it into an amazing project," said OVAC's Executive Director, Julia Kirt.
The inaugural exhibition is sure to raise the standard of what to expect from Oklahoma's artists as well as OVAC's arts programming.
Artists interested in applying for any of these opportunities should keep their eyes on ovac-ok.org for upcoming artist applications and deadlines.
Jeremy Charles at Shades of Brown
In 2008, local photographer Jeremy Charles showed a body of work titled Rock City on the wall of Shades of Brown on Brookside in which he displayed an extensive series of photographs documenting the personas of Oklahoma musicians and music groups.
Now, two years later, Charles is back at Shades of Brown with a second round of photographs from this musician project with a show titled Wall of Sound. The show opens on Thursday, Dec. 9 from 6-9pm at Shades of Brown, 3302 S. Peoria Ave., and will run through the month of December. The opening reception will include appetizers as well as a chance to meet Charles and local musicians.
A self described "music nut" Charles said, "I've always been conscious of how music photography portrays the rock star lifestyle. Musicians don't only make music, the ones interested in success create vivid personas that reflect their style and sound, and I enjoy figuring out how to interpret that visually."
Wall of Sound will include over one hundred and fifty 12x18 inch photographs from the past two years as well as a retrospective of work from his first Rock City show two years ago.
Charles is also co-founder of Loose Leaf Co., a local artist collective located at 1st and Elgin. The collective offers shared studio and office space for independent designers, artists and photographers. The collective is currently seeking new partners to join them in 2011 and those interested should contact Charles.
More information is available at jeremycharles.com.
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