Galleries: Connecting Online

Alyson Stanfield’s recent article on Art Biz BlogJoin the Conversation, offers solid advice for artists connecting with galleries online.  

Your genuine interests in galleries’ exhibitions, interests, and events helps show your commitment.  Paying attention also helps you know galleries where you most want to show and in which your artwork might not fit.   

This October, OVAC will offer a workshop led by artists who show nationwide and gallerists explaining their perspective.  Watch here for the full year’s workshop schedule.   

Artist Profile: Molly O’Connor

Celebrity Book signing: Annie Onomus

3001 Paseo, Oklahoma City, OK
Molly O’Connor, Le Confession Zen, 2007
Annie Onomus has never been to Oklahoma, here straight from Rodeo Drive in Hollywood. She is an American socialite, heiress, media personality, model, singer, songwriter, author, fashion designer and actress. (taken straight from Paris Hilton’s bio).  She is in Oklahoma to sign her books out of the good will of her own heart.  And because that is what important people do.
You aren’t really sure who she is, but you are still curious to meet her and lined up to get a free book signed. 
Molly O’Connor will perform as Annie Onomus at a.k.a. Gallery in Paseo on Friday August 6. The Celebrity Book signing kicked off with appearances in Tulsa and Enid, greeting crowds of bemused art opening visitors. 

She said, “While the piece is meant to be light and funny, I really toy with the culture of celebrities and how it impacts our reality. Since we are bombarded with images and information about celebrities on a daily basis, maybe this performance will lead people to question the standards for success and beauty that we are expected to live up to. Hopefully people will also question how our society validates what is art and who is worthy of recognition or a life of entitlement.”

O’Connor has performed around Oklahoma regularly as original characters since the first Momentum exhibition in 2002.  Although primarily focusing on ceramics in college, she studied abroad in Holland, where O’Connor was exposed to a different way of creating artwork. The professors encouraged the students to come up with the idea or message first, then determine the right materials or technique to communicate.  So, she was encouraged to express ideas through sculpture, painting, performance, video or whatever seemed appropriate.
Molly O’Connor, Oklahoma Land Crawl, 2005

Her performances usually take place with unsuspecting audiences, amidst bigger events or other types of gatherings—from the OKC Story Slam to the Oklahoma Leadership Arts meetings. Most of her characters carry a sense of both allure and unease, challenging viewers to interact and reconsider society. 

If you see a curious, colorful, and vaguely familiar lady at the next art opening or conference you attend, approach her without fear and be sure to get your book signed. 
Are you interested in collaborating on performance art?  O’Connor is convening performance artists (new or experienced) in OKC.  You can contact her here to express interest.

Artist Profile: Jennifer Barron

Jennifer Barron
Reminders & Remainders
Through August 1, reception July 29, 4-6 pm
Kitchen Wall, Acrylic, 48×36
In many ways, Jennifer Barron is a traditional painter: a fan of color, an enthusiast for materials, and an aficionado of technique. At the same time, her paintings are decidedly postmodern, situating illusory color in familiar scenes and bringing out peculiar perspectives from the mundane. The works seem like glimpses from idle gazes, where your eyes might rest at home while thinking of other things. 

She must paint with discipline as she created so much new, large work since her last exhibition less than a year ago.  Besides, Barron leads community outreach for the Arts Council of Oklahoma City and teaches at City Arts Center.
Wire, Acrylic, 8×6
Q: Talk about the idea for this show and how you developed the body of work.
Barron: The show contains work I’ve created throughout the past two years, but most of it is from the past 8 or 9 months. The newer pieces are all 3′ x 4′ or larger.

The idea is kind of taking something I’ve been thinking about for a while to its logical extreme- giving a different context to subject matter. I chose the smallest, most potentially overlooked things for the largest canvases. I feel like each one of the new pieces has a really different feel, and I think (I hope) I was successful at taking these subjects out of their contexts. I hope viewers can experience them as something else, even if they know what the subject started as…

Q: You mention experimenting with your work, what do you mean? 

Barron:  Well first of all, I’m experimenting with scale by painting larger than usual in many of these works. Also, I’m experimenting with paint application by adding paint with palette knives, wadded paper, and other techniques, layering over and over to achieve a more complex surface. Sometimes brushstrokes are visible, sometimes paint is blended more smoothly, sometimes layers are more or less transparent, but my aim is that there is a balance of these different elements that adds up to a surface where the colors appear even, saturated, and multi-faceted at the same time.  (I want to say ‘prismatic’ or something, but that sounds like an ad for hair dye…)
After All, Acrylic, 20×20
Q: The scale of these paintings is decidedly bigger than your other recent work.  Why?
Barron: I’ve always loved making larger paintings; I love their presence, and the physicality involved in creating these paintings (when I say large, I mean anything larger than 3’ x 3’). However, smaller ones (anything under about 20” x 20”) are much easier to transport, display, and store.

Once I learned that you need to approach a smaller surface with a whole different strategy to start with, I started to really enjoy working small. But- when I found out I’d have the opportunity to show work in the East Gallery I jumped at the chance to build larger supports and paint BIG again.

In my artist statement I talk about giving a different context to everyday subject matter; magnification seems to me like a natural way to achieve that. Also, I think a lot about the colors I use, and I think that saturated hues look really nuanced when applied in large fields; these larger supports really give the Ceruleans and Payne’s Grays and Quinacridone Burnt Oranges (my favorites) some depth, which I really enjoy.

Read more about Barron’s show and work here.  

Plot points from @OVAC Twitter Feed:

Behind the Art Scenes:                   
pointed discussion of reasons to quit grad school (or to get an MFA) on @art21 blog
Please! RT @AlliedArtsOKC: Local arts orgs suffered 75-90% property loss during flood. Collecting $$ & supplies to help
fascinating Urban Institute research about cultural vitality- defining & assessing. Great city-analyzing stuff.
New Okie artist video, well done RT @midwestmedia: excited to introduce you to Jerrod Smith – @1614 artist
Fun article on NewsOK about the OKC branch of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School. (w/ photos!)
RT @the99percent : How to avoid becoming a workaholic. Setting boundaries, 8 hours of sleep-how many or these cardinal rules do you break?
Opportunities for artists & volunteers:
good opp for artists of all ages just beginning career, Mainsite gallery seeking submissions for “Emergent Artists”
Creativity in Motion $40,000 prize, Aug 31 deadline
new sculpture commission available for OKC’s % for art program. July 26 deadline.
call to photographers for Paseo Photo Fest
paid film internships this fall for documentary, video, animation, etc
call to artists: multi-state exhibition in MO, August 31 deadline, OVAC director @juliakirt =juror.
OKC young leaders program seeking apps opportunity to meet professional across sectors & learn about city
OVAC News:
Momentum Tulsa call for entries. NEW ALL DIGITAL submissions- deadline Sept 13. Opens Oct 9.
just did our June 30 year end #s and found we will total $89,862 in support paid directly to visual artists this year!
Artists, more than 3,000 visit our Virtual Gallery monthly including gallerists, curators, & businesses. Add your work!
Yay- Momentum’s artist & curator videos online!


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Artist Profile: Thomas Shahan Bugs Out

Author: Erin Kozakiewicz, OVAC Intern

Untitled – Serigraph on Paper, 2009 

Bugs and boys go hand in hand. Art and eccentricity go hand in hand. Mix all four together and you get Thomas Shahan, bug portraiteur extraordinaire.

Though the majority of his work consists of photographing insects and arthropods, he continues to create art in a variety of mediums. I first encountered Shahan when he and his work were featured on the Today Show in October of 2009.  He is a student in the fine arts program at the University of Oklahoma and his work has been featured in a number of publications including Popular Photography, Popular Science, Discover Magazine, Nature’s Best Photography, Better Photography, and Weekly Reader

Female Tabanus Horse Fly, Photograph
“I’ve had a lifelong appreciation for animals…I’m attracted to arthropods for countless reasons – but the primary appeal…is the immense variety and beauty to be found in relatively common bugs and spiders,” explained Shahan.

“I’m attempting to not only publicize the extraordinary beauty present in arthropods, but also change the general mindset towards them. They’ve have been around much longer than we have, and are certainly much more beneficial,” he added.
MystaceusSerigraph on Paper, 2009  
I am intrigued particularly by his portrait of a nun holding a bug and ask him about it. He replied, “I’m sorry, but there may be no justifiable explanation for that one–I dream of women and spiders so I guess it’s apparent in my artwork.” 

Shahan’s work can be found on the following sites: or .