Top 10: 2011’s Most Popular Blog Posts

Highlighting artist proposals, Oklahoma artist interviews, reading suggestions, and more, here’s our top 10 most read blog posts over the past year.  We hope you’ll find our archive inspiring with the artist profiles and useful for business of art tips.
The post showing Sarah Atlee’s actual proposal from the Art 365 exhibition in 2008 remains the most popular post (by far) as it’s a favorite of Google searches. 
You can keep up through regular updates by subscribing to our blog via email here.  

Concept/OK: Artist Info Session

The Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition prepared this short video for artists to explain the Concept/OK: Art in Oklahoma exhibition.

Free in person info sessions will take place Wednesday, January 4 at 7 pm in Tulsa and Saturday, January 7 at 2 pm in OKC. RSVP to the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition if you’d like to attend.

We welcome your questions about entering, eligibility or other questions about the exhibition,  for an upcoming Frequently Asked Questions post. Feel free to leave questions as comments, email us, or call 405-879-2400. 

Exploring Oklahoma Landscape: Margaret Aycock

Margaret Aycock, Square Sky, Oil on Canvas

Tulsa artist Margaret Aycock will display her artwork at the Oklahoma State Capitol Galleries next summer. She will begin a new collection to highlight what she sees as the beautiful landscapes of Oklahoma. 

With plans to travel to different areas of the state, Aycock received an Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition Creative Project Grant to help her with travel expenses and physically preparing her work for presentation. 

Margaret Aycock, Oklahoma Vinyard, Oil on Canvas
Aycock grew up in the Catskills and Adirondack Mountains of New York and said, “It took me years to appreciate Oklahoma’s beauty but now I find my ocean in the tall grass prairie and my green mountains have been replaced by the pink, rocky boulders of Quartz and Wichita Mountains.”

The Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition invests in artists’ project through grants for growing careers, creative projects and exceptional continuing education. The next application deadline is January 15. Find guidelines and application here
Square Sky ( from the Tall Grass Prairie, shape is square )
Oklahoma Vineyard

Sculptures on Steroids: Stuart Asprey

by Katlyn Roberts, OVAC Intern
Stuart Asprey, The Chemist (Jose Canseco, 3”x3”x1.25”, 2011 

With two art shows coming up at the beginning of 2012, Norman artist Stuart Asprey has received an Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition Professional Basics Grant to present a new series. His work will be featured in Art Now at City Arts Center in January and a solo exhibition at Redlands Community College in April.

Stuart Asprey, The Chemist (Jose Canseco)[back], 3”x3”x1.25”, 2011
Asprey describes his work as being part of a narrative that plays off of legends of popular culture.  This collection is based on the “Steroid Era” of professional baseball that took place in the 1990’s and early 2000’s. Asprey aims to stress the point that, at that time, performance enhancers, “trumped hard work and natural talent.” He said the deflated baseballs are juxtaposed with “inflated statistics” of steroid enhanced baseball players.

His grant will pay for baseball display cases for the sculptures. 

The Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition invests in artists’ project through grants for growing careers, creative projects and exceptional continuing education. The next application deadline is January 15. Find guidelines and application here

Artist Survival Kit Wrap Up: The Artist and Curator in the Studio

by Sarah Hearn, ASK Workshop Liaison

Saturday, November 19 marked the second OVAC Artist SurvivalKit Workshop of the season. The topic of discussion was The Artist & Curator in the Studio: Professional Development for the Emerging Artist. Presenter and independent curator Shannon Fitzgerald demystified the symbiotic and sometimes long-term relationships that flourish between artists and curators. Individual Artists of Oklahoma gallery was the host venue for the workshop and the talk was well attended.

Fitzgerald opened with a brief slide lecture exploring the history of artists in their studios.  This fun, voyeuristic trip through time peered into the disparate creative spaces of artists such as Rembrandt, Francis Bacon and Polly Apfelbaum.  Fitzgerald also addressed the importance of artists maintaining an active studio practice.  She provided frank, but sincere advice about hosting or participating in studio visits.
Although Fitzgerald’s workshop was informative and relevant to any artist working in the studio, it brought to my attention a major need for more curator/artist interaction. Currently there just aren’t enough local opportunities for artists to work directly with curators; therefore, many are unsure of what this experience entails. It is true that Oklahoma has the occasional contemporary curator or critic visiting specific arts institutions and universities, but it is rare that these people visit local artists studios or stay in state for any length of time.  It is also true that there are a handful of curators at local arts institutions, but very few of them deal directly with contemporary artists on a regular basis. Those that do, are often so overwhelmed with their respective institutional responsibilities that these interactions can be infrequent or rushed.
I believe the artists of Oklahoma should respectfully cultivate change!  How do we do this?  Well, I propose we start by visiting each other’s studios.  In fact, since November 19, I have hosted one studio visit and participated in two others.  Each experience has been uniquely enriching; I intend to make these visits more frequently among my peers.  If we want to be better artists, we need to discuss the content and outcome of our work, obtain and offer honest, critical feedback, and collectively celebrate the triumphs of local artistic success.  Furthermore, there is no law against artists acting as curators themselves.  Local artists should curate and organize more exhibitions among their peers. This experience can lead to not only a better understanding of the important role curators can play in artists careers, but lead to better visibility for emerging artists and curators alike.  Advocacy should also factor into this cultivation.  Once we raise our visibility collectively, we should request that institutions consider offering their guest curators, critics and lectures the opportunity to visit local studios.  What do you think?  Any takers?

The Painting Zone: 24 Works Artist Chad Mount

Interview by Katlyn Roberts, OVAC Intern
Chad Mount, Wish You Were, Acrylic, graphite, colored pencil on paper, 22” x 28”
Chad Mount, Oklahoma City
Is this painting part of a series? If so could you discuss the series and how the pieces relate.
This painting is part of a series of 3 works on paper. The pieces were created at the same time each painting was approached with different yet overlapping color pallet. At the time of creation I was working through some personal relationship experiences and letting those emotions guide the direction of each painting. In this series there is also an underlying current inspired by my experiences diving among the coral reefs of the Caribbean.

I much prefer the viewer to draw their own conclusions when viewing my art, but I will say the piece “Wish you were” selected for 24 Works there is an intimate dance happening.
How did you develop the vision of your art work?
Hmmm… good question. I often use my art as a tool to help me process my experiences in life. When I go to the studio to paint it usually takes me a little time to get warmed up and then I just enter somewhat of a meditative zone and can paint for hours. I also see my painting studio as a laboratory where I’m constantly experimenting with different mediums. Often combining materials to see what sort of chemical reactions take place. Just the thing they train you not to do in art school. It works for me.
This interview features an artist from the 24 Works on Paper exhibition, which is on display at Rose State College in Midwest City through December 14. A collaborative exhibition from the Individual Artists of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition, this exhibition tours until September 2012. See more in the catalog and at

OVAC Fellowship: Paul Bagley

Paul Bagley, Samhain: Into Her Dreaming, 2007, Reclaimed wood, metal, rope, piano wire, linen, LED lights, 12volt deep cycle battery, audio components, bronze, 60’ x 8’ x 15’

The Oklahoma Visual ArtsFellowships recognize Oklahoma artists with outstanding vision, rewarding them for their past achievement and future promise. A guest curator selects the awards through an open call process. The curator for the 2011 Fellowship is Ben Heywood, Executive Director of  The Soap Factory, Minneapolis, MN.

Through his three-dimensional, multimedia work, Bagley encourages communal, creative or functional interactivity. He often generates artwork in response to the location where he works. The origin of materials provides the conceptual framework for every piece, such as wood recycled from demolished buildings or adaptive reuse of outdated technology.
“In studying sustainable design over the years, I’ve developed sensitivity to the layers of applied design integrated into our modern culture and how art appreciation functions within this realm,” said Bagley. He said this examination of our rapidly changing world “drives my creativity, addressing embodied energy, processing methods, material up-cycling, and those relationships relative to their history and environmental impact.”
Bagley received a BFA in Visual Communications from the University of Oklahoma.

Read more about the Fellowship winners in Art Focus Oklahoma magazine. 
Visit Paul Bagley’s website at: