Plug Projects: Momentum Guest Curators

Momentum Guest Curators: Plug Projects Team 

OVAC welcomes Plug Projects as the guest curators for Momentum OKC.  

Plug Projects is a curatorial collaboration by five Kansas City artists, Amy Kligman, Misha Kligman, Caitlin Caitlin Horsmon, Cory Imig and Caleb Taylor, who share the mission of bringing fresh perspectives and conversation to the local art community. 

Founded in 2011, the group seeks  to energize artists and the public at large by exhibiting challenging new work, initiating critical dialogue, and expanding connections of artists in Kansas City as part of a wider, national network of artists. 

They already have been noticed nationally for their thoughtful work as they have introduced new avenues for engaging the community. Besides keen exhibitions, they have launched critique nights, a new art journal and thematic films series and have served as guest writers for a national publication, Temporary Art Review

You may see them at Momentum on March 1 and 2. Also, Plug Projects will visit the University of Oklahoma School of Art and Art History to give a lecture and visit MFA student studios on March 1. They will present a free talk at Artspace at Untitled on March 2 at 3 pm. 

Momentum OKC  opens March 1 & 2 at the 50 Penn Place in Oklahoma City. View, experience and purchase art by Oklahoma emerging young artists. Learn more at

Momentum Tulsa Emerging Curator: Laura Reese

Momentum Tulsa Emerging Curator Laura Reese printing 

As Emerging Curator, Laura Reese will assist and be embedded alongside Momentum Tulsa guest curator Raechell Smith. Together they work with the Momentum Spotlight artists on their projects and will select work for the exhibition opening October 13, 2012. 

Reese is a BFA student at the University of Oklahoma with an emphasis on Printmaking. She expects to graduate in December this year.
To gain understanding of the arts community, Reese interned with the Femina Potens Art Gallery and FP Edge Artist Network in San Francisco, CA. She has interned locally with artist Marilyn Artus on the Girlie Show and Dr. Sketchy’s OKC as well as the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition. She serves as President of the OU Print Club.  
Momentum Tulsa Emerging Curator Laura Reese (l) tours
Living Arts with Guest Curator Raechell Smith (r)

Exploring national organizations, she participated in the Southern Graphics Council International conference in New Orleans and exchanged work with young artists all over the country last spring.  She has exhibited in the student art exhibition, at Dreamer Concepts, and several other juried venues in the state.  

With a keen interest in helping promising artists, she said, “If art truly does not stand still at Momentum, then the work chosen must be work that can hold power in the community while being evocative of the shifting tides within the art world.”
Artists may enter artwork into the Momentum Tulsa survey exhibition until September 5, 2012. Learn about the show and submit online: Also, the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition seeks an Emerging Curator for Momentum OKC 2013. Learn about the role and apply online

Raechell Smith: Guest Curator

Raechell Smith (c) with Spotlight artist Libby Williams (l)
& Emerging Curator Laura Reese (r)

Serving as guest curator for Momentum Tulsa, Raechell Smith has begun working with the Momentum Spotlight artists on their projects and will select work for the exhibition opening October 13, 2012. 

Smith is the chief curator and founding director of the H&R Block Artspace at the Kansas City Art Institute. A dynamic contemporary art venue with a strong teaching mission, the Artspace has been recognized for excellence in architectural design and visual art programming within the region, since it opened in 1999.

Smith has organized exhibitions and public art projects presenting work by regional, national, and international artists including David Shrigley, Ghada Amer, Shirin Neshat, Wenda Gu, Lee Boroson, Alexis Rockman, Jenny Holzer, and Vik Muniz. She has also organized numerous thematic exhibitions.

Smith is an advocate for artists and the visual arts, serving as a consultant for numerous national and regional organizations. She is a founding board member of The Charlotte Street Foundation, a Kansas-City based non-profit organization, which recognizes outstanding artists in Kansas City and provides them with artistic, material, and financial support.

Artists may enter artwork into the Momentum Tulsa survey exhibition until September 5, 2012. Learn about and submit online:

Momentum Emerging Curator: Candace Coker

Momentum Emerging Curator Candace Coker
with OVAC Board Member Margo Shultes von Schlageter

Candace Coker has seen all sides of Momentum, from participating to artist and committee member to curatorial intern. Now serving as Emerging Curator alongside guest curator Alison Hearst, Coker said the experience “feels completely different” and is “exciting.” 
Coker and Hearst just completed their first visits to the Momentum Spotlight artists’ studios. Coker said she has enjoyed the challenge of talking with their artists about their work. She hopes to push them while ensuring the artists retain control of their projects. Next she and Hearst will select the artwork for the general survey exhibition from entries due by January 31.

Coker serves as Project Coordinator at City Arts Center in Oklahoma City where she assists with exhibitions, youth and adult studio classes, and more.  She received her BFA from the University of Oklahoma. She was a member of the 2010 Leadership ArtsClass of the Oklahoma Arts Council.

Working with the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition before, she interned for the inaugural Oklahoma Art Writing and Curatorial Fellowship and assisted Momentum OKC’s curators in 2010. She continues as an active volunteer for OVAC as well as Individual Artists of Oklahoma and Paseo Artists Association. Also a photographer, Coker has exhibited her work regionally.

Submissions for Momentum: Art Doesn’t Stand Stillare due by January 31 at 5 pm. Oklahoma artists aged 30 and younger are eligible. The event opens March 9 and 10. 

Guest Curator: Alison Hearst

Luckily for us, Alison Hearst will be visiting Oklahoma artists quite a lot this year while serving as Guest Curator for both Momentum OKC and the Residencies for Concept/OK: Art in Oklahoma. Her background should help the community and artists she meets greatly. Now she’s working with the Momentum Spotlight artists on their projects that will debut in March. Her next tasks will be choosing finalists for the Residencies that she will visit in person (entries due January 20) and selecting the juried portion of Momentum OKC (entries due January 31).
Hearst is an art historian and writer living in Fort Worth, TX. She completed her MA in Art History from Texas Christian University and Bachelors in Art History from the University of North Texas. She has a long association with the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, serving first as an Assistant to the Director and now as an Assistant Curator. 
Hearst co-founded an experimental art collaborative Subtext Projects. She and her curatorial partner create exhibitions, publications and film series designed to promote discussion about the issues and practices of contemporary art.
Also a prolific writer, she has published reviews in Art Critical, Art Lies, Glasstire, and …might be good. She is an editorial advisor and review contributor for a new publication, Pastelegram
Hearst has interacted with Oklahoma’s art community before as part of the 2010 Oklahoma Art Writing and Curatorial Fellowship and contributing an essay about Liz Rodda for the Art 365 exhibition catalog

Curator’s Perspective: Professional Development for Artists

Curator Shannon Fitzgerald discusses Art 365 artwork
placement with Liz Rodda & Frank Wick.

Independent curator Shannon Fitzgerald has worked with artists from students preparing for their first exhibition to internationally-known artists enjoying their museum retrospective.
Since Fitzgerald leads an Artist Survival Kit workshop on November 19, I wanted to revisit some past interviews with her about working with artists, studio practice and more.  She will share her experience as a contemporary curator, giving artists an understanding of professional development and mindful career steps.
Read an interview Fitzgerald about working with local artists, studio visits and her selection process for the Art 365exhibition in this Art Focus Oklahoma issue.  
See this blog post with her ideas about curators visiting artists’ studios.
The workshop, “The Artist & the Curator in the Studio: Professional Development for the Emerging Artist” will be held Saturday, November 19, 1-4 pm at Individual Artists of Oklahoma Gallery, in Oklahoma City. See more information or register here:

Oklahomans Abroad: Local Scholarship and Art Making in an International Context

Southern Cheyenne Mocassins.
Cowhide, rawhide, sinew, glass beads. Early 20th century 

Welcome to new contributor Samantha Still, the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition’s Volunteer & Office Coordinator. 

Last May I completed my Master’s degree in Art History, with an emphasis in contemporary Native American art from the University of Oklahoma. Recently, I delivered a paper at the Native American Art Studies Association (NAASA) conference in Ottawa, ON Canada. At the conference I expected to meet other art historians from across North America. But what I didn’t expect was to meet an OU student with similar interests as my own, whose path I had never before crossed. John Lukavic is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Anthropology, who is particularly interested in the Cheyenne of Western Oklahoma. I learned that Lukavic is very much interested in applying art theory to his anthropological practice. How is Lukavic’s research relevant to OVAC? Well, Lukavic studies a group of art makers in Oklahoma, and is interested in developing a culturally specific art theory to the objects made by these fellow Oklahomans. So, OVAC blog readers, without further ado, meet John Lukavic:

SS: Why did you decide to study the Cheyenne of Oklahoma?

JL: Initially my research did not focus on the Cheyenne, but rather on the Indian art market in Oklahoma. I planned to study how non-Native consumer notions of tradition and authenticity differed from that of Native artists and Native consumers; however, as I focused my study, I limited my field site to western Oklahoma along the I-40 corridor and on the traditional arts for sale at tourist shops. I spent nearly a year collecting data on this topic, but once I began working with Cheyenne moccasin makers, my plans changed. The information I gathered opened my eyes to a complex system of cultural values in which Cheyenne moccasins circulate.

SS: In your NAASA paper you called for the development of a culturally specific art theory. Explain what you mean by this.

JL: I began my paper by explaining a deep connection between Cheyenne ‘traditional’ arts and orthodox Cheyenne beliefs. I argued that “in order to view it appropriately, one must understand the role of religious orthodoxy in Cheyenne arts,” and that “any art theory that wants to claim authority in addressing Cheyenne arts must…be guided by the views found in the communities from which they originate.” One cannot view art without a lens of interpretation, and to use a lens that dismisses the culture from which the art originates misses an opportunity to engage deeper meanings and is frankly disrespectful to those who possess an ideological system outside of Western Enlightenment. The idea that all art should be viewed from a single lens is a product of colonialism. Western Enlightenment, as I argue in my paper, “is insufficient for the study of Native arts,” and that “Native art theory must grow organically from Native communities and be guided by the role art has within each of these communities.”