USAO Artists Gain ‘Momentum’ at State Exhibit
CHICKASHA – Ten artists from the University of Science and Arts recently were selected from more than 200 artists across Oklahoma to show their stuff at a competitive statewide art show.
“Momentum: Art Doesn’t Stand Still” is a juried art exhibit currently on display at Downtown Airpark in Oklahoma City through Jan. 26. Filled with colorful paintings, ornate sculptures, photography and more, the exhibit features six current USAO art students and four alums.
With only 181 works selected for display in the competitive art show, “Momentum” is more than just a big-city art exhibit.
“Creating art can be easy, but showing it in a public forum can be difficult,” said Jacquelyn Knapp, assistant professor of art. “This visibility serves as a huge step forward in establishing our students as ‘professional artists.’ I attended the opening for ‘Momentum’ and was truly impressed with the professional quality of work that was displayed in the juried exhibition.”
Norman art senior Keturah Stevens said she tried not to let the “Momentum” exhibit go to her head.
“I don’t really know what to think, because I don’t like the idea of being big and famous,” Stevens said. “I like the idea of being a small-town artist, but I was interested to find out that they liked my works.”
For Shalene Henley, an art senior from Healdton, the show gave her a chance to test her sculptures on a different audience and gauge its reaction.
“They were the freshest and most accurate representation of where I’m going as an artist and where I want to go,” Henley said. “I found it exciting and wanted to show it and get a feel for how they would show, or not show at all.”
Henley and Stevens were joined by four fellow art seniors. Chickasha artists Jessica Irvin and Amy Widener displayed original works in the forms of a photograph “Overwhelmed” and watercolor “Sunburnt,” respectively. Bonnie Amspacher of Norman submitted “Seals,” a bronze sculpture, and Sapulpa artist Tommy Ball showed a mixed media piece, “Octovit With a Valve.”
Four USAO art alums also made the show, with pieces by 2006 grads Heidi Helmers, Courtney Hunnicutt and Lauren Biddy. Paul Mays, 2002 alumnus, also was selected.
“USAO art students are extremely dedicated to creating art,” Knapp said. “’Momentum’ is a great opportunity for them to publicly display their dedication and love for art. I am so proud to have so many of our current students and art alums accepted into this cutting edge exhibition.”
“Momentum” gallery hours are Wed. - Fri., 5-8 p.m. through January 26. Special events are scheduled for each night, including a dance performance, a class by “Momentum” award winning artists and a “story slam.”
Downtown Airpark is located at 1701 S. Western. More information is available online at www.ovac-ok.org.