Artists from across the nation competed with Oklahoma artists for the biennial “Oklahoma: Centerfold” art exhibit. “Centerfold,” one of the largest juried art shows in the state, features more than 40 original pieces from across the state and nation, such as “Fractured” by New Mexico artist Jean R. Wilkey. The exhibit and opening reception are free and open to the public.

“Oklahoma: Centerfold” Art Show Returns to Chickasha

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


A dazzling display of art by state and national artists returned to Chickasha when the “Oklahoma: Centerfold” exhibit reached the University of Science and Arts Jan. 11. The biennial juried art exhibit is hosted alternately by USAO and the Leslie Powell Gallery and Foundation of Lawton.

Displayed in the USAO Art Gallery through Feb. 6, “Centerfold” features more than 40 original pieces by 29 artists from across the nation. Sixteen artists represent different Oklahoma communities. The Centerfold show was last in Chickasha in January 2007.

“One of the things that both USAO and the Leslie Powell Gallery do is give a venue for quality artists,” said Cecil Lee, regents professor of art and director of the USAO Art Gallery. “There are a tremendous number of high quality artists who do not get public showings. The “Centerfold,” which is nationwide, gives them that venue. It also helps make the public aware of artists in Oklahoma, the region and the nation.

“Visitors should understand that this is not a farmed-out show from Lawton. This is a collaborative effort between USAO and the Leslie Powell Gallery, and we are pleased to bring such quality work to the university and the Chickasha community.”

“Those who are interested in the arts will have the opportunity to meet the artists and discuss their art,” Lee said. Refreshments will be provided.

Photographers, painters and artists of multiple media compete in the exhibit for cash prizes. Although the contest features primarily local flavor, it is open to artists from any state.

The juried show was featured at the Leslie Powell Gallery Nov. 8-Dec. 30. Mixed media artist Kim Camp of Oklahoma City took first place and a $2,000 prize for “Enslaved.”

Second place honors went to Margaret Whiting of Waterloo, Iowa for “Laws of the Land.” Jean R. Wilkey of Las Cruces, New Mexico, won third place with “Fractured.” The second place winner receives $1,200 and $800 went to the third place recipient.

“Oklahoma: Centerfold” started in 1989 as an annual, local juried art show. The show’s title is derived from Oklahoma’s location on a U.S. map – directly on the centerfold.

But its location doesn’t drive away out-of-state competition. Now in its 13th exhibition, the contest has received nationwide attention. Every other year, artists from throughout the United States give Oklahoma artists a run for their money. Artists from 10 states are represented in this year’s show.

The “Oklahoma: Centerfold” show is not the only juried art show run by USAO and the Leslie Powell Gallery. During the off years, the two galleries coordinate the “Seven-State Biennial” art show, which features artists from Oklahoma and seven contiguous states. Together, they are two of the state’s largest juried art shows.

The USAO Art Gallery is located on the first floor of Davis Hall on the USAO campus. Davis Hall is on the oval at south 17th Street between Grand Avenue and Alabama Street in Chickasha. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

“Oklahoma: Centerfold” is free and open to the public. More information is available by phone at (405) 574-1239. The USAO Art Gallery’s website is

Receiving honorable mentions during the Lawton show were Malcolm Christhilf, Springboro, Pa.; B.C. Gilbert, Wichita Falls; Tracey Harris, Fort Gibson; George Oswalt, Oklahoma City and Jermaine E. Washington of Bethesda, Washington.