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New Oklahoma Arts Center Announces Inaugural Art Exhibition

Eye on the Prize by Nick Bayer, 2011 art the new arts center

Eye on the Prize by Nick Bayer, 2011

Featuring 41 artists selected through a competitive process, the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition’s (OVAC) inaugural Concept/OK: Art in Oklahoma exhibition debuts to the public at the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa’s Hardesty Arts Center (AHHA) on December 16, 2012, 1-5 p.m.

Vying to represent current art making in Oklahoma, 16 Tulsa-area artists and 20 other Oklahoma-based artists will unveil their artwork. Also, four Kansas City, MO artists and one Dallas, TX-based artist bring their innovative ideas to build a regional art conversation through the exhibition.

Viewers will experience freshly created artwork in the ultramodern, four-story arts center in the growing Brady Arts District.

“Artists in our area work in a broad range of artistic media to explore our modern world.  Presenting their artwork in the new Hardesty Arts Center, we will illustrate the diversity and relevancy of their work in new ways,” said OVAC Executive Director Julia Kirt

The multifaceted Concept/OK exhibition encompasses different types of art and diverse ways for viewers to access the artists’ work. Contending for cash awards totaling $15,000, 144 artists applied for the 30 slots in a survey of contemporary Oklahoma artists.  Four Oklahoma artists will exhibit with four Kansas City, MO artists, in both Tulsa and Kansas City through a partnership with the Charlotte Street Foundation.  Also, Residency artists Sarah Hearn, Narciso Argüelles, and Gregory Ruppe create new imaginative projects in street level community studios.

“We began planning this exhibition more than six years ago to give artists direct financial support and encourage regional artistic exchange.  Besides helping the participating artists, we think it is appropriate that an exhibition featuring Oklahoma artists will mark a growing arts district benefitting the whole community,” Kirt said.

Concept/OK: Art in Oklahoma welcomes the public for free gallery hours through February 16, 2013 at the Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa’s Hardesty Arts Center, 101 E. Archer St, Tulsa. Throughout the exhibition, artists will lead educational programs to help the public learn how artists create and about ideas driving the artwork. Visit

For 24 years as a nonprofit, OVAC has helped Oklahoma artists enrich the state. OVAC presents Concept/OK: Art in Oklahoma in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa and Charlotte Street Foundation. The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, Kirkpatrick Family Fund, George Kaiser Family Foundation, Oklahoma Arts Council, and Allied Arts sponsored the exhibition.

Curator Bios

Liza Statton, Concept/OK: Survey & Focus curator

Liza Statton is an independent curator based in the United States and Australia. From 2008-2010, Ms. Statton served as the Gallery Director/Curator at Artspace located in New Haven, CT, nearby Yale University, where she organized solo and group exhibitions that included emerging artists living and working in the Eastern United States. Before joining Artspace, Ms. Statton served as the first Eugene V. Thaw Curatorial Fellow at SITE Santa Fe, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and previously, as a curatorial assistant at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. A graduate of the Williams College Master’s in the History of Art program, Ms. Statton has contributed essays and articles to art publications and exhibition catalogues, and has served as adjunct faculty for the Department of Visual Arts at the University of New Haven.

Alison Hearst, Concept/OK: Residencies curator

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 CriticalArt Lies, Glasstire, and …might be good. She is an editorial advisor and review contributor for a new publication, Pastelegram.

Dusted, Jacketed by Sarah Atlee, 2011 at the new arts center

Dusted, Jacketed by Sarah Atlee, 2011

Residency Artist Bios


Sarah Hearn is a full-time artist living and working in Oklahoma City.  Her work is idea-driven by a multitude of scientific theories. As the artist states, “science is always transforming our idea about the world and the reality in which we live.  We live in a time where science renders humanity as more and more insignificant.” Hearn received her MFA in 2010 from Rochester Institute of Technology and her BFA in 2001 from the College of Santa Fe.

Narciso Argüelles is an artist and educator living in Edmond. His art has been exhibited all over Oklahoma and around the world including a two person show at the [Artspace] at Untitled Gallery, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions Gallery, Intar Gallery, the Ninth Biennale of Sydney Australia, and the First Johannesburg Biennale in South Africa.  Argüelles’ fine art photography includes experimentation with printing surfaces, sometimes called Digital Alchemy. Some prints are done on aluminum and copper.  Argüelles’ goals include the promotion, preservation, and celebration of Mexican, Chicano, Latino and Indigenous art.


Born in Houston, Texas in 1979, Gregory Ruppe received a BFA in Printmaking from the University of North Texas in 2002. Ruppe utilizes a broad scope of approaches to his art making, including graphite transfer drawing, casting, video, installation, and performance to challenge the possibilities of cultural ownership and altered identity. The resulting installations and performances take a humorous and self-critical approach to understanding transcultural relationships. He currently lives in Dallas and is working toward an MFA in sculpture at Texas Christian University.

Focus Artist Bios


Grace Grothaus has been exhibiting multimedia art for over a decade. She has received grants & awards from the Oklahoma Visual Arts Council, the Kansas City Art Institute, and the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. Her work has been featured in This Land Press, OETA, and This year marks her first International exhibition, the World Creativity Biennale in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She is represented by the MA Doran Gallery and JRB Art at the Elms. What excites Grothaus most about her artworks are their ability to speak about the complex and beautiful world around us.

Aaron Hauck is a visual artist currently working in northeast Oklahoma. He holds an MFA in sculpture and has served as an art professor at East Central university since 2007. His primary interest lies in the relationship between consumerism and the effects it may have on the environment and culture. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and was recently featured in a group exhibition at Benrimon Contempory in Chelsea, NYC. In 2011 his work was a part of Art 365 sponsored by the Oklahoma Visual Art Coalition. His work can be viewed on his website at

Geoffrey Krawczyk was born in Oklahoma in 1978. Growing up in a family with a disabled veteran gave him an interest in the nature of sacrifice and violence and would greatly influence his art practice. In 2006, he completed his BFA at the University of Oklahoma and received his MFA in Visual Studies in 2010 from the State University of New York – Buffalo. His work has been shown in numerous galleries and locations throughout the world. Geoffrey is currently Assistant Professor of Art at Southwestern OK State University and resides in Norman.

romy owens is an Oklahoma City based artist who spends most of her time taking photographs and sewing them together by hand. She graduated from Oklahoma City University with a MA in Photography in 2005. In addition to dozens of curated and juried group exhibitions, romy has been featured in five solo exhibitions and has curated more than a dozen group and solo exhibitions. Through September 2013, romy will be the Artist-in-Residence at the Skirvin Hotel in Oklahoma City. romy’s art is included in private, corporate, and public collections.

Kansas City

Jason Carron is an emerging artist living and working in Kansas City, MO. The majority of his current work is in video format. His videos are minimal and repetitive, exploring intuitive humanistic expressions. While his work is quite literal and simple, the use of his body reflects the complex nature of the human condition.

Lindsey Griffith is a Kansas City artist and performer. She is currently creating zines, to-do lists, and visceral experiences for herself and others. Lindsey writes, builds, creates, and performs with the collaborative Whoop Dee Doo. She performs as Wet Clown on their traveling faux public-access kids show. Lindsey eagerly teaches and learns with KC Free Skool. Her current to-do list includes baking a half-birthday cake and teaching herself lock picking. Griffith works collaboratively with Charlie Mylie, a Kansas City artist that is finding pleasure in emergent life that springs from collaborative work. “You like to have fun; you find fun in the educational encounters between the everyday and the absolutely novel. You work in a gallery, teach art classes at a community center, and participate in the fresh, local educational models of Rad School and KC FREE SKOOL. You also live and work in collective housing that tries to restore lost homes in a blighted urban area. Mostly you like games and are tickled by the challenge of this grand one we’re playing.”

Cory Imig is an interdisciplinary artist currently working in Kansas City, Missouri. She received her BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2008. In 2011, she was accepted into the Charlotte Street Foundation’s studio residency program and has since participated in numerous group shows. Imig and four others were awarded a Rocket Grant as part of the regional regranting program through The Andy Warhol Foundation in support of PLUG Projects, an artist-run curatorial collaboration. Imig is a current fellow in the Oklahoma Art Writing and Curatorial Fellowship Program organized by the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition.

Garry Noland, originally from South Dakota, has lived in the Kansas City area over 50 years. His 2013 group and solo exhibits include Bemis Center for Contemporary Art (Omaha, NE), Indianapolis Art Center, ROYGBIV (Columbus, OH), Weekend Space (Los Angeles, CA) and The Studios Inc. (Kansas City, MO). Recently his work has appeared in New American Paintings (#101) and PatternBase. Noland is currently an artist-in-residence at The Studios Inc. in Kansas City. He earned a B.A. in History of Art from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

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