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Narciso Argüelles

Andy Mattern

Kelly Rogers

Amy and James McGirk

Pete Froslie

October 6 – November 19, 2017

Presented by:

About Art 365

Art 365 is an exhibition from the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition which offers five Oklahoma artists a year and $12,000 to create innovative artwork in collaboration with a nationally recognized curator. The artists work with a guest curator for one year to create a body of original artwork for the exhibition. Through Art 365, Oklahoma artists create innovative artwork in collaboration with a nationally recognized curator. Every three years, OVAC accepts artistic proposals for an upcoming Art 365 exhibition.

The five awarded artists each receive a $12,000 honorarium. Once selected, the artists work with the curator over one year to create a body of original artwork for the exhibition, meeting with the curator multiple times throughout the exhibition preparation. Through studio visits and regular communications, the artists and curator discuss direction, examine progress and finalize the concept and presentation. Visual artists working in all media are eligible to submit, including traditional studio art media as well as film and new media.

Exhibition Statements

Narciso Arguelles: Imaginary Spaces

Imaginary Spaces explores the boundaries of art through collaborations with performing artists. “Art interventions” are designed specifically to interact conceptually with existing structures or situations. These performances are captured and presented as a short film that is part documentary and part art film.

The first intervention takes place at the Gray Owl Coffee shop in Norman with Emmy Award winner and Hip Hop artist Jabee Williams. Williams recites lyrics from one of his songs in a full coffee shop, evoking the beat poets of the 1950’s. With words referring to the Black Lives Matter movement, this intervention is about being a person of color in the U.S.

The second section takes place on the streets in the South Side of Oklahoma City, an area with one of the largest Latino populations in Oklahoma. The intervention takes place during the Dia de Los Niños (Day of the Children) celebration with a temporarily constructed cultural center providing community art and highlighting the need for a permanent structure. Immigrants are under attack in this society with the promise of walls and deportation; and this performance stands in opposition to those looming threats.

The third performance takes place at the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum in Oklahoma City. Today the structure stands unfinished after several years of construction and delays. Performers include dancers from the Oklahoma City Ballet, Classical musicians from the University of Central Oklahoma, dancers Wanbli Tallchief and Brianna Howard, and Native American drummers and singers. These collaborators perform a cultural mashup using dance and music. This performance marks the first “art” to happen in this meaningful location.

Learn more about Narciso Arguelles >

Pete Froslie: Aesthetics of Capital

How best can we see capital? This project responds to this question aesthetically with the sensitivity to matter, form, and meaning that we bring to art. Visual artists are laborers who produce lenses through which we may perceive culture. I am attempting to see connections between meaning and capital. I am specifically examining spaces where minerals and gases enter commodity chains, while tracing aesthetic signs of the paths they follow—initiated by capitalist economies. Consequently, I have been exploring natural sciences including geology, chemistry, and ecology.

Capital is something with a history; and it hides that history behind a signified value. An iPhone does not directly reveal its relationship to coltan mining in the Congo. In negotiating the aesthetics of capital and tracing histories, I have focused on the extraction of rare metals from electronic waste. Specifically, I am using chemical reactions to refine gold, silver, and palladium from computer parts. All metals record a natural history of chemical catalysts that originated deep within the earth, and the same metals can also catalyze economic, social, and political relations. Therefore, the project posits what alchemy might look like in the twenty-first century.

This project is still in a nascent state. Ultimately, the current work focuses on the production of a ring. I consider this ring as slowly ‘growing’ from a variety of rare minerals collected from sources ranging from computers from a business college, to toenails of politicians. The ring is developing in response to sites I visit while working on this ongoing project. The next iteration will involve time spent during an upcoming expedition to the North Pole and at a biological research residency in the Arctic Circle region of Finland. As the work is in constant flux, it is presented here as an archive of process. The final ring will be the material manifestation of various supply chains through which capitalism operates; in this form it will make manifest the extent to which capital mediates between human beings and the rest of nature.

Learn more about Pete Froslie > 

Andy Mattern: Shelter

Shelter is a project to visualize time spent underground in Oklahoma storm cellars. These cool, dim spaces are both havens and tombs, meant to guard against extreme weather, and yet they engender a palpable sense of vulnerability and fear.

To capture this duality, the cellar, which itself contains the basic components of a camera—a dark chamber with an opening—is fitted with a dark cloth for a shutter. Then, using only the available light that filters in through the air vent, a sheet of light sensitive paper is pressed up against the opening to produce an exposure.

The result is a collection of similar compositions, white and grey circular forms situated in black rectangles. While they appear abstract and call to mind imagery of celestial bodies, the photographs are literal one-to-one records of the ambient light inside each cellar.

Operating between representation and abstraction, this project is both a document and an impression of place. This region in lower Tornado Alley requires architecture of protection, which residents share in moments of need. Embedded in this routine but unsettling experience is a sense of connectedness and hope.

Learn more about Andy Mattern > 

Amy and James McGirk: COGNITIVE ARTIFACTS: Art and Value

A cognitive artifact is an artificial device designed to maintain, display or operate upon information in order to serve a representational function.

Our work aims to bring how we look at and consume art objects into an accessible, participatory aesthetic within a cultural analysis that is unique to Oklahoma.

The paintings act as tools, mediators between us and the world in dialogue and perception. Events and social practice are a form of artifact, a conceptual framework that helps us break from expected institutionalized norms.

The material remains of our action are meant to demarcate a particular quality or presence and raise questions about art, collecting and its value.

Learn more about Amy and James McGirk > 

Kelly Rogers: Tales of Woah: One in Three

Tales of Woah: One in Three is a 12-foot, hand-stitched embroidered tapestry. The needle-and-thread drawing is a collection of individually rendered portraits of young women and girls, one-third of which are illuminated with ink and adorned with gold thread. Stitching is used as a healing metaphor in response to the prevalence of abuse and trauma Oklahoma children face. Statistics show that one in three girls in Oklahoma County is sexually abused by her 18th birthday.

The multitude of figures is intentionally overwhelming in number, though each figure is represented with loving depiction and minute detail of faces, hands, clothing, and childhood objects—asserting each identity in a sea of stats. The exposed reverse side of the canvas expresses the raw and complex effect of trauma, while the drawing itself brings to bear an often-forbidden conversation about the condition of Oklahoma women and girls. Tales of Woah reimagines a familiar expression, converting the pity of “woe” to an awestruck “woah” honoring the experience of survivors, and giving reverence to the grit of human resilience.

Learn more about Kelly Rogers >