Dennis Spielman

The real and imaginative adventures of Dennis Spielman

Mery Mcnett - Medulla at IAO Gallery - photo by Dennis Spielman

Individual Artists of Oklahoma

Individual Artists of Oklahoma encourages progressive artists in Oklahoma working in all disciplines through monthly exhibitions, educational programs, and community partnerships. IAO promotes inclusion of the arts in the community and in education by keeping nearly 100% of its programs and admission to the gallery completely free to the public.

Continuing my focus on art this month, I interviewed Executive Director, Laurence Myers Reese, to talk about the gallery and what kind of art one can expect to find there.

I did a video on IAO Gallery last year, which I published on June 23, 2016 (I did not plan this scheduling). I rewatched it today for the first time since I’ve finished it. I have to say, I have come a long way improving the quality of my videos in 2017. I’ve gotten better at coaching people in interviews to make them more comfortable and truly shine. I’ve also gotten better at telling stories and showing sides that people don’t usually see to a place. I’ve been killing it this year. Although, I wish more people would watch them and I hope that people haven’t stopped following me because of the past.

Thank you, everyone, and my supporters on Patreon, for your on-going support! Be sure to share this video and check out the gallery. Below is my latest Artist Statement Minute video of what’s on display at this time.

Kehinde Wiley: Artist's Lecture

Kehinde Wiley: Artist’s Lecture

The Oklahoma City Museum of Art was last stop on the tour of “Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic. I filmed this artist lecture on June 14 where Kehinde Wiley presented his insights and the inspiration behind his work, starting with examples of his early paintings around the time of his 2001 residency at the Studio Museum in Harlem.

I had a bunch of people ask me for this video and here it is now! It was a great talk and going to see his work afterward, it helped put his work into a more detailed perspective.

Kehinde Wiley - A New Republic at OKC MOA - photo by Dennis Spielman

Oklahoma City Museum of Art

Coinciding with Oklahoma City Museum of Art’s exhibition opening of “Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic,” this week’s art focused video gets to know the city’s art museum. The Museum’s collection covers a period of five centuries with highlights in European and American art from the 19th and 20th centuries, a growing collection of contemporary art and one of the world’s largest public collections of glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly. The Museum boasts the region’s premier repertory cinema, which screens the finest international, independent and classic films, and is home to the Museum School, which offers classes for students of all ages as well as art camps for children. Amenities include the Museum Store, a roof terrace, and the Museum Cafe, a full-service restaurant, offering lunch, dinner, Sunday brunch, afternoon tea, a full bar and catering services.

Kehinde Wiley - A New Republic at OKC MOA - photo by Dennis Spielman

The Oklahoma City Museum of Art will host the exhibition Kehinde Wiley’s works from June 17 to September 10, 2017. “A New Republic” presents an overview of the artist’s career including over 50 of his oil paintings, stained glass and sculpture. The exhibition highlights the range of Wiley’s production, starting with examples of early paintings executed around the time of his 2001 residency at the Studio Museum in Harlem. These figurative canvases of African-American men, inspired by Wiley’s observation of street life in Harlem, mark the beginning of his focused exploration of the male figure.

Kehinde Wiley - A New Republic at OKC MOA - photo by Dennis Spielman

The exhibition continues with Wiley’s experimentation in referencing specific paintings by renowned masters such as Titian, Van Dyke, Ingres and Manet. Works such as “Napoleon Leading the Army over the Alps,” “Portrait of a Venetian Ambassador, Aged 59, II,” “Colonel Platoff on his Charger” and “Equestrian Portrait of King Philip II (Michael Jackson)” directly reference paintings of a similar name. The exhibition resumes in the Museum’s third-floor galleries with Wiley’s “World Stage” series. Beginning in 2006, Wiley opened a satellite studio in Beijing and began street casting international subjects. The “World Stage” series includes subjects from Brazil, China, Israel, France, Haiti, Jamaica, Lagos and Dakar and Sri Lanka.

On Wednesday, the museum hosted a VIP artist talk, which I was hired to film on behalf of the museum. When the museum approves it and uploads it to their YouTube page, I’ll be sure to share it. The talk goes into great depth about the stories and meaning behind his work.


Thank you to our supporters on Patreon for helping make this video possible! Throughout the month of June, I’ve been doing videos on art galleries. Watch the previous one on Current Studio.

Current Studio - photo by Dennis Spielman

Current Studio

Continuing my focus on art this month, Current Studio is an experimental art space in the Classen 10 Penn neighborhood of Oklahoma City where they investigate the intersection of art and community.

I’ve been following Current Studio since they opened a little over a year ago, and so I have collected footage of them throughout this time for this mini-documentary. This video highlights how founders Kelsey Karper and romy owens addresses the needs of artists and their community. I hope you enjoy it and check our Current Studio for yourself.

The Underground's Green Tunnel - photo by Dennis Spielman

The Underground

Throughout the month of June on Uncovering Oklahoma, I’ll be highlighting art galleries and museums. To kick off the series is The Underground, which can be best described as a walk-through art installation. The Underground functions as a tunnel system, connecting Downtown Oklahoma City’s skyscrapers, while also containing a few restaurants, art, and historic photographs.

The Underground was the very first video I filmed for Uncovering Oklahoma, back on April 15, 2009. It wasn’t until June 2rd that I released it, uploading it to YouTube. Eight years later, here’s The Underground revisited! I’ve grown a great deal since then and if you’re curious to watch the original video, check it out here. I actually didn’t realize I was coming up on the release anniversary until I was editing the video and thought, “When did I release it?”

One of the biggest changes to the Underground is a rather subtle change: new management. Back when I did my first video on the Underground, people were not allowed to take pictures. When Ali and I went there to film it, security stopped us. They were at least cool enough to call the owner and get me permission on the spot. I made sure to highlight that people can freely take pictures in the tunnel system now.

In this video, I also highlighted sections throughout the whole tunnel as some areas are not as obviously connected, especially when trying to find the Golden Hour. There aren’t many restaurants or shops there. There are just no spaces for rent as it’s essentially a tunnel system. Still, The Underground is a work of art worth exploring.

Thank you to everyone who has watched Uncovering Oklahoma throughout the years!

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