The real and imaginative adventures of Dennis Spielman

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Momentum 2021 at MAINSITE - photo by Dennis Spielman

Momentum 2021

Over the course of a week, I worked with the Norman Arts Council and the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition on this series of interviews about Momentum 2021. Momentum is a yearly exhibition of under-30 artists throughout all of Oklahoma. It’s one of my favorite yearly events to attend. For these videos, we interviewed the curators and three spotlight artists.

Pablo Barrera (Wixáritari) was Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center’s inaugural Curatorial Fellow and has recently been named Associate Curator. He is OVAC’s Guest Curator for Momentum 2021. Kristin Gentry is an Owasso-based professional visual artist in the areas of relief and monotype printmaking, painting, jewelry and photography. She is OVAC’s Emerging Curator for Momentum 2021. In this video, Pablo and Kristin share insight into their curatorial process.

Marium Rana (Tahlequah, OK) is a Pakistani-American ink and aqueous media artist. She enjoys working on paper for its versatility and ephemeral quality. Her contributions to the Momentum show are three double-sided scrolls that are suspended from the ceiling. These works are collectively known as “Awaiting Arrival”. These works reflect home as a place, period of time, and memory.

Andrea Duran-Cason (Norman, OK) is an interdisciplinary artist. She has spent most of her educational and professional career in the arts, winning numerous awards and achievements along the way. She earned her BFA from The University of Oklahoma with a focus on painting and printmaking and the human form. In 2018 she received her MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts where she shifted focus to installation, performance and relational aesthetics. Andrea currently works as a designer and screen printer for Massive Graphics and 2D Foundations Instructor at The University of Oklahoma.

Amber L. DuBoise-Shepherd (Shawnee, OK) depicts contemporary Native American narratives based on her family heritage of Navajo, Sac & Fox, and Prairie Band Potawatomi. Her mixed media pieces and oil paintings reference an illustrative quality. She has an Associates of Art from Seminole State College and completed her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Spring 2016 at Oklahoma State University.


Learn more about OVAC and Momentum at www.MomentumOklahoma.org.

Uncovering Oklahoma March 2021

For the March 2021 episode of Uncovering Oklahoma, I started off with a visit to the flower shop, The Wild Mother, in Oklahoma City’s Arts District. Jeremiah Matthew Davis welcomes people to visit Oklahoma Contemporary to see their exhibition, Ed Ruscha: OKLA. I get some tasty dumplings for the Norman-based food truck, The Dump Truck. Curators Kristin Gentry and Pablo Barrera invite guests to the Artists Under 30 exhibition, Momentum, which is on display at MAINSITE in Norman and will travel to Tulsa in April. Finally, I end the episode with a music performance from Wood Willow.

Shoutout to my superstar supporters, the Keller-Kenton Family and thank you to all of my supporters on Patreon. If you love what I’m doing, be sure to join me on Patreon for extra content.

Visual Poetry and Water and Land at MAINSITE 2021

I was commissioned again by the Norman Arts Council to create a 20-minute video to promote their new exhibitions for January 2021. This video originally premiered during the Virtual 2nd Friday Art Work and the above YouTube is a slightly shorter but timeless version. I liked how well this video turned out and I was able to keep the pace interesting by switching between the artists on different topics. For the artist answers, I pulled quotes from different questions to summarize some of the topics too as each interview was 20 minutes, so I ended up cutting everything in half.

In this video, Executive Director, Erinn Gavaghan, shares an overview of Katherine Liontas-Warren’s “Water and Land” and “Visual Poetry on the Page: With, Within, and Without the Word,” which was curated by Crag Hill. Both Katherine and Crag also share their thoughts on the exhibitions.

Water and Land is a collection of recent works by Liontas-Warren centered on the passages, time and motion, and the symbolism water and land have come to represent in those concepts.

Visual Poetry on the Page: With, Within and Without the Word explores a movement that asks viewers to read the works as visual art. Unlike concrete, written poems, a visual poem “typically includes many other elements than alphabetic text,” including any number of mediums or artist manipulation, including painting, photos, digital manipulation or any other means to “obliterate the boundary between visual arts and literature.”

These exhibitions are open to in-person viewings from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday until Saturday, February 13, 2021.

Thank you to the Norman Arts Council for commissioning this video! 

Healthy Living Series

I got something different to share with you today. I was commissioned by Therapy in Motion and the Norman YMCA to do a series of instructional videos to help people live healthier lives at home. The first video premiered on Saturday with the rest scheduled to be released over time.

In the introduction episode, Cindy Merrick and Justin Noel discuss how the idea for the series came about and what you can expect in future episodes. Topics include posture, healthy eating habits, stretching, core stability, strength training overview, simplifying self-care, better balance, basic yoga, and meditation.

In the first episode that premiered alongside the introduction, Cindy Merrick, Founder of Therapy in Motion, talks about the secret of a healthy body. Spoiler: It’s your posture.

Stay tuned for more episodes! Be sure to leave a comment on the Norman YMCA YouTube channel on what you think so far and what you want to see in the future. Depending on well these are received and budgets, we’ll make a second volume.

I hope you learn something helpful with this series! 😀

Artful Inlets

The Artful Inlets program started in 2019 as a cooperative effort between the city of Norman Stormwater Division, Norman Arts Council, and the Public Arts Board to bring attention to sometimes hidden stormwater infrastructure around the city. Norman’s Stormwater Program Manager, Carrie Evenson, the Norman Arts Council’s Public Art Manager, Debby Williams, provides an overview of the project in this episode. The 2020 artists, Kris Wilson, Kody Haskins, Laura Nelsen, Ken Hall, Michael Wilson, and Bonnie Amspacher, add their thoughts on the program and the message behind their works.

Visit the Artful Inlets for yourself throughout Downtown Norman.

My Artful Inlets story debuted during the Virtual 2nd Friday Norman Art Walk! You catch my story at around the 10:50 mark or watch the embedded YouTube video above in 4K HDR with closed captions. Then at the 1:09:00 mark, is the City of Norman’s version of the story, which focuses more on the environmental aspects. The video is followed up by videos from the artists talking more about their work that the artists filmed themselves.

Thank you to my supporters on Patreon for their continued support of making Uncovering Oklahoma possible! Supporters get awesome rewards, like early access to my episodes. Big thanks to my superstar supporters: Revolve Productions and the Keller-Kenton Family. Join today!

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