The real and imaginative adventures of Dennis Spielman

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Nature's Course by John Newsom - photo by Dennis Spielman

Nature’s Course Learning Gallery with John Newsom

Painter John Newsom gives a tour of the learning gallery at Oklahoma Contemporary, which pairs with his exhibition, Nature’s Course, in the main gallery. I took a creative departure from the traditional artist statement by having John talk about his works through the learning gallery.

John Newsom: Nature’s Course at Oklahoma Contemporary is a mid-career retrospective, featuring 31 of his paintings from the last 20 years. Newsom is best known for his richly textured large-scale oil on canvas paintings of flora and fauna. Newsom’s work layers and combines elements of Abstract Expressionism, minimalist geometric shapes, and hyper-realistic representations of animals to create complex allegories of the natural world.

The exhibition runs from March 24 to August 15, 2022.

Thanks to my superstar supporters, Revolve Productions, and the Keller-Kenton Family, as well as all of my supporters on Patreon. If you love what I’m doing, please join me on Patreon for bonus content, including early access to new episodes. Be sure to visit my online store with various Oklahoma-themed merchandise. 

Nature’s Course by John Newsom

Artist John Newsom and Oklahoma Contemporary director Jeremiah Matthew Davis gave a preview tour to media and other VIPs before the official opening of Nature’s Course. Here is that behind-the-scenes event that I filmed for Oklahoma Contemporary.

Stay tuned to Uncovering Oklahoma as over there I’ll share a one-on-one tour with John Newsom about the learning gallery part of the exhibition. I’ll also have an artist interview for a new series I’ve developed.

Artist Talk: Off The Wall

To celebrate the opening of Off the Wall at Oklahoma Contemporary, Pablo Barrera hosted a conversation with Sarah Ahmad, romy owens and Marium Rana. The Oklahoma-based artists discussed their process and the various themes prevalent in Off the Wall, ranging from the artists’ relationship to time, chaos and tradition to modernity and cultural interpretation.

Working in three distinct styles, Ahmad, owens and Rana created immersive and interactive installations to transform the Mary Leflore Clements Oklahoma Gallery. Rather than being confined to the walls, their artwork extended into the air and explore the physical, vertical volume of the gallery using paper, textile and mixed media.

Off The Wall will be on display until June 20, 2022.

Unreal: Up Next in Gaming

Unreal: Up Next in Gaming

Oklahoma Contemporary hosted a conversation and demo with James Simpson, CEO of GoldFire Studios, Jeff Price, chair of game design and animation at Oklahoma City University, and Linh Terford, independent game illustrator and concept artist. The speakers shared their experiences contributing to a growing video game industry in Oklahoma and gave insight into what’s on the horizon in game design, development and VR.

Ed Ruscha: OKLA virtual tour

Take a virtual tour of Ed Ruscha: OKLA at Oklahoma Contemporary in this video I made for the art center.

This landmark exhibition by one of America’s most important artists looks at the ways in which work throughout Ruscha’s 60+ year career has been connected to his childhood in Oklahoma City and his continued trips back there from Los Angeles. This is the first exhibition to focus on the artist’s Oklahoma roots — his family, his upbringing, and his discovery of his calling as an artist. It is also, remarkably, his first solo museum exhibition in his home state.

Learn more and reserve your free tickets at

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