From the artist:
“Milagros for Boston is a tribute by 2nd graders to all the people affected by the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15, 2013. Students will create an art installation made of tin milagros (running shoes, hands, and legs) and display it in the storefront window of a local running shop.”
If you’re not familiar, a milagro is a small charm, usually made of metal, used as part of a prayerful offering. From Wikipedia:
“[Milagros] are used to assist in focusing attention towards a specific ailment, based on the type of charm used. Milagro symbolism is not universal; a milagro of a body part, such as a leg, might be used as part of a prayer or vow for the improvement of a leg; or it might refer to a concept such as travel. Similarly, a heart might represent ideas as diverse as a heart condition, a romance, or any number of other interpretations. Milagros are also carried for protection and good luck.”
The artist commented on his Facebook page that “I was inspired by the conversations that I had with my own children yesterday. It’s difficult to have these kinds of conversations, but I think we need to. And I couldn’t start this morning’s class with 2nd graders and teachers without addressing it. Fortunately, they embraced it! The project developed like lightning: ideas, emails, and phone calls. It’s a true community collaboration!”
In an email, Delgado told me that “In my twenty years of teaching: this was one of the most powerful and meaningful experiences I have had in the classroom and with children. The teachers agreed too; we were all super into it! It was an amazing experience for all of us.”
Shhh, it’s a secret!
No, not these. The two paintings pictured here are from last year’s Money Talks, Art Walks benefit auction at IAO Gallery in Oklahoma City. You can’t see my 2013 contributions yet.
Francine, acrylic on paper, 2012 by Sarah Atlee.
Aww, but I wanna!
In this show of sculptures and works on paper, all 8.5 x 11″ or smaller, the artists’ names are hidden. People attending the show may purchase tickets for $100, $75, or $50, and when they do so, their names go into the hat. When a name is drawn, that person has 30 seconds to pick out the piece they want to take home.
The $100 ticket holders get to pick first!
Inappropriate! acrylic on paper, 2012 by Sarah Atlee.
You have to show up to see the new paintings.
What: Money Talks, Art Walks: A Different Kind of Art Auction
When: Saturday, March 16, 2013, 7-10 pm
How Much: Regular admission is $10, then it’s $100, $75, or $50 to take home the art.
Why: Other than because it’s wicked fun? You’ll be supporting one of the best contemporary art venues in Oklahoma, and you’ll get to take home an original work from one of scads of talented Oklahoma artists.
See you there.
Rooster Study, after Seabourn, acrylic on masonite, 12 x 8 inches, 2011 by Sarah Atlee.
Hey, artists. We all know that we should never stop learning, right? Good, I’m glad we’re on the same page about that. I love your hair that way.
I’ve been taking a painting class taught by beloved Oklahoma artist Bert Seabourn at Oklahoma Contemporary (which, until last week, was called City Arts Center). This is the second time I’ve taken Bert’s class, which is really more of an open workshop. The images in this post are from the first time I took his class in 2011.
I’ve been to art school. Why am I taking a painting class?
Dancer Study, after Seabourn, acrylic on canvas, 18 x 12 inches, 2011 by Sarah Atlee.
Because it’s seriously fun.
A little bit of influence can go a long way. In Bert’s class, I always paint something completely different from what I would have made on my own. There’s no pressure – I’m not painting for a show, and I’m not getting any grades. As students, we get an open class format in which to experiment, ask questions, try new things, and get input from a master painter. We also learn by watching other students paint in our individual styles.
So I can learn by watching Bert.
Bert begins class by handing out copies of a sketch, a previous painting, or some other image that interests him. He invites each student to interpret the image in their own way.
Bert also paints along with us. He brings a new canvas to every class, makes a sketch (usually with vine charcoal), and the paints a painting. It’s a little bit magic. Also, he’s been doing this for awhile. You can see from his work that he paints in an energetic, spontaneous way, which makes it all the more wonderful to see him in action.
He walks around the classroom and makes suggestions, helping us if we get stuck or mired in a difficult spot. But, even more than his direct feedback, I love having an environment where I know I can try anything.
Seated Man Study, after Seabourn, acrylic on canvas, 12 x 10 inches, 2011 by Sarah Atlee.
So I can dedicate time to paint.
When I’m in class, I stand over a canvas and paint on it for two hours, without thinking about much else. I don’t know what I’ll paint before I get into the room. When I leave, I take a painting with me that may not be finished, but it’s off to a solid start, and it’s something I didn’t expect.
Paint Chip Buffalo, acrylic on masonite, 10 x 8 inches, 2011 by Sarah Atlee.
What is the Ninja, Kung Fu, and/or Vulcan weapon equivalent of this class?
It would have to be that awesome two-in-one sword that Michelle Yeoh uses in this fight scene. Working with Bert slices straight through what I know about painting, then comes back and hits me from the side with things I didn’t know I could do. Excellent question, thank you.
Oklahoma Contemporary has an excellent education department, with classes for adults and kids in all media. They are a great asset to the OKC Metro – check ‘em out.
Colourful Army by Flickr user Maistora. Click image to view source.
This summer has seen a handful of terrific opportunities for visual artists in Oklahoma. Among others, I have just applied for a brand new artist residency at the landmark Skirvin Hotel in downtown OKC.
S.P.A.C.E. – The Skirvin Paseo Artist Creativity Exposition
This is a beautiful program, the first of its kind in our area. The Paseo Arts Association has modeled it off of a similar residency at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It includes studio and gallery space, a stipend, even free lunches – for a year.
The application was not widely publicized. But when I heard about it, I told my friends, I posted it on Facebook, and otherwise helped spread the word. I wanted everyone I knew to apply along with me.
Why create more competition for myself?
The fact that OKC now has an artist-in-residence program of this kind is remarkable. It elevates our entire community. I couldn’t possibly keep this to myself, because it’s good for all of us.
Competition fosters quality.
I know several of the other applicants, and they are great artists! I had to step up my game to compete with them. If every applicant makes their proposal as strong as possible in order to be competetive, then the winning artist is going to be a truly shining example of visual arts in Oklahoma. They are going to make us all look good by creating excellent art in a public, professional space.
I wish we could all win. Because we’d all be awesome.
But what if I don’t win?
My colleague Liz Roth often says that she gets about a 10% rate of return when applying for grants and residencies, meaning that about one in ten of her applications is accepted. That’s why she encourages artists to pursue many different opportunities.
I put a lot of energy into my proposal, to make sure it looks professional, is easy to read, and communicates my ideas effectively. If my proposal for S.P.A.C.E. isn’t accepted, I still have a great idea to shop to galleries, or use to apply for grants or other residencies. (Need I say that I’ll make sure to adapt it as per other submission requirements? It almost, but not quite, goes without saying.)
And hey, there’s always next year!
I will be speaking at two Artist Survival Kit workshops this fall about writing effective proposals. Visit the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition’s A.S.K. page for more information on dates and registration.
Bonus: There is a slew of good advice about proposal writing at the OVAC blog.