Sarah Clough brings The Bright Side to MAINSITE

Clough WEB.jpg

Artist Sarah Clough — a longtime Oklahoma resident who just finished received her MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) — is returning to her home state for an immersive, solo exhibition titled The Bright Side premiering with an opening reception at 6 p.m. Friday, December 8 at MAINSITE Contemporary Art, 122 E. Main, Norman.

The Bright Side will run at MAINSITE through Friday, January 12, its opening and closing receptions coinciding with the Norman Arts Council’s 2nd Friday Norman Art Walks held monthly in the Walker Arts District of Downtown Norman. Artist and musician Justin Hogan will also have works on display in The Library Gallery.

The exhibition includes a gallery-wide mural and a series of paintings, all rooted in graphology and semiotics. The works begin as words, a nod to her background in language, taking on both a chaotic but also orderly quality further twisted by the use of fluorescent and phosphorescent paint.

“These works are meant to be in sunlight, under ultraviolet light and in the dark,” Clough said, noting that visitors will be given special ultraviolet flashlight with which to uncover the layers behind the pieces and larger mural. “These works allow viewers to control their experience: What is illuminated, what is unearthed and what remains buried or unexamined.”

It’s not unlike a game of hide and seek, Clough said, the experiential nature demonstrating the subjectivity of perception.

MAINSITE Contemporary Art is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday with special receptions held from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, December 8 and Friday, January 12. Gallery hours will, however, be limited between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day. 

Now Accepting Spring 2018 Arts Education Scholarship Applications

Arts Education Scholarship Recipient Cora | Photograph by Shevaun Williams

Arts Education Scholarship Recipient Cora | Photograph by Shevaun Williams

In 2012, the Norman Arts Council introduced the Robert Kidd III Arts Programs Scholarship Fund to provide support for students in grades kindergarten through 8th grade who are residents of Norman to attend arts education programs with an established arts organization or educator. Awards are given for fall, spring and summer class sessions and can be used for private lessons, classes with an art organization or business (in Norman or elsewhere) or any other art education opportunity.

Scholarship Program Mission:  The Norman Arts Council Arts Education Scholarships are intended to provide Norman children with the opportunity to attend arts programming that is offered outside of schools.

Spring 2018 Arts Programs Scholarship Application 


ELIGIBILITY:  The Norman Arts Council invites students in grades K-8 who live or go to school in Norman, Oklahoma to apply for a scholarship to offset the cost of an arts education experience provided by an established arts organization or educator.

APPLICATIONS: The NAC restructured their scholarship criteria this past winter, so there is new information here. Only Applications submitted through the on-line process will be considered for funding. Applications must be 100% completed for consideration. "I don't know or "unsure" answers will deem an incomplete application.

SELECTION CRITERIA:  The NAC is seeking applications for scholarships from students who:

  • express a strong desire to enhance their arts education experience beyond what is offered at schools
  • demonstrate a past commitment to visual or performing arts
  • have the ability to commit to the completion of the program
  • have a financial need that prevents them from funding the tuition themselves
  • priority will be given to new applicants, low income applicants, and applicants seeking funds for visual arts programs
  • $500 is the maximum award a single student will be granted
  • Applications must be 100% completed

Applicants will not be turned down for not meeting all of the criteria. It is encouraged, however, to try to meet as many as possible and to address the criteria directly in the proposal.

AWARDS:  Award notification will be by mail. Due to limited funds, applicants may not receive the full funding requested and/or may not receive any funding at this time.

DISBURSEMENT OF FUNDS:  Upon award notification and receipt of agreement, the Norman Arts Council will give the awarded funds directly to the organization or individual implementing the program applied for on behalf of the student. Should the program be cancelled for any reason by the organization or individual implementing, the fund will be returned to the Norman Arts Council’s scholarship program and may be applied for during the next cycle.

COMMITMENT TO PROGRAM:  Upon award notification, the student’s parent or legal guardian will receive an agreement that states they will commit to ensuring the student’s regular attendance to the program. If student fails to attend at least 75% of the program, the student will be asked to withdraw; any remaining funds will be returned to the Norman Arts Council’s scholarship program; and the student will not be eligible in the future.

AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS:  The total amount of scholarship funds available may be awarded to one applicant or divided among multiple applicants. The Norman Arts Council reserves the right to not award any scholarships should there be a lack of qualified candidates or shortage of scholarship funds.

LIABILITY:  Award recipients and their guardians agree to indemnify and hold harmless the NAC, its employees, its agents, and its Board of Directors, in connection with any action, claim, lawsuit, charge, or proceeding, including but not limited to any civil action in State or Federal Court, or before any State or Federal agency, which is made or brought against recipients, NAC, and/or any of NAC's employees, agents, or board members, by any person or entity, based upon and/or arising out of a recipient's use of the funds.

APPEALS:  Any applicant who is denied a scholarship in whole or in part may only appeal directly to the NAC Education Committee on the following grounds: 1) discrimination against the applicant or its membership on the basis of: race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, or disability, which is shown to have materially and adversely affected the outcome of their application; 2) illegal activity on the part of the Education Committee or a member of the Education Committee, which is shown to have materially and adversely affected the outcome of their application. 

The Robert Kidd III Arts Programs Scholarship Fund is made possible with support from Republic Bank and Trust, Norman Communities Foundation, Allied Arts and the City of Norman.

October Proclaimed as Arts & Humanities Month in Norman

Norman Arts Council plans to install street flags brandishing the Walker Arts District name in the near future. 

Norman Arts Council plans to install street flags brandishing the Walker Arts District name in the near future. 

Norman City Council proclaimed October to be Arts & Humanities Month in the City of Norman. This is in tandem with the designation of October as National Arts & Humanities Month, a coast-to-coast collective recognition of the importance of culture in America, encouraging participation in the arts and raising public awareness of the importance the arts have in our communities.

October includes an array of fun and exciting arts and humanities events and more, locally. That includes another 2nd Friday Norman Art Walk from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, October 13 in the downtown Norman area now known as The Walker Arts District — as decreed by city council earlier this year — that just recently debuted branding from Norman graphic designer J.D. Reeves.

This month’s art walk includes the Cultural Connections: Clermont-Ferrand in Norman — a sister-city art exchange — along with a free concert from Oklahoma hip-hop artist Josh Sallee at Opolis and a variety of other free arts events, concerts and more across The Walker Arts District.

On Thursday, October 19, Norman Arts Council will debut the latest and final We Art Lindsey Street project: A projection mapped visual installation on the Goodwill Donation Center located at 1404 W. Lindsey.

The projection —created by motion designer and digital artist Kyle Edward Van Osdol — will run from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. each night, bringing the building to life with animation evoking science, technology and art. Van Osdol’s work has worked with the likes of Coachella, Flying Lotus, Clams Casino and Norman Music Festival.

On Friday, October 27, the 5th Annual Downtown Norman Fall Fest will bring thousands to The Walker Arts District to enjoy trick-or-treating, performances, inflatables and lots of other family-friendly fun.

This year’s event will be proceeded by the installation of decorative street lighting on the 200 East Block of Main Street — sponsored by Norman Downtowners and a variety of Downtown Norman businesses, organizations and events — that will cross over and back across the block and be lit up year round. That lighting will expand into surrounding Main Street blocks in the years ahead.


During the week of Monday, October 30, Norman Forward’s first Percent for Art project will be installed and dedicated, as well. Splash — created by Mark Aeling — will be installed at the Westwood Family Aquatic Center.

“As Norman Forward’s first percent for art project nears completion, we are looking forward to it becoming an important piece of Norman’s culture,” said Debby Williams, Percent for Art Project Manager. “Splash is a colorful sculpture of a tennis ball as it hits the water and will serve as a dynamic gateway to the Westwood Family Aquatic Center. Norman’s public art is created to engage the spirit and spark dialogue and Splash will certainly accomplish that and much more.”

A firm date for the dedication of the public art work will be set soon.  

Sooner Theatre will host a weekend’s worth of productions of Oliver! on Friday, October 20 through Sunday, October 22. The Depot will host Winter Wind Concerts from Terri Hendrix & Lloyd Maines and Beppe Gambetta on Sunday, October 15 and Sunday, October 22, respectively. There’s lots more happening across Norman during Arts & Humanities Month, as well.

View all upcoming


Speakeasy Event on Oct. 20 to Benefit OU Art Museum’s School Bus Fund


Tickets are now on sale for the annual Silver Soirée fundraiser for the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art. The soirée is scheduled from 7 to 11 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20 at the Railhouse Event Center, 102 W. Eufaula St., in Norman.

During this 1920s speakeasy-themed evening, attendees will enjoy complimentary hors d’oeuvres and drinks. Live entertainment during the evening will include big band jazz performances by University of Oklahoma School of Music students as well as vaudeville acts and vocal numbers by students in the Weitzenhoffer School of Musical Theatre. During the later hours of the evening, swing guitar and jazzy blues will be provided by Kyle Reid and the Low Swingin’ Chariots.

Blackjack, craps and roulette, for entertainment purposes only, plus a 1920s-themed photo booth to commemorate the evening and raffle prizes all are planned for the event. The Silver Soirée: Speakeasy is made possible through the support of Republic Bank and Trust, the event’s Presenting Diamond Sponsor.

Proceeds from the event will benefit a school bus fund, which helps Oklahoma schools offset transportation costs related to educational field trips to the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art.

This event is open to those who are age 21 and above with valid identification. Tickets are $75 for Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art Association members, $100 for the general public. Tickets can be purchased online at, or over the phone at (405) 325-5990.

The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art is located in the OU Arts District on the corner of Elm Avenue and Boyd Street, at 555 Elm Ave., on the OU Norman campus. Admission to the museum is complimentary to all visitors, thanks to a generous gift from the OU Athletics Department. Information and accommodations are available by calling (405) 325-4938 or visiting

OU Art Museum to Open Contemporary Painter Robert Taylor Exhibition With Public Reception on Oct. 5

Taylor-In the Mourning of the Night.jpg

Tulsa-based artist Robert Taylor combines significant symbolism with traditional and contemporary Native American themes in his evocative paintings. The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma opens a new exhibition of works by the artist spanning three decades with a public lecture and reception from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5. The exhibition officially opens to museum visitors the following day at 10 a.m.

The opening events, as well as valet parking, are complimentary.

Taylor serves as the sixth guest artist in the university’s Jerome M. Westheimer, Sr. and Wanda Otey Westheimer Distinguished Visiting Artist Chair program. Past visiting artists have included James Surls, Christine Nofchissey McHorse and Hung Liu.

“The Jerome M. Westheimer, Sr. and Wanda Otey Westheimer Distinguished Visiting Artist program provides the opportunity for the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art to exhibit the work of a contemporary artist of significant merit,” said Mark White, the museum’s Wylodean and Bill Saxon Director.

“This year, we are extremely pleased to host Robert Taylor as the sixth guest artist,” he said. “In addition to the exhibition, Taylor will work with the students of the OU School of Visual Arts. This important program would not be possible without the generosity of Mrs. Wanda Otey Westheimer and her family and, on behalf of the Board of Visitors of the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art and the OU Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts, I would like to express our utmost appreciation for their continued support.”

Taylor was born in Tulsa in 1951, and is of Blackfeet, Cherokee, Osage, Crow, Scottish and Black Dutch descent. Largely self-taught, Taylor borrows from multiple styles and genres such as Surrealism and Magic Realism to create mystical and often enigmatic images of nature, Native American tribal life and spiritual rituals. Drawing inspiration from artists such as Paul Pletka, John Biggers and Salvador Dali, Taylor tends toward a naturalistic representation, though he often exaggerates bodily proportions as a symbolic device to acknowledge the human connection to the earth and sky.

Butterflies, feathers, skulls and rainbows are just a few of the recurring images in Taylor’s work. Taylor says these images are part of his artistic lexicon.

“It helps with the vocabulary in your paintings and gives you another symbol of sorts to guide [viewers] around to what you’re trying to talk about,” Taylor said.

Taylor warns, however, not to take symbols at face value.

“I can only speak personally for myself but, for me, the symbology that I use changes once I label something,” he said. “As an artist, if you’re trying to convey a thought or a meaning, you have to have people understand your vocabulary, and that’s my vocabulary. What you almost want to do is put a legend at the bottom of each painting: an egg represents this and the cross actually represents this.”

Taylor’s paintings often depict figures from Native American life at the end of the reservation era, around the turn of the 20th century, but his interest in mysticism often gives the work an enigmatic tone. He describes his deeply symbolic works as a response to a variety of religious traditions.

Taylor attended Central Missouri State and the University of Tulsa, though he never completed a formal education. He was drafted into the Navy, where he served from 1970 to 1972. Taylor has exhibited and received awards from the Trail of Tears exhibition at the Cherokee National Museum in Tahlequah, the Five Civilized Tribes Museum, the Gallup Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial, the Los Angeles Contemporary Art Fair, the Red Earth Festival and the Smithsonian Institution. In 2005, he was commissioned by the State of Oklahoma to create a triptych commemorating the U.S. marshals who served in Indian Territory.

In addition to works on display inside the museum, multiple works are on display inside the OU Health Sciences Center’s Robert M. Bird Health Sciences Library and several locations on the OU Norman campus.

Distinguished Visiting Artist: Robert Taylor is on display through Dec. 30 in the museum’s Nancy Johnston Records Gallery. A hands-on space included in the exhibition allows children and families to further explore Taylor’s artwork through an art activity and gallery guide with prompts about symbolism in his works. A gallery talk presented by the artist is scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6. A Family Day event with an art activity for all ages is scheduled from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 22, and a community event celebrating Native American Heritage Month with food, dance and a collaborative art activity is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2.

Opening on the same evening in the adjacent Ellen and Richard L. Sandor Gallery is a small exhibition of works by contemporary videographer/photographer Janne Höltermann. Three series of works examine the human perspective and conception of space through architecture and airplane flight trajectories. The exhibition also is on display through Dec. 30.

More information about these exhibitions and related programs is available on the museum’s website at

The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art is located in the OU Arts District on the corner of Elm Avenue and Boyd Street, at 555 Elm Ave., on the OU Norman campus. Admission to the museum is complimentary to all visitors, thanks to the generosity of the OU Office of the President and the OU Athletics Department. The museum is closed on Mondays. Information and accommodations are available by calling (405) 325-4938 or visiting



Contemporary Tulsa-based painter Robert Taylor is the subject of a new exhibition at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma. Distinguished Visiting Artist: Robert Taylor opens Thursday evening, Oct. 5, and includes paintings such as this 1998 work, In the Mourning of the Night They Come to Me.

Robert Lee Taylor (U.S., b. 1951)
In the Mourning of the Night They Come to Me, 1998
Acrylic, 20 x 16 in.
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. R.E. Mansfield, 2003