Norman Arts Council Announces Selected Artists for 40 Over 40: Women Artists of Oklahoma

Kate Rivers -  POW Protect Our Winters

Kate Rivers - POW Protect Our Winters

Norman Arts Council is pleased to announce the featured artists for 40 Over 40: Women Artists of Oklahoma. The Norman Arts Council accepted nearly 100 submissions through an open call from July through September from women artists in Oklahoma who were over the age of 40 for the exhibit celebrating the wealth of talent by experienced visual, women artists across the State. The exhibit runs from Friday, February 14 through Friday, March 13 at MAINSITE Contemporary Art, 122 E. Main, Norman.

The featured artists include:

Natalie Baca
Carol Beesley
Tracey Bewley
Julie Marks Blackstone
Amanda Boehm-Garcia
Elyse Bogart
Deborah Burian
Jydonne Bynum
Jana Diedrich
Ginna Dowling
Alex Emmons
Janene Evarde
Carolyn Faseler
Lauren Florence
Erinn Gavaghan
Almira Hill Grammer
Susan Greer
Polly Hammett
Mary James Ketch
Angie LaPaglia
Darci Lenker
Katherine Liontas-Warren
Vicki Maenza
Cedar Marie
Beatriz Mayorca
Erin Merryweather
Susan Morrison-Dyke
Katy Nickell
Kate Rivers
Claudia Robertson
Liz Roth
Barbara Scott
Angelika Tietz
Kristal Tomshany
Audra Urquhart
Debra Van Swearingen
Jarica Walsh
Mary Whitney
Shevaun Williams
Michael Wilson

The opening reception for 40 Over 40 takes place from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, February 14 at MAINSITE as a part of the 2nd Friday Norman Art Walk. The exhibit will run until Friday, March 13 with a closing reception held from 6 to 10 p.m. that evening. The gallery and its receptions are free and open to the public.

Michael Wilson -  Sam, Bear, Jenna

Michael Wilson - Sam, Bear, Jenna

Natalie Baca -  Once in a Blue Moon

Natalie Baca - Once in a Blue Moon

Lauren Florence -  A Day at the Races

Lauren Florence - A Day at the Races

Firehouse Art Center Announces Winners of 2019 Foil Sculpture Juried Exhibition

Left to Right: Fred Schmidt (FAC Board Member), Hans Butzer (Dean of OU Gibbs College of Architecture), Sarah Gonzalez (Special Award), Jamie Lim (1st Place), Santana Jimenez-Calhoun (2nd Place), Anneli Walsh (Honorable Mention), Paul Moore (Sculptor-in-Residence at OU School of Visual Arts), Terri Russell (Honorable Mention), Christy Phelps (Honorable Mention), Douglas Shaw Elder (FAC Executive Director)

Left to Right: Fred Schmidt (FAC Board Member), Hans Butzer (Dean of OU Gibbs College of Architecture), Sarah Gonzalez (Special Award), Jamie Lim (1st Place), Santana Jimenez-Calhoun (2nd Place), Anneli Walsh (Honorable Mention), Paul Moore (Sculptor-in-Residence at OU School of Visual Arts), Terri Russell (Honorable Mention), Christy Phelps (Honorable Mention), Douglas Shaw Elder (FAC Executive Director)

The Firehouse Art Center announces the winners of the 2019 Foil Sculpture Regional Juried Exhibition. The call for entries invited makers and creatives from Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas to construct a sculpture using a single sheet of aluminum foil. The resulting submission are currently on display and demonstrate an astonishing array of creativity that pushes the boundaries of what is possible with a unique medium.

Guest jurors Hans Butzer, co-founder of Butzer Architects and Urbanism and Dean of the University of Oklahoma’s Gibbs College of Architecture, and Paul Moore, internationally renowned sculptor and winner of the Prix de West Purchase Award at the 47th Annual Exhibition and Sale at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, selected $3,000 in awards. They attended the exhibition reception on Friday, September 27 where winners were announced. Six winners received prizes from $250 to $1,000. Three sculptures received Honorable Mention recognition.

The First Place $1,000 award went to Jamie Lim of Norman for her sculpture entitled Daphne. Second Place $750 award went to Santana Jimenez-Calhoun for My Clothes. Third Place $500 award went to Amanda Boehm-Garcia for Wounded Toy Soldier. Three Special Awards of $250 each were awarded to Sarah Gonzalez for Betta Male, Pete Eckhoff for Peace Face, and Rachel Davis for Sign of Summer. Honorable Mentions went to Anneli Walsh for Ceratosaurus, Christy Phelps for Dance Away, and Terri Russell for Swinging in the Rain.

Come view the exhibition showcasing works of unbridled creativity on display at the Firehouse Art Center, 444 South Flood Avenue, through Saturday, October 19. Exhibition sponsors include Red Dot Sculpture and the Norman Arts League. The Firehouse Art Center (FAC) is funded in part by select grants from the Oklahoma Arts Council, the Norman Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, Allied Arts, and the City of Norman, as well as corporate sponsorship from Republic Bank & Trust and Fowler Automotive. The FAC’s programming would not be possible without the support of individual donors and memberships.

Learn Book Making with Artist and Bookbinder Sara Brooks!

Sara Brooks.jpg

Sara Brooks | Making Handcrafted Books
6:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 12, 2019
MAINSITE Contemporary Art | 122 E. Main, Norman
Register by noon on Tuesday, November 5, 2019
In this beginner’s workshop, learn how to make handcrafted books. Students will be introduced to three different bookbindings, including a folded book and two, basic handsewn books. Using a variety of upcycled and found materials, students will learn about the tools, materials, and techniques commonly used in bookbinding and walk home with their own, personally handmade books.

Sara Brooks is a local artist, educator, and bookbinder. She earned her MFA in studio art from Indiana University, and her BFA from the University of Oklahoma. In 2013, Brooks established my book bindery, Original Brooks. The bindery specializes in handsewn books made from vintage and repurposed materials. Brooks has taught classes and workshops in photography, bookmaking, and design at Indiana University, IUPUI, Warren Wilson College, Asheville Bookworks, and Pyramid Atlantic Book Arts Center.

The $60 fee covers registration and includes the following supplies:

Book Board/Cover Material
Glue + Brushes
X-acto Knife

Apply to be a 2020 Undercover Artist Workshop Instructor


Apply to be a 2020 Undercover Artists Instructor!

Everyone has an artist lurking within. Undercover Artists is a series of art workshops — led by some of Norman's finest artists — debuting in 2017 that celebrates the creativity of amateurs and practiced artists, alike. The workshops, inviting all skill levels and a variety of ages, are equal parts fun and informative, a collaborative community experience that will let that inner artist come to the forefront for a spell (or maybe unleash a new, long love affair).

The NAC is seeking artists to lead these workshops! If you are an artist in Oklahoma and iterested, please submit an application by November 4, 2019 at 11:59pm!

We will select four artist-lead workshops for the 2020 calendar year.

Norman Arts Council Announces RFQ for Public Art Set for Ruby Grant Park

Ruby Grant Park-01.jpg

RFQ: Public Art for Ruby Grant Park in Norman, OK

DUE: 11:59 p.m. Friday, October 11, 2019

Norman Arts Council on behalf of The City of Norman and Norman Forward Percent for Art, for Ruby Grant Park, is seeking an artist (or team of artists) to create a permanent outdoor work of art for an audience of all ages and abilities for the new Ruby Grant Park to be located at Franklin Road and 36th Avenue N.W., Norman, Oklahoma.

Norman, located 20 miles south of downtown Oklahoma City, is the third-largest city in Oklahoma. The citizens of Norman initiated NORMAN FORWARD, a proposal to renovate, expand, construct and fund Quality of Life projects, such as multiple recreational facilities, libraries, parks, athletic venues, public art, trails, swim complexes and other quality of life projects throughout Norman.  The initiative went to the City Council from community groups, stakeholders and Norman residents, who prepared an initial package using analysis and information from recreational planning professionals and research firms. In 2015, the City Council placed NORMAN FORWARD on a ballot that was overwhelmingly supported by Norman voters.

This park is named in honor of Ruby Grant, who lived most of her life on the 150 acres of this site.  She was born and raised in a modest home that her parents built there shortly after the land run of 1889.  She was a school teacher who taught reading and music to many young people in the Norman area.  Prior to her passing in 1998, she arranged for her family assets, including her family homestead, to be given to the University of Oklahoma for the purpose of supporting scholarships in the school of music and a reading program. The site is now owned by the City of Norman and is under the city Parks and Recreation Department

The site is approximately 150 acres, has rolling topography and diverse vegetation including wooded areas, native prairie, and wetlands. In general, the site has distinct open areas divided by the wooded areas occurring primarily in conjunction with two seasonal streams that bisect the site. The northeast corner of the site is wooded and is subject to periodic flooding. The high point of the site is located about midway along the east property line and abuts I-35, a major north/south interstate. Because of its size and location within the Norman community, large areas of the site have an isolated and naturalistic feel.

The developed site will have parking in three perimeter locations with park development, including a playground and dog park, located near the parking areas.

Very much in keeping with Ms. Grant’s love of all children and her lifelong commitment to education, the playground is being designed with an overarching philosophy of inclusivity and dedication to creating play environments that go beyond accessibility. The play and recreation spaces in Ruby Grant Park will address the needs of the whole child and of every child. They will also encourage children, adults, and families of all abilities to experience the benefits of play together.

The majority of the park will remain in a natural state with regular mowing being done only at the more developed locations, and for the practice fields that occupy the northwest quadrant of the park. Approximately 2/3’s of the site will remain in a relatively natural condition, with a multi-purpose trail and cross-country turf track winding throughout the park. A disc golf course is also planned and will be implemented in such a way as to minimize the impact on the site.

The Artwork

The Project Team has determined that the artwork located within the approximately 150 acres of the park must be designed and placed to invite visitors to explore and play, to stimulate their curiosity and imagination, and be delighted.

The artwork’s creative use of the natural environment and landforms should allow multigenerational visitors to interact with it either physically (sitting on it or in its shade, or touching it) and/or passively (integrating sensory elements such as sound/music.) 

Adherence to ADA guidelines and appropriate use of the principles of universal design for the artwork and its placement is strongly encouraged ensuring its accessibility.

The chosen work of art will be well-integrated into the entire site with consideration to the built structures and developed areas.  Image of the planned pavilion is attached.

The Project Team is open to any media or material that is appropriate to the site as long as it is durable, safe, low maintenance and vandalism resistant.


The total artist's fee for the project is $40,000.00. This amount must cover all associated costs including design, materials, fabrication, travel, insurance coverage, shipping, and installation. 

Artist Eligibility

Open to professional artists with experience working on public art projects and creating site-specific works.


RFQ Deadline: Friday, October 11, 2019, at 11:59 pm (Mountain Time Zone)

The following dates are subject to change:

Notify Artists:  By Friday, December 6, 2019

Finalists’ Site Visit: Week of January 6, 2020

Finalists’ Presentation of Proposals:Week of February 17, 2020            

Notify Artists of Selection:By Thursday, March 2, 2020

Completion of Ruby Grant Park: September 2020

Application Guidelines

Submissions for this project mustcontain the following materials:

  • A one-page maximum typed letter of interestoutlining your qualifications for and interest in the project, as well as the general idea for your approach. Please consider the following questions when developing your letter of interest:

    • Why do you want to work on this project?

    • How would you approach this project?

    • What materials do you work with that would be appropriate for outdoor use?

    • Have you worked on similar projects? If not, what relevant experiences do you have?

    • How does the project relate to your current work?

  • Resume(not to exceed three pages)

  • 10 to 15 digital high-resolution images of previous work you feel would support your ability to carry out this project

  • Annotated image list in desired priority of viewing that corresponds with the names of the digital files and includes the following information: Artist’s name, title of artwork, medium, size, date of artwork completion, location and project details (i.e. Budget commissioning agency, etc., if public art). The list should be sorted in desired priority of viewing.

  • A list of three references with whom you have worked on a public art project, including current telephone number and/or email address.

Questions or for more information, contact:

Debby Williams, Norman Public Art Manager