Norman Arts Council to Launch Collaborative Community Artwork Project on Summer Solstice


Norman Arts Council is looking to turn one man’s trash into everyone’s piece of public art with a project coinciding with the Pioneer Library System’s Summer Solstice Celebration centering around the public art piece Prairie Wind by artist James Johnson made possible by the Norman Forward 1% for Art Program.

Norman Arts Council is currently collecting donations of clean, used plastic bags to create Museo Aero Solar, an artwork designed by Argentinian artist Tomás Saraceno and built by Norman’s local community.

Museo Aero Solar is a floating museum made entirely of re-used plastic bags donated by the public. The device floats, completely fossil-fuel free, powered only by the heat of the sun. Museo Aero Solar relies on the participation and inventiveness of our citizens, to collectively build and launch it. The project has initiated workshops and social gatherings in more than 28 locations worldwide.


Please donate your used, clean plastic bags, which can be dropped off at MAINSITE Contemporary Art, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, June 12 through Friday, June 14 and Monday, June 17 through Tuesday, June 18. 

The community is also invited to help build the Museo Aero Solar itself from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, June 18 through Thursday, June 20 at The Mercury, 426 E. Main, Norman. 

The Museo Aero Solar will be launched — weather permitting — on Friday, June 21 during the Summer Solstice Celebration at Pioneer Library System East Branch, 3051 Alameda, Norman. 

James Johnson will give a lecture at 4 p.m. that Friday, June 21, and the Pioneer Library System will lead a variety of other activities, including Sunrise Yoga on the Patio (7 to 8 a.m.), Solstice Meditation (8 to 9 a.m.), Summer Solstice Story Time (11 to 11:30 a.m.) and Solstice Solar Printing (5:30 to 7 p.m.). Registration for activities may be required, and you can learn more and do so at


Drop Off Plastic Bags:
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, June 12 through Friday, June 14 or Monday, June 17 through Tuesday, June 18
MAINSITE Contemporary Art, 122 E. Main, Norman

Build the Museo Aero Solar:
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, June 18 through Thursday, June 20
The Mercury, 426 E. Main, Norman

Friday, June 21
Pioneer Library System East Branch, 3051 Alameda, Norman

Coming Soon in Norman Arts: June 2019

Coming Soon June-01.jpg

Summer affording you some free time? GOOD. You’ll need plenty of that to keep up with all the concerts, workshops, film screenings and art openings happening this month in Norman, OK!

Here are just some of the highlights! Check out our Norman Arts Calendar for that much more!

Serena Velvet and Garrett Young at Resonator

Serena Velvet and Garrett Young at Resonator

Relatable Transactions Only: The Art of Serena Velvet and Garrett Young
Saturday, June 1 at Resonator

Sophia Massad with New Time Zones, Make Out Spot and The Sweet Talkers
Saturday, June 1 at The Deli

Hybrid Writing: Unearthing Form and Identity with Tracy Jane Gregory
Sunday, June 2 at Resonator

Summer Breeze: Adam & Kizzie
Sunday, June 2 at Lions Park

Between The Isms | Exhibition Opening Reception
Thursday, June 6 at Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art

Thursday, June 6 through Sunday, June 9 at Sooner Theatre

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse at Lions Park

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse at Lions Park

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Screening
Friday, June 7 at Lions Park

Zines Y’all: Zine & Small Arts Fest
Saturday, June 8 at Resonator

Jeff Ruby
Sunday, June 9 at Red Brick Bar

2nd Friday Norman Art Walk
Friday, June 14 in the Walker Arts District | Downtown Norman

Poolboy Album Release with Net and Lust
Friday, June 14 at Opolis

Media Mixer | Exhibit Tour & Workshop
Saturday, June 15 at Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art

Summer Breeze: Levi Parham
Sunday, June 16 at Lions Park

David Holland Cloud Painting Workshop
Thursday, June 20 at MAINSITE Contemporary Art

Jonathan Scales Fourchestra at Jazz In June on Friday, June 21

Jonathan Scales Fourchestra at Jazz In June on Friday, June 21

Jazz In June
Thursday, June 20 through Saturday, June 22
at Brookhaven Village (THU/FRI) & Andrews Park (SAT)

The Greatest Showman Screening
Friday, June 21 at Lions Park

Frozen Jr.
Wednesday, June 26 through Sunday, June 30 at Sooner Theatre

Legacy Park presents: Jabee
Friday, June 28 at Legacy Park

Spinster Album Release with Maddie Razook & Charlotte Bumgarner
Friday, June 28 at Opolis

Summer Breeze: Making Movies
Sunday, June 30 at Lions Park

Get Your Head in the Clouds with Painting Workshop Lead by David Holland

David Holland | Cloud Painting Workshop
6:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 20, 2019 
MAINSITE Contemporary Art | 122 E. Main, Norman
Registration is $75 (includes all supplies) | Register by Sunday, June 16

Painter David Holland — whose majestic cloudscape paintings can currently be seen at his The Skies Have It exhibition and residency at MAINSITE Contemporary Art — will lead an intimate workshop on how to learn to craft your own works depicting dramatic, beautiful images of the sky. 

The $75 fee includes the full set of supplies needed to create your personal work on canvas with Holland, all of which will go home with participants after so they can continue to practice and learn at home.

On the Shoulders of Giants | David Holland | 36x48” | Oil on canvas

On the Shoulders of Giants | David Holland | 36x48” | Oil on canvas

O. Gail Poole Travel Award Provides Funding Opportunity for Oklahoma Artists


Norman Arts Council is now accepting applications for the 2019 O. Gail Poole Memorial Travel Award. Nicole Poole, in remembrance of her father, Oklahoma artist O. Gail Poole, established this fund. Administered by the Norman Arts Council, this Fund benefits artists of demonstrated merit and ability, providing the opportunity and freedom of travel, which Poole so adored.

Funds may be used for travel for a specific project, fee for attending a professional workshop, or other travel needs to be considered in the selection process.

Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. Friday, May 31 and are also available in Spanish (para Español).

One award of $1,500 will be awarded to an artist living in Norman, OK will the other award of $1,500 is available to an Oklahoma artist identifying with an ethnic, cultural, sexual, gender, economic or ability minority.

Recipients will be selected on criteria including artistic excellence and originalitiy, thoughtful proposed use of funds and ability to act professionally and as a good representative of the Norman arts community. Artists must be 18 to apply.

Past winners of the award include Marwin Begaye, Douglas Shaw Elder, Sarah Engel-Barnett, Skip Hill, Debby Kaspari, Mayumi Kiefer, Solomon Mahlatini, Liz Roth, Craig Swan and Holly Wilson.

Improve Your Life with Comedy Workshop to be Lead by John Banas

John Banas.jpg

John Banas
Improving Your Life with Comedy: The Art and Science of Humor
6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 25, 2019

MAINSITE Contemporary Art

Everyone likes to laugh, but fewer people have considered how humor can improve their lives. This workshop will explore humor from both the social scientific and creative perspectives. We will discuss first create a new way to understand and perceive humor, followed by discussing the empirical support for some benefits of humor, and we will conclude by exploring ways to increase laughter in our lives (e.g., improv, stand-up comedy).

Banas is an Associate Professor in the Communication department at the University of Oklahoma. One of his research interests, and the subject of one of my most popular and highest-rated courses at OU, is humor. This class distills that course into a seminar-length workshop. Humor for Banas is not merely an academic pursuit; he’s been performing stand-up comedy for several years.