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.

Norman Public Arts Board Seeks Submissions for New Artist Designed Bike Racks for City Parks, West Main Street



The Public Arts Board of Norman is seeking designs for Phase #5 of the Artist Designed Bike Racks Project. This fourth phase of the project will place artist designed bike racks across core Norman. We are looking for bike racks that can accommodate a minimum of two bicycles, one on each side of the rack (similar to traditional “U” shaped racks), and that will represent Norman’s unique aesthetic and cultural identity.

This Request for Proposals is specifically for bike racks that will be located in the following Norman parks:

Rotary Park
Saxon Park
Reaves Park
Colonial Estates

And three to be placed on West Main at locations to be determined.


Winning entries will receive a $200 honorarium.


A Design Review Board composed of local arts advocates, bicycle advocates, and other community stakeholders will work with the Public Arts Board and be responsible for selecting the winning designs.


No fabrication skills are necessary to enter this competition. The Public Arts Board will be responsible for the fabrication and installation of winning bike rack designs.


Selected designs will be produced with the intention of replicating the design as closely as possible but the Public Arts Board reserves the right to modify the designs when it is necessary for fabrication.


The competition is open to all Oklahoma artists. Only applications submitted through the online process will be considered. Applications must be 100% completed for consideration.


• Design Worksheet: All designs must be submitted on the provided Design Worksheet.

• Dimensions: The minimum and maximum dimensions are indicated on the design worksheet for your convenience. Bike racks must have a minimum dimension of 4’ x 3’ (h x w) and may not exceed 7’ x 4’ (h x w).

FUNCTIONALITY GUIDELINES: It is important that the bike racks be functional as well as sculptural/aesthetic in nature. The Public Arts Board has partnered with local bicycle riders to provide the following guidelines regarding the functionality of the Artist Designed Bike Racks. Functionality will be an important criterion in selecting winning decisions.

• Accommodate a minimum of 2 bicycles upright by their frames

• Enable the frame and one of the two wheels to be secured using a standard u-lock

• Provide locking points that are between 1’ and 3’ above the ground

• Include no sharp edges or potential safety hazards

• Provide a gap near the bottom for pedal clearance

Artists may submit as many entries as they wish. Submissions should be made as follows:

• Worksheet: For fabrication purposes, all designs must be submitted on the attached worksheet. Winning designs will be fabricated using the scale measurements on the worksheet.

• White Background: In an effort to keep all of the designs consistent, we request that designs be submitted on a simple white background. No background images please.

• Artist Information: Artist information must be filled in on each and every individual design. Designs submitted with incomplete artist information will be disqualified.

• Content: Bike rack designs cannot directly advertise or advocate for any particular entity or organization (i.e. Walmart, University of Oklahoma, Zoos, Museums etc.). Also, winning designs must be appropriate for use in the public domain.

• No “Wheel Benders”: In the bicycle community, bike racks that hold bike racks upright by the wheel are known as “wheel benders”. The bike racks that are used by bicyclists and bike advocates support bikes by their frame instead of the wheel. Designs that appear to encourage “wheel bending” type bike parking will be eliminated from this competition.

• Materials and Line Widths: Bike racks will be fabricated using 1”, 2” and 3” diameter steel tube in both square and round stock. Artists may utilize up to 3 line widths to reflect these materials in their design. Artists may also suggest their tube stock preferences; square, round, or indicate a combination of square and round.

• Hardscape Mounting: To insure that the racks can be securely mounted to the hardscape, designs must intersect with the ground plane in at least 2 points.

• Colors: The following palette has been selected for the project; however, PLEASE NOTE, that each bike rack must be monochromatic. Also, because of a safety issue and lack of visibility, black is not included in the following color choices. Artists may choose a single color for their design from this palette:

Color Palette.png

All entries must be submitted through Submittables at:


Call for Entries Issued: Friday, March 1, 2019
Submission Deadline: Friday, April 12, 2019
Competition Winners Notified: April 19, 2019
Installation: To be determined, 2019


For more information, please contact Norman Arts Council at or by calling (405) 360-1162.

Stunning Cloudscapes Storm MAINSITE Contemporary Art This Spring with David Holland's Three-Month Residency

Top:  On the Shoulders of Giants  | 36” x 48” | Oil on canvas  On The Shoulders of Others  | 11” x 14” | Oil on canvas

Top: On the Shoulders of Giants | 36” x 48” | Oil on canvas
On The Shoulders of Others
| 11” x 14” | Oil on canvas

Norman Arts Council announces the exhibition and three-month residency of Oklahoma cloudscape artist David Holland from May through July 2019 at MAINSITE Contemporary Art, 122 E. Main, Norman. 
Holland will set up his painting studio inside the gallery for viewers to observe his progress as he completes a five-foot by six-foot cloudscape painting from start to finish. Holland is known for his stunning high contrast oil portraits of active storm formations in the moments of their most visually breathtaking display.
His residency — The Skies Have It— will be celebrated with an opening reception from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, May 10 at MAINSITE with a midway reception from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, June 14 and closing reception from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, July 12, all happening in conjunction with the 2nd Friday Norman Art Walk that takes place in the Walker Arts District of Downtown Norman each month. 
The subject matter is one that all Oklahomans are intimately familiar with. Holland’s captivating cloudscapes start with his capturing storms photographically then searching through thousands of images for ones that are — to his eye — dynamic and dramatic enough that they say — to him — “PAINT ME!” 
“Storms are a staple of our lives here in Oklahoma,” Holland said, “I present them as majestic gifts of water that present themselves as stunningly beautiful objects in our skies.”

Erinn Gavaghan — executive director of Norman Arts Council — saw an opportunity to connect Holland’s visual study of clouds with the scientific community in Norman, whose “study of weather at the National Weather Center and OU’s School of Meteorology is unsurpassed,” Gavaghan said. 
Holland will lead a pair of workshops on both cloudscape photography and painting in late June to share the knowledge he has gained from more than ten years of painting clouds, as a part of Norman Arts Council’s Undercover Artists series. 

Holland with a work in progress for his exhibition and residency.

Holland with a work in progress for his exhibition and residency.

But learning and observation is a daily aspect of Holland’s exhibition and residency. He will have an active studio set up inside the front of the gallery where passersby can see him painting live throughout the span of the residency.
“I’m excited to share my methods and materials with people, so they can have the same joy in creating dramatic images I experience,” Holland said. 
MAINSITE Contemporary Art is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The gallery and exhibition receptions are free and open to the public to attend. Visit for more information. 

The Gravity of Souls  | 40” x 30” | Oil on canvas

The Gravity of Souls | 40” x 30” | Oil on canvas