The Depot Announces 2019-20 Winter Wind Concert Series Lineup

The Winter Wind Committee is pleased to announce the initial lineup for the 14th season of Winter Wind Concerts in the intimate listening room atmosphere of The Depot, 200 S. Jones Ave.. The artists listed below will be coming from across the United States to share their outstanding talents with Winter Wind audiences. Additional information and concert tickets are available at

Sept. 29, Jeff Black, 7:00 pm, $20.

Jeff Black's songs have earned Grammy recognition, radio chart-topping stats and numerous BMI awards. Although flying below the radar as a performer himself, he has been recognized by NPR as a musical pioneer in the digital age. Black has forged a reputation as a true folk troubadour entertaining audiences globally for over three decades. A master songwriter and performer in the tradition of the great storytellers, his passionate, soul driven live performances of songs from his vast catalog are not to be missed. Boston's WUMB listeners voted Jeff Black as one of the top 100 most important Folk artists of the last 25 years.

Oct. 20, Smokey & The Mirror, 7:00 pm, $20

Smokey & The Mirror is husband & wife duo Bryan and Bernice Hembree. Based out of Fayetteville, Arkansas, Smokey & The Mirror have toured nationally/internationally over the past decade. They tour most often as a duo, but also play many shows as a four-piece band. Whatever the configuration, the interplay of their two unique voices coupled with engaging, accessible songs, form the foundation of Smokey & The Mirror. It is obvious that they truly treasure what they do, exuding a sense of positive energy right out to the audience.

Nov. 10, Slaid Cleaves, 7:00 pm, $30

Slaid Cleaves' songwriting has never been more potent than on his new album Ghost on the Car Radio, released in June. It is his first release since 2013's Still Fighting the War, which was praised as "one of the year's best albums" by American Songwriter and "carefully crafted...songs about the struggles of the heart in hard times" by the Wall Street Journal. The New York Daily News called his music "a treasure hidden in plain sight," while the Austin Chronicle declared, "there are few contemporaries that compare. He's become a master craftsman.” Described as "terse, clear and heartfelt" (NPR Fresh Air), Cleaves’ songs speak to timeless truths.

Nov.17, Susan Gibson, 7:30 pm, $20

Susan Gibson’s naturally buoyant melodies and warmly reassuring, conversational singing and writing voice light up any song, room, or mood. Her refreshingly clear-eyed perspectives on matters of life, love, work, and loss illuminate a spirit-charging current of resiliency. She's had that in her all along, from her days in the beloved Amarillo, Texas-based Amerciana band the Groobees back in the ’90s and from the get-go of her solo career in 2003. It was all there at the very beginning, when in college she wrote "Wide Open Spaces" which (with a little help from the Dixie Chicks) became one of the biggest country songs of all time. Come hear for yourself!

Nov. 24, Radoslav Lorkovic, 7:30 pm, $20

Drawing from a multitude of influences ranging from elegant classical and jazz styles to the rawest, most basic blues, country and soul, Radoslav Lorković has taken on an unusually broad musical spectrum and refined it into his distinctive piano and accordion style. His tenure on the R&B and folk circuits has culminated in five critically acclaimed solo recordings and numerous appearances on the recordings of, and performances with, many well known artists. His thirty year touring career has led him from the taverns of the upper Mississippi River to the castles of Italy...and to Woody Fest and again to The Depot.

Dec. 15, Nobody’s Girl, 7:00 pm, $20

Nobody’s Girl is a new trio formed by award-winning songwriters Betty Soo, Grace Pettis and Rebecca Loebe. Luscious harmony singers, effortless instrumentalists, seasoned touring artists – they recognized what each can accomplish individually could be made all the stronger by collaboration. The harmonies are thrilling. The songs are powerful and spare. The stage presence confident and assured. Now, the spark has been set, the fire lit and their individual and collective fans are eating it up.

Feb. 23, Chely Wright, 7:00 pm, $25

Richell Rene "Chely" Wright is an American country music singer and activist. On the strength of her 1994 debut album, the Academy of Country Music (ACM) named her Top New Female Vocalist in 1995. By 2010, Wright's seven albums and 19 singles had sold over 1,500,000 copies and 10,000,000 digital impressions in the United States, charted more than fifteen singles on the country charts, and earned a gold album certification. This year, a new EP, titled “Revival” was released in May, and in August Wright made her return to the Grand Ole Opry. Now she is coming to The Depot!

The Depot is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to create and present excellent and innovative fine arts programs for the enrichment and education of the community. For additional information about Winter Wind Concerts, Summer Breeze Concerts in Lions Park, The Depot Gallery, Poetry Readings, Artist Workshops, Drama productions and other programs at The Depot, visit or phone 405 307-9320.

Winter Wind Concerts are made possible, in part, by The City of Norman, grants from the Norman Arts Council and Oklahoma Arts Council, and individual and corporate sponsors.

Call for Entries: We Belong to the Land Exhibition of Oklahoma Artists in Clermont-Ferrand, France

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Call for Entries:
We Belong to the Land/Nous appartenons á la Terre

Due: Tuesday, October 15, 2019
Curated Exhibition at Norman’s Sister City of Clermont-Ferrand, France

Oklahoma Artists are invited to submit works of art that describe Oklahoma in some way – culture, geography, industry, history, or other aspect that define and speak to “place” as it relates to Oklahoma. 

Selected unframed, unmounted, works on paper and photographs will be exhibited in Clermont-Ferrand, France in December 2019

Contact Erinn Gavaghan at for more information.

Irmgard Geul and Skip Hill Share Art Created Out on the Ranch in Between Pastures & Skies

Nestled among mares and stallions on an acreage just outside of Pauls Valley, two artists — from different worlds but sharing a penchant for globetrotting across them — found an unexpected creative home and wellspring of inspiration.

Between Pastures & Skies: Art from the Ranch, 2014-2019 is the culmination of a vision born from the unique creative relationship and special friendship of the artists Irmgard Geul and Skip Hill, featuring select original mixed-medium works, paintings, drawings, installations, photos and videos produced by the artists over the last five years in their studios on a picturesque 120-acre horse ranch in Oklahoma. 

The exhibition debuts with an opening reception from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, October 11 and runs through Saturday, November 16. A closing reception takes place from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, November 8. Both receptions are free, open-to-the-public and coincide with the 2nd Friday Norman Art Walk taking place in Downtown Norman each month. 

The mixed-media works of international artist Irmgard Geul are best viewed as colorful aerial maps capturing, on paper and canvas, a bird’s eye view of her internal creative explorations scanning the tracts of landscape below and the unfathomable ocean of sky above.

Her paintings serve as visual diaries that document her external observations of the rolling landscape, the daily rhythm of life and the changing seasons on the horse ranch that has been her home and a source of inspiration since arriving in 1998 from her native country, The Netherlands.

Having built and established an internationally renowned equine import and export facility in the heartland of America, Geul always felt a yearning to reconnect with the creative urges from her early love for art and fine arts education in the Netherlands; her unforgettable recollections of India and her life as a graphic designer for corporate brands around the world.

Today in her light-filled studio overlooking open pastures and a wide horizon, Irmgard devotes herself full-time to fulfilling those creative urges in acrylics, ink, oil crayon, collage and photography for an audience of devoted collectors throughout the United States, The Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Colombia and Israel.

Free of any didactic or moral intent, tortured conceptualism or social agenda beyond the politics of love, Skip Hill is a professional visual artist who creates rich, lyrical works of art that exude a graphic fragrance and a sensuous line.

Using acrylic paints, markers, inks and cut paper from a collection of source materials,Hill has produced a body of work that includes mixed-medium drawings, paintings on canvas and wood, collages on paper, and large scale interior and exterior murals.

Thematically poetic, and subtlety narrative in content, the art of Hill is a visual journey through verdant gardens featuring feminine figures, flocks of birds, exotic fauna, mesmerizing moods, rich textures and vivid colors of an imagined environment he invites his audience to explore.

Hill’s art focuses on the beauty of composition, the exuberance of process, on positive and negative space, on contrasts of mood, colors and flowing line work. Some of the most captivating parts of his mixed-media drawings are in the peripheral details sourced from Art History, elements of folk art, Tattoo-like expressive patterning, looping graphic lines, kinetic scribbling, Asian calligraphy, Pop culture and African motifs. 

In the highly productive years since returning to the U.S. from The Netherlands, Hill has created and sold hundreds of works, participated in museum group exhibitions, selected art fairs, and shown in commercial galleries. He has illustrated several award-winning children’s books including A Gift From Greensboro and On Tying A Shoe from Penny Candy Press. 

His original paintings, drawings and murals are found in public spaces and private collections throughout the United States, France, The Netherlands, Mexico, Colombia and Brazil.

Established Artists, Art Organizers Share Insight with Budding Creatives at the Public Art Bootcamp

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Get yourself in shape with Public Art Bootcamp, presented by Norman Public Arts & Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition - OVAC. It’s an afternoon of panels, discussions and presentations free and open to all artists interested in public art opportunities.

Learn from experienced public artists and art organizers who will give insight into the process of applying, designing and installing public art, capped off with a presentation of the newest Norman Forward 1% for Art Project RFQ for Ruby Grant Park.

The bootcamp takes place from 1 to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 14 at Norman Public Library East, 3051 Alameda, Norman.

1:00 pm - Welcome
Norman Public Arts Board Member, Gary Kramer

1:15 pm - How to Find and Submit to Public Art Projects
Norman Arts Council Public Art Manager, Debby Williams

2:00 pm - What to Expect as a Finalist and a Commissioned Artist
Oklahoma artists Denise Duong and Matt Goad

3:00 pm - What Could Possibly Go Wrong??
Oklahoma artists Beatriz Mayorca and Rick Sinnett

4:00 pm - Norman Forward 1% for Art Project RFQ: Ruby Grant Park
Park Designer, Joe Howell and Debby Williams

Trip to France, Chicago Conference Made Possible for Two Oklahoma Artists Through O. Gail Poole Memorial Travel Fund

Oklahoma artists Beatriz Mayorca and Eric Piper will have their travels to Chicago and France, respectively, to further their artistic practices funded in part through the Norman Arts Council-administered O. Gail Poole Memorial Travel Fund. 

The award began in 2014 as a means to honor the late Norman painter O. Gail Poole, a longtime proponent of seeing the world to inform artists and their artistic pursuits and careers. Since 2014, Oklahoma artists Marwin Begaye, Douglas Shaw Elder, Sarah Engel-Barnett, Skip Hill, Debby Kaspari, Mayumi Kiefer, Solomon Mahlatini, Liz Roth, Craig Swan and Holly Wilson have been able to travel to conferences, retreats and journeys of inspiration across the world because of awards from the fund, spreading Oklahoma’s creativity to others in the process. 

Benches by Beatriz Mayorca

Benches by Beatriz Mayorca

This year’s Oklahoma Artist award was presented to Beatriz Mayorca. Mayorca is a Venezuelan-born artist and interior designer has lived in Oklahoma City since 2005. She graduated with a degree in Social Communication from the Central University of Venezuela, but her passion for the arts and design made her seek a Bachelor's of Fine Arts from the University of Central Oklahoma. 

As an individual studio artist, she has obtained many awards and recognition for outstanding development, such as her recent 2017-Artist Invitational Award granted for Downtown OKC Partnership (DOKC), giving her the opportunity to create functional-public artistic pieces installed in the heart of Downtown OKC. Additionally, she has been awarded the Most Outstanding Hispanic Artist 2014 Award and 2016 AHAS Awards in Wood Category from the Academy of Handmade - LA California. Beatriz is also a member of Oklahoma City's Pre-Qualified Artist Pool 2017-2020 in Mosaic Art, Functional Art, and 3D Art categories.

Mayorca will use the award to attend an assortment of educational lectures offered at the Sculpture Objects Functional Art and Design (SOFA) Fair this fall in Chicago, IL. SOFA combines her personal balance between form and function and interest in melding sculpture and functional artistic-pieces through hands-on demonstrations, lectures, networking with likeminded artists from across the globe and a wellspring of inspiration in the form of new perspectives and techniques.

Mirror Image  by Eric Piper

Mirror Image by Eric Piper

This year’s Norman Artist Awards was presented to Eric Piper. Piper is a multidisciplinary artist with a focus on social interaction. Piper’s artwork digs for common symbols and psychological narrative in the human experience in effort to bridge the ever-evolving barriers between social classes and cultures. The physical works are shared as an act of performance. Exhibitions and happenings are experimental research, learning new ways to connect artists and audiences together through artwork.

After graduating with a BFA in Sculpture/Printmaking from The University of Oklahoma in 2013, Piper operated a DIY gallery/venue/studio space for two years bringing hundreds of local, national, and global artists and bands together in Norman between 2014 and 2016. This energy was redirected into co-founding the non-profit art space Resonator Institute in 2016 through 2018.  

Currently, Piper operates under Oscillator, an experimental, fine-art silk screen press and performance collective. They work collaboratively with a variety of entities to host art festivals, happenings, lectures, exhibitions and workshops.

Piper’s award helped offset some of the costs of a trip to France where he engaged in a number of collaborations and journeys for inspiration. He underwent a collaborative project with old studio-mate Gaetan Larant and Good Morning Toulouse (a local university radio station) to broadcast a series of strange storytelling and soundscape radio dramas in Toulouse, France. 

He then journeyed to Friche la Belle de Mai, a 45,000 square meter experimental cultural center housing 70 arts & culture organizations, workshops, skateparks and exhibition spaces.

Finally, he visited printmaking collective Le Dernier Cri, with plans to create an exhibition for display in Norman at a later date. Piper also plans to showcase the work created with Larant in a form of exhibition and digital release locally, as well. 

The O. Gail Poole Memorial Travel Fund will open up for applications for artists seeking a travel award again in Spring 2020.