Artists Push the Objectivity of Painting in Group Exhibition at MAINSITE

 “Direct” by Sara Cowan

“Direct” by Sara Cowan

Touchy-Feely will showcase four emerging artists who exploit the objectivity of paint in unexpected ways. This group exhibition opens Friday, October 12 at MAINSITE Contemporary Art, 122 E. Main, Norman and runs through Saturday, November 10. 

Touchy-Feely features works by Caitlin Albritton, Sasha Backhaus, Sara Cowan and william walker larason. 

The exhibitions will be celebrated with an opening reception from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, October 12 with a closing reception scheduled for 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, November 9. Both receptions occur in conjunction with the free 2nd Friday Norman Art Walk — presented by Norman Arts Council — that takes place monthly in the Walker Arts District of Downtown Norman. 

The exhibition was curated by Sarah Clough, an artist and curator raised in Oklahoma and now based in Baltimore. She exhibited her own works at MAINSITE in late 2017 with an immersive solo exhibition The Bright Side.

 “Yellow Peek” by Caitlin Albritton

“Yellow Peek” by Caitlin Albritton

Albritton, a native of Tampa, Florida, transforms flat surfaces into dimensional collages of textural topography through a series of scrapes, hacks, rips and peels, capturing a moment of textural excitement as a means to immerse viewers into dimensional beauty. 

Backhaus grew up on a farm in southwest Iowa, an environment of machinery, crops and livestock that fuels her interdisciplinary, conceptual art practice. The patchwork fields and infinite rows of growing crops provide fertile grounds for her work, which explores environmental relational spaces. Utilizing craft-based materials, Backhaus creates hypnotic, alien landscapes comprised of bursts of color and pattern. 

 “Leaving My Mark” by Sasha Backhaus

“Leaving My Mark” by Sasha Backhaus

Norman-native Cowan is a visual artist, curator, and writer. She is director of Deluxe Winter Market, founder of OKC ART TEAM, and member of Factory Obscura art collective. An advocate for inclusivity, she has worked on numerous community art initiatives. Cowan’s intimate, methodical works in paint are testaments to sublimely meditative acts, when exponentially repeated, create work that points to the beauty within the minutiae of the world.

william walker larason is an illusion artist, transcending contemporary media through the manipulation of found objects. Reflecting the fight and boundary shift between untouched ecosystems and human encroachment into those natural spaces, larason’s flora and fauna are portrayed through industrialized materials like resin and foil, navigating a material history of adoption and disconnected Native American ancestry. 

 “untitled” by william walker larason

“untitled” by william walker larason

Abstract artist Steve Hare will also have works on display in the Library Gallery. Working primarily with acrylics on canvas and wood, Hare utilizes dry wall and taping knives in lieu of traditional brushes to develop visual texture within a piece. Hare has produced works for the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame, professional athletes, entertainers and more.   

MAINSITE Contemporary Art is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Both daily gallery hours and receptions are free and open to the public.