Norman Arts Council will make its artist opportunities — as well as others made open to Norman-based artists — available to view here. Check back periodically for new and updated listings!


O. Gail Poole Memorial Travel Award

DEADLINE: May 31, 2019 at midnight CST

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.


Norman Artist Travel Award - $1,500 awarded to an artist living in Norman, OK

Oklahoma Artist Travel Award - $1,500 award to an Oklahoma artist identifying with an ethnic, cultural, sexual, gender, economic or ability minority.

Recipient will be required to sign an agreement that the award will be used strictly for the travel purposes outlined in the Narrative Proposal of Use of Funds.


Applications for the award will be reviewed by a selection committee of the Norman Arts Council according to the policies of the Council and considering the following criteria:

1. Artistic excellence, originality and ability to produce a consistent body of work as evidenced by representation of past work in images and other supporting materials.

2. Thoughtful proposed use of funds.

3. Ability to act professionally and as a good representative of the Norman arts community.


All artists must:

1. Have resided in Norman, OK for at least the past 12 months.


2. Have resided in Oklahoma for at least the past 12 months.

3. Submit a completed application by May 31, 2019 via this website. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

4. Attest that the submitted works of art are executed solely by the artist

5. Be over the age of 18.


Submissions must be submitted electronically via this form. Paper submissions will not be accepted. Application must include:

1. Electronic Application

2. Artist Bio/Resume - Include a current professional bio or resume, emphasizing your exhibition and project experience. Past exhibitors may be contacted.

3. Narrative Proposal of Use of Funds - Include a description of how the funds will be used to assist in the professional pursuit of your artistic practice. If you are applying for the Oklahoma Travel Award, your narrative should include a statement of your diversity.

4. Images - Include a minimum of FIVE (5) and a maximum of TEN (10) images. Images should be in .jpg format with a minimum resolution of approximately 800x600 pixels.

5. Image ID Sheet - Include Title, year, medium for each image

6. Additional Support Materials

You may include additional materials that you feel will help support your application.

The Norman Arts Council reserves the right to withhold any awards based on the lack of qualified proposals.

2018 Winners: Mayumi Kiefer and Solomon Mahlatini

Oklahoma artists Mayumi Kiefer and Solomon Mahlatini will have their travels to Utah and Mexico City, 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 your art and career therein. Since 2014, Oklahoma artists Marwin Begaye, Douglas Shaw Elder, Sarah Engel-Barnett, Skip Hill, Debby Kaspari, 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.

Ceramic pieces of Kiefer made with the Ittekoi Kiln

Ceramic pieces of Kiefer made with the Ittekoi Kiln

Mayumi Kiefer is a Norman-based ceramic artist who has exhibited and had residencies in Japan, France, Ohio, Utah, Oklahoma and more. With the Japanese designer’s approval, Kiefer built the first Ittekoi kiln outside of Japan at the University of Oklahoma and will use the award to travel to Price, Utah to construct another kiln at Utah State University Eastern, aimed to help build community, advance ceramics studies and jumpstart at stagnant economy in the eastern portion of the state. 

The Ittekoi Kiln is a modern kiln at the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park located in Shiga, Japan, and one of six such ancient kilns of Japan. Kiefer previously held a residency at Shigaraki, which is how she came to build one at the University of Oklahoma. 

The constructed kiln will be utilized in programming offered by The Arts Center in Utah, which includes significant outreach to local public schools in the region where government spending on the arts is near zero. 



Mahlatini is a talented artist who has shown in exhibitions in in Florida, Georgia, Michigan, New York, California, Oklahoma and Washington D.C.. Born in Harare, Zimbabwe and now studying at East Central University in Ada, Mahlatini will use his travel award to visit Mexico City, home to the Frida Kahlo Museum (memorializing one of his biggest artistic inspirations) and a number of other world-class museums and galleries. 

Sexuality, race and tyranny are the themes most often explored his Mahlatini’s work, though visually expressed through the cultural traits and practices that he absorbed from his time growing up in Zimbabwe. He sees similar cultural traits in the artistic history of the Chickasaw Nation — headquartered in his college town — as well as in Mexican culture. In addition to a dose of inspiration, Mahlatini aims to explore the universalities and parallels of all three respective cultures and how that translation towards artistic expression. 

The O. Gail Poole Memorial Travel Fund will open up with applications for more artists to apply for a travel award in Spring 2019. 


2018: Mayumi Kiefer and Solomon Mahlatini
2017: Marwin Begaye and Holly Wilson
2016: Sarah Engel-Barnett and Liz Roth
2015: Douglas Shaw Elder and Skip Hill
2014: Debby Kaspari and Craig Swan



Norman Arts Council is aware of no other art opportunities for Norman artists at this time. If you are an organization or business who would like theirs listed here, please contact Joshua Boydston

Call for Artists/Curators

The Norman Arts Council is seeking artists and curators to conceive of exhibitions in its home, MAINSITE Contemporary Art in the heart of the Walker Arts District | Downtown Norman. We have four exhibition slots available per year, each running for 6-8 weeks. We are accepting proposals for the entire space or half of the space. MAINSITE's main gallery is booked generally up to two years in advance. 

Gallery Highlights:

  • Beautiful contemporary space in renovated building over 100 years old

  • 4,000 square feet of exhibition space

  • 14 foot ceilings

  • Floor to ceiling glass front onto Main Street

  • Can be divided into 2-4 distinct exhibition spaces with moveable walls

  • Full time gallery staff on site Tuesday through Saturday

  • Projection capabilities

  • Staff to assist with install

  • Full use of Norman Arts Council PR and Mailing List for promotion of exhibit

If you are interested in an exhibition in the main gallery of MAINSITE Contemporary Art, please email Erinn Gavaghan at with a fully written exhibition proposal, including an exhibition narrative, artist statement, CV, examples of previous work and any other relevant information. 

The Library Gallery

Our Mission: The Library Gallery is a smaller space within MAINSITE Contemporary Art to exhibit experimental and cutting edge work from emerging artists.

Call for Artists/Curators:
The Library Gallery and Water Closet Gallery is always accepting proposals from emerging artists and curators. We have an active and ongoing process of working with artists to collaborate and create the best fit exhibitions. The Library Gallery includes approximately 50 feet of exhibition space, including the office just off the main gallery. Exhibitions may be expanded out to include one wall of the foyer between the Main Gallery and Library Gallery and/or the gallery’s courtyard, depending on availability.

If you are interested in an exhibition at MAINSITE Contemporary Art, please email Joshua Boydston at with a fully written exhibition proposal, including an exhibition narrative, artist statement, CV, examples of previous work and any other relevant information.