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!


RFQ: Public Art for Ruby Grant Park in Norman, OK

DUE: 11:59 p.m. Friday, October 11, 2019

Norman Arts Council on behalf of The City of Norman and Norman Forward Percent for Art, for Ruby Grant Park, is seeking an artist (or team of artists) to create a permanent outdoor work of art for an audience of all ages and abilities for the new Ruby Grant Park to be located at Franklin Road and 36thAvenue N.W., Norman, Oklahoma.

Norman, located 20 miles south of downtown Oklahoma City, is the third-largest city in Oklahoma. The citizens of Norman initiated NORMAN FORWARD, a proposal to renovate, expand, construct and fund Quality of Life projects, such as multiple recreational facilities, libraries, parks, athletic venues, public art, trails, swim complexes and other quality of life projects throughout Norman.  The initiative went to the City Council from community groups, stakeholders and Norman residents, who prepared an initial package using analysis and information from recreational planning professionals and research firms. In 2015, the City Council placed NORMAN FORWARD on a ballot that was overwhelmingly supported by Norman voters.

This park is named in honor of Ruby Grant, who lived most of her life on the 150 acres of this site.  She was born and raised in a modest home that her parents built there shortly after the land run of 1889.  She was a school teacher who taught reading and music to many young people in the Norman area.  Prior to her passing in 1998, she arranged for her family assets, including her family homestead, to be given to the University of Oklahoma for the purpose of supporting scholarships in the school of music and a reading program. The site is now owned by the City of Norman and is under the city Parks and Recreation Department

The site is approximately 150 acres, has rolling topography and diverse vegetation including wooded areas, native prairie, and wetlands. In general, the site has distinct open areas divided by the wooded areas occurring primarily in conjunction with two seasonal streams that bisect the site. The northeast corner of the site is wooded and is subject to periodic flooding. The high point of the site is located about midway along the east property line and abuts I-35, a major north/south interstate. Because of its size and location within the Norman community, large areas of the site have an isolated and naturalistic feel.

The developed site will have parking in three perimeter locations with park development, including a playground and dog park, located near the parking areas.

Very much in keeping with Ms. Grant’s love of all children and her lifelong commitment to education, the playground is being designed with an overarching philosophy of inclusivity and dedication to creating play environments that go beyond accessibility. The play and recreation spaces in Ruby Grant Park will address the needs of the whole child and of every child. They will also encourage children, adults, and families of all abilities to experience the benefits of play together.

The majority of the park will remain in a natural state with regular mowing being done only at the more developed locations, and for the practice fields that occupy the northwest quadrant of the park. Approximately 2/3’s of the site will remain in a relatively natural condition, with a multi-purpose trail and cross-country turf track winding throughout the park. A disc golf course is also planned and will be implemented in such a way as to minimize the impact on the site.

The Artwork

The Project Team has determined that the artwork located within the approximately 150 acres of the park must be designed and placed to invite visitors to explore and play, to stimulate their curiosity and imagination, and be delighted.

The artwork’s creative use of the natural environment and landforms should allow multigenerational visitors to interact with it either physically (sitting on it or in its shade, or touching it) and/or passively (integrating sensory elements such as sound/music.) 

Adherence to ADA guidelines and appropriate use of the principles of universal design for the artwork and its placement is strongly encouraged ensuring its accessibility.

The chosen work of art will be well-integrated into the entire site with consideration to the built structures and developed areas.  Image of the planned pavilion is attached.

The Project Team is open to any media or material that is appropriate to the site as long as it is durable, safe, low maintenance and vandalism resistant.


The total artist's fee for the project is $40,000.00. This amount must cover all associated costs including design, materials, fabrication, travel, insurance coverage, shipping, and installation. 

Artist Eligibility

Open to professional artists with experience working on public art projects and creating site-specific works.


RFQ Deadline: Friday, October 11, 2019, at 11:59 pm (Mountain Time Zone)

The following dates are subject to change:

Notify Artists:  By Friday, December 6, 2019

Finalists’ Site Visit: Week of January 6, 2020

Finalists’ Presentation of Proposals:Week of February 17, 2020            

Notify Artists of Selection:By Thursday, March 2, 2020

Completion of Ruby Grant Park: September 2020

Application Guidelines

Submissions for this project mustcontain the following materials:

  • A one-page maximum typed letter of interestoutlining your qualifications for and interest in the project, as well as the general idea for your approach. Please consider the following questions when developing your letter of interest:

    • Why do you want to work on this project?

    • How would you approach this project?

    • What materials do you work with that would be appropriate for outdoor use?

    • Have you worked on similar projects? If not, what relevant experiences do you have?

    • How does the project relate to your current work?

  • Resume(not to exceed three pages)

  • 10 to 15 digital high-resolution images of previous work you feel would support your ability to carry out this project

  • Annotated image list in desired priority of viewing that corresponds with the names of the digital files and includes the following information: Artist’s name, title of artwork, medium, size, date of artwork completion, location and project details (i.e. Budget commissioning agency, etc., if public art). The list should be sorted in desired priority of viewing.

  • A list of three references with whom you have worked on a public art project, including current telephone number and/or email address.

Questions or for more information, contact:

Debby Williams, Norman Public Art Manager


Apply to be a 2020 Undercover Artists Instructor!

Everyone has an artist lurking within. Undercover Artists is a series of art workshops — led by some of Norman's finest artists — debuting in 2017 that celebrates the creativity of amateurs and practiced artists, alike. The workshops, inviting all skill levels and a variety of ages, are equal parts fun and informative, a collaborative community experience that will let that inner artist come to the forefront for a spell (or maybe unleash a new, long love affair).

The NAC is seeking artists to lead these workshops! If you are an artist in Oklahoma and iterested, please submit an application by November 4, 2019 at 11:59pm!

We will select four artist-lead workshops for the 2020 calendar year.


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


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.


Call for Concrete/Visual Poetry


The ways in which we read our world are changing. The ways in which we read text and images are changing—the reading brain itself is changing. Reading—viewing—now gleans information at lightspeed—breaking news updates, Google headlines, emails, tweets, Instagram, incessant chat and text messages. Where does this deluge of text and moving image lead us? What does it leave us?

Theme: “Concrete/Visual Poetry in the 21st Century”

All received works will be exhibited December 13, 2019 through January 10, 2020 at MAINSITE Contemporary Art

Send 1-2 works* to Crag Hill at
5104 Cypress Lake Drive, Norman, OK 73072 

The work is to be kept by the curator and will not be returned or available for sale.

*Books and other publications will also be welcome and will be displayed and then donated to high school creative writing and art classes in the area. 

O. Gail Poole Memorial Travel Award

The 2020 O. Gail Poole Memorial Travel Award application will be available in Spring 2020.

2019 Winners: Beatriz Mayorca & Eric Piper

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 designed by Mayorca on display at MAINSITE Contemporary Art

Benches designed by Mayorca on display at MAINSITE Contemporary Art

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. 


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


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.