Oklahoma Visual Arts Fellowships and Student Awards of Excellence 2017

May 25, 2017

Fellowship

Oklahoma Visual Arts Fellowships and Student Awards of Excellence 2017
Curator’s Statement

As a curator whose focus is art of the American South, it has been a joy to serve as juror for the 2017 Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition’s Fellowship and Student Awards. Oklahoma – situated at the crossroads of the Mid-West, South West and South East – is a place that has long had a unique voice in the American story. From rich indigenous traditions and into the contemporary dialogue, Oklahoma has added much to the visual landscape of American Art.  Makers with singular vision like Alexander Hogue, David Salle, Ed Ruscha, Larry Clark, Gary Panter and Joe Brainard have long been on my radar. The snapshot I gleaned, though, through this experience of considering  hundreds of images submitted by Oklahoma makers today, revealed a robust art scene that is aware of its past, and is willing to push traditions in new and unexpected directions.

This year’s award recipients – Haley Prestifilippo, Chase Earles, Jasmine Jones and Camila Labarca Linaweaver – share an awareness of the complexity of identity in an age of increasing globalization, and they each explore this idea with technical agility and reverence for their chosen medium.

Fellowship Awards

Haley Prestifilippo, "We Have Waited" 2015, graphite on paper, 22 x 30"

Haley Prestifilippo, “We Have Waited” 2015, graphite on paper, 22 x 30″

Predating language itself, drawing is the most primal form of human expression. Too often, drawing has taken a lower position to painting and sculpture, being seen as a preliminary element to a higher end. The work of Haley Pestifilippo brings drawing into the spotlight, and offers graphite on paper as an elevated medium. With a masterful hand, Prestifilippo expresses the dark uncertainty of our current age through images of lush upheaval and ambiguous narratives.

Chase Earles, "Deetumba Kahwish 'Horse Tripod Pot'" Hand coiled from Red River clay mixed with crushed freshwater mussel shell. Pitfired without prefiring in an open ground bonfire. Engraved with stone. 2' x 19”

Chase Earles, “Deetumba Kahwish ‘Horse Tripod Pot'” Hand coiled from Red River clay mixed with crushed freshwater mussel shell. Pitfired without prefiring in an open ground bonfire. Engraved with stone. 2’ x 19”

Chase Earles is involved in a sacred artistic endeavor. In the tradition of Jeri Redcorn, Earles’ work is a revival of the ancient ceramic traditions of the Caddo people, a tradition and culture almost lost to the ravages of colonialism. Yet Earles is not plagiarizing his ancestors through replicas of their work, rather he is actively involved in a contemporary personal expression. His reverent adherence to traditional methods and his mastery of medium allows him to create highly personal objects deeply tied to the past, yet firmly situated in the present.

Student Awards

Jasmine Jones, "Gilded II" 2017, charcoal on paper, wall paper, 11" x 14"

Jasmine Jones, “Gilded II” 2017, charcoal on paper, wall paper, 11″ x 14″

Following in the footsteps of great voices like Kara Walker and Juan Logan, the work of Jasmine Jones explores issues of race, gender and identity through silhouettes, cut paper and wallpaper collage. Her work is not only an aesthetic venture, but a cultural endeavor to reclaim her own narrative by erasing the stereotypes imposed by the past.

Camila Lineawear, “Unfading" 2016, monotype on paper, 12 x 12"

Camila Lineawear, “Unfading” 2016, monotype on paper, 12 x 12″

Camila Labarca Linaweaver uses printmaking as not only a vehicle to express a narrative, but as an element of the very narrative she is weaving. As a person whose childhood exists in another land and another culture, Linaweaver explores concepts of memory and displacement through her work. Through monoprints and manipulated prints, she creates singularity through a medium rooted in multiplicity. Her work questions recollection, and defines identity as a subjective reproduction of reality.

I offer my congratulations to this year’s award recipients. I would also like to thank all of the artists who submitted, but were not selected. By the very act of creation, you have accomplished something important. I encourage you to continue that endeavor, and continue sharing your vision with the world.

-Bradley Sumrall, Curator of the Collection, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, LA
2017 Guest Curator of the Oklahoma Visual Arts Fellowships and Student Student Awards of Excellence