OVAC Annual Artist Survey 2015 – Report: State of Artists

April 17, 2015

OVAC Artist Survey

Each year, the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition surveys artists who have participated in our programs in some way over the previous three years. This annual survey gives us a snapshot of where Oklahoma artists are in their careers and practice, and tells us how OVAC has helped them reach their goals. The survey is in its fourth year and you can read results from previous surveys here, including in-depth responses to common questions.

OVAC board and staff developed clear outcomes we are seeking with our programs and services that drive these survey questions.  OVAC seeks for artists to have vital, fulfilling careers and artistic practices in Oklahoma, which drives us to offer resources, encourage connections to other artists, and emphasize recognition of artists. Also, OVAC seeks enriched and vibrant Oklahoma communities and culture because of and through the arts. For this outcome, OVAC offers more opportunities and increased access to Oklahoma art and artists.

This post summarizes the current state of artists in Oklahoma. We received 214 responses.

Anna Thomas at a residency program, funded in part by an OVAC Artist Grant

Anna Thomas at a residency program, funded in part by an OVAC Artist Grant

Environment for Artists in Oklahoma

*91% of respondents say they believe the general environment for art in Oklahoma has improved because of OVAC.

*Because of OVAC, 77% say they are better able to practice their art in Oklahoma.

“These are all awesome opportunities for artists! They are considered some of the prime Oklahoma arts events, and I think this is such a testament to the professionalism and quality of the OVAC programs.”

“I feel OVAC is a wonderful organization that really tries and succeeds at helping artists. I have volunteered, interned and attended OVAC events and always saw it as growing and beneficial to artists who have participated. You all are awesome! Keep up the good work!”

Momentum OKC 2015. Photo by Jasmine Jones.

Momentum OKC 2015. Photo by Jasmine Jones.

Network for Artists
*Because of their participation in OVAC programs, 65% say they know more people to call on about making art, and 67% say they know more people to talk with about the business of art.

“You guys are always in our corner and I feel very supported by OVAC.”

“I think OVAC is absolutely THE source for networking, support, programs and training within Oklahoma, beyond a doubt. My membership continues to provide me with the tools to grow in my craft and career.”


Artist Survival Kit workshop

Business Tools
33% of respondents have attended an Artist Survival Kit workshop. The numbers below give us some insight into artist’s readiness for opportunities, as well as areas where artists could use additional resources or help as potential workshop topics.

81% have a studio or work space

81% have an artist statement

77% have an artist resume

71% have an artist portfolio

62% have a website

“The ASK program is extremely important, especially to new exhibiting artists! I believe it gives them valuable information on presenting a more professional exhibit and personally being more professional.”

“OVAC has been a huge platform for me to stand on. For the many artists like myself who are not business savvy, it has been a lifeline. It has been a post- education school for me in the real world of art. I cannot thank you enough!”