Grants for Artists
The Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition grants help individual Oklahoma artists create visual art for public presentation, develop their professional practices, and lead community projects.
Professional Basics Grant
- Up to $500 (artist must match funds)
- For essentials of getting started: quality artwork samples, display/framing, shipping or website development.
- Up to $500 (artist must match funds)
- For conferences, studio workshops, or study trips.
Creative Projects Grant
- Up to $1,500
- For creating new work that will culminate in a public event focused on artist’s own work.
Community / Artist Partnership (CAP) Grant
- Up to $1,200 (partner organization must match funds)
- For initiating community-based projects leading to artwork creation.
John McNeese: Professional Development in Socially-Engaged Artwork Grant
- Up to $1,500
- This grant seeks to help visual artists work as a catalyst for action and community improvement. Artists may apply for this grant for professional development activities including study trips.
- See a list of resources and sample eligible activities here.
Grant cycles are quarterly. Proposals must be received by January 15, April 15, July 15, or October 15.
Education Grants & McNeese Grants may be submitted on the 15th of any month for a faster response.
The Grants Committee reviews proposals based on criteria found in the application forms. Artists may expect notification within four weeks of the application deadline. Payment can be issued two weeks after notification of awarded projects.
The Grants Committee reserves the right to not fund projects if there is a lack of quality applications.
How often can I apply for an OVAC Grant?
You can apply as often as you would like. If you are awarded a grant, you must wait one year from that grant cycle to apply again.
I’ve applied several times and not received a grant. Why?
Our grants are extremely competitive, particularly our Creative Projects grants. Please do not become discouraged by the possibility of having to submit over multiple occasions. We will provide feedback on each request, whether funded or not. We encourage you to use this feedback to strengthen your submissions for the future.
Can I apply for multiple grants in a cycle?
No. Individuals can only have their name attached to one application per cycle.
Can I apply as part of a group?
Yes. Artists may only have their name(s) attached to one application per cycle. Artists who choose to submit as groups, upon award of grant, will be held to the same rules of eligibility as an artist who applies individually.
Once I’m funded, when can I apply again?
Once you are funded, you have to wait one year from the grant cycle for which you were awarded.
E.g. If you were awarded July 15, 2015, you cannot apply again until July 15, 2016.
Do I have to be an OVAC member to receive a grant?
No, you do not have to be an OVAC member to apply for or receive a grant.
How are grant applications scored?
Each grant category has a different system of scoring.
- Education grants are measured by the quality of the educational opportunity and on the applicant’s abillity to complete the project.
- Professional Basics grants are selected by measuring the quality of the project and the applicant’s ability to complete the project.
- Creative Projects grants are evaluated based on four items: the concept of the project, the quality of the artwork, how career altering the opportunity is, and the abillity of the applicant to complete the project.
- Community Artist Partnership grants are awarded based on three things: the benefit to the community from this project, the concept of the project, the quality of the artwork, and the applicant’s ability to complete the project.
- John McNeese grants are reviewed and selected based on the community change that will result from the educational opportunity, the appropriateness of the education opportunity, and the applicant’s ability to complete the project.
Who reviews the grants?
OVAC staff organizes a panel of community members to review grants. These individuals are involved in the arts in a variety of ways, and are chosen for their informed opinions and experience. OVAC staff does not decide who receives grants.
What types of projects does the John McNeese: Professional Development in Socially-Engaged Artwork Grant fund?
This grant was created for artists looking for professional development to bolster their socially engaged artistic practice. This grant is to fund educational opportunities for artists to hone those skills, including but not limited to, conferences, seminars, workshops and one-on-one mentorship programs. See a list of resources and sample eligible activities here.
What is Socially Engaged Artwork?
For the purposes of the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition’s grant, socially-engaged visual artists focus on community participation or social-engagement. Socially-engaged artists work as a catalyst for action and community improvement, enriching their communities, directly engaging with the public and public realm in inventive and meaningful ways.
Provided below are samples of grant components, including answers to narrative questions, budgets, and timelines. Click on the category for which you are applying to find more information.
- Professional Basics Grant
- Education Assistance Grant
- Creative Projects Grant
- Community Artist Partnership Grant
- John McNeese Grant
- Artist Resume
- Artist Statement
- Artwork Samples
Describe how the project will be utilized at a specific event, or if the project is for marketing images, describe how it will be utilized.
The project will allow me to fully process my own work from home giving me full creative control over the images that I produce. With the money saved from processing at home I will have more funds allowed for creation of work. Also being able to process film from camera to print is extremely important to the hands on nature of my work. Having full control in the darkroom will allow for higher quality photos as well as larger scans utilizing a film scanner resulting in finer prints.
Artist’s Fee – 40 hours Design to events- $800
Press Supplies – Washer wringer, lumber – $350
Printmaking Supplies – Ink, brayer, plates – $350
Paper – Hosho Relief Paper – $350
Total Expenses: $1850
Artist’s Fee – Gift in Kind Services – $300
Grant Request – Printmaking Supplies and Lumber – $500
Matching Funds – washer wringer, paper – $500
Sales Expected – patrons at events $1000
Total Income: $2300
2.2 Timeline: Identify major milestones through completion.:
January 1- venue confirmation
January 23- submit four images, bio, artist statement for gallery pr
February 12- ship artwork and label information
February 28- opening reception
March 29- closing reception
2.3 Public Presentation: List secured or potential venues for the project, indicating those that are confirmed.:
I will be showing the first piece I create with the assistance of the Professional Basics Grant in the Spring Show at the Nesbitt Gallery in Chickasha in April 2015. After this show I plan to write proposals that include showing these pieces for group or solo shows in Norman galleries such as: Mainsite, Dreamer Concepts, Dope Chapel, the Norman Public Library, Studio E, and the Social Club.
1.1 Describe why the training/conference/study trip is right for you and your artistic practice:
The opportunity to study with Yoshiko Iwamoto Wada at Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts is ideal for me as the Director of [an Art Center] and its growing Fiber Arts Program. Our Artist in Residence has inspired me to enroll in this workshop to enhance our current programming; learn the skills to teach quality fiber arts classes based on the workshop; and obtain the exposure to new fiber arts forms and teachers present at the Surface Design Association (SDA) national conference that follows the workshop.
1.2 Explain what makes this a quality educational opportunity. (200 words or fewer)
CAMAC is a recognized international artist residency that seeks to bring artists of all disciplines from all over the world to the program for a concentrated period. It supports a creative environment that encourages communication and exchange between the participants and staff. I want to do this residency now because it will help elevate and advance my professional growth as an artist and propel me towards my goals in graduate school and beyond.
2.1 Budget: Insert the project budget including expected expenses and revenue.:
Conference registration $370
Room and board $280
Transportation (flight) $505
OVAC Grant: $500
Artist Contribution: $655
2.2 Timeline: Identify major milestones through completion.
September 2, 2014 arrive in France
September 2, 2014 residency begins
September 3-4 prepare and plan site of work to be completed
September 5- 30 complete project
September 30, 2014 residency ends
October 1, 2014 return to United States
1. Describe how this project is a distinctive opportunity or career altering for you.:
For the past two years, I have dedicated myself to a greater understanding of my materials (metals/plating, bone, minerals/crystals and paper media) and their technical applications as they pertain to sculpting ambitions. In 2014 I was offered an exhibit at a gallery in Tulsa, OK; 108 Contemporary. This opportunity will allow me to present my work to a targeted audience in a venue which focuses exclusively in contemporary craft. My intention is to utilize the portfolio of works which I create for the upcoming exhibit to market my work to venues out of state which also focus in high craft. In order to rise to the next level in my career, I need to subsidize the cost of materials needed to complete these sculptures.
2. Describe the project, concept, and purpose:
When visiting The Chicago Field Museum; we turned a corner to see a wall full of Kachina dolls and my son exclaimed, “They had super heroes too!” This observation through his eyes lead me to the idea of “Native American Superheroes”.
I will create a series of 4 to 7 sculptures that are my Native American Superheroes. The figures will be 8 to 9 inches, using a range of materials resin, cast glass, bronze, and ceramics.
Some of the figures would be single sculptures of the superhero as their personas. Others grouped into scenarios, interacting to convey traditional and contemporary mythology as well as misconceptions about the Native Americans both from a Native and non-Native perspective.
I want my sculptures to bring more awareness to subjects such as blood quantum’s, historical inaccuracies, Indian Boarding Schools, broken treatises, increases in dropout and suicide rates as well as in diabetes and heart disease and our Indian casinos earning revenue using our tribal histories to sell illusions.
Being Native American and white I grew up in a time when it was not fashionable to be Native American. I understand some things have changed but how much?
4.1 Budget: Insert the project budget including expected expenses and revenue.:
Design of exhibition post card invitations: $75
Design of Reception invitation and RSVP card: $125
Matting and Framing of artwork : $ 3300 (22 pieces at $150 per piece)
Audio production of voice over dialogue: $1000
Design and printing of the banner: $500
Catering for Reception: $3000
Design and production of Art Catalogue – $1000
Postage for direct mail promotion – $3000 (USPS permit and postage)
Web design – $1,000
Total Expenses: $13,000
Catalogue Sales: $3000 (150 for $20)
Artwork Sales: $2000
OVAC Creative Project Grant: $1500
Artist Contribution: $500
In kind contribution – $1,000
Total Revenue: $13,000
4.1 Timeline: Identify major milestones through completion:
September 2014, plan and develop project narrative, wrote proposal.
Applied for Osage Foundation Art Funds. Notified in November, 2014 of acceptance.
December, 2014 -January 2015, developed supplies list and timeline. Researched and identified institutions and Osage tribal members who have Osage wedding coats in their collections.
February, March, and ongoing through Fall 2015, visited community members, museums, historical and community institutions to view and photograph historical Osage wedding coats. this also includes archival information pertaining to the project.
March 2015, applied to the Banff International Art Centre for an independent residency.
April, 2015, notification of acceptance to Banff.
April, 2015, applied for OVAC Creative Projects Grant
May, 4-27, 2015, residency dates in Canada.We will create the outside of coat and design the inside lining.
July-November 2015, complete the coat.
November or December 2015- tentative dates for display at the Osage Tribal Museum. Copies of our research in the form of an artists handmade book will be given to the museum for their archives.
2017- Project to be exhibited at the Sam Noble Museum, Norman,Oklahoma.
4.3 Public Presentation: List secured or potential venues for the project, indicating those that are confirmed.:
Secured and confirmed venue: IAO Exhibition scheduled September 17-October 27, 2015
Potential venues: MAINSITE Contemporary Art, Norman, OK
JRB Art at the Elms, Oklahoma City, OK (works on paper)
Living Arts, Tulsa, OK
1. Describe the project, concept, and purpose.:
This project works with individuals who are currently or formerly homeless to capture elements of the city that they see every day through photography. I am partnering with The Curbside Chronicle magazine at the Homeless Alliance. I will partner with these individuals to tour OKC, as they know it, teaching them how to capture images and taking pictures side-by-side. Individuals who have experienced homelessness have an intimate look at our city that I want to share with the public. Many people see our city through glass as they drive by, or they only see select locations where they eat and shop. This project allows a person to see another side of OKC through the eyes of someone who lives on the streets. These photographs would offer the public a glimpse into what homelessness really looks like in OKC. Many individuals rarely talk or think about this issue. By photographing homeless tent communities, shelters, and feeds we can open people’s eyes to a very real situation in OKC and empower the homeless photographers. These photographs will be exhibited at the Society Gallery during Live on the Plaza in April. All profits made from photos will go back to the homeless photographers.
2.1 Explain how this project will impact your artistic practice:
When I worked with The Curbside Chronicle in the past, it was an eye-opening and unforgettable experience. They were doing a piece on prostitution in OKC for an upcoming issue and asked me to help with photography. I had the privilege to photograph and chat with one of their homeless clients, who had previously worked as a prostitute in OKC. She took me around OKC and showed me all of the places where she used to and women currently work as prostitutes. Prostitution was something that I never could have realistically pictured until I had this photography experience. This experience inspired me as an artist. I believe that photography is a powerful tool for social justice. Sometimes you need to see something to understand that it is a reality in your community. You can’t just hear about it. This is why I want to use my artistic talents as a photographer to tell very real and very deep stories. This exhibit will be the next step in my storytelling abilities. I will be able to convey the stories of people who are homeless through this exhibit. It will be a challenge but it will help me grow too.
2.2 Explain how this project will impact the community:
This will impact the Tulsa community by creating a highly accessible art experience that transforms place. The fact that it is across from the only greenspace in the neighborhood, the small and heavily-manicured Guthrie Green, is a perfect contrast to the conversation I hope to have about our collective engagement with nature. This project will impact the Oklahoma community by unifying individual knitters from towns and cities statewide who are contributing to a singular significant experience in the history of the Brady Arts District. As far as I am aware, there has been no other project like this that involves makers from the entire state.
The responses to questions below should demonstrate the applicants’ ability to complete the project.
4.1 Budget: Insert the project budget including expected expenses and revenue:
-Printing and framing.
$30/picture x 50 pictures = $1,500
-Venue space at The Society Gallery.
$500 (in-kind expense)
-Snacks and drink for soft opening.
-The Curbside Chronicle at the Homeless Alliance
$75/picture (The profits will go to the individuals experiencing homelessness who took the photograph or showed me the scene to photograph. The Curbside Chronicle at the Homeless Alliance will work with these individuals to help them save the money or use it to for financial goals like housing).
4.2 Timeline. Identify major milestones through completion.
Schedule photography trips with participants by February 6, 2015.
Photography completed by March 12, 2015.
Printing, Framing, and Matting complete by April 1, 2015.
Soft gallery opening April 9, 2015.
Live on the Plaza full opening April 10, 2015.
Exhibit at the Edge in Midtown in May 2015.
Exhibit at Verbode Gallery in Automobile Alley in early June 2015.
4.3 Public Presentation: List secured or potential venues for the project, indicating those that are confirmed.
[Project Title] will be on permanent display in the Visitors Center in the lobby of the Museum of the Western Prairie in Altus, OK, a facility that is open from 10am to 5pm Tuesday through Saturday, and greets 300 to 400 visitors a month.
1.1 Describe why the activity is right for you for developing your socially-engaged artistic practice:
I have recently begun a formal exploration in my art about what it means tobe white in America. My research up to this point has been through books andonline resources, but race is a complex social issue that cannot be studiedin isolation. This workshop would give me a community of engaged people withwhom to exchange ideas. In particular I can see how various artists areincorporating their knowledge of race into their work.
2. Explain how this activity meets the goal of helping you work as a catalyst for action and community improvement:
I want to explore the concept of whiteness in America because I see it as amissing piece in the conversation on race. The art community specificallyspends very little time reflecting on this subject although the majority ofits particpants, both artists and viewers tend to be white. At this verymoment Ferguson, Missouri is being occupied by militant police, and it willbe understood by the public as a “black issue” when in fact it is also awhite issue. It is my intent that by creating a dialogue around whitenesswe can better understand who we are and the role our skin plays in dailylife.
3.1 Budget: Insert the project budget including expected expenses and revenue.:
Early Brid (On or Feb. 2). $540
*Standard (Feb. 3-March 7). $565
On site (after March 8th). $590
Per Diem. $71 (x4). $284
Lodging $229 (x4). $916
3.2 Timeline: Identify major milestones through completion.:
Registration: January 16, 2015 – March 8, 2015
Book Flight: February 2, 2015
Transportation: February 2, 2015
Book Lodging: February 2, 2015
Conference dates: March 20-23
3.3 Public Presentation: How would you share your experience with the Oklahoma community upon completion of the activity.:
I would share my experience with the Oklahoma community by hosting an Elemental Hip Hop public event. It would consist of a showcase with my students, to display the skills and knowledge that has been acquired throughout the duration of the program. I would also, have an interactive segment, for members of the audience to experience the elements. Following the showcase, I would highlight the caliber of quality and innovate afterschool programming, share techniques and tools, share how to integrate arts education: by using leadership, career pathways, organizational culture, using data and giving feedback. I would express my powerful passionate story for my desire and dedication, to inspire and motivate the youth. I provide the importance of enriching family and community engagement, where parents and become partners well as a dynamic partnership with higher education. In closing I would communicate with the audience by asking effective questions, and listen actively to learn how to improve arts education afterschool programming.
Resumes help the readers understand your past experience and projects. Artists do not have to be experienced in for all grant categories. The information helps reviewers know the capacity and career stage of the artist.
Statements give reviewers an understanding of artistic concepts and direction. This statement can cover your overall artistic practice or the specific body of artwork you are submitting.
Information about how to structure your statement:
Create and select artwork samples of past or current work appropriate to your project.
See detailed suggestions and how-to explanation on OVAC’s blog here.
Include a sample list that gives captions for each piece, title, medium, dimensions (HxWxD), and year created.
Tree #1, Oil on canvas, 14”x16”, 2011
Mountain, Encaustic on panel, 22”x40”, 2012
Landscape, Mixed media assemblage installed, dimensions variable (6’x18’x4’ at this site), 2013
Video samples should only be submitted for film or time-based projects and information about the sample projects and artists’ role in work should be included.
Sketches or concept drawings are only options for Creative Projects or Community Partnership categories. Submit these materials if needed to fully explain your artwork’s concept, design or materials. Keep in mind that less than polished sketches can detract from the proposal.
Margaret Kinkeade submitted sketches and images of sample material to help the reviewers understand her idea.
See these: design image and materials image.
Eric Wright rendered an initial concept sketch for a public art proposal, see it here.
May 2015 April 2015 Tahlia Ball, Tulsa, Professional Basics Grant: Full Creative Control Natasha Alterici, Tulsa, Creative Projects Grant: Heathen January 2015 Eliseo Casiano, Oklahoma City, Professional Basics Grant: Exhibition in San Francisco Amanda Bradway, Oklahoma City, Creative Projects Grant: Rites of Passage Hunter Brothers, Oklahoma City, Community Artist Partnership Grant: How I See OKC Gregory J. Arnold Jr., Oklahoma City, John McNeese Grant: National After School Association October 2014 Yiren Gallagher, Tulsa, Creative Projects Grant: Greenbelt Meridian Kim Rice, Norman, John McNeese Grant: Undoing Racism Artists must submit a “Final Report” within 30 days of the project end to be eligible for future grant applications.
Sunni Mercer, Bethany, Education Grant: Between Two Worlds Conference
Erin Shaw, Oklahoma City, Education Grant: Between Two Worlds Conference
Debbie Musick, Yukon, Education Grant: Mixed Media Art Retreat
Amy Rockett-Todd, Tulsa, Education Basics Grant: The Glass Pastiche
Lee Anne Zeigler, Tulsa, Education Grant: Knowing the Material
Michael Downes, Oklahoma City, Professional Basics Grant: Wet Plate Materials
Liz Roth, Stillwater, Professional Basics Grant: lizroth.com website redesign
Ginna Dowling, Norman, Creative Projects Grant: Printmaking Storytelling
Anita Fields, Stillwater, Creative Projects Grant: Our Continued Existence
Ronna Pernell, Oklahoma City, Creative Projects Grant: Unspoken Woman
Mark Wittig, Tulsa, Creative Projects Grant: Two Room School House
Jordan Wong, Claremore, Education Grant: Studies-at-Large Italy
Micheal W. Jones, Broken Arrow, Professional Grant: First Impressions
Jessica Coleman, Stillwater, Professional Basics Grant: Photographic Equipment for Documentation
Lauren Rosenfelt, Norman, Professional Basics Grant: Tools to Create work for Nesbitt Gallery
Holly Wilson, Mustang, Creative Projects Grant: Native American Superheroes
romy owens, Oklahoma City, Community Artist Partnership Grant: The Unbearable Absence of Landscapes
Sarah Clough Chambers, Oklahoma City, Professional Basics Grant: Art Supplies
Jill Tovar, Tulsa, Professional Basics Grant: Camera Equipment
Beatriz Mayorca, Oklahoma City, Creative Projects Grant: ArtNow
Forms for already awarded grant recipients:
Tahlia Ball, Tulsa, Professional Basics Grant: Full Creative Control
Natasha Alterici, Tulsa, Creative Projects Grant: Heathen
Eliseo Casiano, Oklahoma City, Professional Basics Grant: Exhibition in San Francisco
Amanda Bradway, Oklahoma City, Creative Projects Grant: Rites of Passage
Hunter Brothers, Oklahoma City, Community Artist Partnership Grant: How I See OKC
Gregory J. Arnold Jr., Oklahoma City, John McNeese Grant: National After School Association
Yiren Gallagher, Tulsa, Creative Projects Grant: Greenbelt Meridian
Kim Rice, Norman, John McNeese Grant: Undoing Racism
Artists must submit a “Final Report” within 30 days of the project end to be eligible for future grant applications.