Oklahoma Visual Arts Fellowships & Student Awards of Excellence

Each year, the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition gives two awards of $5,000 each to individual artists. Additionally, two $500 Student Awards of Excellence are given.

These awards are intended to reward qualified artists with outstanding vision and are chosen by a guest curator from applications submitted by the artists.

Applications are now open
Two Oklahoma Visual Arts Fellowships for $5,000 are open to resident Oklahoma artists working in all media. Additionally two Student Awards of Excellence of $500 are open to Oklahoma graduate and undergraduate students. OVAC will produce a brochure about the award winning artists, which will be sent to 600+ galleries and curators across the nation.

2017 Guest Curator
Based in the Treme neighborhood of New Orleans, Bradley Sumrall is currently Curator of the Collection at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. He has served as curator for over fifty exhibitions, including The Gasperi Collection, Jim Roche: Cultural Mechanic, When You’re Lost Everything’s a Sign: The House of Blues Collection, Sharon Kopriva: From Terra to Verde, Juan Logan: I’ll Save you Tomorrow, Alexa Kleinbard: Remedies, The Created World of Enrique Alferez, Dureau, Well Suited: The Costumes of Alonzo Wilson for HBO’s Treme, Michael Deas, Michael Meads: Bent Not Broken, and Benny Andrews: Paintings.

His exhibitions have been reviewed in Art in America, Art Forum, and Hyperallergic, among other online and print publications. His books include One World, Two Artists: John Alexander and Walter Anderson, Steffen Thomas Rediscovered, From Terra to Verde: The Art of Sharon Kopriva, Robert Tannen: A-RT, Gina Phillips: I was Trying Hard to Think about Sweet Things, Michelle Varisco: Shifting and Clementine Hunter: A Sketchbook. He is the 2016 juror for the Taubman Museum’s annual juried exhibition, Homeward Bound, in Roanoke, VA.

Annual Criteria
The curator will consider the following criteria during the selection process: the quality of the work as demonstrated by samples submitted with the application; the originality of vision as well as technical expertise of the work; and the record of professional activity and achievement as reflected in the resume. The curator will also consider that the artist shows exceptional and ongoing artistic investigation.

FELLOWSHIP: The Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition accepts Fellowship applications from artists who are legal residents of Oklahoma 21 years of age and older. Work samples submitted may not have been completed while under artistic instruction. Recipients are expected to remain Oklahoma residents for full fellowship year. Previous recipients of OVAC Visual Arts Fellowship are eligible three years after their award. Current students are not eligible to apply for the Fellowship Awards, but are encouraged to apply for the Student Awards of Excellence.

STUDENT AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE: Graduate or undergraduate students in Oklahoma of any age may apply in the Student Awards of Excellence category. Past Student Award of Excellence recipients are not eligible.

How to Apply
Please read the full criteria and application instructions contained within the Submittable links below. Failure to comply with instructions may invalidate your application. Applications are due no later than April 14, 2017 at 5:00pm.


Applications have closed. Applicants will be notified May 10th.


2016 Oklahoma Visual Arts Fellowship Recipients
Lynette Atchley, Shawnee
Andy Mattern, Stillwater

2016 Student Awards of Excellence Recipients
Nicholas Enevoldsen, Oklahoma City
Lucas Simmons, Shawnee

Curator: Karin Campbell, Phil Wilson Curator of Contemporary Art
Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha Nebraska


2015 Oklahoma Visual Arts Fellowship Recipients
Stuart Asprey, Norman
Jason Cytacki, Norman

2015 Student Awards of Excellence Recipients
Ashley Farrier, Stillwater
Kim Rice, Norman

Curator: Emily Stamey, Curator of Contemporary Art at the
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale Arizona



2014 Oklahoma Visual Arts Fellowship Recipients
Zachary Presley, Durant
Denny Schmickle, Tulsa

2014 Student Awards of Excellence Recipients
Randall Barnes, Midwest City
Megan Hughes, Stillwater

Curator: James McAnally, artist, curator, and critic, Co-Director/Curator of The Luminary, Editor of Temporary Art Review


Oklahoma Visual Arts Fellowship Recipients
Pete Froslie, Norman
Kate Johnson, Tulsa

Student Awards of Excellence Recipients:
Sarah Engel-Barnett, Norman
Brent Richardson, Norman

Curator: Lorelei Stewart, Director, Gallery 400 at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)


The Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition supports Oklahoma’s professional visual artists. These awards are intended to recognize past achievement and future promise and can be used as the artist’s needs require. We open applications for the award every spring, please check the website each March for more information.