Momentum Art Show Keeps It Young

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Momentum Art Show Keeps It Young
For many artists, Momentum offers first chance to exhibit

By: M.A. Smith

The Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition presents “Momentum,” an art show designed exclusively for the state’s young talent.

“For many of the artists featured in the exhibition, this is their first time showing their work to the public,” Kelsey Karper, OVAC associate director, said. “When Momentum first began in 2002, it was developed as a way for young artists to get their foot in the door of the local arts community, without competing directly with established artists who may have many more years of experience.”

Hundreds of artwork platforms were submitted for a chance to be honored as one of OVAC’s Momentum Spotlight award-winners.

This year’s three honorees are Eli Casiano of Oklahoma City, Elliott Robbins of Midwest City and Katy Seals of Norman.

Each artist was awarded a commission to create a featured piece and $2,000 to help fund the project.

Casiano plans to present a geometric sculpture that features effects and sounds, recreating what he calls the coalition’s view of “society’s obsession with an unachievable sense of pleasure.”

Robbins is bringing a collection of narrative sculptures to the table. The scene depicts a young black loyalist in the American Western era.

Seals bear all in her comical piece representing divorce, which includes country music emblazoned on women’s plus-sized bloomers.

“These artists create site-specific installations or new bodies of work to debut at the Momentum exhibition. Additionally, an emerging curator is selected to work with the lead curator to select the artists and participate in the conversation with the artists during studio visits and exhibit preparation, Karper said.

“In 2008, we added the Momentum Spotlight component. It is their first time working closely with a curator. Artists often struggle with getting this kind of critical dialogue outside of an academic environment.”

Nathan Lee and Samantha Dillehay join this year’s group as guest curators. They will help the Spotlight artists polish their skills and prepare for the big showing.
Lee is a local artist and founder of Oklahoma’s Inclusion in Art, an organization dedicated to advancing racial and cultural diversity in the arts.

Dillehay, this year’s Momentum Emerging Curator, is a past Spotlight winner and a professor in audio and video at East Central University in Ada, Okla.

Momentum will be held each night from 8 p.m. to midnight, March 7 and March 8 at the Farmer’s Public Market, 311 S. Klein in Oklahoma City.

The show is divided into two segments, starting with a slow evening March 7 with Momentum: Downtempo. Momentum moves into a louder, faster paced experience March 8 with Momentum: Full Speed.

Guests can purchase tickets in advance for $10 by going online to or by calling 405-879-2400. Tickets also can be purchased at the door for $15.

Free admission for gallery viewings will be available from 2 to 7 p.m. March 9-10 and Spotlight artists will lead discussions about their projects at 6 p.m. March 10.

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