Street Cred

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Painting by Angela Westerman
Painting by Alesa Clymer

When Angela Westerman sits down to paint, she only has a vague idea of what the piece will become. The organic nature of letting her subconscious express itself without preconceptions is shared among many of the emerging and established street-style artists to be featured in Istvan Gallery’s end of summer art show, opening Aug. 17 and 18.

“I always start with a basic feeling that I want to convey, never specific details or even a subject,” said Westerman, who recently left a 10-year career in marketing and graphic design to pursue art full time. “For me, if there’s too much planning, the work seems forced and the elements don’t come together properly.”Westerman works with a variety of mediums, from ink to watercolor and sketch board to canvas, and she finds herself increasingly inspired by current events, a common motivation among street-style artists. “Street style” refers to art with an urban feel and often incorporates graffiti art, tattoo art, pop culture, surrealism and other nonconventional styles.“Usually the works include an odd view or perspective on reality, a focus on something culturally relevant or just a loud statement of ideas,” said Dylan Bradway, co-curator of and artist for the installation. “While not all our featured artists for the August installation are ‘street’ in the strictest sense of the word, all of the work, including some from established Oklahoma City artists, is edgy and urban.”Bradway and wife, Amanda, own DNA Galleries, where they focus on catering to the beginning art collector and helping local artists like Westerman pursue their passion. The Bradways and Istvan Gallery owner Stephen Kovash brought that same intent to the street art installation, showcasing artists who have not been seen in traditional gallery spaces.“It means so much to us when we see local artists being able to support themselves in some way by selling their art,” said Bradway. “We hope that means they will stay in Oklahoma City, building our community by furthering an appreciation for art.”
In addition to Westerman and the Bradways, artists include Alesa Clymer, Alex DeSpain, Ashley Smith, Bill Struby, Cassie Stover, Clint Stone, Dusty Gilpin, Dustin Oswald, Dylan Bradway, Ember Lively, Fernando Casillas, Jason Pawley, Jack Fowler, Jayce Cogburn, Jennifer Barron, Josh Heilaman, Josh Reynolds, Kelly Brinkmeyer, Kris Kanaly, Kyle AKA Henry Morgan, Marcus Eakers, Matt Goad, Ruth Borum-Loveland, Sarah Atlee, Sean Vali, Steven Bayliss, Tam Nguyen, Tanner Frady, Tessa Raven and Tony Westlund.Music!August 17th, We will have the outdoor deck lights and sound set up with the Rockettops playing some light outdoor tuneage by 7:15 p.m. Local singer songwriter Brianna Gaither will play from 8 to 8:45, and then The Rockettops will play from 9:00-10:00.August 18: DJ Garistotle and Band to be announced.

The street art installation at Istvan Gallery will debut with an artists’ reception that is free and open to the public, Friday, Aug. 17 from 6 to 10 p.m. with opening activities continuing through Saturday, Aug. 18, 12 to 10 p.m. Activities will include live art performances, additional outdoor tent sales including everything from prints to T-shirts and an art “garage sale” that will consist of everything from donated art supplies and books to pieces of art. A portion of the funds generated will benefit the Plaza District Association, a nonprofit organization revitalizing the arts, business and community along N.W. 16th Street in Oklahoma City.

The opening reception is free, open to the public and will include entertainment, light hors d’oeuvres and beverages. Visitors can also observe glass blowing demonstrations by artists at Blue Sage Studio.
The gallery’s street art installation will continue through Oct. 28.

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