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July 5, 2013

Traveling art exhibit brings Norman work to state

NORMAN — The work of living Oklahoma artists, including four Norman artists, is hitting the road for a state-wide tour during 24 Works on Paper, a traveling exhibition.

The collaborative project between Individual Artists of Oklahoma (IAO) and the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition (OVAC) features 24 works created on paper, including media such as printmaking, drawing, painting and photography. Participating Norman artists include Eyakem Gulilat, Eric Piper, Laura Reese and Betty Wood.

Kelsey Karper, OVAC associate director, said the exhibition happens every other year, giving audiences a regular opportunity to view a snapshot of what contemporary Oklahoma artists are creating.

“We hope viewers will be inspired by the artwork included and enlightened by the educational components, which shed light on the artistic processes represented in the show and hopefully help audiences to understand the work on a deeper level,” she said.

The exhibit opens 6 p.m. July 26 at the IAO Gallery, 706 W. Sheridan Ave. in Oklahoma City, and will be on display there through Aug. 3.

It will then travel to 11 venues across Oklahoma such as the Goddard Center in Ardmore, Ponca City Art Center, East Central University in Ada, and the Leslie Powell Foundation & Gallery in Lawton.

Karper said the exhibit features work from artists all over the state who range from newly established artists to professionals.

Reese, Norman printmaker, has a print in the exhibit titled “Wanderlust.” The piece features two overlapping orange and teal squares layered with text of an original poem exploring Reese’s decision to stay in Oklahoma rather than move away.

Reese said the exhibit traveling gives a broader audience a chance to become acquainted with her work.

“I want it to resonate with people,” she said. “Perhaps not everyone will experience wanderlust, or a sense of belonging, but by using descriptive text and images, I can hope to communicate those feelings for others to understand and empathize. I want people to empathize with my art, and ultimately, their environment.”

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