Oklahoma Contemporary
Calvin Pressley, Connected Conversations
A drawing tightly cropped around the face of a person wearing a mask

Calvin Pressley: Connected Conversations

Studio-in-Place: Calvin Pressley

Join Oklahoma Contemporary online this summer as select Studio School Instructors spend one month working on projects related to themes of creativity, community and resilience in the time of COVID-19. Through biweekly interviews, livestreamed videos and other engaging content, you’ll get an inside glimpse into the creative working processes of contemporary artists at home and in Oklahoma Contemporary’s studio facilities.

About Calvin’s June Studio-in-Place project
Connected Conversations explores new ways we can make meaningful connections with one another during this period of social distancing. Artist Calvin Pressley will use video-conferencing software to hold conversations with community members, in the arts and beyond, about the ways in which COVID-19 has impacted their daily lives. During these sessions, Calvin will create sketches of the interviewees that he will then translate to oil-painted portraits. Combining inspiration from artists such as Alice Neel or Berkeley Hendrix with contemporary approaches inspired by Eddie Martinez or Chris Ofili, these finished paintings will capture more than just the physical features of the interviewees’ faces — they will express the subjects’ COVID-19 experiences as well as their energy and spirit.

A man sits in a chair in a studio, surrounded by artworks on the walls
Artist and Studio School instructor Calvin Pressley

Follow along and get involved
Through the course of the project, Calvin will be posting updates on this page, the New Light blog and Oklahoma Contemporary’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. You can also follow him on Instagram at @cpressley.

Each Studio-in-Place project engages active community participation. In the first two weeks of his project, Calvin will hold conversations with folks who were personally impacted by the recent pandemic. If you would like to be considered for an interview with Calvin, please email a short paragraph about how COVID-19 has affected your daily life to studioschool@okcontemp.org by Sunday, June 7.

About the artist
Calvin Pressley is a Studio School instructor who primarily focuses on subjective portraiture in painting and drawing. With a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) in Philadelphia, Calvin maintains a studio in the Oklahoma City area and has exhibited nationally. Prior to graduate school, Calvin gained experience in oil painting and drawings of various mediums while studying art at the University of Texas in San Antonio and San Antonio College. As an arts educator, Calvin has assisted with classes at PAFA during the school year and in summer programming, as well as taught at the University of North Texas in Denton.


Monday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

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Wednesday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Thursday 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Friday - Sunday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

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Visit us at 11 NW 11th St.
Oklahoma City, OK 73103
Phone: 405 951 0000
Fax: 405 951 0003

Oklahoma Contemporary
P.O. Box 3062
Oklahoma City, OK 73101

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