Oklahoma Contemporary's digital residency program returns for July
Last month, Oklahoma Contemporary premiered #StudioInPlace — a new digital residency program designed to connect working artists with the community during this time of physical distancing. Throughout the month of June, local artists Tess Elliot and Calvin Pressley developed very different projects connected by a mission to explore themes of community and resilience during this unprecedented moment in history.
July brings a new pair of artists, along with a new set of aesthetic concerns and possibilities. Throughout the month, OKC-based artists Virginia Sitzes and Danny Joe Rose III will be sharing their practice with the community as they work through projects designed specifically for this one-of-a-kind digital residency.
Sitzes' project, SHAKEN OUT OF THE SCREEN, is a text/image collaboration that seeks to document the psychic terrain of national unrest through community participation. The printmaker, painter and muralist is partnering with poet Lily Greenberg to spark and gather individual expressions, then use these to create a series of books and screenprints.
"Books historically document things, and they live on through generations. It's something people can go back to and learn about specific times," Sitzes said. The hand-bound art books will feature submissions from the public alongside Greenberg's poetry. "They'll all be in together, but kind of rearranged, so it's this big collaboration as well."
For visual art, Sitzes will facilitate three video workshops (one paint, one print, one zine), and from submitted artwork, she will create a miniature library of handmade, collaged books. For text, Greenberg will provide written prompts, creating three collaged poems from the responses. Virginia will screenprint the poems as a complement to the visual art books. "I'm envisioning them looking like letterpress posters," Sitzes said. "I'll use screenprinting to create them. I like the idea of kind of flipping things, so the visual art is in the books and the written art is on the wall."
SHAKEN OUT OF THE SCREEN asks its participants to see through the lens of this particular moment and respond as candidly as possible — the final product will reflect beyond “what happened” and into the feelings of being shaken, stretched and woken up.
View From the Valley is a continuation of an ongoing project that began in 2016, in which Danny Joe Rose III uses found images and digital processes to create abstract, alien-like landscapes. For his digital residency with Oklahoma Contemporary, he invited the public to assist in the creation of these worlds by submitting one to three photographs — personal images of landscapes, sunrises, sunsets, plants, flowers and textures — along with a sentence or two about their submissions.
"The project started when I began taking found photos and scanning them, and sometimes even shooting my own photographs, then printing those and scanning them again to create these invented worlds," Rose said. "With this update, I really thought it would be exciting to invite the public and friends and family to submit their own images that would help me basically as reference photos to get these kind of places started."
The idea is to offer a chance to slow down, during a time when the world seems to be moving faster than ever. "Art is always this kind of present force that can can give us hope and can show us and remind us of beauty," Rose said. "It's important to be involved and speak out against injustice, but we also need to take the time to love ourselves and be kind. Part of that is finding things in your life that can bring you joy. For me, that joy is my art, and having an opportunity to share a little bit of this process with the public is something I've never done before."
Return to New Light.