Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition is pleased to announce the 2023 Thrive Project Grants. The Thrive Grants program encourages artists to take risks and engage audiences in new ways. The grants support artists throughout Oklahoma to express their creativity and push the boundaries of Oklahoma’s visual culture, providing opportunities to thrive in ways not previously possible.
Thrive Grants fund up to $10,000 for artist-led, collaborative projects, and programs from across the state of Oklahoma that are open and accessible to the public. The funded projects are ambitious, impactful, and experimental with a central focus on the VISUAL ARTS.
The 2023 Thrive Project Grant Awardees are as follows:
- Dylan Albertson, Boy Mode, Oklahoma City, OK
Boy Mode is a short film about Reese, a closeted trans woman, coming out for a second time. Set in a dystopian, post-drag ban Oklahoma, this narrative drama will employ drag entertainers from Oklahoma City to work cast and crew positions, mentored alongside film professionals. We hope to foster conversations about gender dysphoria and euphoria, and provide an intimate, wondrous look into queerness. Blending multiple mediums, it is a collaboration between the OKC drag scene, Oklahoma queer visual artists, and Oklahoma filmmakers. It will feature visual art about drag, with queer voices in front of the camera and behind it.
- Erin Turner, TOTEM: As Monument & Archive, Foyil, OK
TOTEM: As Monument & Archive is a workshop and lecture series designed to offer historical and contemporary context for the Ed Galloway Totem Pole Park. Activists, contemporary artists, curators, journalists, historians, and art historians are among some of the voices that parse out themes such as monumentality, the archive, vernacular art environments, tourism, Oklahoma history, Native policy, and cultural appropriation. Centering the voice of the Native community activates a much needed conversation around local history, cultural appropriation, and accountability. This series intends to generate interpretation methods so that the site can be a space of education, dialogue, and respect.
- Isa Rodriguez, Practice Pratice, Oklahoma City, OK
Practice Practice is an accessible network of resources for artists, created by Isa Rodriguez and Dylan Cale Jones. It includes a workbook, newsletter, and podcast. Artists are taught to prioritize production and commercial success over everything—including relationships, rest, and mental health. This is harmful and unsustainable. We encourage artists to transform their creative practices by defining success for themselves. Our goal is to help artists build practices that align with their values. We envision creativity working in harmony with other important aspects of life. Practice Practice highlights definitions of success that balance sustainability, community, and individual well-being.
- Jordan Vinyard, This Little Piggy Has Meaning, This Little Piggy Has None, Chickasha, OK
This Little Piggy Has Meaning, This Little Piggy Has None, consists of interactive kinetic sculptures that playfully address how we define community values and meaning.
- Kara Lynch, The Promised Land, Tulsa, OK
The Promised Land imagines: what if Oklahoma had entered the U.S. as an all-black state? Consulting with local residents of Oklahoma’s 14 incorporated all-black towns and Greenwood, we will co-create a flag that represents this dream of 40 acres and a mule that Indian and Oklahoma Territories once promised to African Americans after the Civil War. The co-creation process includes informal and formal conversations with town leaders, residents and culture bearers, intergenerational visioning workshops, and participatory decision-making. By sharing Black Speculative dreaming practices, our desired outcome is to co-create a beautiful flag to present to the residents of all-Black Towns in Oklahoma that represents their collective vision of the Promised Land.
- Steve Liggett, Oklahoma Visionaries, Tulsa, OK
The Oklahoma Visionary Artists Exhibitions at Liggett Studios, Tulsa, from October 13-November 3, 2023 and Owens Art Place Museum, Guthrie from March 15-April 19, 2024 will feature 20 artists who are: Oklahoma residents; self-taught, unconcerned with the mainstream artworld and driven by their uniquely personal visions; and, have experienced marginalization. The exhibits are the culmination of an 11-month search by co-curators Steve Liggett and Pam Hodges, which resulted in submissions by 57 artists. All eligible artists’ profiles will be assessable from an on-line Directory. Artists profiles will be continually collected for the second Oklahoma Visionaries Exhibit during 2025.
- Warren Realrider, Native Sound Summit, Norman, OK
The Native Sound Summit is both a public facing and artist centered event taking place on November 11th 2023 at First Americans Museum in Oklahoma City. The summit will be a daylong event featuring experimental sound performance, panel discussions about relevant topics, networking, and information exchange. Warren Realrider is the program chair for the event and also will be participating as a performer, panelist, and attendee. He will be curating a selection of artist/performers that represent the diversity of approaches within the contemporary Indigenous creative world where visual art, performance, sound, and collaboration are melding to create new sonic worlds.