OKLAHOMA CITY – Marissa Raglin studied art therapy at Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, and along the journey of life she fell in love with museums.
As sometimes happens with artistic spirits, for a time (2014, she indicated) Raglin felt as if she had hit a creative block. One day she began to use printed images in varied and unconventional ways, to create a new work of art. Soon she understood the practice as “painting with an Exacto Knife.” She reflects, “I’m ‘painting’ with images.”
This reporter first visited with Raglin in her studio at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel during breaks from the “Sovereignty Symposium,” an annual gathering of attorneys and others interested in legal developments in Indian Country across the United States.
The Skirvin regularly draws to its stories halls and ballrooms diverse meetings and clientele, which keeps things interesting for participants in the ongoing, and intriguing, “Paseo artist in residence” program there.
The artist in residence is by no means chained to her or his desk studio during their sojourn. In July, Raglin’s art was the focus of a solo show at Norman’s Mainsite Contemporary Art. The opening reception there drew a large crowd and provided great satisfaction, she said.Here in the city, the artist in residence program is a joint venture of the historic Skirvin downtown hotel and the Paseo Arts Association.
The guest artist, as a Skirvin note explains, “sets up their workshop inside the hotel, where the artist can share their creative process with guests. This gives our visitors the unique opportunity to get a ‘behind the scenes’ look into our artists’ work
In the midst of her busy creative schedule – juggled with time-on-task at the nearby art museum where she works (home of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame) — Raglin spent a cordial and relaxing hour one recent weekday with a trio of children visiting from the Crown Heights neighborhood. They came to her studio with their grandparents.
The youngsters, a girl and two boys, enjoyed themselves while making a bit of a mess. Raglin supervised their preparations, including careful use of scissors and “glue sticks,” then scanned the finished products, to be placed for public viewing on her website.
Raglin explained that she draws from varied printed materials, including vintage newspapers and magazines, to create her art. From a distance, final products appear to be line drawings or paintings, but as a viewer draws nearer it becomes clearer they are clips from printed material, pasted into place and forming new images on the chosen canvass or paper.
At the Skirvin, a closing reception for Raglin as the Skirvin Paseo Artist in Residence has been set for Tuesday, August 28 from 5-7 p.m. Raglin welcomes drop-in visitors unless she is engaged with others. She can be reached via her email, [email protected].
Raglin told The City Sentinel she will be setting up a studio in the Penn Square area to continue her art work. After spending a little time with her, one reasonably concludes that it may take awhile for the new venue to become as interesting as working in her present “storefront” studio.
Some inspiration emerges merely watching the steady stream of pedestrian and vehicular traffic just a few feet away, passing by her window on the journey of life.