By Darla Shelden, City Sentinel Reporter —
This story first appeared online on Dec. 18, 2020.
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition (OVAC) has announced that the Momentum Spotlight Artists for 2021 are Amber DuBoise-Shepherd of Shawnee, Andrea Duran-Cason of Norman, and Marium Rana from Tahlequah.
The selection of the Momentum 2021 Spotlight Artists was made by OVAC’s inaugural Curatorial Fellow, Pablo Barrera and the Emerging Curator artist, writer, designer, and educator Kristin Gentry, from a highly competitive pool of submissions.
Through Momentum Spotlight, the 3 selected artists will receive an honorarium of $1000 each to create new artistic projects for Momentum. They will also receive three months of guidance from Barrera and Gentry, to support their practice and refine their projects.
OVAC’s Momentum annually features Oklahoma artists ages 30 years and younger, working in diverse media.
OVAC presents Momentum 2021 in partnership with MAINSITE in Norman and Living Arts of Tulsa. The program is supported by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, George Kaiser Family Foundation, Kirkpatrick Family Fund, and the Oklahoma Arts Council.
In an effort to reach audiences safely, selected works for Momentum 2021 will open at MAINSITE in Norman and travel to Living Arts of Tulsa as month-long exhibitions, as opposed to the usual weekend-only party.
Debuting in Norman on March 3, 2021, the show will be displayed at MAINSITE until March 27. Opening at Living Arts of Tulsa on April 2, the second showing will remain up until April 23.
In addition to the Momentum exhibitions, Spotlight Artists will have exhibit their works at the 21c Museum Hotel in Oklahoma City from February 22through August 27, 2021.
“I am very thankful to OVAC and this year’s Momentum curators for this amazing opportunity to be a Spotlight Artist,” said DuBoise-Shepherd. “I was so excited to receive the call that I was accepted and am looking forward to the challenges and opportunity to represent my art and my Native American people.”
Amber’s proposal involves creating three pieces of original art, audio files, videos, and educational resources correlating to her tribal affiliations of Navajo, Sac & Fox, and Prairie Band Potawatomi. With the help of her family, she will use the languages, music, and knowledge of traditional artmaking to share her Native languages with others.
“Momentum is a crucial program for Oklahoma’s young and emerging artists,” said Krystle Brewer, OVAC’s executive director. “For many of them, they are exhibiting and selling work for the first time.
“This equips them with the skills and experience to apply for more exhibition opportunities in the future,” Brewer added. “It is also a great platform to see who are Oklahoma’s next rising stars and to show our support early in their careers.”
Interested OVAC general survey applicants can visit momentumoklahoma.org for free resources as they are putting together their applications, which include a guide for photographing artwork at home and examples of an artist resume and image list.
“Momentum is an opportunity to connect with creatives who have their own beautiful voices to share,” said Spotlight Artist, Marium Rana. “It is a chance to connect to an audience and be grounded by our shared human experiences of solitude, togetherness, and longing.”
Born in Long Island, New York, Rana’s proposal documents her experience as a Pakistani-American artist, who has also lived in Florida, and Oklahoma. Her project will be a triptych, a three paneled display, suspended from the ceiling; one side of which will be filled with her memories growing up in America and the other which will show Pakistan in three different time periods.
Andrea Duran-Cason’s proposal investigates human and animal hybridity as a result of personal and corporate pollution, corruption, and ego. Her project will use transparent canvas and light to illuminate the “merging” of human and animal bodies, asking viewers to question when the body stops being an “animal” and becomes “food.”
“I am thrilled and honored to be a Spotlight Artist in Momentum and given the platform to be a voice for the voiceless through my art,” said Duran-Cason. “I hope that my work can spark empathy, thought, and consideration for animals so often left out of conversations of equality and justice.”
An Allied Arts member agency, the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition grows and develops Oklahoma’s visual arts community through education, promotion, connection, and funding.
OVAC is currently seeking submissions from Oklahoma artists, ages 30 and younger, to participate as General Survey Artists in their Momentum 2021 exhibitions. The application, which opened October 1 will close January 14, 2021.
For more information regarding Momentum 2021, visit: www.MomentumOklahoma.org.