Jarica Walsh

Due Jun 15 2019

The Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition (OVAC) announces a call for entries for the exhibition Concept/Focus.

Through this triennial exhibition, audiences can investigate current art making in Oklahoma. The Concept Survey provides a broad look at contemporary work in Oklahoma, while four Oklahoma and four Wichita, KS Focus artists will be selected to dive deeper, and participate in a group exhibition.

Participating artists will be encouraged to lead educational opportunities engaging the public through programs such as workshops, lectures, discussion, critiques, tours, online forums, and other creative ideas.

Project partners include ahha in Tulsa and Harvester Arts in Wichita, KS. The Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition receives organizational support from Allied Arts, the Oklahoma Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, George Kaiser Family Foundation, and Kirkpatrick Family Fund.

Concept Eligibility:

Visual artists working in all media are eligible to submit, from studio art media to film, installation and new media. OVAC supports artworks and projects in direct dialogue with the visual arts.

Applicants cannot be enrolled as degree-seeking-students. The exhibition is open to artists 21 years or older who reside in Oklahoma and Wichita,KS at the time of application and throughout the exhibition. Collaborative or collective artwork submissions are welcome if all participating artists are eligible.

Artists who apply and are not accepted for the Focus exhibition may apply to the Survey exhibition.


Concept offers more than $15,000 in artist awards. Of this, $3,000 in awards will be given in the Survey exhibition. An honorarium of $1,500 each will be given to up to four Focus artists from each city (8 total) who will also receive travel assistance for an exchange exhibition between Tulsa and Wichita.

The exhibition will be documented with a catalog in which all accepted artists will be included. Each artist will receive three copies of the catalog.


Heather Pesanti joined the Contemporary Austin in 2013, and was named Chief Curator in 2018. Since then, she has organized monographic exhibitions and outdoor commissions of John Bock, Carol Bove, Anya Gallaccio, Lionel Maunz, Rodney McMillian, Wangechi Mutu, Monika Sosnowska, Robert Therrien, and Marianne Vitale, with forthcoming solo exhibitions of Abraham Cruzvillegas, Nicole Eisenman, and Torbjørn Rødland. In 2015, she organized Strange Pilgrims, a large-scale, thematic exhibition on experiential art, in collaboration with the University of Texas at Austin. She is currently developing The Sorcerer’s Burden: Contemporary Art and the Anthropological Turn, a large-scale exhibition on the intersection of art and anthropology, opening fall 2019.

From 2008 to 2013, Pesanti was Curator of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, in Buffalo, New York, where she organized collection and special exhibitions including Wish You Were Here: The Buffalo Avant-garde in the 1970s, a historic survey of Buffalo’s dynamic arts scene, and was adjunct professor in the Visual Studies Department at the University at Buffalo. Before joining the Albright-Knox, she was assistant curator of Life on Mars, the 2008 Carnegie International, at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Art. Pesanti received her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, MSc in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Oxford, England, and MA in Art History from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts. She has published monographic catalogue essays on Charles Atlas, Rodney McMillian, Angelbert Metoyer, Sofía Táboas, Robert Therrien, and Garth Weiser, and thematic exhibition catalogues for Strange Pilgrims, A Secret Affair: Selections from the Fuhrman Family Collection, Decade: Contemporary Collecting, 2002-2012, Wish You Were Here: The Buffalo Avant-garde in the 1970s, and Life on Mars: 55thCarnegie International. She has forthcoming catalogues essays for Nicole Eisenman, The Sorcerer’s Burden, and the University of Texas at Austin Black Studies collection. Her exhibitions have received two grants awarded by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts (for Strange Pilgrims and The Sorcerer’s Burden).

How to Apply

Focus entries must be received online by June 15, 2019 at 11:59 pm.
Survey entries must be received online by November 15, 2019 at 11:59 pm.
No late or incomplete applications will be processed. Violation of any of the terms of this agreement or of the application criteria will result in a rejection of an application, or if already awarded, rescission, or return of all funds disbursed.