The public is invited to get a quick glimpse into the workings of 12 Oklahoma photographers during the upcomingPhoto Slam on Thursday, May 16 at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art’s Noble Theater. This is not your typical artist lecture.
Each of the participating photographers will get five minutes to share what they do using a variety of tools – slides, digital projections, printed samples or other means. The speakers will have to be careful not go into overtime or they will get the gong! Presenting photographers are: Chad Clark (Tulsa), Sarah Engel Barnett (Norman), Summer Lu (Weatherford), Lucia Martinez (OKC), Wendy Mutz (OKC), Kurt Nagy (OKC), Zach Nash (OKC), Ben Pendleton (OKC), Natalie Slater (Tulsa), Thomas Tucker (Edmond), Crystal Walters (Pryor), and Reginna Zhidov (Chickasha).
The photographers were selected by Carlos Knight, art director at This Land Press, from a pool of applicants.
The Photo Slam will begin at 7 pm in the Noble Theatre at Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Dr. It is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Herb Ritts: Beauty & Celebrity, on display at the museum from May 9 through July 28.
The event is free and open to the public. After the Photo Slam, the audience is encouraged to attend Cocktails on the Skyline to continue the fun, which is included in the price of Museum admission of $5 after 5:00 pm.
This is the third installment of the Photo Slam event, which began in 2008 as a collaboration between the Oklahoma City Museum of Art (OKCMOA) and Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition (OVAC) to showcase the diverse talents of Oklahoma photographers. Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art serves more than 135,000 visitors annually from all 50 states and over 30 foreign countries and presents exhibitions drawn from throughout the world. The Museum's collection covers a period of five centuries with highlights in European and American art from the 19th and 20th centuries, a growing collection of contemporary art, and a comprehensive collection of glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly. Founded in 1988, OVAC supports visual artists statewide through grants, professional development, publications, and more.
Photo Slam - Participating Photographers
Chad Clark, Tulsa
Chad Clark was born and raised in Tulsa, with a lifelong curiosity for all things visual. Oklahoma landscapes (rural/urban) have been a continual influence on all aspects of his visual expression.
It's interesting to see the pastoral, yet slightly dissonant qualities of our Sooner lands, their evolution, and our adaptations. Clark’s areas of fascination are the prairies of Osage County and the lands of the Cimarron River. The geography, history, and culture of these areas are critical in understanding our identity as Oklahomans.
Sarah Engel-Barnett, Norman
Sarah Engel-Barnett is a native of Norman, Oklahoma. She is currently an MFA student in photography at the University of Oklahoma.
Non-linear notions of time, space and historical or contemporary events act as departure points for her creative practice. These include environmental and ecological concerns, ideas of cyclical history, science and technology. Simultaneously she incorporates fictional narratives, evoking a tragically hopeful rather than entirely nihilistic view of human progress and survival.
Her most recent body of work, City of Cyclone, 2378, envisions climatological consequences of our constructed environment through images of a future Kansas town. City of Cyclone's narrative also engages contemporary research in horticultural practices, photoluminescence in flora and fauna and the restoration of extinct species.
Through this work, Sarah contemplates creative approaches toward building future environments that are less damaging to our planet's climate and ecosystems and more adapted to perhaps irreparable changes already made.
Summer Lu, Weatherford
Summer Lu is a student at Southwestern Oklahoma State University majoring in TV and film communication. She has been taking photos for more than four years.
Lucia Martinez, Oklahoma City
Lucia Martinez’s art creates a surreal environment conveying a dream world through portraiture using digital manipulation and photography.
Wendy Mutz, Oklahoma City
Wendy Mutz is a professional photographer based in Oklahoma City. She specializes in capturing the passion, excitement and action in live performing arts productions. Wendy shoots opera, theatre, music theatre, and dance productions for major universities and arts organizations all over Oklahoma. Her images have been published in Playbill.com, BroadwayWorld.com, Readers Digest and many other national and regional publications.
Kurt Nagy, Oklahoma City
Kurt Nagy was born and raised in Oklahoma City, OK. Specializing in traditional darkroom and alternative process photography, his work has been exhibited locally in Momentum OKC/Tulsa, Paseo Photofest, Oklahoma Friendly, RAW: Natural Born Artists, and at Red Dirt Gallery; as well as venues in both Texas and Arizona. He is currently finishing his bachelor’s degree in Photographic Arts from the University of Central Oklahoma.
Zach Nash, Oklahoma City
Zach Nash acknowledges he’s one of “those” photographers: the kind who has a day job and sits behind a desk. A part-time documenter, wedding photographer, insta-shooter, weekend family picture taker and has been called on one or more occasion, “party-pic boy.”
He’s more than ok with that. He enjoys it as well as the eight-to-five desk job. He doesn’t claim to be an artist or professional photographer - he says he’s a picture taker.
Ben Pendleton, Oklahoma City
Ben Pendleton’s interest in photography started after high school when he majored in film & video production at Oklahoma City Community College. It didn't take long but he quickly found a used enlarger and began using bathrooms, garages and closets to set up darkrooms throughout his houses or apartments. As long as he’s been taking pictures he has never been able to simply throw his prints behind glass and into a frame. His photographs are personal and the absence of glass and frames helps create a level of intimacy. The photographs he uses in his work are rarely spontaneous. There is always a reason for the content and look of each picture. They represent his thoughts and feelings about different moments of life: past and present. The installations are built around my photographs to further heighten the viewer’s connection with the picture being used.
Natalie Slater, Tulsa
Natalie Slater is a native Texan who spends her time looking for stories hidden inside of people. She’s been working as a photographer, print maker and visual artist for the past five years in places like Ireland, Spain, England, Alaska and New York. She holds a bachelor’s degree in graphic design and photography from John Brown University and is currently completing her master’s thesis in printmaking and photography at the University of Tulsa. Natalie’s work has been featured with Hallmark, The Soderquist Center, Toms Shoes, and has won recognitions from AIGA, the Oklahoma Artist Coalition, and the Gussman Award.
Her current project, Mother Road Revisited is an interactive historical tour of Route 66. She traveled the Route last summer to re-photograph over 100 vintage postcards. After re-photographing the images, she has overlaid them in an interactive light box, showing the contemporary and vintage image together.
Thomas Tucker, Edmond
Photography is a passion that allows him to share his view of the world. He says his approach to photography is simple: He likes to see what others don’t. He’s always looking for subjects and looking at light, shapes, colors, lines, reflections, shades, shadows, etc.
Most of his work consists of landscapes and abstract views of objects. He has a love for black and white but produces work in color as well. Additionally, he likes to bring out detail and texture in subjects that are often overlooked.
His work is available online at www.thomasrtucker.com and was recently published in the October 2012 edition of Architectural Record Magazine.
Crystal Walters, Pryor
Crystal Walters has been studying photography and graphic design for the past five years. Walters has explored analog and darkroom photography while at Rogers State University in Claremore, Oklahoma. Crystal enjoys diving into experimental darkroom printing processes including 35mm, medium format, large format, the lithe printing process, photo emulsion, photo dying, and the layering of negatives. Walters is stepping into her next phase of darkroom experimentation with the wet-plate collodion process beginning this spring. Crystal Walters will graduate with a BFA from Rogers State University in the fall of 2013.
Reginna Zhidov, Chickasha
Although Reginna Zhidov wasn’t the highest seller of Girl Scout cookies, she relates to the saying “Ya want a cookie? Here’s your cookie!” She tries really hard to make things happen. She was never in Girl Scouts, instead was in her words an impoverished child growing up in a small town, trying to make a difference. She says she walked everywhere. That slowed life down, significantly. At the time it seemed like an endless experience but she realizes now it allowed her to slow down and SEE. She saw the afternoon sun rays casting softly through the leaves of a tree, a soccer ball in an alley way, a sad, lonely dog on a leash. This as the universe would have it to be translated into developing an eye for life. As an adult, her focus is all about capturing the moments. Her friends and family describe her as a photographer; but she describes herself as someone who just takes pictures.
Where: Oklahoma City Museum of Art
Address: 415 Couch