Young at art 

Photo: Carl Shortt

Oklahoma is filled with young, talented artists, yet many of them will never be recognized because they simply don’t know who to talk to or where to go to get their works displayed for the public.

Since 2002, the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition’s annual Momentum show has worked to remedy such circumstances.

According to Kelsey Karper, OVAC associate director, this year is no different.

“We saw that a lot of young artists were going to school and getting their art degree, and either they would move away and pursue their art elsewhere or would have a hard time getting started in Oklahoma, because there wasn’t really a venue specifically for them,” Karper said.

“With Momentum, we’ve given those artists a good springboard to gain some experience with showing their work, submitting to a juried exhibition and, in some cases, to get one-on-one interaction with a curator. For most of them, it’s the first time they’ve had that kind of opportunity.”

Erin Latham
Photo: OVAC

This year’s event will be held Friday and Saturday at 50 Penn Place. It’s an opportunity that artists like Matthew Kaney and Erin Latham have been working toward for years.

Kaney, a University of Oklahoma student whose submission consisted of three socially conscious arcade games, praised Momentum for making him take his art out of “small projects and assignments” and into a much larger scale.

Momentum is always on everyone’s radar and it’s the most approachable show for young artists,” he said.

“It’s nice to have the sort of show that has a big contingent of young Oklahoma artists who can connect with each other and see what each other is doing.”

Latham’s selected work was a kelp forest installation inspired by her love of environments that people “don’t often have the opportunity to explore.”

“It’s really a huge honor and a really exciting thing to get to make what you want with the help of the curators and their input,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity for young artists to get work out and have people actually see it. It’s really a great way to start your career.”

For Karper, Momentum’s biggest selling point is that attendees get to see what the future of art in Oklahoma looks like.

“A lot of them are experimenting with materials and ideas and doing things that you may not have seen anywhere else,” she said. “It’s always exciting to see what these young artists are thinking about and working on.”

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