Learning to curate their own art exhibition are seniors in the Northwestern Oklahoma State University Studio Art program. Rabi Tamrakar, Natalie Malone and Hanson Long join Artist-in-Residence Emily Dunlap (second from left) at the Knox Building, 428 Flynn in Alva, to start preparing for the Senior Thesis Exhibition on Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. during the annual First Friday Art Walk.
Northwestern Oklahoma State University will be well represented on Alva’s downtown square Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. for the annual First Friday Art Walk events.
Three seniors in Northwestern’s Studio Art program will be showing their artwork at a Pop Up Gallery in the Knox Building on the north side of the square at 428 Flynn. Hanson Long of Waynoka, Natalie Malone of Moundridge, Kan., and Rabi Tamrakar from Kavre, Nepal, are the featured artists for their Senior Thesis Exhibition. Long and Tamraker are completing their art minors this semester.
Jave Yoshimoto, assistant professor of art, explained that the Senior Thesis Exhibition is a culminating show of the students’ time in the studio art program. The students will exhibit artwork created this semester, as well as pieces finished during past semesters.
“The importance of this exhibition is that the students learn how to find the space, curate (hang/display) their own exhibition, write their own press releases and advertise, so it’s a transitional experience in showing them how to put their art works out into the ‘real world,’” Yoshimoto said.
Members of the NWOSU Art Society will be at the Runnymede Hotel with artwork for show and sale, members of the Northwestern choirs will be singing Christmas carols, and Northwestern alumni Rod and Carolyn Murrow will have an exhibit at Murrow’s FrameArt.
Emily Dunlap, the November Artist-in-Residence with Northwestern’s Studio Art program, will have a few items on display during the art walk as well. Her screen prints will be at the Graceful Arts Center, and her sculptures will be on display at the Runnymede Hotel.
Dunlap, who is originally from Waterloo, Ill., is a graduate of Southern Illinois University -Edwardsville where she studied sculpture. She continued her education at Syracuse University where she received a Master of Fine Arts degree in sculpture. Her current work highlights women’s issues and marriage assumptions using lighthearted imagery.
“My work is based on my cultural rural upbringing,” Dunlap said. “Within that topic I use imagery that talks about traditions and issues.”
Since her stay in Alva, students have been able to observe her working, listen to an explanation of it and attend a couple of demonstrations. Her first demo was how to make a silicone mold. She said she introduced the students to the process of mold-making and showed them how they could do other things on their own without equipment or facilities. In this case, the students in the class melted down chocolate. In another class, Dunlap worked with the students on screen printing, where they experimented with layers and colors.
A wide variety of her past and present works can be found on her website, www.emilyrosedunlap.com.
“Northwestern’s Artist-in-Residence program was developed to bring in artists from around the world so that the students can interact, experience and see for themselves what it’s like to be a professional artist,” Yoshimoto said. “They are brought in as role models of hard work professionalism, enthusiasm and discipline required to create works in the studio, and to put out in exhibition at the end of their term. Sometimes students go in for advice, to learn new techniques and materials, and also serve as studio assistants to have direct experiential learning opportunities.”
Friday also is a special day for Northwestern and the Alva community, as members from “Oklahoma Today” magazine will be in town all day gathering story information on Alva’s Arts Community for their March/April edition.
Dr. Kay Decker, chair of the department of social sciences at Northwestern and director of the Graceful Arts Center, said that Northwestern plays an important role in the community’s arts and culture scene through its fine arts and humanities programs, as well as the Northwest Oklahoma Concert Series, which is a collaborative effort between the university and the community.
“The university’s fine arts and humanities programs have participated fully in the various arts venues around the community for many years,” Decker said. “There will be art all over town for the First Friday Art Walk!
“We are exceptionally pleased that ‘Oklahoma Today’ plans to feature Alva’s Cultural Arts Community in its upcoming March/April edition, and we look forward to this wonderful showcase of our university and community collaborating for the benefit of all.”