Fast five

Big ideas can define careers. But they’re also expensive, which is why the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition developed “Art 365.” It grants five artists 12 months and $12,000 each to produce work that could change the trajectory of their careers.

Opening Friday, the exhibit features projects by Geoffrey Hicks, Grace Grothaus, Aaron Hauck, Frank Wick and Liz Rodda.

Hicks has been waiting for such an opportunity to put a long-delayed concept into action: a 5-foot, 800pound industrial robotic arm.

“It’s like the kind you see on commercials welding cars,” the Tulsan said.

“Then realized I would need a couple thousand dollars in electronics just to get the thing to work at all.”

His project utilizes facial-recognition software Hicks designed to have the arm track, photograph and display images of people amid a crowd.

“The art is the interaction between the viewer and the project,” Hicks said. “Some people will find it interesting and want to get their picture taken; some people will find it creepy and shy away from it.”

above Geoffrey Hicks and friend

Rodda’s project utilizes video, sculpture, photography and drawing to examine the nature of desire and the romanticizing of the unknown. Videos will depict Beijing fortunetellers interpreting the Normanite’s dreams, as well as actions she might take in response to the premonitions. The most challenging aspect, she said, was the full calendar year standing between her and the deadline.

“I spent weeks and weeks writing and re-writing the initial proposal,” Rodda said. “By the time it was submitted, the projects had already been resolved in many ways.”

Some people will find it creepy.

—Geoffrey Hicks

Guest curator Shannon Fitzgerald met with the artists throughout the year to help mold their ideas into feasible exhibits. She said “Art 365” offers the public a unique chance to see Oklahoma artists’ potential when they largely are unconstrained by time and finance.

“When artists are given this support,” Fitzgerald said, “they tend to excel.”

Charles Martin

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