Norman Arts Council, Pioneer Library System Team Up to Present Fourth Annual Writing Workshop

Writing Workshop 2014 Web

The Norman Arts Council partners with the Pioneer Library System for the forth-annual Writing Workshop, May 3, 2014. This year the NAC is pleased to announce that the Writing Workshop will be held in conjunction with StART Norman, amonth-long community arts initiative in Downtown Norman at the site of the Old Lumber Yard, 227 W. Main St., Norman.

“The NAC looks forward to this collaboration with the Pioneer Library System each year,” said Erinn Gavaghan, executive director of Norman Arts Council. “We are delighted to be able to offer this unique and free opportunity to the community. There are not many opportunities for creative writers like this and we are very excited about this year’s workshop program in particular!”

The workshop, lead by William Bernhardt and Nathan Brown, takes place within the site-specific art installation for StART Norman entitled Threshold: the promised land. Participants will have an opportunity to explore the exhibition and its themes throughout the day and use techniques learned to craft writings during the workshops.

“I look forward to this workshop every May,” Brown said. “It’s a bit like a family reunion by now, where we catch up on the comings, goings, and writings of each other over the last year. If you haven’t been, come on over… there’s room in the family.”

Following the workshop, StART Norman will host an Open Mic night where workshop participants and others from the community are invited to share their writings.

Writing Workshop: Threshold Schedule, May 3, 2014
1 to 4 p.m. – “Threshold Writing Workshop” – Lead by William Bernhardt
4 to 5 p.m. – Break
5 to 6:30 p.m.– “Presenting Your Writing” with Oklahoma Poet Laureate, Nathan Brown
7 to 9 p.m. – Open Mic Night open to workshop participants and the community

The Writing Workshop is free and open to all ages and registration is required. Call 801-4583 or email to register.


2014-2015 Norman Arts Council Featured Individual Artist Award Applications Available Now!

Individual Artist Award

The Norman Arts Council announces the open call for the 2014-2015 Individual Artist Award. Applications are due by 3:00pm on July 31, 2014 and may be mailed or delivered to MAINSITE Contemporary Art: Home of the Norman Arts Council.

The high school student applications are due January 31, 2015.

Last year was the second year for the NAC Individual Artist Award. 2013-2014 juror and Sammi Harris chose four local artists: Sarah Engel-Barnett, Erin Latham, Stuart Whitis and Norman high school senior Jamie Lim. Each artist received a $600 honorarium and a featured exhibit at MAINSITE Contemporary Art opening on a 2nd Friday Circuit of Art.

Application forms can be downloaded or picked up at MAINSITE Contemporary Art. Completed applications may be mailed or delivered to the MAINSITE Contemporary Art: Home of the Norman Arts Council, 122 East Main Street, Norman, OK 73069.

The Individual Artist Award is provided in part by the Norman Transient Guest Room Tax.

Questions regarding the NAC Individual Artist Award may be directed to the Norman Arts Council at 405-360-1162 or Joshua Boydston at

Summer 2014 Art Education Scholarship Application Available Now!

Luncheon Web

In 2012, the Norman Arts Council introduced the Robert Kidd III Arts Programs Scholarship Fund to provide support for Norman students in grades kindergarten through 8th grade to attend arts education programs with an established arts organization or educator.

Awards are given for fall, spring and summer class sessions. A selection of arts education experiences and other arts related events and programs is available on the 2013 Norman Arts Resource Guide, available online at

Applications for Summer 2014 are available now and accepted through Friday, May 9, 2014. Download full the full guidelines and application here.

The Robert Kidd III Arts Programs Scholarship Fund is made possible with support from Republic Bank and Trust and the City of Norman.

For more information on the scholarships call 405-360-1162.

Art Ed Scholar Logos

PAB Seeking Proposals for New Round of the Samo Ducky Project

Samo Ducky Project Gallery Revise copy

The Norman Public Arts Board (PAB), on behalf of the Norman Arts Council and the City of Norman, seeks artists (or team of artists) to design and enhance/paint a fabricated fiberglass sculptures of ducks. These sculptures will be placed in three City of Norman Parks designed for children (locations TBD). It is the future intent of the Public Arts Board to produce additional fiberglass sculptures in other Norman parks. This RFP is for three separate ducks, from which three submissions will be selected.


Each duck stands 44” tall and is made from the original Samo Ducky sculpture by Douglas Shaw Elder, which resides in Lions Park on Flood Avenue. In addition to Samo Ducky, there are 11 ducky installations currently located in Norman.

Although the surface design is open, care must be taken in the application of selected proposals to protect the sculpture from the expected contact of children interacting with the sculptures. The design should take into consideration visibility by vehicles driving by the parks as well as the sculpture’s role as a functioning activity for children in the parks.

The goal of this project is to create and install sculptures that encourage creativity from the viewers and users of the park. The theme, including an appropriate name, is completely up to the artists.
The completed sculptures will be installed and dedicated by Fall 2014. To improve the longevity of the finished design and ease the removal of potential surface markings, sculptures must be coated with multiple layers of clear top coats, appropriate for the medium used, and three coats of paste wax before the artist delivers their completed painted/enhanced sculpture.

Attached to this document is the official PAB sketch of the duck for use in submitting a proposed enhancement.

There have been many similar projects throughout the United States. To view other projects, visit


The artist’s honorarium for each of the sculptures is $400, payable upon completion and delivery. The fiberglass form will be available for pick up from the Firehouse Art Center; upon completion, ducks will be delivered back to the Firehouse before installation.


Open to all artists living within the city limits of Norman, Oklahoma.


Application Deadline: May 23, 2014, 4:00 PM

Notification to Artists: no later than June 6, 2014

Artist Pick Up of Fiberglass Forms: no later than June 16, 2014

Deadline for the Delivery of Completed Sculptures: July 28, 2014

*Artists will pick up and drop off duck sculptures at the Firehouse Art Center, 444 S Flood Avenue.

Installation of Sculptures in Parks: Fall 2014

Samo Ducky Project Map purple copy

START Norman Debuts on Friday, April 11, 2014!


StART Norman was born out of the idea that the arts can affect positive and lasting change through placemaking – the act of bringing the “community” back to the Community.

Through a series of art exhibits and installations and temporary improvements to a designated area of Downtown Norman, we will attempt to explore concepts like “walkability,” “bikeability,” green space, enhanced retail offerings, and arts experiences in order to welcome and attract PEOPLE to Main Street.

StART Norman is inspired by The Better Block and No Longer Empty projects.

Get the full lowdown on START here!

Coffee, Water and Art Come Together at MAINSITE

Mariposa Postcard Front

Mariposa Coffee Roastery and the Norman Arts Council are partnering for Transformation: Coffee+Water+Art, an art and music-filled weekend aimed at raising funds for Campaign: Rwanda.

Weekend activities include an exhibit, documentary film screening, children’s arts and crafts and live music.

The weekend kicks off with an opening reception at the MAINSITE Contemporary Art, 122 E. Main, from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, March 20. Food will be provided by LOCAL and drinks will be available. The gallery will showcase works by artists: Esther Havens, Hailey Helmerich, Skip Hill, Tim Krauss, Roshni Robert, Samantha Lamb, Charlsey Studdard, Amyie Kao, Jenny Hartsell, Tim Elliot and Felix Blesch. The exhibition will run through Saturday, March 22.

On Friday, March 21 at 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., the gallery will screen the short-documentary, This is Normal. The film follows the stories of those affected by the water crisis in Zambia and illustrates how their lives are changed with the addition of water wells. The gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Documentary Director Derek Watson will be on hand after each showing for a question and answer session. In between showings, popcorn and live music will be provided.

Saturday, March 22 marks the World Water Day Celebration. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Firehouse Art Center and Scissortail School of Art will provide kid-friendly art activities in recognition of the United Nations World Water Day. Water4  (a water non-profit in OKC) will set up an example of one of the wells, which uses sustainable tools to drill and demonstration, live music will also be provided.

Saturday, March 22 features a Benefit Concert from 7 to 11 p.m.
This concert will close out this exhibit with live music from Zach Winters, Momok, Sarah Reid, Fan Club, and Sardashhh. There will be a $5 cover and beverages will be provided.

Campaign: Rwanda is a partnership between Mariposa Coffee Roastery, Scissortail Media and Water4. The group hopes to raise awareness of the water crisis in Rwanda that affects, not only the drinking water, but also the water coffee laborers drink while working. The campaign was created as an effort to educate and inform the coffee industry, as well as a call to action to help build wells to provide clean water.

“We decided to focus on water and water quality because it is an integral component to the brewing, processing and growing of coffee,” said Amyie Kao, co-founder and co-owner of Mariposa Coffee Roastery. “We know that others in the coffee industry care about their own water quality for brewing purposes and could connect with needs of the people that labor to harvest and bring them excellent coffees.”

Mariposa Coffee Roastery has partnered with many nonprofits and charities since they opened in 2009, donating to causes such as disaster relief, development projects, people with disabilities and anti-human trafficking initiatives.

This event is part of the MAINSITE lite series.