Inclusion in Art’s mentorship program is a year-long project where artists of color are provided with the tools and resources to successfully engage Oklahoma’s visual arts community. Including but not limited to:
- The opportunity to develop a strong body of work through feedback and studio visits
- Identifying resources available to visual artists locally and nationally
- Connecting with seasoned artists that inspire them
- Guidance in writing grants and artist statements
- The opportunity to have their work showcased at a prominent gallery space
Committee members Amena Butler, Suzanne Thomas, Randall Barnes and Bryon Perdue Jr. guide mentorship artists based on individual needs in order to give them the best opportunity to continue accessing the community after the program is complete.
The Inclusion In Art mentorship program began in 2017 as a short-term exploration of pairing mid-career artist, Howard Koerth, with emerging artist, Jaiye Farrell. These two artists worked together for a month to put on a two-person exhibition that was held at 1219 Creative that year. Following the first iteration of the mentorship, the group set out to explore this project further by incorporating educational components and working with the artists for a longer period of time.
In 2018, the group would select artists Shannon Smith and Gabriel Rojas to participate in the multiple month-long program. With the guidance of the art committee, both artists managed to secure project funding through OVAC’s grant opportunities, connect with artists who inspire them, put together a two-person exhibition at Oklahoma Contemporary and find and secure opportunities to exhibit their work locally and nationally.
Inclusion In Art’s mentorship is an opportunity held annually for emerging and student artists of color.