Curate: Curatorial Mentorship Program

2021 Curator: Debra Martin-Barber

Born in California and raised in Oklahoma City, Debra Martin-Barber’s desire to create art began by drawing pictures out of storybooks at age six. Her early ambition was inspired by her mother who was a self-taught artist. Debra has a master’s in Human Relations that includes 30 hours of coursework in commercial art. While attending college, she received the prestigious Art Purchase Award by selling the most artwork at a student exhibit. During this time, she also exhibited work at The Paseo Arts Festival.

Recently, she has shown her works at Putnam City Faculty Art Show, NTU Celebration of the Arts, the Women of Color Art Show and the Leslie Powell Gallery as well as various businesses throughout the Metro area. In addition, she serves as an Artist-In-Residence for various non-profit organizations. As an Oklahoma artist and enthusiast, her greatest pleasure is being a strong advocate for arts education.

The emerging curator will work with members of the Inclusion In Art board and with the selected emerging artist for 2021 Ariana Weir. The emerging curator will provide critique and thematic input into the exhibition. Debra will develop their skills by learning the professional aspects of curation, including research, community involvement and applying for grants.

This program is open to any emerging curator living in Oklahoma that identifies as a racial/ethnic minority. We define an emerging artist as anyone who is in the early stages of their career in art, no matter their age.  

Inclusion In Art is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting racial and cultural diversity in Oklahoma’s visual art community. IIA continues to support artists of color by connecting communities through presentations that challenge traditional perspectives and embrace progressive thought.