The highly selective program continues to enrich Tulsa with funded arts.
The Tulsa Artist Fellowship (TAF) has welcomed 27 new artists to the program this year. These applicants were selected out of a pool of around 700 other applicants from all over the country.
This brings the total number of Tulsa Artist Fellows to 59. The fellows are given a stipend of $20,000 to use on a project as they see fit, in addition to housing and studios where they can continue to develop their ideas.
Notable new fellows include: Guggenheim Fellowship-winning video and sound artist Kalup Linzy, curatorial platform collaborators Atomic Culture and winner of the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize recipient Joy Harjo. It is more than exciting to have these incredible artists staying here in Tulsa. Their work and the art they continue to create represent what art is supposed to be: dynamic and impactful.
The George Kaiser foundation established TAF in 2015. Artists make Tulsa’s community richer and help contribute to the quickly growing art, literature and music scene in Tulsa. It shows that the city is a place for serious artists.
Because of how wide the selection pool is, those chosen as Tulsa artist fellows represent people who are truly passionate about their craft. Every single one of the new fellows bring something special to the table. Their art — spanning mediums from painting to screenwriting — shines with authenticity.
Not only is TAF committed to giving artists the space and time to work on creative projects, they are committed to diversity as well. The new artists — as well as the current ones — include people of all backgrounds.
The type of art created under the TAF umbrella comes in different forms and media. It is difficult to categorize any of the artists, because they are involved in so many different things. For example, Sarah Ahmad works in many different mediums, including photography, paintings and large-scale installations.
In addition to welcoming new artists into the Fellowship, TAF is also awarding three current fellows to receive the new Tulsa Arts Integration Award. The 2019 winners are Crystal Z Campbell, Eric Sall and Nathan Young.
Campbell is an artist who works with many media. According to the TAF website, Campbell “imagines social transformations and questions the politics of witnessing using physical archives, online sources, and historical materials.” This makes her work compelling and thought-provoking.
Sall is a painter who mainly works with acrylics. His art is brightly colorful and often features dark contrasting lines and shapes. During his time here in Tulsa, he has collaborated with the Philbrook Museum of Art and Tulsa Ballet to create “Creations in Studio K” in 2018. During the show, Sall would create an abstract painting as the dancers moved around the piece he was working on.
Young was born in Tahlequah. Like Campbell, he is a diverse artist, utilizing film, painting and installations that use mixed-media. In addition, he is a composer who incorporates experimental and improvised music in his videos. According to the TAF website, his work is “re-imagining indigenous sacred imagery in order to complicate and subvert notions of the sublime and is described by the artist as American Indian Gothic.”
Although the program is only in its fourth year, it is growing at an excellent rate and bringing many new and established artists to Tulsa.