"Cavallucci Marini" by Michele Clancy. photo by Margaret Laprarie

A look at the Tulsa Artists’ Coalition juried exhibition

The exhibition of local art invites viewers to participate in the jurying process.

Earlier this month, the Tulsa Artists’ Coalition opened its 33rd annual exhibition of juried artwork from its community of TAC members. The exhibition—displayed each year in ahha, Tulsa’s first floor gallery—features 99 different artworks from 65 local artists. These 99 artworks include a variety of mediums such as paintings, photographs, sculpture and even articles of clothing.

As the exhibition is juried, two jurors carefully choose each work, Kristen Gentry and Majorie Bontemps. Gentry—a practicing artist from Tulsa—specializes in areas of relief and monotype printmaking, painting, jewelry and photography. Inspired by the mission to preserve her traditional Native American heritage she is involved in a variety of community organizations throughout the city.

Also a practicing artist and curator based in Tulsa, Bontemps has spent many years involved in the local arts scene. Her medium of choice is photography, focusing on representing contemporary culture and connecting her artistic as well as curatorial inspiration to the years she spent studying art history and cultural studies in Paris, France.

When visiting the exhibition, viewers are encouraged to try their hand at the process of jurying as well. At the entrance to the gallery lies a round table with different colored puff balls that each correspond to an “award” you can give the works of your choice. Red gives you the option to choose works you find beautiful, green represents works that are innovative, purple indicates fine craftsmanship and blue shows that you found it as thought provoking. Viewers place these balls into a small plastic tube located alongside each work, and there is no limit to how many you can award. If you find that five works represent fine craftsmanship, give them all a purple puff ball!

While a great way to explore some of what Tulsa’s downtown Arts District has to offer, visiting the exhibition is also a great way to support the work of local artists within the community. According to their website, the Tulsa Artists’ Coalition is “… a volunteer-run, nonprofit organization of artists and art supporters, formed to encourage and support emerging and established contemporary artists, and to foster the development of new forms and multidisciplinary work in Tulsa and surrounding communities.” By coming to see the displays, visitors not only experience a variety of contemporary artworks, they also support the mission of an organization focused on advancing the work of local artists.

Visitors can view the exhibition with the purchase of admission to ahha, currently $16.75 for adults above the age of 12, and $12.75 for children ages three through 12. Photographs are allowed and encouraged, though the staff asks that you keep a face mask on at all times, covering both your nose and mouth. Admission to ahha also includes THE EXPERIENCE on their second floor, an interactive and immersive art installation comprised of six different themed rooms, and THE STUDIO on their third floor, where guests can use a vast variety of art supplies to tackle creative challenges and bring their artwork home with them.

Almost all works on display are for sale and can be purchased in-person at ahha, making it a great stop for any art collectors as well. The exhibition will remain open for several more weeks, including the next First Friday Art Crawl on Feb. 4. If you do find yourself with a chance to visit, make sure to snap a photo of your favorite pieces and tag @ahhatulsa, where they usually repost tagged photos on their stories. In true ahha spirit, you can show everyone what you are doing to #KeepTulsaCreative and encourage others to visit as well!

Post Author: Margaret Laprarie