NORMAN, Ok. - Artists from across Oklahoma's diverse tribal landscape are participating in H2OK: Native Response to Water Issues in Oklahoma, a group art show opening in Norman, Oklahoma and traveling to Muskogee, Oklahoma. The show will open at MAINSITE Contemporary Art: Home of the Norman Arts Council, 122 E. Main Street, Norman, from February 10 - March 10, 2012. The exhibition will then travel to Bacone College's Art Gallery in the McCombs Hall Art Building, 2299 Old Bacone Road, Muskogee, and be on view from April 6 - May 13, 2012.

 

The artists will express cultural attitudes to water in all of its forms, such as rivers, oceans, rain, and drinking water, environmental aspects of water; confront political realities of our dwindling water supplies; or the aesthetics of water within their culture practices. Organized around this broad theme, artists are working in media ranging from underwater photography, to digital art, sculpture, printmaking, painting, and installation. All the artists are either living in Oklahoma or are affiliated with at least one of Oklahoma's 39 tribes.

 

America Meredith, heather ahtone, and Tony Tiger are curating this exhibit as a way to address the state's recent floods, drought, and the role that water plays within cultural traditions for many of the local tribes. Their curatorial statement says: "In the last few years, while gas prices have skyrocketed and the discussion about renewable energy, especially wind, have been thrown around as political ballyhoo, critical water issues have been rising like the slow moving floods of the Mississippi River... We conceive of this exhibition as an opportunity to serve as a conduit through which dialogue and creativity might flow through our community." In addition to the exhibition, community members have been invited to engage in a dialogue held at the MAINSITE exhibit location that will address issues of water from a diverse spectrum of perspectives.

 

Participating artists include: Norman Akers, Marwin Begaye, Roy Boney Jr., Joseph Erb, Anita Fields, Tom Fields, Yatika Fields, Sue Fish, Brent Greenwood, Sam Atakra Haozous, Troy Jackson, Matt Jarvis, Linda Lomahaftewa, Bob Martin, America Meredith, Molly Murphy, Juanita Pahdopony, Tom Poolaw, and Tony Tiger.

 

MAINSITE Contemporary Art, a non-profit gallery operated by the Norman Arts Council, is open Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 11:30 am to 5:00 pm. Their phone number is (405) 360-1162. The Bacone Arts Gallery is located on the second floor of the McCombs Hall Art Building and is open during school hours. Bacone College has the oldest continuing Native American arts program in the country and can be reached at (918) 822-1402.

 

For more information about the project, please visit the art show's website at www.ahalenia.com/h2ok. For more information on MAINSITE Contemporary Art, visit www.mainsite-art.com. For more information on the Norman Arts Council, visit www.normanarts.org.

 

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