The term âartist in residenceâ has taken on new meaning as the populace continues to confront the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
âItâs probably safe to say that every artist these days is an artist in residence since they are having to stay at home just like everyone else,â said Lauren Rogers, communications specialist at Gilcrease Museum.
It was during a discussion about how Gilcrease, which is closed to the public in accor
âA Warriorâs Roleâ by Travis Mammedaty. Part of Gilcrease Museumâs #ArtistsinQuarantine project. Courtesy/Travis Mammedaty
dance with the cityâs policies in halting the spread of the disease, might still find ways to connect with audiences during this time.
âOne of our staff members, Calvin Frank, came up with the idea of reaching out to artists we have worked with before and have them submit work that was about how they felt about the current situation and share that with the public,â Rogers said. âI sort of hijacked the idea and said that, instead of limiting it to certain groups, letâs open it up to everyone.â
âMedicine Manâ is a work by Larry W. Carter.âCourtesy/Larry W. Carter
The first call for artists to contribute to the â#ArtistsinQuarantineâ project went out March 20, and so far, more than 50 artists have responded. Gilcrease staff members selected certain images that it features regularly on its various social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Gilcrease Museum Executive Director Susan Neal said, âOur plan to engage the community during this crisis was to focus on what we call âThe Three Csâ â" feeling calm, connected and creative. And I thought this idea ticked all the boxes.
âUnnamed Bisonâ by Heath Lane. Part of Gilcrease Museumâs #ArtistsinQuarantine project. Courtesy/Heath Lane
âEnjoying a work of art canât help but give one a personal sense of calm, and offering this outlet for area artists is a way of helping them stay connected and engaged with the museum,â she said.
Other online programs include âMakerâs Moments,â videos of artists guiding viewers through art projects that can be done with everyday objects, and âSoothing Scenes,â images from the museumâs collection that offer a touch of tranquility.
For some of the artists whose work has been chosen to be featured, the #ArtistsinQuarantineâ project has been a unique opportunity.
âReservation Quarantineâ is by Larry W. Carter.âCourtesy/Larry W. Carter
âI know a lot of artists, including myself, have had to cancel shows due to COVID-19,â Travis Mammedaty said. âSubmitting a piece of my work is a way for it to be seen on a large platform and to show that we artists are still out there making art, even in the most trying times.â
âIâm self-taught and have been making art for about two years now,â Heath Lane said. âI hope my work can maybe inspire someone else to try (to make art of their own), especially with all the potential free time many of us have.â
Roy Boney, a Cherokee artist from Tahlequah who also works in the Cherokee Nationâs language revitalization program, used an image of Sequoyah as a starting point.
âI decided to transform the famous portrait of Sequoyah by Charles Bird King into a public service announcement,â Boney said. âThe tablet Sequoyah is holding in my mixed-media drawing says, in Cherokee, âHelp stop the spread of germs.â He is wearing a mask so emblematic of our current situation.
âHelp stop the spread of germsâ by Roy Boney, Jr. Part of Gilcrease Museumâs #ArtistsinQuarantine project. Courtesy/Roy Boney Jr.
âI submitted the image to the Gilcrease Facebook page because several artist friends of mine pointed me to the project,â he said. âThe Gilcrease has such a long history with native artists in Oklahoma so I thought it was a good match. I also hope it might provide some health advice and expose people to a bit of Cherokee language.â
Rogers said artists wishing to submit their work for the â#ArtistsinQuarantineâ project may do so on any of the museumâs social media sites. Submissions must include the â#ArtistsinQuarantineâ hashtag.
âMost of what weâve received so far has been paintings, but weâre open to anything,â Rogers said. âSongs, dance, video, you name it. We want to see what artists of all types are doing.â
âQuarantine Week 1,â by Clay Horton. Part of Gilcrease Museumâs #ArtistsinQuarantine project. Courtesy/Clay Horton