The Grants for Artists program fosters Oklahoma’s visual artistic creative excellence. The grants committee supports the mission of OVAC and scores submissions based on the merit of each application according to the pertinent grant category and its associated criteria. Grants for Artists help individual Oklahoma artists create visual art for public presentation, develop their professional practices, and lead community projects. Grants are open to artists working in visual-based mediums, curation, and art writing.


THE TIMELINE

All four of our grant applications will be reviewed multiple times throughout the year on the following rolling schedule:


Professional Basics and Education Assistance Grants:

Applications must be received by 11:59PM on January 15th, March 15th, or October 15th and applications will be reviewed in the following weeks.


Creative Projects and Community/Artist Partnership Grants:

Applications must be received by 11:59PM on March 15th or October 15th and applications will be reviewed in the following weeks.


*Artists can expect notification within four weeks of the grant deadline.

Funded projects must occur after the grant application is accepted and within one year of receiving grant funds.


THE APPLICATIONS

   ELIGIBILITY

  • You must be 21 or older to apply for a grant.
  • Grant recipients must have held at least 12 months of residency in Oklahoma prior to the submission deadline.
  • If you are awarded a grant you must wait one year before reapplying.
  • Individuals can only only submit one application per cycle.​
  • You may not request a grant to reimburse spent funds.
  • Artists currently enrolled in BFA or MFA programs are not eligible to apply.
  • Recipients of Momentum Spotlight and Thrive are not eligible to apply within one year of their reward disbursement of the stated programs. If you are awarded a Thrive Grant, you are eligible to apply, but your proposed project may not be the same as your Thrive proposal or a new iteration of said project.

GRANTS FOR ARTISTS FAQs
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How often can I apply for an OVAC Grant?

You can apply as often as you would like. If you are awarded a grant, you must wait one year from that grant cycle to apply again. Recipients of Momentum Spotlight are not eligible to apply within one year of their reward disbursement of the stated programs. If you are awarded a Thrive Grant, you are eligible to apply, but your proposed project may not be the same as your Thrive proposal or a new iteration of said project.

Can I apply for multiple grants in a cycle?

No. Individuals can only have their name attached to one application per cycle.

How long must I have been a resident of Oklahoma to be eligible to apply for an OVAC grant?

To be eligible for an OVAC grant, you must have held at least 12 months residency in Oklahoma prior to the submission deadline.

I’ve applied several times and not received a grant. Why?

Our grants are extremely competitive, particularly our Creative Projects grants. Please do not become discouraged by the possibility of having to submit over multiple occasions. We will provide feedback on each request, whether funded or not. We encourage you to use this feedback to strengthen your submissions for the future.

What sort of projects are not funded?

There are some limits on the types of projects we can fund. Our mission limits our focus to the visual arts and does not include documentary films, strong narrative films/productions, music, dramatic productions, dance, and others. We can fund video art, performance art, sound art, and other non-traditional art forms that still fall under visual art. Projects that raise concerns around cultural appropriateness will not be considered. If you are unsure of whether or not your project qualifies, please reach out to our Administrative and Artist Relations Manager at ariana@ovac-ok.org.

Can curators and arts writers apply for OVAC Grants?

Yes. Artists/writers/curators may only have their name(s) attached to one application per cycle. Artists/writers/curators who choose to submit as groups, upon award of grant, will be held to the same rules of eligibility as an artist/writer/curator who applies individually.

Can I apply as part of a group?

Yes. Artists may only have their name(s) attached to one application per cycle. Artists who choose to submit as groups, upon award of grant, will be held to the same rules of eligibility as an artist who applies individually.

Once I’m funded, when can I apply again?

Once you are funded, you have to wait one year from the grant cycle for which you were awarded. E.g. If you were awarded in October 2023, you cannot apply again until October 2024.

Do I have to be an OVAC member to receive a grant?

No, you do not have to be an OVAC member to apply for or receive a grant.

How are grant applications scored?

Each grant category has a different system of scoring.

Education and Travel Assistance grants are evaluated and awarded based on four categories: the quality of the educational opportunity, potential impact on the applicant's practice/career, the applicant’s abillity to complete the project, and on the relevance of the project based on provided work samples.

Professional Basics grants are evaluated and awarded based on three categories: the quality of the project, the applicant’s ability to complete the project, and on the relevance of the project based on provided work samples.

Creative Projects grants are evaluated and awarded based on four categories: the concept of the project, the quality of the work, how career altering the opportunity is, and the ability of the applicant to complete the project. "Extra Credit" will be given to projects that: serve under-represented regions of Oklahoma and/or include artist(s) Native Peoples/People of Color.

Community/Artist Partnership grants are evaluated and awarded based on four categories: the potential impact on the community from this project, the concept of the project, the quality of the work, and the applicant’s ability to complete the project. "Extra Credit" will be given to projects that: serve under-represented regions of Oklahoma, include artist(s) Native Peoples/People of Color, and/or utilizes collaboration.

Who reviews the grants?

OVAC staff organizes a panel of community members to review grants. These individuals are involved in the arts in a variety of ways, and are chosen for their informed opinions, diverse backgrounds and perspectives, and experience. OVAC staff does not decide who receives grants.


Questions?
Reach out to Administrative and Artist Relations Manager, Ariana Weir, at ariana@ovac-ok.org or (405) 879-2400 Ex. 5


Upcoming Grants for Artist Events

  • Come back soon for more Grants for Artists Events!


MARCH GRANTEES

Professional Basics Grantee
Garden Oasis
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For this project Denae will be curating her own solo exhibition that transforms an art gallery space into a garden. Her goal is to show the growth and prosperity of her art through visual and physical sensory in the form of a creative oasis. By incorporating textural and abstract elements to immerse the viewer into her realm of art.

Community/Artist Partnership Grantee
Allen Arts
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The Allen Arts Project is an inspiring initiative aimed at providing the rural community of Allen, Oklahoma, and its public school system, access to art programming. The program is designed to encourage creativity, develop innovative problem-solving skills, and promote a sense of community. Through art education lessons, students will be empowered to create artwork that will ultimately be installed at the city park, showcasing the beauty and uniqueness of their community. These murals will be thoughtfully designed to incorporate themes that reflect the surrounding environment, creating a more vibrant and engaging public space. The Allen Arts Project believes that by inspiring people of all ages to embrace their unique individuality, it can cultivate a stronger and more connected community. Additionally, this project aims to promote future creative community initiatives and reduce vandalism by applying a sustainable approach to improving the quality of life in Allen, Oklahoma.

Professional Basics Grantee
Vermillion
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On December 11, 2018, Kiona’s sister Amber was shot 11 times in her car as she was about to leave her job as the branch manager of the North Natomas Library in Sacramento, CA. The exhibition will focus on her journey through the trial of her sister’s murderer that concluded in the spring of 2022.

This exhibition will feature 11 large scale 4’x4’ paintings showcasing objects of evidence that made an emotional life imprint on Kiona. These images are her interpretations of evidence that she saw or heard through the trial. Each of these 11 paintings will be centered on a vermillion red canvas. Vermillion red is created by alchemy when mercury and sulfur are brought together; a beautiful shade of red but also extremely toxic. Vermillion represents the red of her sister’s coat, her red car, the red brake lights, blood, rage, red flag laws, love and passion. The spaces between each large canvas will hold a tiny white ghost portrait representing Amber and her surviving family members who feel forgotten.

The exhibition will also feature sound inspired by Kiona’s experience through the trial. During the trial, she had the sensation of floating through a surreal dream or a nightmare. Sound without humanity is muffled, somewhere in between reality and the underworld. She is collaborating with three string musicians to create an experience of tension and evoke the texture of the moments in the courtroom. The number 11 will be used throughout this exhibition.

Kyle Todaro
Education Assistance Grantee
Kent Art Blossom Art Intensive Residency
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Kyle will attend the two-week Kent Blossoms Art Intensive Painting residency at Kent State University. He will study with instructors from Kent State's MFA Painting program along with visiting artists Sharmistha Ray & Karen Seapker. He will participate in the painting course titled Painting to the Edge.

Creative Projects Grantee
TIGER Short Documentary Film
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The short documentary film TIGER highlights Dana Tiger, an Indigenous award-winning, internationally acclaimed artist and elder, and the resurgence of the iconic Tiger t-shirt company. Dana’s mother started a booming t-shirt printing business in the 1980s, which solely featured Tiger family art. It was the first time Native art was seen on t-shirts. Then, tragedy struck their family. Dana’s older brother was relentlessly murdered and their family business was brought to a halt, for what seemed like forever, until recently. After nearly 30 years, Dana and her family revitalized the practice of printing Tiger art on t-shirts. Now, everybody wants to get their hands on a Tiger T-shirt.

Education Assistance Grantee
Artist in Residence, Constellation Studios
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Marika will be an artist-in-residence at Constellation Studios in Lincoln, Nebraska for three weeks from July-August 2024. Internationally renowned artist Karen Kunc founded Constellation Studios in 2013 as a creative gallery, workspace and professional classroom focusing on print, paper, and bookmaking. During her residency, Christofides will work with Kunc to make a series of handmade books and an accompanying animation that explore the idea of the human microbiome, based on the research of evolutionary biologist Lynn Margulis.

Merhawit Gebregziabher Tsegay
Creative Projects Grantee
Phone Home: ድሃይ ገዛና ናፍቁና (The voice of our house and our yearning)
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On November 4th, 2020, the Ethiopian government began committing a genocide on the people of Tigray, which is a northern region of Ethiopia. Trapped between Eritrean troops and the federal army, the people of Tigray continue to fight for freedom to live. These past three years have been very difficult to endure and it seems poetry has been a beautiful place to house all of these emotions. Phone Home : ድሃይ ገዛና ናፍቁና (The voice of our house and our yearning), explores different emotions associated with complex grief and fantasies of a hopeful future after Tigray has been freed from genocide.

Community/Artist Partnership Grantee
Art for All: Empowering At-Risk Youth Through Community Mural Teaching
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The Mural Project for Kids will be a free mural process educational program that will take youth through the process of making a mural, start to finish, from ideation to completion! Using Life Changes and Wellness as a venue in Spencer, OK, together we’ll create a beautiful mural to express the community!


CONTACT US

Phone: (405)879-2400

Office Hours: Monday–Thursday, 9AM–5PM

ADDRESS

Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition

1720 N. Shartel Ave. Suite B.

Oklahoma City, OK 73103

© 2024 Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition. All rights reserved. Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. EIN: 73-1328072.

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