cassie stover + natalie kent

Cassie-ChickenShit Natalie Kent GEM2

may 8 // cassie stover + natalie kent

We have two female artists in the gallery for May. Cassie Stover has created a series of 8"x10" paintings inspired by animals with comedic and human qualities while adding a bit of her own humor. Natalie Kent's work is comprised of various forms of symbolism and dream imagery which is meant to spark a question in the viewer and leave the meaning behind the work up to interpretation.

 You can RSVP to the Facebook Event here.

Artist Questions

Cassie Stover Lost In The City

Cassie Stover

What is your medium/process? Acrylic on canvas.Where are you from? Oklahoma City, OK

How would you describe your latest body of work?

After realizing how often I post animal photos on my Instagram, I thought to myself, why am I drawn to them and what do they all have in common?  I discerned that they were mostly comedic and took on some form of personification.  As humans, it's pretty fun to see ourselves in other creatures.  So I made a conscious effort to paint animals versus humans and insert a bit of my own humor.

In the past I have worked primarily on large scale pieces.  This time around, I decided to restrict myself to an 8x10 format, which offers up it's own challenges and rewards. Large scale paintings just have that immediate impact, the size alone draws in viewers. Yet working with the 8x10's I have found they feel more intimate, and I can be as bold with color as I please.

Overall, my work has underlying narrative qualities, but only snippets. I want to know where this monkey is going, and why is he lost in the city? Hopefully they viewer will finish the story for his or herself.  That's the fun part. Or at the very least be amused.

How did you get started? I've always been an artist, since I could hold a crayon I suppose.  I've been one of the lucky ones, with a family that encouraged and supported me from childhood to adulthood to pursue the arts.

What are your goals for the future? Stay motivated.

Natalie Kent The Sage

Natalie Kent

What is your medium/process? I work in a variety of mediums ranging from graphite pencil, pen and ink, or Prismacolor pencil to large acrylic paintings. Lately I've enjoyed focusing on small drawings and illustrations.

Where are you from? Houston, Texas, living and working in Edmond.

How would you describe your latest body of work? This latest body of my work relies heavily on symbolism and dream imagery. I enjoyed creating these pieces with a lot of unanswered questions so that- like dreams- the meaning may vary from viewer to viewer. I think one of the most powerful elements in art is the power of interpretation. Good art doesn't just give you the answer, it lets you find it on your own.

What inspires you? Dreams, metaphors, Renaissance & Surrealist art, and nature. I'd say 99% of my work usually falls in one of those categories. I bring my sketchbook everywhere I go and it's filled with notes of last night's dreams, doodles, urban sketches, ideas for future paintings... we live in an amazing world full of the most fascinating things. It's hard not to be inspired.

How did you get started? I began creating art when I was very young. Some kids would sell lemonade in the neighborhood and I would sell art for 5 cents, setting up shop on a little table at the end of my driveway and busting out one-of-a-kind Picasso-esque Crayola marker pieces. My parents were very supportive of my interest in art and enrolled me in oil painting and watercolor classes throughout middle school and high school.

What are your goals for the future? My goals for the near future are to transition into developing larger paintings. Working on a large scale is out of my comfort zone and honestly a bit intimidating for me, but as an artist I think it's imperative to challenge yourself and push your limits on a semi-regular basis to improve yourself. There's no growth in the comfort zone.

As far as long-term goals, I plan on continuing to create art and show my work in Oklahoma City.

meet your maker // lindsay harkness

OKC Lindsay Harkness

meet your maker // lindsay harkness

April's Meet Your Maker is local photographer Lindsay Harkness.  Lindsay is a lifelong resident of OKC.  She is incredibly passionate about Oklahoma and capturing the history of our state and changes to local buildings.  Lindsay says "The nostalgia of my images often overwhelms people as they reminiscence about favorite memories.  It makes me happy to know i have captured images that are sentimental to my fellow Oklahomans."

PlazaDistrict - Lindsay Harkness

Meet Your Maker Questionnaire

What is your process? I am a photographer. I use a process of sandpaper, paint, glue and water on my photographs to achieve my aesthetic.

Where are you from? I am born and raised in Oklahoma. I graduated from Edmond Santa Fe in 2000 and The University of Oklahoma School of Art in 2004.

What inspires you? Doing something that no one else can do the exact same way inspires me. Creating something that puts a smile on someone's face inspires me.  I got my start on my Oklahoma Landmark Series with a challenge from an out of stater. He claimed there was nothing special about Oklahoma, nothing that we should be proud of.  He was just a customer, but his one off the cuff statement challenged me to prove him wrong, and I feel pretty confident that I'm doing a good job!

How did you get started? My parents gave me a camera for my high school graduation gift. Going into college I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up, but I knew I loved my high school photography classes and I had a new camera....Art school here I come. As for my mixed media process it has been a long line of mistakes that I had to find solutions for. I've have found that a mistake is often times the universe telling you to look or approach the original concept differently.  So many good things have come from me saying, "Oh shit, what do I do now", that I embrace the challenge to think different.

How old were you when you started selling your handmade items locally? 2004ish....I can't remember if I sold stuff at the original Blue 7 and then made it into the second Girlie Show, or if because I was in The Girlie Show I was chosen to sell stuff at Blue 7. Either way let's say 22.

What are your goals for the future? A dream come true would be :  I would have a studio with a dark room.  My photographs would be in such high demand that I would never run out of work or money.  For reality purposes I would love to continue my photographic journey of my Oklahoma Landmark Series and expand beyond just the OKC metro area.  And if I play my cards right pick up the title of Oklahoma Souvenir Connoisseur.

How much time a week do you spend with your craft? That varies on my other job.  I am photo assistant as well and travel with a photographer all over the country.  Each week is different and more often then not I take my supplies with me on the road and work in hotel rooms.  Any free time I have I am sanding away.

Any advice for other crafters or those looking to become makers in the future? I would say make sure you love doing what you do.  Chances are especially at the beginning you will have to work another job to support your craft.  There's never a day off, you will always feel like you should be doing something, and most of your money you make will have to go back into your business. All that said you are your own boss, if you want to work until 3am and wake up at noon you can.  Making stuff and seeing others enjoy it is an amazing feeling. I've been working on this Oklahoma Landmark Series for almost 10 years now and I still never tire from hearing stories of what the buildings mean to them, or how excited they are to send one of the images to a loved one who no longer lives here.

What do you do in your spare time? What is spare time?  Just kidding....when I do finally decide to take a break I love being with my friends.

What is your favorite place to grab a coffee? I'm not really a coffee drinker, but I do love a good patio and a glass of wine.

What music currently inspires you? Music..hmmm I have a mix on my pandora that ranges from the 60's, 70's, & 80's to Enya to Warren G. I'm not too picky but I do know that heavy metal makes my brain and body shut down.

MilkBottle

mark gilmore dennis murphy neal robinson

mark gilmore

november 8th // mark gilmore, dennis murphy & neal robinson

For our 3rd show in 2 months we are excited to have a group of 3 artists who play with a contemporary vein of psychedelic influence.

Mark Gilmore is a long time Oklahoma City resident with a masters quality to his fantasy/surreal oil paintings. More information on the artist below.

Noble Oklahoma based artist and organic farmer Dennis Murphy brings an intense focus and vibrancy through his large studies of geometric patterns with a day-glo palette.

dennis murphy

Neal Robinson uses a mix of mediums to develop compositions which bring together line, shape and color. More information on the artist below.

neal robinson

artist questions

Mark Gilmore

What is your medium? Pigments with varnish on canvas or panel

Where are you from? My adult life has been in Oklahoma City

How would you describe your latest body of work? In reevaluating my motives for painting after a long hiatus, I wanted to find touchstones from the images & colors that drove my imagination and my earliest efforts at being a professional artist.

Expressing my own creativity during a time of social, musical & chemical experimentation, felt like the opening of the vast frontier to Lewis & Clark. The command was to go and see, to explore and report back what you find.

That concept still rings true for me.

What inspires you? Freedom, kittens, a child's laughter, and the Hellbound train carrying each of us to our certain death.

How did you get started? Painting signs for beer & pizza at a local juke joint.

What are your goals for the future? Paint and make things until I die.

Neal Robinson

What is your medium? I work in a variety of mediums.  Pen and Ink, acrylic, water color, screen printing and collage techniques.

Where are you from? Oklahoma City

How would you describe your latest body of work? My latest body of work is trying to find the balance between line, shape and color.  I try to create an organized chaos with my line work while still maintaining a fluidness that your eye can follow without being overwhelmed. Along with the color I also try and incorporate monochrome color and collage techniques that also work with the line work to create an overall harmony.

What inspires you? Architecture inspires me the most.  We are surrounded everyday by your basic shapes that make up the world we live in.  Squares, triangles, circles make up the fundamentals of our cities skeletal structure. So it’s almost necessary for me to try and show these basic shapes to the viewer in a new and visually exciting way.

How did you get started? I started early on as a compulsive doodler and just grew from that like most artists.  Even at an early age I’ve been interested in finding the infinite possibilities you can do with just a simple straight line, the most basic of marks.

What are your goals for the future? I plan to continue to explore line, color and perspective.  I really think the next step in my process is work more on an ambitious scale.  I hope to incorporate my art into wall murals in the near future.

bombs away june 14th

bombs away art

june 14th // bombs away art

This month we are honored to team up with Bombs Away to host an art exhibit benefitting victims of the May tornadoes. Bombs Away is producing a limited edition print for the show as well as some older original works with 100% of proceeds to be donated to relief efforts.

In store we have new handmade and reconstructed clothing by Presley Poe & Out on a Limb clothing. Our clearance sale will end this Sunday so come grab some of our last sale items!

We will be finishing and auctioning off the collaborative  Adironagami chair by Larry Pickering out front this Friday as well. The silent auction will begin at 7:30pm and end at 10:30pm

Larry Pickering

 

dna grand opening

DNA grand opening

may 2nd // dna galleries grand opening

One year ago, we announced our move and began a huge remodel on the former mattress factory at 1709 NW 16th st.

Come celebrate our re-opening! During the day, the gallery will be hosting a catered coffee bar from 11-3 by Cafe Evoke, 10% off all retail merchandise storewide (excludes gallery art) and 50 grab bags of merchandise for the first customers who spend $10 or more.

At 7pm, the group art exhibit will kick off with a catered bar, DJ and live art and screen printing out front. Limited edition shirts will be available only during this event. The group show will feature "drop" shapes that mimic DNA's "Support Local Art' logo. Each piece was cut out of wood salvaged from our old location and given to 30 different local artists to customize.

closed until april 1st

Moving Next Door

closed until april first // moving next door

As of today we are closing the doors at our current location and moving next door into the former mattress factory! It has been a life altering experience watching our dreams and the district come up from our former home/storefront since 2007. We will be re-opening April 1st at 11am for our regular hours and announcing our grand opening celebration directly after.

In the mean time you can visit our online shop

Bare with us as we make this exciting transition to a larger space with an actual gallery! Support Local Art.

New Store

 

sean vali

sean vali owl

sean vali: october 12th

Sean Vali is a hard guy to nail down for a show, but we caught him in between his travels to hang some new works in the shop. Sean likes to collaborate with other artists and is well known in the live art circuit. Just to change things up a bit, we will be collaborating on some live work with Sean out in front of the shop during his opening, more info below. The Plaza District is also teaming up with Fowler VW for a Plaza wide costume contest with Plaza gift cards as prizes! More information about other LIVE events and registration for the contest here: http://www.plazadistrict.org/category/live/

As an added bonus we (Amanda & Dylan) will be collaborating with Sean on a new fresh piece. The "canvas" is the super cool and very modern new furniture creation of Larry Pickering called the Adironagami chair. It will be available for silent auction. Below is the raw steel version.

adironagami larry pickering

 

M Paul Kirby September 14th

m paul kirby m paul kirby

m.paul kirby: september 14th

This month we are please to feature busy local artist M. Paul Kirby. You may recognize the infamous "birdie" character he paints or cuts from wood. He has created a very special and exclusive $30 birdie series just for his show at DNA. These are especially targeted to you art collectors on a budget, so come snatch them up, only 30 will available!

Artist Q&A

How would you describe your work? The aesthetic of my work tends to lean towards the visionary and the otherworldly. It's unexpected dreamlike nature borrows from the surrealists while its allusion to the familiar could draw comparison to the lowbrow comic culture of the 1930's or the pop art movement of the 1960's. While it's impossible to escape all visual influences, I strive to create a world that is distinctly my own.

What inspires you? Thematically, I'm influenced primarily by my experiences throughout life, by my interactions with other people and by the environment in which we live. The themes within the artwork are delicately intertwined with memories from the past, emotions of the present, and the fears and hopes of the future.I strive to use my work not only as a cathartic tool for myself but as a way to communicate the indefinable feelings of being human. I never felt like it was my job as an artist to always make the viewer feel comfortable, but I do feel obligated to illicit within the viewer something visceral and unexplainable. What is beautiful to one viewer will be grotesque to another, but a very important aspect of being an artist, for me, is to initiate creative and progressive dialogue between different schools of thought. All of my work is an effort to grow and evolve, to rise from the ashes and begin anew, to progress to a higher level of thought, to disconnect and reorganize. Everything inspires me.

How did you get started? I initially used it as a means of self exploration and as a dissociative activity. I did it as a kid to sort of pass the time and take my mind on journeys because I was always a loner. I was totally the quiet weird kid in school much like I'm the quiet socially awkward adult now. I started getting more serious about it around 2004-2005. It got a lot more "professional" around 2007 when I started doing more touring and small exhibitions. Creativity and producing artwork are a lot different than doing exhibitions and shows. So while the essence of what I do has been there for a long time, the shows came much later in life. I've been so fortunate and honored that people relate to whatever that thing is that I do. Seeing the response is extremely humbling. Hearing other's explanations of my work are one of my favorite guilty pleasures in life. People have amazing imaginations and it's so cool when they take an image or an idea that you've made and run with it mentally! The fact that something as simple, in theory, as Bird can be a catalyst for creative dialogue is a gift I could never explain in words. People see the works and read the titles and then completely make up their own stories. They get tattoos, they do fan art, they write fiction, they relate to it in ways only known to them and it becomes a very intimate experience. Seeing all of it unfold sometimes brings me tears. The fact that I can somehow share in a moment with the viewer on that level is... magic. If I know one thing it's that nothing in life is guaranteed to last, so I'm sincerely thankful from the bottom of my heart for every moment.

What are your goals for the future? I hope to perfect the art of guacamole making. I've found that only the greatest of people make great guacamole. So, when I reach that peak I'll know I've truly become one with the totality of all things.

buy art support artists

buy art support artists(works from DNA's private collection)

buying art, supporting artists

In celebration of our 3 year anniversary this month, we thought it was important to make a case for purchasing local art. You all know we are huge fans of local art but we are also collectors of sorts and have been for years. When we were first married and both gainfully employed we put together a budget for art. $50 a month. It was actually very easy to find work for that much and if we didnt purchase that month we rolled it into the next month. Every weekend we went to art shows all over and that was our exclusive source of entertainment for years. We got to meet artists and network and put together group shows, it was so energizing to be immersed in the local culture. One of the reasons we felt so passionately about buying things regularly was that we are artists as well and the feeling of validation and support you feel when you sell is unmatched. For us it was important not just to talk about supporting them but to give them our support. I never understood how people would say "that's expensive" or "I dont have the money" then turn around and drop $50-$100 at the bar, or on a piece of clothing that would be out of style the next season. At least with art, you can almost guarantee that the value will increase over time. It doesnt go out of style, it doesn't just flush through your system the next day, it's with you for as long as you like. There's a greater reason as well. If artists can't make a living they will leave, simple as that, they will go to a state where the culture is thriving and they hopefully get to be appreciated and validated and make a living if they are lucky enough to get noticed. No one has been able to convince us yet that the same culture that exists in New York, Los angeles, Portland, Seattle does not exist here because we have absolutley have seen it! The point of this rant is not to guilt or shame anyone into buying art but rather think hard about where you put your money because you really do vote with your dollar. Are you putting it towards things you feel passionately about? Dont be afraid!

Here's some ideas for places where art can be bought affordably:

  • Salons, Coffee shops, Restaurants- Usually when we see art in these places it is emerging artists that are basically giving away their work
  • Retail stores- Certain retail stores around town show artist monthly or carry art on a regular basis
  • And yes galleries! I know of one place here in town that does payment plans for purchases and it's 100% up to you when you pay it off

There are also a few ways to support artists using little to no money:

  • Show up to the opening- most of the time you will get free refreshments and get to meet the artist personally
  • Tell your friends!- Be a promoter of the local culture and share your favorite artists with friends and family
  • Ask about and buy prints, they can range from $5-$200 but usually they will be of good to great quality so you can enjoy the art on a budget
  • Many artists these days are merchandising their works so in addition to prints you can also buy tshirts, stickers, buttons, accessories and more.

So that's it. We are blessed beyond measure to be able to serve our community and bring artists together and are looking forward to more collaborations, group shows and events in the future that bring us all together to support local art.

fannys back 2 fanny pack fashion show

Fannys Back 2

fannys back 2 - return of the fanny pack fashion show: june 10th

It's back! Fanny pack fashion show pt. 2 and this year we have invited local artists to participate in making or reconstructing their own. We have about 15 artists plus a variety of ridiculous hand picked pieces to choose from in addition. Balthazaar will be emceeing the runway show which will start at 8pm. Don't be late we will be making history and setting the bar for original fanny adornment in the midwest.

In store, we have 2 new handmade designers Borderline Designs and Shift 7 Collective so we have brought most of our handmade clothing from the back to pay tribute to all the original incredible designers we have in store who sometimes get lost in the shuffle. Dylan Bradway and myself (Amanda Bradway) are working on some simple sketches that we hope to have framed and ready on friday see you then!

kris kanaly and tom woodward april 8th

kris kanaly

kris kanaly & tom woodward: april 8th

This month DNA Galleries will feature Kris Kanaly and Tom Woodward. You can expect to find a mix of painting, graffiti, mixed media and a sculpture here and there. Both artists use a bright color palette and focus on a wide variety of themes ranging from shape studies to cultural issues. This aims to be a fresh and fun show to welcome in the warm weather and beautiful Oklahoma nights in the Plaza District.

We will also have a special musical guest Henry Daggs from Tennessee. He will playing some fun stuff out in front of the shop.

Kanaly is an artist and graphic designer based out of Oklahoma City. He has been featured in the Vans custom shoe book for his work from the Canvas Shoe Show.

Tom Woodward is a Kansas City based artist with a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute.

dustin oswald bombs away

Bombsaway Dustin Oswald

dustin oswald: march 11th

Everyone is always asking “Who is this Bombs Away guy?” Dustin Oswald is not only the creator of that awesome Oklahoma Flag shirt, he is also a talented and established fine artist. This Friday he will have 30 new pieces of original art and limited edition prints and shirts for sale. Come see the opening and the expansion of our store and gallery during the Plaza District's 2nd Friday art walk.

michael walters february 11th

MICHAEL WALTERS

michael walters: february 11th

For February we are happy to present a young local artist that is just starting to bring his talent to the scene. His work blends illustration with bright colors and allegorical narratives. Michael has created a brand new body of work for his first solo show at our place on Friday and we are honored to see another great local artist make their debut.

As always we will have a fully catered bar and will be celebrating the 2nd annual Love on the Plaza + the anniversary of another Plaza business! For more details check out plazadistrict.org/live.html

josh reynolds december 2010

wonderment: josh reynolds - december 10th

Local artist Josh Reynolds has created an entire body of work from photographs of his son, Ben, as a superhero. Ben was a collaborator in the creative process of this series and was allowed to pick his own costumes and poses which makes this opening one of the more special events we have ever hosted.

You can see more of his work here www.joshreynoldsart.com

This is also the last "Live" before Xmas if you would like to know more about the rest going on in the Plaza go to plazadistrict.wordpress.com

marcus eakers november 12 2010

sleeperawaken

growth - marcus eakers: friday november 12th

For our November artist we are proud to present a new body of work by Marcus Eakers entitled Growth. His work is filled with dreamlike imagery created with a wide and saturated color palette. Be sure to come out and show your support at the opening during Live on the Plaza second Friday art walk.

We also have some great new items at DNA Galleries for all your gift giving needs, or if you just want to buy somehting for your self :) There are new hoodies, jewelry, art books, comfy hats, gloves and much more. So stay away from the mall and come shop locally in the Plaza District this season.

Support local art!

dna longboard show 2010

dna-skate-show

longboard deck show - friday october 22nd 7-11pm

It's our 2 year anniversary and the longboard show is back by overwhelming demand. This year we have 30 different local artists participating and sponsorships from Flip'd skate shop in Edmond, Arbor & Sector 9!

Join us as we celebrate being able to pay our own bills, a milestone for any business!!! :D

Customized decks by local artists: Billy Reid, Sara Atlee, Nic Shelton, Tanner Frady, Michael Combs, Dustin Oswald, Moses White, Kris Kanaly, Brooke Rowlands, Dusty Gilpin, Ashley Smith, Mike Belzel, Cassie Stover, Kaleb Nimz, Tiffany Edwards, Josh Heilaman, Josh Crain, Sean Vali, Brandi Downham, Cody Frusher, Erin Carter, David Breuhl, Cole Cathey, Josh Reynolds, Kjeshus Collins, Steven Bayliss, Promise Edmunds, Steven Hughes, Eric Lyons, Shawn Winfield, Dylan Bradway and Amanda Bradway

haveldids and nots october 2010

feet_web

haveldids and nots: friday october 8th

This month we are featuring the works of our old friend Haveldids from the KND art collective in Norman. His work is fantastically eerie with bizarre amounts of detail that make you want to sit and stare in vain attempts to discern the meaning of each piece. In addition to our regular second Friday opening, the Plaza will be having it's annual:

plaza district festival: saturday october 9th

Dylan and I will be painting a live mural outside during the day which will start at 12pm, and the festival will continue until 10pm with music, local artists and crafters, performance art and even a fashion show. For more details visit Plazadistrict.org.

We also have our 2 year anniversary this month on the 22nd so save the date. 30 different local artists have been working on custom longboard decks. More details in our next post...

sebastian otto september 2010

it-cant-rain-all-the-time-cover_web

sebastian otto: friday september 10th

For September we are privileged to show the works of  Sebastian Otto in his first ever US solo exhibit. Sebastian resides in Hannover / Lower Saxony, Germany. We met him while visiting Germany for Dylan's show at Nice/Nice Exhibition Space where Sebastian is a co-owner. His work is filled with child-like characters with solemn expressions and exaggerated features that are serene and enchanting.

This is our very first international artist and we are working with a few more for our 2011 calendar. Our hope is to network with artists around the world so we can bring awareness to Oklahoma City as a legitimate community for urban contemporary arts and build relationships that will help local artists gain international exposure. With that said, you should come out and support some international art so we can continue to build these relationships. This has been a great year so far, and we thank our community for their continual support of our store and the Plaza District.

michael combs august 2010

mc_2

michael combs: friday august 13th

This month we are proud to show a new body of works by Tulsa native artist Michael Combs! We first met Micahel last year when he participated in our longboard show and we stayed up late talking and planning on getting him on our calendar for an opening in the city. Michael's works are illustrative with an unconventional use of gold foiling in lieu of color on small sections of his paintings.

Good stuff folks. Come see it this Friday during the Plaza's 2nd Friday and check out the rest of our neighborhood businesses.  plazadistrict.org

brooke rowlands july 2010

brooke

brooke rowlands: friday july 9th

For July we have an emerging local female artist that has made a new body of painted magnolias on colorful collaged backgrounds. Brooke has been collaborating with a few local artists through live painting recently, and was a part of our 1 year anniversary longboard deck show. These works are a delightful blend of urban with enough crossover appeal to hang in any home.

You can find out more about this 2nd Friday by visiting plazadistrict.org.