Oklahoma Contemporary
A photo depicts a video camera capturing an artist as they work on an easel

New Light

Sept. 09, 2020

Back to School: Part 1

Multidisciplinary course highlights from the first offering from Studio School Online
A detail photograph of a sign with the words "The Studios" set against an early evening sky
The Studios at Oklahoma Contemporary

When COVID-19 threw Oklahoma Contemporary a curve ball, the Education team at your new arts center was ready to meet the challenge. Plans were in place to unveil our state-of-the-art new studio facilities, home of Studio School -- where students from all walks of life can learn new skills or master existing ones -- but had to be put on hold in March when the pandemic forced closures of public gathering spaces throughout the United States.

"Going online allows us to bring an assortment of 10-week classes and their artist-educators into people’s living rooms. Not only will people have the chance to learn a new skill like loom weaving, how to paint with watercolors or build virtual worlds, but they have a chance to meet new people who share a common interest," said Education and Programming Director Jaime L.M. Thompson.

“We've worked with our instructors and consulted with other museums and studios across the country to identify the types of classes and livestream technology that work best with students,” says Adrienne Lalli Hills, associate director of Studio School. “As a result, we have decided to beam all courses live to you so that you can personally connect with your instructor and your classmates. Class recordings will be shared with students in case they miss a course or wish to revisit a presentation or tutorial. In this way, you'll have quality, interactive instruction from the safety of your own home during the pandemic.”

Today we'll look at a few specific classes to give you an idea of what you can expect from our new creative pilot program designed to spark your creativity in the new normal of physical distancing.

A digital rendering of native grasses and trees set against a silver building with lots of angles
Image from Tess Elliot's augmented reality (AR) app, nOaks (Infinite Oaks), developed for the artist's Studio-in-Place digital residency with Oklahoma Contemporary.

Virtual Worldbuilding with Tess Elliot

World got you down? Build your own! This course from June Studio-in-Place artist Tess Elliot help students learn how to design and build their own dynamic 3-D environment. Using software like Photoshop, Maya and Unity, Elliot's course will cover 3-D modeling, creating textures, terrain building, animating game assets and more to create virtual worlds.

"We rely on our interfaces to connect us, especially during the pandemic," Elliot said. "I think there is possibility in that, because we are so reliant and dependent on it. It allows for some self-reflection about the practice of using our technologies."

All skill levels are welcome. This course will include two hours of face-to-face online instruction and one hour of original content from the instructor that can be completed at any time between class sessions. "Students can expect to create an interactive digital environment of animated 3-D models within powerful game-engine software. Their final projects will take the form of screen-based environments and virtual reality experiences," Elliot said. "I’m excited to see where students, from a wide range of backgrounds, interests, aesthetics and goals, will take these new media techniques."

A figure with dark hair stands among fiber art and loom weaving materials
Fiber artist Rachel Denbow will teach Intro to Frame Loom Weaving this fall as part of Studio School Online.

Intro to Frame Loom Weaving with Rachel Denbow

Ornate, beautiful beadwork is found in traditional items and contemporary fashion across the globe, and getting started is easier than you might think. Alongside local fiber artist Rachel Denbow, students will gain all the basic skills and techniques needed to create their own custom bracelets, lanyards or hatbands. Topics covered will include: selecting the right supplies, stringing your loom, one- and two-needle loom techniques, creating your own pattern and more. Registered students will be able to check out a bead loom for the duration of the course at no additional cost.

"Frame loom weaving is something that's become more popular and mainstream over the last five to 10 years," Denbow said. "There are people who want to do it for fun and people who want to learn more about weaving in general. Wherever you land on that scale, we want to draw people in to become part of the fiber arts community here."

A surrealist painting depicts Spongebob Square Pants and a menacing police officer
dOuKnowWhYiPuLLeDyOuOvEr? (2020) by Calvin Pressley, from the artist's Studio-in-Place digital residency with Oklahoma Contemporary.

Directed Independent Studio - Painting with Calvin Pressley

Former Studio-in-Place artist Calvin Pressley gives you the tools you need to take your painting practice to the next level in this course for intermediate and advanced students. If you're interested in sharing critical dialogue pertaining to your work and the work of your peers, this class is for you.

Pressley and students will engage in a wide variety of topics relating to backgrounds and painting disciplines. This course will encourage all participants to push one another to dig for deeper levels in their work through rigorous constructive criticism. “I want to inspire my students to push themselves to learn whatever technical skills they might want to achieve, but also to always engage with their own perspective and not just try to re-create something they’ve seen before,” he said. “I want to inspire them to reach for something new.”

When it comes to Studio School Online offerings, these classes are just the tip of the iceberg. Check out our complete course listings here, and watch this space for more course highlights throughout registration, ending Sunday, Sept. 20.

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Oklahoma Contemporary Studio School fiber art painting digital art COVID-19

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Monday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Closed Tuesday

Wednesday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Thursday 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Friday - Sunday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

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Visit us at 11 NW 11th St.
Oklahoma City, OK 73103
Phone: 405 951 0000
Fax: 405 951 0003

Oklahoma Contemporary
P.O. Box 3062
Oklahoma City, OK 73101

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