Monday, April 19, 2010

FAQ: Oklahoma Visual Arts Fellowship & Student Awards of Excellence

OVAC’s cash awards are available annually through the Fellowship and Award program.  Applications are due May 3 for consideration.  Find a full call for entries here

Below are some frequently asked questions.  Please comment or send us additional questions, we are glad to answer them!

What happens if you get the Fellowship?
Basically, you get a check for $5,000 in the mail.  These funds can be spent on what you need, there are no restrictions.  Student Awards of Excellence are $500 and have no restrictions how funds are spent. 

Fellowship recipients’ only responsibilities are to offer a public lecture or workshop throughout their Fellowship year and write a brief year-end report. 

OVAC publishes a small catalog (see below) about the winners with writing from the guest curator, biographical information and images. The catalog is sent to curators and galleries nationally and is available to the artists for their use.  This year, OVAC also will produce video profiles of the Fellowship recipients for distribution online.
Why do you offer these awards?
OVAC believes this kind of funding can be a catalyst for artists, giving them more options and opportunity for their artistic career.  OVAC wants to recognize past achievement and future promise, encouraging Oklahoma artists to keep making excellent work

How many applications do you get?
The Fellowship averages 70 artists applying annually.  Last year was the first year we offered the Student Awards of Excellence, so we do not know how many submissions to expect.  In 2009, we received 17 applications.

Those odds don’t sound too good, should I still apply?
Yes, these are much better odds than the lottery!  The application helps you keep your images, statement and resume up to date (keeping you ready for any opportunity that comes your way).  Plus, if you are a member, you can get double benefit by updating your OVAC Virtual Gallery images with your submission.  

For more inspiration, see a profile of Kate Rivers who won last year on her seventh submission to the program. Frank Wick won last year on his first entry to the Fellowship, which shows that you cannot predict the winners.  

What is an artist statement?
Artist statements provide an introductory text clarifying and articulate your vision that helps viewers, curators, potential buyers understand your artwork. Artist statements are your opportunity to define your work before others do.  Here is a blog post from last year with resources for writing an artist statement.

What is an artist resume?
The resume shows your record of professional activity, which is different than a resume for a job.  Accuracy is paramount as you want to show the date, location, and type of professional activity.  Here’s a few handy guide for what should go on resumes and why from the College Art Association and Washington-based Artist Trust

What artistic samples are appropriate?
You may submit up to 10 images or up to 10 minutes of video if you are a media artist. Consider what samples best will show your work. The strongest submissions usually show a clear grouping of work rather than variety of series or media.   There is no time period limitation for when your work was made, but be sure the curator can see you are still creating work (so don’t make all samples from 10 years ago for instance).

Quality images of your artwork are vital.  Be sure the curator can determine what the work is immediately, so avoid cluttered backgrounds or adding elements or text to the image. 

Am I a current member or do I need to renew or pay the entry fee?
Email Stephanie to check if your membership is current. 

Does my membership or non-members affect my application?
No.  You do NOT need to be a member to win the award.  The guest curator does not see membership information when reviewing applications.  

Top: Kate Rivers, Ada, 2009 Fellowship Recipient
Middle: Frank Wick, Norman, 2009 Fellowship Recipient
Bottom: Joshua Meier, Claremore, 2009 Student Awards of Excellence Recipient

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