Opening Second Friday, October 13, 2023, from 5-8pm at The Gallery at Liggett Studios and continues through November 3, 2023
Opening at Owens Arts Place Museum in Guthrie from March 15 through
April 19, 2024.
This exhibit is the culmination of an eleven month search led by co-curators, Pam Hodges and Steve Liggett, to identify Visionary artists currently living in Oklahoma. The curators contacted art organizations, centers, galleries, and collectors, in 29 Oklahoma cities and towns and in four states. The search resulted in submissions from 57 artists. Finding artists who, by nature, are unconcerned with being found was a challenge unique to this endeavor.
The Oklahoma Visionaries exhibition features work by twenty, self-taught, Oklahoma artists. All have a drive that springs from a uniquely personal vision and a lack of concern for the mainstream art world. Life experiences that include marginalization also inform their art.
All eligible submitting artists will have their profiles available through an online directory and artist profiles will be continually collected for curation for the second Oklahoma Visionaries exhibit to be held in 2025. This show truly represents The Beginning.
Click here to view 20 Visionary Artists
chosen for this Exhibit and their work
Steve Liggett is the owner of Liggett Studio and co-curator of this exhibit. He has been an arts
advocate and artist in the Tulsa community for 50 years. From 1992 to 2017, Steve was Living
Arts of Tulsa’s artistic and executive director. Under his leadership, Living Arts of Tulsa grew
tremendously from grassroots to national recognition for its support of contemporary art and
artists. Steve is providing the same quality of leadership to Liggett Studio and this exhibit. In
addition to his leadership in the arts, Steve is a practicing artist who maintains pottery and
papermaking studios. Steve holds a Masters of Art degree from the University of Tulsa in
Pam Hodges initiated this exhibit and is a co-curator. Since retiring in 2019, as Boys & Girls
Clubs of America’s Director of Learning in Atlanta, GA, she returned to Tulsa and is working as a
community volunteer and learning new art media. While not claiming to be an artist, she has a
BA degree in studio art and art history, was an Assistant Registrar at the Detroit Institute of
Arts, a Director of Education at Philbrook Museum of Arts, and a Director of Community Arts at
the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa. Her leadership was also demonstrated when serving as
a former board president of the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition and a board member for Living
Arts of Tulsa and chair for New Genre Festivals.
Pam’s interest in creativity is lifelong. The dissertation she wrote for her PhD from Oklahoma
State University explored the differences in the everyday creativity between people who self-
identified as artists and those who did not. Visionary artists often bridge the gap between
these two groups: Not self-identifying as artists, but intertwining the making of art with their
everyday life. This reason, along with aesthetics, has motivated Pam to pursue the quest to find
Oklahoma-based Visionary Artists and curate this exhibit.
Songs of Wool: Vena Tipton’s Hooked Rugs will have a screening in two locations: Tulsa
Tulsa: 7 pm on Friday, November 3rd at Liggett Studios
Guthrie: 7 pm on Friday, April 19th at Owens Arts Place Museum
The filmmaker, Cathey Edwards, will be present to discuss the film and answer questions after each screening.
Songs of Wool: Vena Tipton’s Hooked Rugs is an 18-minute intimate portrait of the 91-year-old folk artist from Tulsa. Completed in 1985, this documentary offers a close look at the hundreds of colorful hooked rugs covering the walls and floors of Vena Tipton’s home. These rugs provide a direct window into her philosophy, spiritual search, music career, love of gardening, and complex life experience. This film was produced and directed by Cathey Edwards and filmed by Robert Billings. It won many awards, most prominent was the 1986 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Documentary Achievement Award, Student Oscar. Cathey Edwards is a meditation teacher and retired Unitarian Universalist minister. In her early work life, she was an independent, documentary filmmaker. She met Vena Tipton in the 1980’s when she helped survey and document Oklahoma folk art for the Oklahoma Museums Association.
This project is supported by Thrive Grants, which is an initiative of Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition in partnership with The Andy Warhol Foundation for the
Visual Arts. www.thrivegrants.org