MASSENAT: PEOPLE WANT MORE
In addition to my day job as a structural engineer, I’m also a founding member of the Oklahoma City artist collective Factory Obscura.
Factory Obscura was founded to support artists, create artistic experiences and awaken senses. Our vision is founded on an economic engine that has proven successful in St. Louis (City Museum) and Santa Fe (Meow Wolf).
On Sunday, we wrapped up our inaugural installation, Factory Obscura presents SHIFT, at Current Studio. You may have read about this. We took a 1,200-square-foot raw gallery space and transformed it into a space that steeps guests in art, challenges their senses, and even causes them to perceive things around them in a whole new way.
Since opening on Nov. 9, we’ve welcomed more than 20,000 guests through our doors. Ask any arts organization in town and they’ll tell you that this number is mighty impressive.
Our takeaway? People want more.
February 26, 2018
NewsOK - BAM's Blog
February 22, 2018
WHAT TO DO IN OKLAHOMA: SEE FACTORY OBSCURA'S 'SHIFT' BEFORE IT CLOSES
Local art collective Factory Obscura is marking the closing of its immersive “SHIFT” exhibition, as well the installation's home, Current Studio, 1218 N Pennsylvania, with hours from noon to 6 p.m. today through Sunday.
Admission is free to "SHIFT," but donations are accepted. Almost 20,000 people have toured the installation since it opened in November.
AS FACTORY OBSCURA'S 'SHIFT' CLOSES, VIEW HERE IN 360
Since November 2017, OKC-based art collective Factory Obscura has dominated Current Studio (and most of the metro’s art coverage) with its immersive art exhibit known as SHIFT.
SHIFT represents the first installation project from Factory Obscura, a collective of “artists and community builders” founded in early 2017. The collective boasts a robust, two-tiered organization consisting of about half a dozen members on its Leadership Team while more than a dozen creative types form the Artist Team. For those familiar with Meow Wolf, consider Factory Obscura as Oklahoma City’s answer to that Santa Fe-based collective.
February 22, 2018
FREE, INTERACTIVE ART EXHIBIT TO CLOSE BY END OF FEBRUARY
Time is running out to immerse yourself in a new type of art experience in northwest Oklahoma City.
Current Studio and Factory Obscura opened Shift back in November.
Since then, the artists have welcomed in about 16,000 people to the free and interactive exhibit.
February 16, 2018
CURRENT STUDIO PLANS TO PERMANENTLY CLOSE AT THE CONCLUSION OF FACTORY OBSCURA'S POPULAR SHIFT INSTALLATION
Since November, there have been few stars in the local art community brighter than the Factory Obscura art collective and Current Studio, the Classen Ten Penn neighborhood gallery space hosting the group’s wildly popular and immersive debut installation Shift.
More than 12,000 visitors have passed through Current’s doors since Shift opened. Many guests were not only visiting the studio for the first time, but that entire part of town.
The great level of foot traffic made a January announcement all the more surprising to most local art enthusiasts. The studio would be permanently closing its doors following Shift’s end in February.
February 14, 2018
Citizen Potawatomie Nation Hownikan
February 7, 2018
MEOW WOLF CEO VINCE KADLUBEK & FRIENDS: CHANGING THE ECONOMY THROUGH ART
For the first episode of Season 2 of Artists Real Talk, we bring a founder of the most-referenced company from Season 1 as we sit down with Vince Kadlubek of Meow Wolf. Vince talked to us just a few hours after the standing ovation he received for his closing keynote speech at the Immersive Design Summit, and expanded on some of the points he made there. If you want to go super meta with one of the most successful immersive arts companies in the world behind Disneyland, this is the perfect entry point to our show. Joining Vince is one of his newest collaborators, Hugh Meade from Oklahoma City's Factory Obscura, and longtime Think Tanker and Forbes writer Jesse Damiani.
Artists Real Talk (A.R.T.)
February 2, 2018
KID REVIEW: FACTORY OBSCURA'S SHIFT EXHIBITION
The setting and how the artists designed the space felt magical to me. This art studio is kind of hidden and it’s dark but not scary. You just don’t know what to expect in there because none of the art is off-limits like at a museum. Crawling through tunnels, walking through strange areas and touching different textures is what you have to do there.
FACTORY OBSCURA SHIFTS CROWDS INTO NEARBY RECORD SHOP
The Trolley Stop Record Shop and adjacent Factory Obscura art gallery are like peanut butter and jelly, said store owner John Dunning. Large crowds to the Shift art exhibit are drawing people into his music shop, and he sends his customers to the gallery.
February 2, 2018
FACTORY OBSCURA PRESENTS SHIFT AT CURRENT STUDIO
There is an art gallery in Oklahoma City that literally wants you to "get into" their art! Factory Obscura at Current Studio has a new exhibit called "SHIFT" and it's described as a "Fully-immersive, experimental art that explores your senses."
KOKH FOX 25
January 25, 2018
MALCOLM TUBBS AT FACTORY OBSCURA
KOKH FOX 25
January 24, 2018
CURRENT STUDIO TO CLOSE DOORS
The two-year community project Current Studio, which has invested around $100,000 in local artists and provided its neighborhood school with art classes, will be closing its doors next month.
January 17, 2018
EXPERIENCE THE FULLY IMMERSIVE 'SHIFT' ART INSTALLATION IN OKC
Dive into the fully-immersive and experiential art installation of “Shift” in Oklahoma City. It challenges participants to physically explore the full-sensory environment. Created by “Factory Obscura,” the art installation requires new forms of audience engagement.
January 8, 2018
January 5, 2018
FACTORY OBSCURA: THREE REASONS TO VISIT SHIFT TO START THE NEW YEAR
Next to a taco shop and covered with a cheerful and bright exterior, we found Factory Obscura at Current Studio, which is presenting its current exhibition, SHIFT, until Feb. 25. It's in a part of the city we don't often visit, at 1218 N. Penn. The location is unassuming, which makes art all the more surprising; nothing is tucked away behind glass. Instead, you can come on in and touch everything.
Parking is free and there's no charge for admission.
The entrance is small and draped with black cloth, mysterious but full of friendly staff who are quick to explain that there are no rules, children are welcome and there is no charge. I wasn't sure what we'd find behind the curtain but I was glad we gave it a try.
January 4, 2018
Ninety minutes from Tulsa, SHIFT is Oklahoma’s foray into large-scale experiential art
January 1, 2018
FACTORY DIRECT: A COLLECTIVE AIMS TO SHIFT OKLAHOMA'S ART LANDSCAPE
“Why aren’t there playgrounds for adults?”
This remark, made by Thomas Thompson to Laura and Laurent Massenat, went from chatter among friends to aiming to change Oklahoma’s arts culture in a matter of months. For research, the trio met with Rick Erwin of St. Louis’s City Museum and reached out to Vince Kadlubek, CEO of the Meow Wolf collective in Santa Fe. They recruited Tammy Greenman, Kelsey Harper, Hugh Meade, and a group of Oklahoma artists, for what would become Factory Obscura.
FACTORY OBSCURA: SHIFTING ART (COVER STORY)
Current Studio's unassuming brick storefront painted in bands of green, teals, and pinks gives only the slightest indication that its doorway is a portal to a new world.
Inside dwells a lush and fantastical realm, the experience of which can be likened to walking through a human-sized psychedelic terrarium or jumping into the pages of a Dr. Seuss book.
Art Focus Oklahoma
A PAINTING YOU CAN WALK INTO: 'SHIFT' IS AN OKLAHOMA CITY ART EXHIBIT YOU SEE AND FEEL
It's part amusement park, part pillow fort, all art gallery. Step into the immersive and interactive exhibit, and you're actually inside the heads of the artists who created it.
Artist Hugh Meade calls it "A playground for grownups." Meade is just one of more than a dozen Oklahoma artists who spent months creating an exhibit they call 'Shift.' There is no right or wrong way to go through it, no arrows, no placards to read.
KFOR - Is This a Great State or What?
December 14, 2017
OPEN PORTAL (COVER STORY)
Factory Obscura's SHIFT is a gateway into an immersive art world and the first step in an attempt at improving prospects for career artists.
November 22, 2017
ON THE SCENE: FACTORY OBSCURA MIDNIGHT DINNER
OKC artistic collective Factory Obscura celebrates the opening of its new installation, SHIFT, with a feast for patrons at Current Studio.
November 21, 2017
November 16, 2017
NEW OKLAHOMA CITY INSTALLATION IMMERSES ITS VISITORS IN ART
A new immersive art project could help drive business to a shopping area and create economic opportunities for Oklahoma City artists.
Factory Obscura, a collective of artists, created an installation called SHIFT at Current Studio at 1218 N. Pennsylvania Ave. The art installation encourages visitors to “physically explore the full-sensory environment,” according to Current Studio’s website.
November 14, 2017
5 REASONS TO CHECK OUT FACTORY OBSCURA'S FASCINATING 'SHIFT' EXHIBIT
You can find Meow Wolf in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and plenty of people already have since it opened in 2016. During his visit to OKC, Meow Wolf's CEO Vince Kadlubek shared that attendance had surpassed half a million visitors.
What's all this have to do with Oklahoma? Well, a batch of Okie artists have been inspired by what's happening and are taking a crack at making their own immersive installation. The group's called Factory Obscura, and the artist collective was founded by Laura Massenat, Laurent Massenat, Tammy Greenman, Hugh Meade and Thomas Thompson.
November 10, 2017
NEW ART EXPERIENCE CREATED FOR FACTORY OBSCURA
Factory Obscura and its supporters have spent the last few months building Shift, an immersive art experience at Current Studio, 1218 N. Pennsylvania Ave.
November 10, 2017
November 10, 2017
A 'SHIFT' IS COMING
The house-sized art installation by Santa Fe’s Meow Wolf artist collective served as inspiration for the new OKC-based Factory Obscura artist collective. Laura Massenat, a force behind H & 8th Night Market and Elemental Coffee, is among a small group of visionaries and artists who’ve galvanized this concept and its first exhibit, Shift, which opens at Current Studio on November 9 and runs through February 25.
November 9, 2017
NEW INTERSECTION MURALS IN OKC DESIGNED TO SLOW TRAFFIC
You can find creative murals on the sides of many buildings throughout Oklahoma City, but a new initiative is working to make sure public art doesn’t just add beauty to the neighborhood – it also helps save lives.
November 8, 2017
ART TO CALM TRAFFIC
Current Studio appeals for artists to create speed-stopping murals.
November 8, 2017
NOVEMBER MUST-DOS: SEE CHANGE
Looking at art is excellent, and highly recommended under practically all circumstances. But this is something a trifle different and new for OKC; a chance to explore art from the inside in a group installation that examines the concept of human consciousness.
November 1, 2017
BUDGET CUTS FORCE OKLAHOMA SCHOOLS TO FIND NEW WAYS TO FUND THEIR ART PROGRAMS
When Eugene Field Elementary was forced to discontinue the arts at their school, Current Studio co-founder Kelsey Karper knew there was a way to bring it back.
Current Studio, an independent visual arts space in Oklahoma City, resides in the Classen Ten Penn neighborhood shared by Eugene Field Elementary.
October 18, 2017
KELSEY KARPER AND THOMAS THOMPSON, CO-FOUNDERS OF FACTORY OBSCURA, TALKING ABOUT UPCOMING SHIFT EXHIBITION OPENING NOVEMBER 9 AT CURRENT STUDIO
In this episode, Jeff visits with Kelsey Karper, Co-Founder of Current Studio and Factory Obscura and Thomas Thompson, a Co-Founder of Factory Obscura as well. We begin by hearing from Kelsey about Current Studio and how they provide opportunities for various artists-in-residence at their facility. She then speaks about the inspiration and the origins of Factory Obscura and how it came into being as well as how she and Romy Owens, her partner at Current Studio, decided to house the first Factory Obscura exhibition, SHIFT, at their facility.
Inspiring Conversations OKC
October 13, 2017
FACTORY OBSCURA SET FOR OKC: VAST INTERACTIVE ART SPACE TO SUPPORT EDUCATION, ART AND ARTISTS
Plans are underway to create OKC’s most ambitious interactive art installation: Factory Obscura is a group of community builders and artists who are working to create a fully immersive large-scale installation – the first part, SHIFT, is due to be unveiled at a preview party in November.
“We originally discussed an idea for an adult playground, and made a quick visit to City Museum with the director, and quickly realized we had a much greater potential to create an experience that would be for all humans,” explains Laura Massenat, one of the project founders who is also owner of Elemental Coffee Roasters.
September 7, 2017
September 1, 2017
ART COLLECTIVE PLANS INAUGURAL INSTALLATION
Oklahoma City-based art collective Factory Obscura is planning its inaugural art installation this fall.
“SHIFT” at Current Studio opens Nov. 9 as a fully immersive, experiential art installation challenging the participant to physically explore the full-sensory environment. Factory Obscura plans to launch a long-term vision for growth when the installation opens.
July 16, 2017
BUDGET CUTS FORCE OKLAHOMA SCHOOLS TO FIND NEW WAYS TO FUND THEIR ARTS PROGRAMS
When Eugene Field Elementary was forced to discontinue the arts at their school, Current Studio Co-founder Kelsey Karper knew there was a way to bring it back.
Financial restraints forced the school to eliminate their arts program.
“Everyone in Oklahoma as far as I’ve encountered understands that there’s a budget crisis here,” Karper said.
Earlier this year, Oklahoma presented a budget to fill an almost $900 million deficit. Year after year, cuts have been made to education across the state. Data from the 2015 U.S Census Bureau ranks Oklahoma in the bottom 25 states in overall education investment.
July 14, 2017
FULLY FUNDED: GOURMET SCHOOL CAFETERIA EATS RAISE MONEY FOR EUGENE FIELD'S ARTS PROGRAM
When Kelsey Karper and Romy Owens founded Current Studio, an experimental art-space in the Classen Ten-Penn neighborhood, one of their first things they did was plug themselves into their new community to see what challenges were facing the area and figure out, hopefully, how they could help.
Upon joining Eugene Field’s Community Action Board, they were shocked to learn that due to budget cuts, the school had been recently forced to get rid of their visual arts programs.
Red Dirt Report
July 10, 2017
FUNDED: A SCHOOL CAFETERIA THEMED DINNER
With school budgets still in crisis, community organizations across the city are stepping in to fill the gaps that are left in the wake of budget cuts and reduced resources. In the Classen Ten Penn neighborhood of Oklahoma City, experimental art space Current Studio is partnering with Eugene Field Elementary school to replace the in-school visual arts programming that was lost in 2016. In support of this program, the community is invited to FundED: A School Cafeteria Themed Dinner, with dishes provided by local chefs taking their own spin on traditional school cafeteria fare.
July 7, 2017
CURRENT STUDIO JOINS THE NASTY WOMEN MOVEMENT TO GIVE ARTISTS A PLATFORM
What started as an off-the-cuff snide remark during a presidential debate has morphed into a rallying cry and creative impetus for artists around the world.
Current Studio, 1218 N. Pennsylvania Ave., joins a long list of art outlets in more than 50 cities across the globe hosting a local installment of the Nasty Women art exhibition series. The Oklahoma City art studio’s exhibit opened June 22 and continues its run through July 30.
July 5, 2017
'NASTY WOMEN' MIRRORS CONCERNS IN ART
The “Nasty Women” exhibit at Current Studio, 1218 N Pennsylvania, lets us see how art “responds to politics,” as one artist put it.
The words are those of Romy Owens, co-founder of the art space, who said the show mirrors concern about issues directly affecting women.
The 116 works by 76 artists in the exhibit contain a lot of explicit material, but also deal with varied sociopolitical and personal issues.
June 29, 2017
NASTY WOMEN ART SHOW OPENS TO CROWDS AT CURRENT STUDIO
Hanging in the center of Current Studio, a poem shudders with the power of women.
Authored by poet Angie LaPaglia, the words are white on white, cut out and carved to thrust out of the background like a dare.
Across the room, two photographs by Shevaun Williams of Norman show Berber women in traditional dress and a scene from Cuba, all portraying the patriarchal life nasty women lead in corners of the world far from America’s own “nasty women.”
Both Williams and LaPaglia are among the artists displaying at “The Nasty Women” art show at Current Studio, located at 1218 N. Pennsylvania Ave. With Nasty Women exhibitions being held all over the world, Current Studio curated the exhibition for Oklahoma City, because “we have nasty women here too.”
Red Dirt Report
June 23, 2017
'NASTY WOMEN' EXHIBITION TO OPEN
Current Studio, 1218 N Pennsylvania Ave., will host a "Nasty Women" art exhibition, joining a nationwide movement of solidarity among artists identifying with women's rights, individual rights and health care access for women. The exhibits also serve as fundraisers and are a platform for organization and resistance.
June 18, 2017
'NASTY WOMEN' TO DISPLAY POLITICALLY CHARGED ART IN OKC
During the final presidential debate in October 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump called former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a “nasty woman.” At the time, Twitter took the phrase and ran with it. Today, the term has been co-opted by female and male Trump opponents alike as a moniker to be worn with pride.
In what has become a nationwide movement under the nasty woman banner, Oklahoma City’s Current Studio will open its own Nasty Women exhibit. Featuring 116 works by 76 artists from across the country and beyond, the exhibit will open to the public at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 22.
June 15, 2017
June 8, 2017
ARTS ORGANIZATIONS TO HOST STUDENT NETWORK EVENT APRIL 27 AT FRED JONES
Emerging arts professionals and students have an opportunity to get to know established local artists in a fun and relaxed setting during “Fast Friends,” scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 27, at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art.
April 26, 2017
April 5, 2017
CLASSEN TEN PENN NEIGHBORHOOD, PLAZA DISTRICT, LOCAL ARTISTS RALLY TO RETURN ART TO EUGENE FIELD ELEMENTARY
When members of Eugene Field Elementary school’s community advisory board learned the northwest Oklahoma City prekindergarten through sixth grade school would go without a visual arts program for the 2016-17 school year, board members responded with a plan to bring the arts back.
'CONFESSIONAL' ART PIECE COINCIDES WITH SCANDAL, CRITIQUE
OKC-based art duo The Holey Kids consists of Father Holey and Mother Holey. The performance-based installation piece they’ve created for Current Studio’s ongoing EVOLVE exhibit consists of a makeshift confessional booth. Although its cardboard construction and heavy black outlines lend it a cartoon-y aesthetic, the concept behind the piece is high-minded.
March 24, 2017
CURRENT STUDIO RETHINKS TRADITIONAL SALES MODELS WITH ITS SUBSCRIBER-BASED ART OF THE MONTH CLUB
Artists everywhere are going postal, and the Oklahoma City metro area is no exception. Current Studio, located in the Classen Ten Penn neighborhood, has offered Art of the Month Club (AOTM) since May. The subscription service sends original art pieces to the doorsteps of established and aspiring art patrons.
Subscriptions are $255 for three months ($85 per month), $480 for six months ($80 per month) and $900 for 12 months ($75 per month). Beginning March 9, one-month subscriptions will be $100.
March 3, 2017
THE STREAM OF STORIES BY CHICKASAW ARTIST ERIN SHAW
Chickasaw Nation TV
February 15, 2017
CURRENT STUDIO PRESENTS A NEW EXHIBIT WITH THREE CONNECTED PARTS
Few — if any — artists ever make their journeys alone. Along the way, they encounter someone who helps, inspires or pushes them forward.
Evolve, Current Studio’s newest group exhibition, explores what artists can achieve when they work together.
The show is technically three exhibits in one, all featuring teams working together toward a common goal. Sarah Engel-Barnett and Suzanne Thomas come together for Nesting Instincts; Erin Latham, Kelly Rogers and Lauren Zuniga offer a community tribute with Love Notes to the Neighborhood; and Holey Kids unveil their cathartic Confessional.
February 8, 2017
CURRENT STUDIO'S UTOPIA EXHIBIT EXPLORES THE CONCEPT OF A PERFECT SOCIETY
Utopia explores themes that are culturally relevant through the eyes of local and nationwide artists. The open call culminated in an exhibition that provides a multidimensional perspective of utopias and what they mean to artists and their communities.
December 9, 2016
Oklahoma City Community College Pioneer
September 27, 2016
CHILDREN'S WORK BROUGHT TO LIFE AT LOCAL ART STUDIO
Remember the stories you imagined as a kid? Whisking yourself away to faraway lands, hanging out with your favorite characters and daydreaming to your heart’s content?
Local artist Erin Shaw brings the adventure her son Samuel wrote to life with a new visual tale that can be explored and experienced.
September 8, 2016
July 29, 2016
LOCAL ARTISTS ADD VISUAL FLAIR TO F.D. MOON ACADEMY'S AUDITORIUM
The enchantingly named cafetorium at F.D. Moon Academy, 1301 NE 13th St., was bustling with industry early one Thursday morning. Doughnut boxes and painting supplies littered tables, and a slightly motley crew of arts activists, administrators and mural painters carried tarps and supplies purposefully from one place to another and paused to rest, admire their work and laugh with one another. They had been working all week, and the transformation was almost complete.
July 16, 2016
ARTISTS BEAUTIFY OKC ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Artists Sean Vali and Jason Pawley beautify graffiti-covered lockers and walls at F.D. Moon Academy in northeast Oklahoma City on Thursday.
The ongoing effort to transform the space inside the elementary school with new, brightly colored murals is the result of a collaboration between Oklahoma City's Strong Neighborhoods Initiative, Moon Principal Warren Pete, and Current Studio founders Kelsey Karper and Romy Owens.
July 14, 2016
OKC SCHOOL GETS NEW LOOK
With the clock ticking down to the first day of school, FD Moon Academy Elementary on Oklahoma City's northeast side, is getting a face lift. Thanks to local artists donating their time and talents who volunteered to give the school a makeover.
July 6, 2016
CURRENT STUDIO TO AUCTION ART FOR ANYTHING BUT MONEY AT BARTER
New art experiences are coming to Oklahoma City this summer through a series of artist-designed programs at Current Studio, a new experimental art space dedicated to strengthening the city's cultural capital by fostering conversations about art, community, and problem solving.
EXPERIMENTAL PIECES: WHAT WOULD YOU TRADE FOR ART?
An experiment is underway to see how many egg-laying chickens a Renoir is worth.
July 8, 2016
OKG PICK: SUMMER BLOCK PARTY
June 23, 2016
DEADCENTER FILM FESTIVAL IN OKLAHOMA CITY ADDS ARTISTIC FOCUS
An expansive art film program will join deadCenter for the first time this weekend, incorporating many different styles and technologies, including virtual reality and projection.
Featuring seven artists and spread across four locations, the “Film as Art” exhibit explores how video and film can be used as mediums for sharing nonnarrative stories and messages.
June 8, 2016
"DOMESTI CITY, OK" AT CURRENT STUDIO
Kelsey Karper and Romy Owens, owners of art gallery, Current Studio, and artist, Nicole Emmons-Willis, talk about their exhibit, “Domesti City, OK.” The exhibit is a study of nostalgia, relationships, and escapist fantasies. Current Studio itself is an artist-run space, providing experimental and experiential opportunities for artists and audiences.
May 6, 2016
DOMESTI CITY AND THE SEEDS OF YESTERDAY
Artist Nicole Emmons-Willis sat on a twin bed in one of the interactive rooms of her art installation. She held a small puppet, named Jane, that she made by hand for the stop-motion animation. Surrounding the pair was a scaled-down community, a menagerie of set pieces from a kitchen to a dreaming room, decorated in avocado greens, butter yellows, and burnt orange tones reminiscent of the 1970’s. Each tiny room had been broken out of a dollhouse and placed on eye-level platforms with stop-motion animation projected on the wall above. But Domesti City is something greater than a dollhouse, being made up of spaces that belong to Jane—in her home, outside her home, and in her mind.
April 22, 2016
CURRENT STUDIO OFFERS DIVINE DINNER, TASTE OF NICOLE EMMONS-WILLIS' EXHIBIT
Somewhere in Oklahoma City is a half-feral cat that artist Nicole Emmons-Willis wishes she could be.
“My husband doesn’t understand the relationship,” she said. “But she’s free. She can come and go as she likes. I respect her.”
That feline helped inform Emmons-Willis’ new exhibit Domesti City, OK, created as the first artist-in-residence at Current Studio, 1218 N. Pennsylvania Ave.
April 13, 2016
CURRENT STUDIO CHALLENGES TRADITIONAL ART STUDIO APPROACH
Local artists Kelsey Karper and Romy Owens saw a problem with the common artist-studio dynamic. They hope to flip that dynamic on its head with their jointly curated studio space.
The pair explained venues that show art are often driven by the need for sales. They are compelled to show art they feel like they can sell because that’s how they will pay their bills. In turn, that places a mandate on artists to make work that appeals to the masses.
March 18, 2016