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