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May 4, 2013

Local artist brings talents to May OKC RAW show

CHICKASHA — Usually with her head bent attentively over an arm or hand, Danja Jantz can be spotted at many of Chickasha's events creating works of art that people can walk away with.

Henna tattooing is something that Jantz is known for. She has had booths at local Chickasha events such as at Droverstock and the Rock Island Arts Festival, where she has offered small pieces of henna tattoo art for a small fee.

Recently, she has been given the opportunity to make her mark by presenting her henna tattooing at the Expressions art show in Oklahoma City, presented by RAW: Natural Born Artists. The henna tattooing at the RAW show will be larger, more elaborate pieces, Jantz said.

The event will take place from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. on May 23 at Club One 15 at 115 E. Sheridan in Oklahoma City. Tickets are $15 pre-sale and $20 at the door. Each RAW artist sells tickets under their name for $15. To support Danja Jantz, purchase a ticket under her name.

Henna tattooing is only one of the many artistic mediums that Jantz uses to express her unique vision. Like her henna tattooing, much of Jantz's arwork is wearable.

Jantz has also been collaborating with Brandy Sullens of the Open Door Boutique in Chickasha at 313 W. Chickasha Ave. Sullens opened The Open Door Boutique on Nov. 19. Acquaintances of both Jantz and Sullens suggested that they meet.

Both Sullens and Jantz create works of art, jewelry, accessories and other creations with found objects. In Open Door Boutique, one can find: books, records and washboards upcycled into clocks as well as jewelry made with keys, spoons and pieces of Jantz's artwork.

Jantz inherited a collection of spoons from her grandmother, who collected spoons from all over the world. Not inclined to display the full collection in a case or hang them on the wall, Jantz instead made them into jewelry. One of the spoons, slightly bent and connected to a chain and a heart pendant, was reborn as a necklace.

In the same vein of reinvention, she also makes "wine cork beads." These are cut pieces of wine cork that are often adorned with a tiny cutout of one of Jantz's drawings, especially mandalas. These are attached to earrings or macrame bracelets or necklaces.

The way that her jewelry is displayed is also a tribute to giving objects new life. Whole wine corks make good pincushions to hold earrings, and the corks themselves are pliable enough to squeeze into the slots of an old wooden cassette tape case, which, stood upright, makes a suitable shelf. The wood of the tape case and the cork blend together so well, it takes a moment to notice what the display is comprised of.

She also creates accessories such as mini, steampunk inspired top hats. As with her other creations, Jantz is open to customization.

The local Chickasha artist has been a long-time supporter of the Chickasha arts community.

She has co-chaired the Rock Island Arts Festival in 2011, has served as president of the Chickasha Area Arts Council and written grants for Artscope and First Saturday Morning Art at Oasis Studios and Gallery, which takes place the first Saturday morning of each month.

Jantz was raised on art. Both of her parents were art majors at the University of Science and Art Oklahoma.

"I literally grew up on campus," she said.

Currently, Jantz is booked through June presenting her work at festivals and other events, including the RAW Expressions show in Oklahoma City.

RAW is an independent arts organization for artists, by artists. RAW's mission is to help independent artists gain exposure and resources to further their artistic careers. The genre of arts that RAW embraces include film, fashion, music, visual art, performing art, hairstylists, makeup artists and more.

Jantz will be a part of upcoming RAW shows featuring her handmade jewelry, accessories and paintings. RAW is a great way for artists to network and to get their names and work out there, Jantz said.

See more of Jantz's artwork on her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/The-Alchemists-Garden. Also see The Open Door Boutique Facebook page.

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