February 28, 2014

Local artist crafts way to exhibition

The Express-Star


University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma art student Vaunda Knapp was running errands when she checked her phone to find the artists to be featured in Momentum, an exhibition for Oklahoma's art, film, performance and music talent, were posted. Knapp said she hurried across town back to her laptop and scrolled through the list to find her name.

Momentum is an exhibition of Oklahoma artists that are 30 or younger presented by the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition. 

Knapp said two of her ceramic pieces were accepted of 300 submissions to be included in the exhibition. 

"I'm really excited," she said. "I've never had a chance to enter a juried art show, so to be in one of the most prestigious juried art shows in Oklahoma…is pretty important to me." 

Knapp said she decided to study art at USAO after attending the Montmarte Art and Music festival there when she was in 10th grade. Knapp attended high school in Ardmore.

"Things have taken off in the best of ways," she said. "It's been really exciting."

Knapp said she started working with ceramics after taking a ceramics class with Art Assistant Professor Layne Thrift during her first term at USAO.

"[There are] two prominent fields in ceramics: pottery and handbuilding," she said. "I take the precision of pottery and the creative license of handbuilding."

Knapp said she got the idea to submit her work when she was told by a professor that Momentum was coming up and that she should send it.

"I thought it was a joke," Knapp said, with a laugh.

Thrift said Knapp spends a lot of time in the studio and produces a large volume of work.

"Her work usually starts on the pottery wheel and, once removed, is reshaped and carved in a very intricate manner," he said.

Thrift said Knapp is working on a sculpture installation that requires 70-100 pieces of work.

"Obviously, I am extremely proud of Ms. Knapp as is the entire Art Department faculty," he said. "Being accepted to a juried competition like Momentum is a huge victory for any young artist, whether they are students or professionals within the art community. Her acceptance into Momentum is also an inspiration for her peers."

Knapp said she is excited to have the opportunity with other young Oklahoma artists.

"I'm excited to meet people in the same range as me and network across the state," she said. "I haven't really been involved in the Oklahoma City scene before."

The event will be open 8 p.m. to midnight on opening weekend March 7-8 at the Farmer's Public Market, 311 S. Klein Ave., Oklahoma City.