Oklahoma cloudscape artist David Holland starts residency and exhibit at Norman's MAINSITE gallery
NORMAN - Norman Arts Council announces the exhibition and three-month residency of Oklahoma cloudscape artist David Holland from May through July 2019 at MAINSITE Contemporary Art, 122 E Main.
Holland has set up his painting studio inside the gallery for viewers to observe his progress as he completes a 5-foot-by-6-foot cloudscape painting from start to finish. Holland is known for his stunning, high-contrast oil portraits of active storm formations in the moments of their most visually breathtaking display.
His residency — “The Skies Have It” — will be celebrated with an opening reception from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday at MAINSITE, with a midway reception from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, June 14 and closing reception from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, July 12, all happening in conjunction with the 2nd Friday Norman Art Walk that takes place in the Walker Arts District of Downtown Norman each month.
The subject matter is one that all Oklahomans are intimately familiar with. Holland’s captivating cloudscapes start with his capturing storms photographically then searching through thousands of images for ones that are — to his eye — dynamic and dramatic enough that they say — to him — “PAINT ME!”
Holland has work featured in the Blue Room of the Oklahoma State Capitol, and he has shown at the Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Science Museum Oklahoma, Myriad Gardens, National Weather Center. For five years, he was a participating artist in the Festival of the Arts in downtown OKC, according to a news release. His work is represented by Howell Gallery in Oklahoma City and Acosta Strong Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
“Storms are a staple of our lives here in Oklahoma,” Holland said in a statement. “I present them as majestic gifts of water that present themselves as stunningly beautiful objects in our skies.”
Erinn Gavaghan, executive director of Norman Arts Council, saw an opportunity to connect Holland’s visual study of clouds with the scientific community in Norman, whose “study of weather at the National Weather Center and OU’s School of Meteorology is unsurpassed,” Gavaghan said in a statement.
One feature of the exhibit will be a storm photo wall where visitors can print out a photo of a cloud or a storm from their phone and add it to a growing wall of 4-inch-by-6-inch pictures. Holland paints from photos he takes of storms and has started the wall with his captures of clouds, many of which have become paintings in the exhibit.
David witnessed the complete solar eclipse of Aug. 21, 2017, in Ravenna, Nebraska, and visitors will see three panoramic eclipse horizon paintings inside the eclipse room of the exhibit. His purpose is to transport people to the inside of the center of the moon's shadow for two minutes and 34 seconds at 1 p.m. that afternoon.
On May 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will pass through Oklahoma, and in the exhibit, visitors will see the map of that shadow so they can plan to witness that event.
As a part of Norman Arts Council’s Undercover Artists series, Holland will lead a pair of workshops on both cloudscape photography and painting in late June to share the knowledge he has gained from more than 10 years of painting clouds.
Learning and observation is a daily aspect of Holland’s exhibition and residency. He will have an active studio set up inside the front of the gallery where passersby can see him painting live throughout the span of the residency, according to the news release.
“I’m excited to share my methods and materials with people, so they can have the same joy in creating dramatic images I experience,” Holland said.
MAINSITE Contemporary Art is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The gallery and exhibition receptions are free and open to the public to attend. Visit mainsitecontemporaryart.com for more information.