Great State: Local Art Project Includes Artists Drawing on Each Other’s Work

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OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA -- Good art is supposed to generate a feeling or start a conversation.

Inside the Individual Artists of Oklahoma Gallery in Oklahoma City this art is supposed to inspire other artists to add their own.

It's an exercise called 'The Elaborate Collaborate'.

The project started as a conversation between curators Kelsey Karper and Romy Owens who thought it might be interesting for a whole group of local artists to start drawing and then have many others finish it.

"Artists do tend to work alone, but," says Karper motioning to an unfinished portrait, "all three of the artists working on this piece were sitting together."

So they invited 42 of their friends and they all went to work on each other's work.

Karper says, "From what I've seen the artists are very excited to see what someone else will do."

adam Lanman was inspired by a rising sun of folded paper.

He painted a face on one side of it.

"The person who started this piece isn't even here tonight," he says.

Trent Lawson thought another sketch looked subterranean so in went the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Lawson imagines, "Because they probably live in the next tunnel over."

Tiffany McKnight added color and texture to a pair of dancers someone else started.

She says, "My goal is to touch every piece in the show."

For people who normally create alone this exercise can feel a little strange.

Another artists says, "Just to know that you have permission to do something like that was a big leap for me."

Strung together often by a single line, these art works will be touched or touched up by dozens of the artists participating in Elaborate Collaborate.

The exhibition includes works on paper, video and music too.

Right now they're changing every day, a little piece here, an accent there, wherever the muse might strike.

The end result will take them to places the original artists could never have imagined by themselves.

The Elaborate Collaborate is taking place at the IAO Gallery on Film Row in Oklahoma City.

The final exhibition and sale will take place the night of August 14th.

For more information on the exhibition go to

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