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Oklahoma State University students collaborate with state-born artist for campus project

Students from Oklahoma State University's art department are collaborating with Brooklyn-based artist Yatika Fields, a state native, on a mural that university officials expect to place in the Seretean Center for the Performing Arts.
by Silas Allen Modified: March 29, 2013 at 10:27 pm •  Published: March 30, 2013

— Several Oklahoma State University students are teaming with an Oklahoma-born artist for a project that's set to become a campus fixture.

Students from OSU's art department are collaborating with Brooklyn-based artist Yatika Fields on a 10-panel mural that university officials expect to place in the Seretean Center for the Performing Arts.

Fields, a Stillwater native, has been working with students via Skype conferences and other social media sites. The students have been working on the first phases of the project, he said, including laying base coat and painting the larger shapes.

Fields will be at OSU on Friday to complete the project during a live painting event. During that event, Fields and the students will complete the mural's final details and turn the 10 panels into one cohesive work.

The artists will be joined by an ensemble from OSU's music department that will perform composer Terry Riley's 1964 work “In C,” an early minimalist piece that makes heavy use of repetitive patterns.

Although live painting events may be relatively new in Oklahoma, Fields said the technique isn't uncommon. The idea is to bring the spontaneous aesthetic found in street art into a studio.

Events such as this one are good for student artists because they get the artists out of the studio and teach them confidence.

Painting requires that the artist be comfortable with movement and feeling, he said. Above all, he said, artists must be able to trust themselves.

“I think it's a good way of teaching that,” he said.

Anna Rutherford, an OSU student, has been working with a team of students on one of the panels. The group completed the panel's larger shapes, then added a few smaller shapes and whorls, she said.

“It's kind of like working from the ground up,” she said.

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by Silas Allen
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Silas Allen is a news reporter for The Oklahoman. He is a Missouri native and a 2008 graduate of the University of Missouri.
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