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FRINGE's Annual Group Show runs through May 30

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The Project Box, an art gallery located in the Paseo Arts District, will host the Oklahoma City Women’s Art Organization Group Art Exhibition, FRINGE’s annual group show highlighting female artists.

Since 2011, FRINGE has served as a support group for women artists in Oklahoma. Artist Lisa Jean Allswede, a textile artist, said FRINGE has served a pivotal role for women looking to make a living as an artist.

“FRINGE came about as a support system. In a lot of situations, some of these women are new mothers trying to stay on top of their careers as a new artist. [FRINGE] gives women the foundation of support from other women in their artistic journeys,” she said.

Over the last four years, FRINGE has grown from 10 members to 25. They normally have smaller shows featuring three to five artists. However, Allswede says this annual show goes back to the roots of how FRINGE started and celebrates all the women who are part of the group.

“We don’t place restrictions on creation,” Allswede said. “You will see a lot of contemporary work ranging from paintings, textiles, jewelry, performance artists and sculptures.”

Kerri Shadid, an Oklahoma-based poet, is a member of FRINGE. Currently, she is the artist in residence at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel. People can come by her poetry stand and have her write a free poem for them. One aspect that Shadid loves about FRINGE is that it gives the public an opportunity to see the state’s female talent.

Krystle Brewer, who will serve as the new president of FRINGE in 2016, believes FRINGE is a great way to network and help with professional development, while also facilitating with a built-in family.

“Visual artists, myself included, tend to work in isolation. It can be really helpful to have a group of people look at and critique your work or bounce ideas off of,” Brewer said.

The group also gives women a new voice and sense of stability that might have been lost during art school, Brewer said.

“Christie Hackler, a co-founder of FRINGE, described to me how the organization was meant to help you though that transition and encourage continuous growth, which is exactly what the organization has provided for me,” she said.

FRINGE plans to expand to a statewide organization. Brewer said that doing so will encourage its artists to show outside of Oklahoma City and connect with other artists around the state.

“While women continue to advance, I feel it’s important to continue giving women a platform to build off of,” Allswede said. “The more we continue to support each other in the world of arts, the easier it will become for us to actually do what we love and make a living while doing it.”

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