top of page

Thrive Selection Committee

Image Credit: Sunny Dayz Mural Festival, photo taken by Photographer, Steph Montelongo, 2021.

Selection Committe for Thrive Grants

Justice David Gutierrez is a designer and artist working in sculpture and installation. He completed his BA in Design from St. Edward’s University in Austin, TX. In 2019, he was selected as a lead artist tasked with creating a large-scale installation art experience at ahha Tulsa. He designed and constructed Woo (2020) an immersive environment, structured as an abstract narrative in physical space. The exhibit will run through 2022 in Tulsa, OK. In 2020, he was selected to contribute to Straight Through the Wall’s projection series. STTW screened Neptune’s Cathedral (2020) a stop-motion animated music video and Woo companion piece, on buildings in Alphabet City and Downtown Brooklyn. Today, he pursues his artistic passion by using public sculpture-based installations to affect human experiences. 

Jennifer Scanlan is an independent curator focusing on contemporary art and design. She has worked in public art, exhibitions, and programming in government entities, organizations, and museums across the country, most recently as the Exhibitions and Curatorial Director at Oklahoma Contemporary in Oklahoma City. From 2013 through 2015 she was a New York-based independent curator working on exhibitions at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City and other nationally recognized art institutions. She has taught at Courtauld Institute of Art Summer School in London, England, and at Parson, the New School for Design, in New York. She has a BA in Art History and Italian from Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York, and a MA in the History of Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture from the Brad Graduate Center, New York, New York.

A Contemporary mixed media artist based in Oklahoma City, Amena grew up overseas in a military family. Amena enjoys working with different mediums and techniques to convey a feeling and visual language in her art. "Color has an impact on our sense of well-being, which is instantly recognized by our subconscious". Amena started learning Asian Arts and Crafts at a young age, including Traditional Printmaking. She graduated with a Masters Degree in Museum Studies from the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond. "Art tells the history of a people, the story of a civilization, and is essential to improving the quality of life". Amena has studied mixed media with the likes of, Thomas Stotts, Kernie Evenson, Bert Seabourn, Gayle Curry, among others. She is a member of and currently serves on the board of the Edmond Art Association, Inclusion in Art, and Owens Art Place Museum. Amena is a member of and serves on the committee of International Council of Museums, University Museums and Collections, American Association of Museums and Galleries, and Oklahoma Archives Association.

A diverse-media artist, Anderson has studied many forms of art and has been immersed in the oldest forms of Cherokee art since childhood. He is at least a seventh generation basket weaver that has continued since prior to forced removal from the Southeast Woodlands. Much of his living history experience is due to time working at the Cherokee Heritage Center and later as the Artist in Residence for their “1710 Hands on Exhibit”. Anderson serves as instructor for the First Peoples Fund, board member of Southeast Indian Artists Association (SEIAA), Arts Council of Tahlequah (ACT) and the American Indian Resource Center (AIRC). He currently works at the Cherokee Arts Center & Spider Gallery where he helps artists hone their skills in business training and professional development while curating the Spider Gallery for the Cherokee Nation Commerce Department.

Mallery is a visual artist, researcher, and community liaison based in the Midwest. In her artwork and research, she responds to notions of liberation and aesthetic irony, and is interested in the formation of underground religious groups and fringe-communities. She started Third Room in 2017 as a space for experimental exhibitions and diy programming for young and underrepresented artists in Portland, OR. She is co-founder of "You Are Here”, an experimental publication platform that centralizes visual artist’s writing. She has exhibited in Portland, Seattle, St. Louis, Chicago, New York and Beijing. Kalaija lives in St. Louis, Missouri, where she works as programs and operations manager for The Luminary Center for the Arts and is a member of Monaco, a cooperatively run gallery. She recently organized KNOW/HOW, a creative bookshop and publication studio that runs out of The Luminary.

bottom of page