Meet the fellows
In the studio with Edgar Fabián Frías
Tulsa Artist Fellow Edgar Fabián Frías
Destiny Jade Green
Meet the Fellows takes you inside the studios of the 2019 Tulsa Artist Fellowship recipients for a look at their life and work. Since 2015, Tulsa Artist Fellowship has recruited artists and arts workers to Tulsa, where they “have the freedom to pursue their craft while contributing to a thriving arts community.” For more information, visit tulsaartistfellowship.org.
The Tulsa Voice: Can you tell us a little about your background and work?
Edgar Fabián Frías: I was born in East Los Angeles to parents who immigrated from Mexico and settled in a small town called Bloomington, about 50 miles east of LA. This has deeply informed my experiences and understanding of the world. … I earned a double BA from the University of California, Riverside, in psychology and studio art. Personally, I also inhabit many intersecting identities, some of which include being: queer, nonbinary, Latinx, Indigenous, multilingual, multicultural, identifying spiritually as a brujx and a marakame (shaman).
TTV: How are you enjoying the life and work of a Tulsa Artist Fellow?
Frías: It is truly a dream come true. For years I have struggled to be taken seriously as a cultural producer and have, at times, found it challenging to find my place within creative communities. But, being chosen to be one of the new incoming fellows for 2019–2020 cohort has truly felt like a validation of my art and practice. I have thoroughly appreciated having the time, space, and structural support to grow as an artist in ways I didn't even know were possible.
TTV: Can you talk a little about your first solo show, Perpetual Flowering in Los Angeles?
Frías: I do not create work in a vacuum. Therefore, the idea of having a “solo show” feels almost counterintuitive to my process. As a result, I have invited artists from both the Los Angeles area and here in Tulsa to participate in its co-creation. I will be collaborating with an herbalist named Saewon Oh of Los Angeles and produce a unique flower essence which will be made available for individuals to consume at the entrance of my show. After this, they will be invited to experience a contemplative moment surrounded by printed images, video testimonials, digital animations, and home-like materials (e.g. shower curtains, rugs, pillows).
TTV: You have plans to bring in other out-of-state artists for a show based around the concept of honoring the land. Can you tell us more about that?
Frías: I am collaborating with The Golden Dome, an educational and curatorial platform dedicated to studying intersections of art, metaphysics, and ecology, to create a series of workshops, performances, and ceremonies that will take place at various Tulsa locations.
I am inviting five artists, three from Los Angeles and two from Tulsa, to collaborate with me on developing unique, site-
specific experiences for both the communities that meet at the Central Library and as an offering to the artists and writers at the Tulsa Artist Fellowship.
These experiences will utilize Tulsa’s land and histories as a central organizing element. We seek to bring healing, love, and creative practice to both the land and its diverse communities.