The (Un)Expected – Austin Navrkal



“The Unexpected” by Austin Navrkal

July  6-28, 2018


Opening reception Friday July 6, 6p.m. – 9p.m.

The Tulsa Artists’ Coalition presents “The Unexpected” by Austin Navrkal, July 6 through July 28, 2018. The public will have the opportunity to meet the artist at the opening reception on July 6th, 6p.m. through 9p.m. This opening is free and open to the public is part of the First Friday Art Crawl in the Tulsa Arts District.

Artist’s Statement:

“Ceramics has been around as early as 24,000 BC and over the years earned a reputation of being functional. In the past 60-70 years though, it has started to gaining recognition as fine art. Artist have started to toy with the idea that clay is capable of doing much more than be a vessel. I study under artist, Brandon Reese, who views ceramics in this notion. He has compelled me to push my ceramic works into a realm that is sculptural and not functional. I hope to bring recognition to the change in ceramics and transforms people’s thoughts on what is possible with the medium.”

“Throughout our entire lives, people undergo the effects of change constantly. The environments and situations we encounter help shape the person we end up becoming. Through working in ceramics, I found it endures change just as much as people. Throughout the process, clay goes through multiple transformations.  From forming and shaping, firing at specific temperatures, and glazing. During these phases each work is subject to unexpected occurrences which alter its outcome. These nuisances are what give the pieces their individuality, much like people. As I create work I feel it is a time for self-reflection where Iam able to reflect on my past and the changes which have formed who I am. These moments motivate my artwork and help me realize my place on earth.”

“In this exhibition, I hope to illustrate the resemblance people share with ceramics. To display the changes, we both undergo through our lifespan. The forms and shapes I create are abstract examples of how each person is an individual. Each of us carries their own unique distinctiveness about them. My work revolves around the idea that the changes clay goes through imitates how people change through our lives. In a sense it is a doorway for me to find self-recognition and discover who I am. I want to allow viewers to see my artwork as a vehicle where they are able to contemplate and question the changes that have been bestowed upon them, and in the process, created the person they are today.”


Austin Navrkal was born in 1993 and grew up in Tulsa Oklahoma. He received a Bachelor’s of Art degree at Oklahoma State University. At OSU Austin became proficient in ceramics. While here he had the privilege of studying under Brandon Reese. Following his graduation, he apprenticed for Reese and became a studio technician for OSU. Austin’s art practices include functional and sculptural ceramic works. Austin’s artwork has received the distinguished honor to be exhibited in the Philbrook Museum’s Director’s Office Exhibition in Tulsa, and the OSU President’s Wilham House Exhibition in Stillwater. With aspirations to attend graduate school, Austin now prepares for the application process