Our History

Oklahoma Artists Invitational (OAI) is the outgrowth of “An Afternoon of Art” show that began as a one-day Sunday event in 2010 with 26 Oklahoma artists.  The first venue was the glass Louvre designed atrium of the Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City NeuroScience Institute.

The initial 2010 art show met with tremendous success indicating the need to expand the show into a two-day event in 2011. The show’s popularity continued to increase creating the need in 2014 to incorporate as the nonprofit Oklahoma Artists Invitational, LLC. The officers of OAI included Jan J. Smith president, Barbara Fluty vice president, Karen Seikel treasurer and Teri Cunningham secretary. The OAI vision statement expressed “OAI art shows are produced by juried Oklahoma artists interested in making a difference in our world through fine art, charitable community support and health education.”

By 2015 it was necessary to add a third day, provide two shows per year and add jewelry and sculpture artists. The success of the show attracted major corporate sponsors as OAI does not realize profit relying only on artists’ entry fees and sponsors to finance the overhead of the show.

Alan Webb, Quail Creek Bank, purchasing Saint Nick’s List from Jan J Smith, artist

Alan Webb, Quail Creek Bank, purchasing Saint Nick’s List from Jan J Smith, artist

Glen Thomas, Jan Smith, Steve Seikel and daughter Jessica Seikel

Glen Thomas, sculptor & artist; Jan J. Smith, OAI president & artist; Steve Seikel and daughter Jessica Seikel, artists. Jan, Steve & Jessica are founding members and this will be their 15th consecutive art show.

From the show’s beginning, the artists wanted the event to include being a charitable outreach to the community as well as the display of sophisticated juried art. Support of the Mercy Foundation Stroke Education, Prevention and Treatment program was chosen as the community outreach opportunity. Dr. Richard Vertrees Smith, Medical Director of the Mercy NeuroScience Institute and Comprehensive Stroke Center volunteered to provide a free public stroke education presentation. Dr. Smith has continued to provide updated stroke education presentations up to the present time. A percentage of art sales proceeds and all monies from a raffle during the show are dedicated to Mercy Foundation Stroke and Parkinson’s Education and Prevention.

In the spring of 2015, the management of The Shoppes at NorthPark asked OAI to move the show to the vacant former Jerome’s lease space. This venue provided an upscale art gallery appearance for the artwork, the artists and the show attendees.

As the OAI twice-yearly show has grown, Jan J Smith and Karen Seikel now share show producing responsibility as chair and co-chairpersons. Karen Seikel continues as OAI treasurer. All of the artists volunteer for show committees creating a pleasant harmonious supportive show atmosphere.

Dustan, Emily & Karen 2019

Dr. Dusty Buckley, jeweler; Emily Buckley, jeweler; Karen Seikel, OAI show chair, treasurer and artist.

Sandy Wallace, artist; Dennis Wallace & Mick Powers

Artist, Sandy Wallace with Dennis Wallace & Mick Powers

In 2017 OAI artists began displaying their artwork in the lobbies of Quail Creek Bank and Kirkpatrick Banks two weeks prior to each art show. In 2018 the OAI show begun to set record sales including 40 oil paintings, 3 major sculptures and a large volume of jewelry art with 95% of the artists successfully selling their work. Art pre-purchase certificates have become popular and were successfully added to the show in 2018. Get more info on Certificate of Art Purchases here.  As of 2019 OAI had donated $30,135 to Mercy Foundation Stroke and Parkinson’s education and prevention.

The November 15th-17th, 2019 show includes blue ribbon recipients Jan J. Smith, Steve Seikel and Jessie Seikel as three of the OAI founding artists who have participated in all 15 shows since 2010. Also, in 2019 other founding artists received ribbons for participating in 10 or more of the 15 shows including Teri Cunningham, Peggy Lunde, and Margaret Carroll. Anchor Artist ribbons were awarded to Karen Seikel, Barbara Fluty, Jeanne Kleinschmidt and Dusty Buckley for their 10-year or more show participation.

Oklahoma Artist Invitational art show continues to gain popularity as a twice-yearly event sharing the work of gifted artists while giving back to the community. An art teacher from a prominent local high school said, “OAI is the best art show in Oklahoma City!” We feel very blessed.

Kay Smith, artist; Don & Carol Kasperite

Artist, Kay Smith with Don & Carol Kasperite