Factory Obscura falls “In Love With Love” for group art show
Factory Obscura, located in a multicolored building at 25 NW 9 in Oklahoma City, is best known for its 6,000 square-foot art installation titled “Mix-Tape,” which features multiple tactile areas corresponding to different emotions. But in conversation with Lindsey Cox and Meg Carlile, two of the Factory Obscura artists involved in the Feb 10-15’ “In Love With Love” group art show, one word is repeated constantly: “community.”
Factory Obscura features art from artists who utilize a wide range of mediums to compliment the themes of the various spaces within “Mix-Tape.” In the “Tunnel of Dark Love,” for example, one can find an anatomically correct heart synced to music that pours in from the ceiling; the music was created by Cox. For Valentine’s Day, in addition to the annual V-Day Bash, the art collective has something very special planned. The 2024 “In Love With Love” art show will be the second held by the venue, featuring pieces from 29 local artists.
“In Love With Love” was curated by Carlile, as well as Factory Obscura co-founder Tammy Greenman. The artists chosen are a combination of familiar faces to the venue, as well as artists Carlile and Greenman wanted to get to know better.
“This is the first year that we’ve kind of been like, ‘You know what? Just go to town, we want you to explore any kind of love that you want to explore,’” Carlile said.
The first group art show for Valentine’s Day, there were much stricter requirements for the pieces submitted. For 2024, artists have free rein not only with subject matter, but also the medium.
“I’ve told artists that they can use whatever medium that they want to use. It can’t exceed anything that’s like a 50 by 50, which is quite large. But I have some pieces that are ceramic pieces, I have some pieces that are going to be paintings.” Carlile turns to Cox to reference another medium present in the show, audio. Cox’s Valentine’s Day piece is a collage about love for humanity and it comes with accompanying music.
Lindsey Cox is not only a contributing artist and staff member at Factory Obscura. She is part of the OKC-based band Stepmom, which released its self-titled debut in 2020, as well as a few singles. Most recently, on Oct. 10, 2023, Stepmom released a new single, “Chaos Candy.” The music video will be released on Valentine’s Day 2024, and Cox said it focuses on her work-life balance and what brings her joy: making art. The video contains live action as well as stop-motion animation, which is something familiar to Cox.
Stepmom’s 2021 music video for the song “Damage Control” was a Barbie-centric stop-motion video about the dangers of social media and digital popularity. In past interviews, Cox has been critical of the Barbie brand and its impact on young girls and women. Greta Gerwig’s 2023 film “Barbie” addressed many of Cox’s concerns with the famous doll.
“I thought the movie was great,” Cox said. “I think the movie is giving female actors and a female director a platform.”
Female empowerment is a big part of Cox’s creative drive, specifically within Stepmom. In January 2024, Stepmom opened for alternative musician Soccer Mommy. Stepmom, Cox said, wants to get out on the road and tour. Cox would love to tour with any nationally touring female artist and to get Stepmom’s music out into the world. Though Stepmom has only released one album and a handful of singles, Cox says an EP is on the horizon for Fall 2024.
Oklahoma-based artistry is the focal point of Factory Obscura, but Cox said there is more work to be done. With the addition of production companies and the longstanding presence of visual and musical artists, Oklahoma is becoming a bigger cultural focal point. Cox feels that the local art scene lacks the needed support from the local community.
“The people that might normally go out to the bars or do other things for entertainment, I would love for them to rediscover the joys of live music and live art.” Cox said.
However, Carlile said that a devoted, in-the-know crowd shows up regularly.
“The people who do come out, come out.” Carlile said. “And even though we don’t always have, you know, a sold out show or crazy packed house, the people who do show up are always, they are so supportive.”
The room was regularly filled with the sound of someone operating a table saw in preparation for “In Love With Love,” with supplies and chairs spread out in the room. This was a room full of anticipation, love, and that lingering feeling of community.
“Sometimes we say to ourselves, gosh, I wish more people were here to experience this because it is joy, and love and community that is literally happening in action before our eyes,” Cox said. “When we connect with art, and music, which is art and each other, magic happens.”
The “In Love With Love” art show will open at 7 p.m. Feb. 10. Admission is free.
Lindsey Cox is on KOSU/The Spy FM at 8 p.m. Saturday for her specialty deejay show, “Lindsey’s Lounge.” Stepmom can be found on all music apps.