Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Plywood by Post

I now live in a place that is somewhat lacking in visual arts culture. It exists and some of it is excellent, but it's harder to find and geographically scattered relative to my previous homes. As an extrovert and artist this means I have to work harder to make and maintain the connections that feed my spirit and sustain my work. This need for creative connection is compounded by the recent birth of my son. Though he is a delight, caring for him makes getting to galleries and museums, to say nothing of events after 8 PM, more of a challenge.

All of this led me to stew on how I could cultivate and experience the kind of creative community I seek. Number One on the list: be better about showing up for what's going on in my area. There's the wonderful John Michael Kohler Art Center, the Lakeshore Artists Guild, and the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum to name a few. Number Two on my list is Plywood by Post (#plywoodbypost for the digital savvy), a recently launched collaborative drawing project in which participants will draw on and pass along by mail small pieces of birch plywood. The boards went out earlier this month to 14 artists all over the country-- listed and linked at the end of this post-- and I'm excited to see what happens. 

Wood going out in the world thanks to the USPS. 
I modeled the project after Global Drawing Circles, a project by Thinking Through Drawing, an "interdisciplinary education and research network." In those circles each artist started and then worked in a a sketchbook which we passed on monthly. I don't know if it was the chemistry of my group or the large amount of real estate afforded by a whole book, but my drawing circle did not draw on or into the previous drawings. My expectation here is that the limited space of the plywood will force us to respond to what others have done. These are the participating artists: Alex ClineBrian HitselbergerBud RiesChatham MonkDon KrumposGenevieve LoweHolly Briggs, Justin RiceKatie RiesRachel ClarkRachel SchattmanSara Marie MillerSusie RiesTanyssa Behnke, and Veronica Siehl. (Update! Just added to this mix: Steph Untz.)

I look forward to seeing the project unfold and to the artistic communion of shared drawings (and occasional emails about the project). Need to get my board started soon. 

Birch plywood, 11.75" x 9"

No comments: