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Valley Vogue Collections Art Blog

Artists Working Together

by valleyvogue , September 23, 2008—05:31 PM

Topics: artists, community

So many artists work in solitude quite apart from the hubbub of everyday life. Luckily, I am not one of them any more. I'm fortunate to spend so much time with another kindred spirit in working and playing with art. My business partner, Fran, works alongside me in the classroom by day and in our studio by night.

Fran and I push and inspire each other to places we would not normally go alone. Fran's shrinkart has and is evolving to heights that I never thought possible. Now that Fran is learning to weave, she has entered my world of fiber, warp and weft. Because she is a beginner, she is not bound by years of a certain thought and style. She makes me rethink the way I look at color and fiber.

Fran accompanies me on trips to a warehouse full of mill ends and reaches for fibers I never would have seen without her. In fact, our next gallery on artid will be filled with my latest efforts weaving a fiber Fran stuck in our shopping cart despite my reservations.

When we struck out to start a business in wearable art, we were lucky to land in a mill with other artists of all types. The relationships and experiences we have had in the past four years are guiding us to make our business venture more viable with each new year. It is what convinces us that art thrives in a community that supports it.

We have a paper artist that uses our loom waste to embellish her handmade books, a spinner who gladly spins fibers on request, and an artist who paints on our woven castoffs. We work and weave to the tune of a a pianist working on his latest refurbished piano. I walk to the fourth floor gathering feathers from boas worn by models posing for mill photographers. These feathers will be woven in a wall hanging someday. Just today, I reached my studio door to find gifts of bamboo from an artist on the 5th floor and a valet stand from the owner of the mill on which to hang a shawl.

If you are an artist that works in solitude, consider a field trip. Find artists in a variety of media. Share your art and exchange your castoffs. Life will get more interesting in no time.




  Janet ( homepage )

10/15/2008 * 09:12:00

As a solitary artist working from home in my spare time, I envy you your partnership and your space at the mill. If collaboration/interaction with other like-minded souls results in art as beautiful as the two of you make, then I clearly need to start doing more collaborating and interacting! BTW, having seen your pieces in person, I must say that even though you have great pictures, they don't do your artwork justice. But hey, they definitely whet one's appetite to see them up close and in person!



09/26/2008 * 23:21:45

I think that there are many artists who benefit from a community of other artists. You have put into words what a lot of us already know. I too really appreciate the support of others around me. By the way, what a lovely pin!!!!

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