Although our 3rd Quarter Residency ended last month, we haven’t heard the last from our four selected residents! We will be releasing posts on their process and the finally results right here on our blog.
If you have been following along with us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, you probably have seen the Collaborative Art Project as the came together for meetings and art making under the direction of our resident Michael Bell. As a cumulative effort, a few weeks ago they hosted an art showing and non-minimum silent auction. All of their pieces they created over the past few months together was displayed and up for purchase.
In his own words, Michael describes his process and result of his residency at Makeshift:
“While I was working on a community-building project in Colorado in the summer of 2012, a local artist, _g, and I exchanged a series of e-mails regarding the curation of a creative community of bay area artists to undergo an experiment in collaborative art making. We saw a problem that as young and emerging artists we are too often assuming the accepted notions of how art is made and sold — without ever testing these ideas for ourselves. We wanted to bring together emerging artists to inquire for ourselves about the current state of the art world. We deeply wondered, Is there a better was of making, showing, and collecting art?
With this charge, we hosted a series of art-themed events and invited everyone we know who would be vaguely interested in talking about these ideas. During various informal social meetings, we gathered feedback about our idea and invited anyone and everyone to join our cause. We informally prototyped ideas with a group of artists for a year before Makeshift Society decided to host us.
Then in July 2013, a group of local, emerging artists heard the call and answered it, joining me for what would become a critical inquiry into the current state of the art world today. And more impressive than this is that our inquiry did not come from some highly-credentialed source within the art world. This inquiry is from the people outside the establishment. Emerging artists trying to have our voices heard.
For 3 months, a group of 9 passionate artists began meeting for inquiry-based summits and critiques at Makeshift Society. At these meetings we discussed and defined a collaborative, non-hierarchical model of art making and inquiry. We also asked: Is art inclusive or exclusive? Does artist intention matter? and How does inspiration influence art?
Over the 3 next months, pairs of artists developed projects that visually tested these questions. In August, we opened ourselves up to the greater creative community by hosting a collaborative art making workshop. Finally, in September, we came together to share our process, our product, and our insights with an audience in the form of a no-minimum silent auction and art show.
During the final art show and auction, over 100 art buyers came to support us by purchasing over $1,000 of work. For many of the artists involved, this was their first major exhibition or their first time having work sold and collected. For many art buyers, this was their first time collecting and supporting art from local, emerging artists.
Through this project, we gained valuable understandings about the specific ways in which individuals feel alienated from the process of creation and the consumption of artistic media.
So, what was the point? What did we accomplish? What do we have to show for this work? The list is endless, but let’s name a few:
- Unearthing of new understandings about the role of the artists within society
- The creation of a supportive, community of accomplished artists willing to catalyze, create, and communicate
- The cross-pollinating of artists: ie, a painter learning how to collage, a photographer learning the importance of performance, a writer learning how to express their ideas visually.
- The production of high-quality visual media with deep intellectual roots
- The sale of over $1,000 of art made by emerging, local artists
- And much, much, more.”