Collaboration in the arts has a rich history. Duchamp and Man Ray, Rauschenberg and Johns, Warhol and Basquiat, Abramovic and Ulay; each of these pairings demonstrate the innovation that comes from artists collaborating together. Art Gym Denver is excited to announce Cahoots, an exhibition celebrating the collaboration of Art Gym staff and Art Gym members. Join us for the opening reception on Thursday, March 28 from 5-8PM.
Over the last four years, the Art Gym staff has worked with its members to build a community and space for creativity. At the center of its mission, Art Gym is always focused on providing an environment for creative people to make creative things. In their newest exhibition, Cahoots, each Art Gym staff chose an artist member to collaborate with. From there, each pairing developed differently, creating an exhibition the spans the spectrum of what artist collaboration might look like.
If art can be anything, then these collaborations are no different. The reason and motivation for each collaboration are different for each pair, and the mediums used are as wide an array as the workspaces in Art Gym. The show has metalsmith artists reacting to nude drawings and fiber art, printmakers working with painters and writers, as well as collage and multimedia artists collaborating with encaustic artists.
Graphic designer and metalsmith, Erynn McConnell, is collaborating with painter, Inga Brege, who has a background in neuroscience. Being inspired by neuron structures and working with local Denver brewery, Cerebral Brewery, the pair are creating paintings and a mobile with beer and bottles from the brewery. Membership Director, Robin Whatley, has paired herself with printmaking member Virginia Diaz Saiki. Each began a painting/collage on separate wood panels, which they are trading back and forth until the exhibition, reacting directly to the work created by the other.
Upon remembering a conversation from last year about collaborating together, K. Vuletich approached Gigia Kolouch to team up on this exhibition. While they both work in different mediums, their art practices are both centered on nature. They decided to begin their project taking a walk together through Confluence Park. On this walk, they discovered their varied interest in the idea of barriers in nature, striking the inspiration for their pieces. Vuletich explains that “while Gigia’s work will likely focus on the barrier between winter and spring, my work will focus on the barrier between the natural world and the human world.” It is these individual conclusions that come about in working together that makes collaboration so exciting and vital to innovation in making art. Donald Shambroom writes in his new book Duchamp’s Last Day, “The ‘anything’ of art must have a specific human maker. A collaboration needs two. Duchamp would agree.”
Cahoots includes works by Austin Armstrong and Sarah Fukami, Jazzmyn Barbosa and Mandi Quinn, Jami M. Guler and Erin McAllister, Erynn McConnell and Inga Brege, Elke McGuire and Christine Ann Nicols, Brady Smith and Bruce Wolk, Vickie Stevinson and Lori Hellstrom, Louis Trujillo and Adrianne Tamar Arachne, K. Vuletich and Gigia Kolouch, and Robin Whatley and Virginia Diaz Saiki.