Studio Conversations is an exhibit of mixed media works done by Mary Bookwalter, Janice Meister, and Carol Weber. Bookwalter, Meister and Weber are artists and friends who have for years collectively discussed and critiqued their artwork. Knowing that artists work in the vacuum of their own studios they found that sharing input to the actual art-making process is an invaluable part of that usually solitary venture. They also saw that their processes of mixed media collage, printmaking and assemblage were common ground for an exhibition. Thus, was born a collaborative show around the interaction they have with each other as artists and the sharing of thoughts, ideas, and methods pertaining to their creative ventures.
The term collaboration often conjures up the idea of artists working in combination on the same piece. Bookwalter, Meister, and Weber wanted to see if they could “collaborate” while all still working on their own individual works of art. Ongoing discussions allowed each artist to look objectively at the scale, style and content of their own works and to be able to visualize them as possible collaborative pieces. The interventions that ensued gave way to a series of small works where each artist began with an agreed upon commonality that built on the skills, perspective, and experience of the other artists. The finished pieces in concert with one another become yet another conversation.
In a review of Studio Conversations at Christopher Art Gallery, curator Beth Shadur writes:
“Bookwalter, Meister and Weber share a creative gift, that of sharing dialogue, information, generous conversation, and evaluation with one another. Collaboration is an exciting and also generous act. It is stimulating and enhancing, requiting and open mind and heart while in dialogue. Collaboration allows for shifting paradigms and an enlarging of vision. Artists who collaborate have to be willing to submerge their own ego to be open to new ideas, challenges and discussion. What is most exciting is the opportunity to expose their own vulnerabilities and ideas to the influence of another artist. It takes bravery on the part of the artist to trust the judgement of an “other”. But the benefits far outweigh the risks, as artists enhance their creative practice by new opportunities, vision and growth.”
Tall Grass Arts