Lighting up the art scene
CARBONDALE – Imagine you wrote a story, but someone else wrote the ending. Imagine you started to create a piece of artwork, but someone else actually finished the piece.That’s precisely the concept of what is being done at the Carbondale Council on Arts and Humanities “Shades of Light” exhibit for the month of September. The exhibit features a display of lights and lampshades done by 19 artists from around the valley.”I made a life-sized (lamp) base of a bag lady out of tea bags on a mannequin,” said Wewer Keohane, one of the artists who participated in the project. “But someone else did the shade.”The cooperative effort between the artists was different in that each of the contributors were allowed their own creative freedom.”The difficult part was working from someone else’s piece of art,” Keohane said. “It was a really interesting challenge – kind of a non-collaborative, collaborative effort. The first part was a total joy. The second part was very interesting. It was difficult working from someone else’s piece of art because you wanted to honor it.”
Each of the artists that made a base then went on to make a lamp shade for someone else’s base and vice versa.The idea was born after Ro Mead, director of the Carbondale Council of Arts and Humanities, met with Olivia Pevec, a young Carbondale blacksmith.”She came in to talk to me and said she’d like to do some kind of collaborative art show,” Mead said. “We came up with the idea of doing a light show. She sees lighting in its literal sense as something everyone wants and needs in their home.”The idea of a collaborative effort was rather unique.”It’s unusual, but it’s an interesting experiment for the artists,” Mead said. “It’s a real challenge for any artist to allow another artist to finish their work, to give up ownership of their creation. I’m hoping that it has also been a learning and growing experience.”The pieces are each for sale and the proceeds will be split between the artists and the CCAH.
The exhibit is part of the CCAH’s “First Fridays” event which, for the past two years, has featured galleries and store fronts that stay open on Main Street in Carbondale later than their usual business hours on the first Friday of every month.”It’s really taken off,” Mead said. “It’s amazing what’s happening.”And not only was the collaborative effort of the “Shades of Light” exhibit by the artists unique, it was also a new experience for many of the creators.”The artists said this was really a struggle because not only were they attached to what they made, but waiting to see if it pleased the other artist,” Mead said.Participating artists in the display include Keohane, Pevec, Kim DeFries, Marty Schlein, Shannon Muse, Bobby VanMeter, Jill Scher, Janet Nelson, Sean McWilliams, Joe Burleigh, Mary Matchael, Sandy Gardner, David Struempler, John Hoffman, Tom Semborski, Wendy Anderson, Lorraine Morrison, Max Cooper and Amber Sparkles.
The exhibit will be on display at the CCAH building throughout the month of September.
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