Collaborative Color Work
I’m fascinated with the human impulse to create and decorate. I think it is fundamental to who we are as a species. And yet, anxiety over how our efforts “should” turn out, or the idea that creative activities are a frivolous use of time, manages to squash art making for most people before adolescence.
In 1980 I joined the "Imaginarium" team at the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh. As the Visual Arts Coordinator I worked, along with musicians and dancers, to design situations that would expand the museum visitor's experience to include their own art making in surprising, open ended and often collaborative ways. I continue to be committed to providing opportunities for the public to reengage in creative expression.
While a blank sheet can be intimidating, there is something approachable about an image that has already begun. A line drawing invites you to dive in and make it your own. So, I get the image started by drawing the lines.
The reports of happy and enthusiastic participants are deeply satisfying. Turning over control of painstakingly created large-scale line drawings allows the possibility of unexpected passages of great beauty. But it also means being open to disturbing, aggressive or angry expressions, which can feel like personal inflictions, so that my experience, as the creator of the line drawings, is sometimes tinged with an interesting sense of loss.