By William Sarradet
Sharing ideas with collaborators is just as important to an artist’s growth as time spent toiling away in the studio by one’s lonesome. Recently, SMU professors, alumni and staff showcased their collaborative work in a selection of locations around the Meadows Owen Arts Center.
The rules were simple: Participation was only for groups of two or more, and installation locations were on a first-come, first-served basis.
The idea was borne out of the SMU Division of Art’s responsibility to its students to create opportunities to foster interaction and exchange between the many art disciplines it houses. “It’s a way to get to know each other,” says Pollock Gallery Director Sofia Bastidas.
“I hope that through events like this the students can remember how important collaboration is in the arts and how we can experience art-making outside of the studio.”
Attendees saw work from more than 20 collaborators. Some professors created collaborative works within their classes, or combined efforts with other classes. Visiting Lecturer in Photography Jonathan Molina-Garcia and Assistant Professor of Digital and Hybrid Media Melanie Clemmons combined their classes (Introduction to Photography, and Virtual Reality) to create an interactive exhibit.
Another collaboration was between Travis Lurato (M.F.A. Art ’20) and Allison KLion. (They curated a table of homemade breads and spreads along with some fabric dye. The table was set to invite people to break bread together.
The blue lounge area in the Art Division featured a freezer full of ice cream by Xxavier Carter (M.F.A. ’19). Packed in individual small Mason jars, ice cream flavors included Hershey Cherry; Basil Cheese; Ginger Jameson; and more. The installation, which is still in place, is based on an honor system. People can select one of the many flavors of ice cream and pay via Venmo.
Collaboration among groups, whether between artists, students or curators, is how exhibitions come to be. This initiative opens that dialogue to the entire SMU community. In this way, it is a unique combination of elements found in group shows, without any administrative oversight.
“The Collabo show was playful and enriching,” says Bastidas. “It exposed the audiences, staff and faculty to art outside of the classroom, and gave us the opportunity to visualize new forms of creating.”
The Collabo Show, In Photos
All photos By Kim Leeson