Friday, April 27, 2012

Autocomplete Exhibit - 5/10/2012

Last month I was asked to partake in a group exhibit called
Autocomplete: A Collaborative Coloring Book, which is being curated by Maya Drozdz of Visualingual.  The concept of the exhibit is what got me hooked.  The idea is that select Cincinnati area (and beyond) artists would be paired with a Visionaries + Voices artist, more specifically, paired with a black and white print of their work, and we were asked to "color" the piece in our style, while maintaining the integrity of the original piece.  For those unaware of Visionaries + Voices, it is a local arts organization that provides creative opportunities to people with disabilities.  From my experience seeing the work of several V+V artists over the years, I would say that really it's an organization that celebrates abilities, not disabilities.  The power of art as a tool for expression is absolutely evident in the work itself and moreso in the smiles and increased self-esteem of the artists who are a part of V&V.  I am honored and humbled to be a part of this exhibit.

I was paired with Jennifer Dowers (who I've yet to meet) to color in her piece entitled, Cincinnati Reds.  Now I hadn't "colored" anything in a while, save for helping my 3 year old niece now and again, so getting this I admit was a touch intimidating.  The piece I received was obviously a photograph, turned black and white, and not typically something I would work with, in both subject matter and in style.  Frankly, it was the whole "maintaining the integrity of the original piece" part that I was having the most difficulty with.  My natural inclination may have been to tear, burn or cover the entire thing, but again, I had to follow the rules so that was probably a good exercise for me in itself.  Anyway, having just finished my version, I wanted to post a picture of the 2 side by side, so you can see the before and after.

Here it is:

Looking at it, I think I maintained enough of the original while adding my own twist.  I really wanted to incorporate something to reference both the statistics of baseball as well as the sound of a cracking bat, hence the grids and shard of wood.  Overall, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out and hope Jennifer does too.  For those that can attend, the opening is Thursday May 10th, from 5-8PM at the V&V Gallery at 3841 Spring Grove Avenue in Northside, and the exhibit runs until Friday June 29th.  Thanks to Maya for including me and best of luck with the event!