Thursday, December 20, 2007

Exquisite Corpse AFSA Fundraiser

Patricia Prachett of the ASFA and PBL in Bettie Ward's studio with the framed corpses

PBL in Gallery 118

Justin Parr of Flight Gallery

Justin with flowers

We invited 37 artists to draw with us at our home in small groups during a 4-month time span, hosting shifts of draw-ers during day-long "banquets" in their honor. Its true that the outcome was an exhibition-fundraiser for the Artist Foundation of San Antonio, but the real meat of the project is in the energy of the artists kicking back over waffles, sandwiches, and whatnot, then expanding into a liminal zone of creative energy together.

Over the course of the project, which, by the way, is an activity that Jason and I have been doing with artist friends for about a decade now, we learned that San Antonio has seen another exquisite corpse project that featured drawing activity as solo practice, in which each artist worked on their part of the drawing alone, on their own time.

For me the beauty of the game is in its communal and social nature. Engaging as a group creates a dynamic unparalleled by solitary drawing. Inexplicable connections turn up among the parts of the drawings. For those not familiar with the game, it goes like this: everyone draws a head on a piece of paper then folds the paper so that the head can not be seen-- only some small cues that indicate where to attach the mid-section of the body. The papers are redistributed and everyone then draws mid-sections, and so-on. Nobody looks at what anyone else has drawn until all of the drawings are finished.

Inevitably, the whole becomes much greater than the sum of the parts. When time permits, we play round after round. The coincidences tend to become more prevalent. Similarities may be in shape, color, mark-making technique, subject, etc. I don't have a scientific explanation for this, but quantum physics might be the right field to look to for elucidation.

death and time


theme (words in the mid-section spell "Middle Earth")

color/shapes in upper right and lower left, history/time motif


Big big thanks to all of the participating artists:

Oscar Alvarado
Ricky Armendariz
Kimberly Aubuchon
Nate Cassie
Judith Cottrell
Margaret Craig
Meredith Dean
Joan Fabian
Rick Frederick
Christopher French
Beto Gonzales
Mark Hogensen
Mimi Kato
Jimmy Kuehnle
Rhonda Kuhlman
Claire Little
Ken Little
Mark Little
Connie Lowe
Karen Mahaffey
Rick Martinez
John Mason
Jon Mata
Franco Mondini-Ruiz
Michele Monseau
Janette Morales
Dennis Olsen
Justin Parr
Chuck Ramirez
Leslie Raymond
David Rubin
Chris Sauter
S. T. Shimi
Ethel Shipton
Jason Jay Stevens
Michelle Valdez
Anne Wallace
Bettie Ward
George Zupp

We truly enjoyed the honor of your company!

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