By Raine Eliza
This past weekend, 43 artists contributed their works to create a gallery show they called “These Friends: A Culmination of our Collective Consciousness.”
“These Friends” was the brain child of Katie Dunkle and Clinton Edminster, and displayed 142 artworks by local artists at an estimated value of $34,444.
The artists fit all 142 works into 234 square feet of space at the Desotorow Gallery located at 2427 De Soto Ave.
“These Friends” offered a variety of artwork including painting, photography, sculpture and mixed media. Following the mindset of original Dada style artists, Dunkle and Edminster held an open call for work, hoping to attract a large variety of styles, techniques and mentalities.
Edminster, a painting major, was overwhelmed after realizing how much artwork they actually had to work with. “It was so intuitive and organic the way all of it fell into place – like someone behind the scenes was directing it all.”
On Friday evening, more than 150 show goers mingled between the walls of the overflowing gallery and the secluded alleyway outside. Upon entering the gallery, artists and visitors alike were barraged by art hanging off the walls, dangling from the ceiling and even clipped up by clothespins on lines of string.
“I didn’t think it was all going to fit. The artwork definitely transformed the space,” said Dunkle, a fourth-year photography student. Edminster agreed, saying that the “self-volition on behalf of the participating artists to submit work was outstanding,” considering that it was their personal choice to contribute.
Edminster and Dunkle originally pitched the idea for “These Friends” to their close group of friends, who told their friends, who continued to spread the word. “We were really relying on word of mouth to spread the news about the show,” said Dunkle, who was initially shocked at the response. “As artists, we reached out, and so many artists reached back.”
Both Edminster and Dunkle recently completed their own solo exhibitions and wanted to use “These Friends” as an opportunity to step away from their personal work in order to connect with the artistic community.
“We thought so much more positively about this show compared to our own because this show was about everybody else,” said Dunkle, who was inspired by the amount of art featured in the exhibit that varied from the artists’ usual styles. “We had advertising majors submitting paintings. For many people this exhibit was an outlet to feature work that they will never be able to show in their portfolio.”
With so many pieces in such a small gallery, the walls of Desotorow were transformed into one giant collage of images. “Unserious pictures became more serious due to the proximity of the serious works around them and vice versa. The context of each image became cellular,” said Edminster. “It is amazing how we are all connected.”
To see the works that were displayed visit hereContact Raine Eliza.