"Bits and Pieces" opens Friday night at Side Street Studio Arts. It was a collaborative art project in which teams of 2 or 3 artists were asked to create a single work of art. We had three or four weeks to work on it. Side Street Studio Arts is having an open crit night and they are going to critique the pieces in it tonight. I have another collaboration with Antonia Ruppert tonight, so I have a good excuse to avoid the hot seat. I did submit this statement to the exhibition coordinator for them to use in lieu of stammering in person. I think Chris Palm is planning to go. Brave soul.
Timeline/Statement of the “Winter is Coming” collaboration. “Winter is Coming” is a collaboration between Julie Mars, Hallie Sanclemente Morrison, and Chris Palm. Chris Palm fills his sketchbooks with expressionistic, pop-surreal characters. Hallie Sanclemente Morrison is known for her torn paper collage paintings. Julie Mars works in woven bead mosaics on salvaged mirrors, glass, and other items..
After getting familiar with each other’s work online we had a Zoom call a couple of days after being teamed up. During that meeting we agreed to approach the work in layers. Chris agreed to go out of his comfort zone and enlarge one of his tree drawings on the base layer. Hallie would go in on layer two and work her magic with her torn paper paintings. Julie’s work is dimensional so it had to go somewhere on top. After the Zoom meeting, we didn’t have a fleshed-out composition in mind. Hallie and Julie would improvise when it was their turn.
Over the next few days, we had a few emails back and forth about acquiring a panel and we all loved it when Hallie offered to cut it down into a curvilinear shape. Then the panel went to Chris who primed it and set about enlarging the sketch he made for the project, then sent a photo of the result.
We live far from each other and have job and family obligations, so we shared photos of the work in progress by email. Hallie shared the first photo of her layer in progress. It was shaping up to be a meticulously crafted, impressionistic late Fall sunset landscape.
About her work, Hallie Sanclemente Morrison says,
“My torn-paper collage approach is usually very abstract-- so it was a treat to work more figuratively via this collaboration--with Chris Palm, The King of Cross-Hatching, and Julie Mars, a beautiful bead-working artist, whom I have admired for a while. The concept behind the exhibition resonates with a community healing method I've taught for a couple of years: Spontaneous Creation Making. So, I've enjoyed the fun, nonjudgmental spirit of the project-- and I know it'll inspire other means for communal connections, for Elgin and beyond."
Hallie got a bad cold and asked Julie for as much time as possible. During those few days, Julie suggested that we call the piece “Winter is Coming.” Julie had a mass of ice crystal and snowflake shapes on hand that would work for that theme, if the others agreed. The others agreed to the name. Hallie and Julie met on Black Friday morning to hand off the piece.
Julie Mars explains –
“We were really coming down to the wire, so I was crossing my fingers that Chris and Hallie would be okay with tying the piece together with a “Winter is Coming” theme. If I had another week, I would have consulted with them about tinting and toning the tree a bit. This was a creatively enriching and stimulating project. I enjoyed the comradery of working with two other creative people and the white-knuckle ride of artistic improvisation.”
Chris Palm describes how this wasn’t his first art rodeo –
“This is my second collaborative effort with Side Street and both have been enjoyable. While my last collaboration was with someone very similar to myself, this time, our three mediums could not have been more varied. While at first I thought our differing styles would have been a possible obstacle in our creative process, we were all very much on the same page with what we were envisioning and I am happy beyond words with the final result. It’s been a joy and an honor to work with my fellow artists.”
Julie Mars' current events, projects, & inspirations.