The show is comprised largely of triptychs, and one diptych, each of which are made of the works of two or three different artists in the group, along with individual pieces from each artist.
The formative idea of this exhibit was a desire to get all the members of the group to push themselves into different, sometimes difficult places with their work. In this way, each artist could experience what collaboration might do within their own body of work. The results are eye-opening for both the viewers of the work and for the artists themselves.
Per New Art Group member, Susan Ahlstrom, “Although individually several members had acknowledged the influence that past and present members had on their work, ‘Influences’ in triptych form had never been considered.”
Artists with mature styles face a challenge with collaborative works. They must strive to remain true to their own vision, yet work together so the end result is cohesive, while at the same time being open to re-envisioning their own approach. Jane Caminos explains, “In a deliberate shift designed to ‘stretch us’ as artists, the ‘Influences’ project breaks from our accustomed way of working out a solution to a theme; instead of creating answers in isolation to the exploration of a concept, we decided to collaborate on a series of triptychs which would ultimately demonstrate how divergent methods of working out an idea might, or might not, result in a surprisingly cohesive solution.”
The New Art Group’s process was simple – artists created a center panel without reference to any other artists’ work. Then two other artist members were randomly chosen to create works for the side panels. This part of the process was left open – the side artists could choose to collaborate, converse or simple work independently. However it was approached, it presented challenges.
“The artists’ specialties vary, and the group typically operates by collectively choosing a concept that each member then interprets individually. But for their new show…the group broke from its norm.” Click here for more.
Courier News, August 21, 2015