Sunday, October 31, 2010

Collaboration in progress

This past year have been working with MIAD student Marta Shumylo in preparation for our collaborative exhibition at MARWEN this December.

Marta is a MARWEN alumni and is very passionate about the school and its programming.  In December of 2009 she asked me if I would show with her in their alumni gallery. After almost a year and many long conversations about art making I asked Marta to reflect with me on our process.  I will post bits of our conversation and works here in the next few days...

Sonja: What is Marwen? What does it mean for you to show there?

Marta:  Marwen is an organization that offers free art classes for youth. It is a place where young artists go because they want to be there. It is a place that offers inspiration, support, education, feedback as well as many other things without asking for anything in return. It is a place that has changed my life because I am sure that if i did not have the experience I had at Marwen, there is a big chance I would not have ended up in an art school... 
Having the ability to exhibit my work at Marwen means a lot to me because I have a tremendous amount of respect for everybody there. By having a show there I wish to inspire the students that go there and hope to make the faculty proud. This would be my way of showing appreciation and staying connected.

S: When offered the opportunity to show at Marwen, why did you ask for a collaborative exhibition  instead of a solo show?

M: I was originally thinking about doing a solo show but eventually the idea of having such great responsibility became too overwhelming.  After talking to Arielle, Coordinator of Alumni Programs, I decided that it would be a much more enjoyable experience for me if I worked with another artist. 

S: When we started talking about the show last December I remember being moved by the enthusiasm and energy you brought to the table, it was impossible to turn down the opportunity to work with someone so motivated. I can't believe it has been almost a year since that first meeting, we are in the midst of final printing, editing of video and I am expecting my baby's arrival any day now!  It is interesting how our conversations about time and the ephemeral in photography became more palpable for me in my 9 months of anticipation.  

July 6, 2010 from home/away, Marta Shumylo & Sonja Thomsen

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