Balance: An Aritsts' Collaborative Game opened Friday at the Gallery in the Dederstadt Center on the campus of the University of Michigan. My partner, Virginia Obidzinski, and I exchanged images of our art to create three pieces inspired by the word "Balance". We influenced each other stylistically and grew creatively during the process.
I am used to working on my art very independently. The idea of working in collaboration with another artist was a bit threatening but I was encouraged by my daughter to participate. She said I would grow and be stretched by this experience. She was right! My partner, Virginia Obidzinski, approaches art in a less representational way than I do. It was a growing experience to combine her artistic method with mine.
My first piece was literal: I precariously balanced fruits and vegetables in a fictional still life and I also wanted to express the idea of a balanced diet as it relates to one's health.
This past year, I have been working on a series of pieces celebrating the joy of food and local produce. I wanted to continue that theme for the Balance Project.
My second piece was influenced by the geometric abstractions Virginia used in her first piece. I thoroughly enjoyed manipulating my subject matter and felt that I was playing a “collaboration game” with our pieces. I used shapes, colors and design elements from both of our pieces.
My third piece is more symbolic of this collaborative experience. I returned to my first design, but I cut the produce open or peeled away the skin. This represents how the collaboration forced me to look deeper into my approach toward art. It reminded me to strive to balance my technical ability with artistic and individual expression.