I just came across a behind-the-scenes blog from one of the artists behind “Big Ideas”, Ellyn Weiss! For days now I’ve been cultivated at work, sitting and churning over the wide array of fun, must-not-touch, must-get-up-and-jump-for-joy artwork—and today, I know a bit behind the process.

ImageWatching Sondra N. Arkin, Susan Finsen, and Ellyn Weiss create and cultivate this art exhibit has been absolutely amazing and invaluable. Their collaboration is the product and process of enjoying one another’s company, learning to compromise, laughing and having a good time, and respecting one another’s process. It’s truly an example of how three people can come together, work with others, and together start something no one would ever want to stop: creating a joyful place. Here’s a quote from Ellyn’s blog:

We began meeting weekly to try to approach some common vision of the installation. There was lots of coffee and talk, some conceptual drawings, the sharing of references to the work of some favorite artists, but still the lingering doubt that we were each actually “seeing” the same thing in our mind’s eyes, or if we were seeing anything concrete enough to execute at all. After some 6 weeks or so of this, we reached a fateful decision; we would stop trying to plan it all in advance and begin to play together with various materials, hoping that a more concrete shared vision would emerge in this way.

We learned that we share an affinity for materials with a sort of arcane industrial look that seem well used and aged. We were inspired by Community Forklift in Hyattsville, where renovators donate salvaged building materials from nails to sinks and they are sold at bargain prices to be recycled. Community Forklift not only provided us with our initial art materials, it embodies the spirit of renewal, re-use and rebirth of the Gateway District that we try to reflect in Community Spirit.

Big Ideas has its opening reception THIS SATURDAY from 5pm-8pm at the Brentwood Arts Exchange @ Gateway Arts Center. I’ll be there, I hope you can stop by!