Last year I started to become more involved with the dA Center for the Arts, a non-profit art space for the community in Pomona that offers classes, creative events, and shows of all types (music performances, visual art, ceramics, poetry, stuff for kids, etc.). Prior to that I had only really attended figure drawing sessions there. But last year, realizing I like the place and associated people, I became open to more participation. I met Uncle Bacon, who got me started doing linocut prints, and participated in a group show with collaborating partners (each a topic of previous posts). I also started the Collaborative Arts Project there, where I go on the last Saturday of each month, bringing art materials (and some snacks) and setting up tables for people to do creative work. Interested parties can donate a piece they’ve begun, and go through the accumulated library of works to “check out” a piece of art and work on it, making changes or additions as they see fit. Even without donating a piece, anyone can still sit and contribute. It’s meant to be a stress free environment to share creative time with others and be among a chain of people working on the same piece. This month will be the ninth session, and we have over sixty pieces going, with close to that many people who have contributed some artistic effort to the project.
I’ve also donated time and energy at the dA with the shows, helping to put up and take down art work, patch and paint walls, floors, handrails, take out trash or whatever I can do. It is the tradition there to host an annual red show in February, a group show on the theme red. Every piece submitted is accepted (or that’s how it was this last year) and it can be somewhat sprawling and uneven. I had a piece in this last show and also hung all the work. I tried to make each piece feel like it belonged by the arrangements, and composed it like a journey or a dance. But I was surprised by the overwhelmingly supportive and positive response. People told me they had never seen the show look so good. It was said to be polished, choreographed rather than installed, and to have surpassed the level of the individual works.
I’ve enjoyed learning from my experiences of installing and doing the other things around the gallery space to help keep it on track. (And now it seems I’ve got myself into running a weekly mask-making workshop, until the Parade of Masks happens the first day of August.) Overall it’s been a great experience, making myself useful, meeting new people, broadening my horizons, and it has had it’s rewards, like this mention, where something happened that I never thought would–the word hero appeared next to my name:
Jason makes the dA dazzle. He has patched and painted the gallery walls so they have become their own masterpiece ! He has never said “no” to any request ! His support is immeasurable for exhibition, dA Write Club, dA Studios, dA Collaborative Art Project and with dA friends…Gallery 57 ! Thank you for all of your attention to the small details that make a big difference. Your efforts never go unnoticed nor unappreciated !
Jason you are dA bloom and we are entirely grateful for your presence at the dA ! Thank you for making the dA a better place !