Monday, October 24, 2011

Artistic Collaboration: Artist Survival Kit Workshop Recap

Guest Author Sarah Hearn, Artist Survival Kit coordinator
Satan's Camero, This music is kind of slutty,
Screen print and smoke on panel, 18 in x 18 in, 2010
September 29th marked the first ArtistSurvival Kit (ASK) workshop of the season.  This year’s topics were nominated by the ASK committee with much discussion and input from previous workshop attendees and voted on by OVAC members in an online Facebook poll.  The topic of creative collaborations was of interest to many OVAC members and the actual workshop did not disappoint.

The 22 participants heard lectures from local forensic artist Harvey Pratt who works closely with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, and artists Justin Strom and Lenore Thomas who make collaborative art under the name, Satan’s Camaro. The topics of discussion and means of collaboration were drastically different and had many in the audience thinking of different ways they could adopt collaborations into their own practice. The workshop was co-hosted by the School of Fine Arts at the University of Oklahoma and was followed with an intimate gallery preview of Satan’s Camaro, Medieval Tehno Show currently on display through October 21, 2011. 

Pratt’s lecture was intense, interesting and graphic.  He showed detailed examples of how he works with victims, witnesses and psychics to create forensic sketches to identity suspects.  He also discussed his role in working with law enforcement to identify bodies, create age progression assessments, and ultimately, capture criminals.  His lecture provided great insight on collaborating with a much larger organization such as the OSBI and suggested the unexpected collaborative nature of working for the good of those who are no longer living. 

After a brief question and answer session, a talk by the printmaking duo Satan’s Camaro followed.  Strom and Thomas are an eclectic and likable pair. They each discussed their individual projects prior to collaboration and showed examples of their early collaborative efforts.  Their newer work has evolved to become complimentary yet cohesive- the fruit of compromise which has matured over the past 5 years. Strom and Thomas share vital roles in their practice and manage to make work that is of each of them, yet different.  It was truly refreshing to see great work being made, collaboratively without egos spoiling the fun.  More information can be seen on their website at

The next Artist Survival Kit workshop will take place November 19, focused on curators, emerging artists and preparing for exhibitions.

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