Several Madison area artists part of collaborative effort
A dozen or more pairs of hands shaped each artwork featured at the next Madison Area Arts Council art show.
Selections from “Journey Women” and “Journey Women II: Shrine•Altar•Box” will be shown at Thursday’s Madison Area Arts Council art show. A number of artists with local ties were part of the collaborative art project.
Selections from both showings of “Journey Women” will be presented Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m. at The BrickHouse Community Arts Center, located at 106 SE 2nd St. The one-night show is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served, including a cake to celebrate MAAC’s 49th birthday.
“Journey Women” is a collaborative art project among South Dakota female artists, several who have local ties. Twelve artists created 12 art dolls for “Journey Women,” which were exhibited at the Washington Pavilion Visual Arts Center in Sioux Falls in 2009. “Journey Women II: Shrine•Altar•Box” involved 13 artists and was displayed at the Pavilion in 2012. The “Journey Women” artists are currently working on their third endeavor, which will show in 2014.
Madison artist Ginny Freitag organized “Journey Women” along with Connie Herring, who gave the project its name. Freitag had looked at journals of art dolls and thought it’d be fun to do with a large group.
Month by month, the artworks are rotated among the artists. The artist can add or alter the piece, but not remove items. A journal travels with each object for the artists to record their additions and thoughts on the artwork.
Freitag said she enjoys receiving a new piece each month. The project gives each artist an opportunity to use her own set of skills to add to the object.
“It’s fun. It’s surprising and working out of your comfort zone,” Freitag said.
Fellow artist Lisa Shoemaker said the “Journey Women” art doll sculptures were a challenge that helped her grow in the use of her normal medium of oil and acrylic painting.
“It wasn’t just a journey with the dolls, but it was a journey for all the artists,” Shoemaker said. Real life issues affecting the artists “reflected back in the work, either consciously or unconsciously.”
Working with the first couple pieces of a “Journey Women” project can be intimidating because the object is still something of a blank canvas, Shoemaker said. By the third or fourth rotation, the artwork is finding a direction.
Freitag likes to add things that tie items together on the artwork, which gets harder to do as the project nears completion. She said it’s inspiring to see the mediums the other artists use on the pieces.
“The creativity of the group is incredible,” Freitag said.
Along with Freitag, Herring and Shoemaker, other “Journey Women” artists include Jill Frederick, Eve Fisher, Donna Hazelwood, Winnie Giles, Angela Behrends, Beth Prostrollo, Allyson Nagel, Lynn Verschoor, Erin Castle, Grete Bodogaard and Nancy Losacher.