What is interesting about collaborating is the creation of a shared language. It's amazing ! Each project seems to create a new way of working that pushes boundaries of collaborating. This language ripples out from a center point, by many people we come into contact with on each project, each adding their own rhythm. Imagine having your work referred to by its concept, in a variety of terms, by many walks of life, from the engineer to the fiberglass technician with glowing respect and admiration or with complete utter disdain. It can be brutal, but also can be rewarding when you witness someone making a connection to art. That is brilliant!
A good sense of humor seems to come in handy, and a sense of trust is mandatory. Public art always seems to come back to making connections to people who might not have experience with art or artists. Not everyone can collaborate, it takes listening, and letting go of the almighty ego! You have to learn to ignore the "should have's" and the "knee jerk reactions" when visualizing experiences with art in public space. We try to create a path for other artists who might come behind us, this is one of the great aspects of the work which makes for ongoing invention....community and collaboration is where you are at the moment with art in public spaces. Why public art? Why Collaborate? Our answer is....Why not?
Interdisciplinary artist Stuart Keeler works in the public realm with ephemeral studio works and conceptual interventions. He was recently nominated for the Robert Motherwell Foundation Award, and was an Artist-in-Residence at Pilchuck Glass School. He is currently a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. He finds humor in the everyday and loves the examination of paradigms as a hobby.
Combining architecture and studio based work, Michael Machnic engages the public with his concerns of the built environment. He has been an Artist-in-Residence at the John Michael Kohler Art Center and is a recipient of an Artist Trust Grant. He was recently awarded an AIA award highlighting his interest in artist action within the built world. Collaboratively, Keeler and Machnic celebrate the public realm by creating intimate details within a sculptural gesture.