Great State: Unique Collaboration Ends With 42 Works By 42 Artists

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OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA -- There were a lot of participants in the Elaborate Collaborate art show who were nervous with the idea of 'coloring on someone else's paper' which is usually a big no-no from Pre-k on up.

But this Collaborate, the invention of curators Kelsey Karper and Romy Owens, was always intended to be about stretching boundaries.

"I think the whole framework we gave for everyone was a little outside of their comfort zone," said Karper, "which is what we wanted. We wanted this to be an opportunity for artists to try something they'd never tried before."

The IAO Gallery on Film Row in Oklahoma CIty became a unique studio for five weeks.

Some artists dropped in just about every day.

Others only showed up a couple of times.

But slowly, each sketch turning into something.

What started, for instance, as a simple grid was really a blank canvas for a half dozen different artists.

Some participants, early on, had the idea they would do something with every piece of art work in the show.

In the end they concentrated on a handful.

"What do you think," asks a gallery visitor?

Karper replies, "I think it's been an incredible experience to watch all of these artists come together and bring all of their diversity of styles and approaches and ideas, and work through it together as a group to figure out how they were going to make sense of it all."

The transformations were pretty cool, really, almost a window into how art evolves, and how ideas interact.

Each canvas connects to the other beside it.

Each drawing or painting has all kinds of other links within.

42 visual artists came in, put their heads together, and made something none of them could have done by themselves, a true Elaborate Collaborate.

The Elaborate Collaborate ended its run at the IAO Gallery August 22.

For more information on the show or how to purchase some of the Collaborate's work go to http://www.awesomefoundation.org/en/projects/47539-the-elaborate-collaborate

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