I was recently thinking about the show “NEW WORKS” that five of my peers and I organized at the UW SoA Sandpoint Gallery in Spring 2009, and remembered this article from the UW Daily (http://dailyuw.com/news/2009/apr/30/exhibiting-new-works-undergraduates-open-first/). Reading through it again, it is amazing how much I still believe in the things we were quoted saying in the article, touching on having the autonomy to show work, the community of peers, and the learning experiences. I draw upon these concepts now as I think about what it means to be a part of an artist coop or a peer group.
Currently working at Noodleworks Studios located in the International District in Seattle, I lease a studio with Alessandra Gordon, another coop member. We often brainstorm projects and events together. We use the studio as a flex space to host art events, such as open studios, where people can come in an see art in a creative, lay-person-accessible setting. The doors are open to many artists to come use the space and collaborate to share ideas and knowledge.
Looking forward, I see the coop as a place that supports artists’ visions and risk-taking projects, going beyond creating art for a profit (although it wouldn’t hurt to make money). Most of all, I love the idea of putting the power of displaying and choosing work into the hands of the artists themselves, which makes for the most interesting presentation. The beauty of an underground art scene is the freedom from censorship and commercialism, and it’s my dream that we will connect and work with more artists who feel the same way.
Devon Midori Hale