Photos courtesy of Virginia Broersma of her work and studio space.
“A Painter and a Performance Artist Walk into a Bar…” is the latest collaborative exhibition hosted by Grab Bag Studio (GBS), a local artists’ collective recently established in Long Beach. Facilitated by GBS co-founder Natalie Mik in collaboration with Long Beach-based artist and curator Virginia Broersma, the opening reception will take place on Saturday, June 3 from 6:30PM to 9:00PM.
Mik, a performance artist and Broersma, a painter, discovered that despite their different methods of creativity, “collaborating on a conversation-based and process-oriented community project could be an interesting and challenging endeavor,” stated the exhibition announcement.
After Mik asked Broersma to show her work at GBS, the ensuing conversations led to them discovering common themes and motivations within their work, despite their contrasting approaches to art.
“If we as artists are considering similar things, how do a painter and a performance artist collaborate/communicate?” was a question posed during their exchange. “Is a translation needed between our mediums, and what would that be? If we are both dealing with (re)presentation but in different ways, what is the thing/idea/source we are representing - the thing we have in common perhaps?”
“We are both curious and challenged by the prospect of collaborating and decided to use Grab Bag Studio for the month of June to develop how we might go about this,” Broersma said in a Facebook post. “Anticipating the unexpected with humor and open arms, we recognized describing our project sounds a lot like the start of a joke. So we're not exactly sure what happens when a painter and a performance artist walk into a bar, but I am looking forward to seeing where this takes us.”
Throughout the month of June, Mik and Broersma will collaborate by figuring out how to collaborate, through experimentation, testing out ideas and developing community within the walls of the collective. They will document their exploration with remnants, notes, ideas and unforeseen materializations.
Following a private dinner in the space, their collaboration with the community will kick off during the public opening reception, where alongside Broersma’s latest paintings, remnants of the dinner conversation will be displayed.
“GBS is a collective of artists with different backgrounds and disciplines,” Mik said. “We feel strongly about promoting the importance of diversity, the spirit of learning how to share, respect and learn from each other. In that regard, our dinner event and Virginia's painting exhibition are very much about that.”
Those in attendance will be invited to join the collaboration with their own ideas of communication, cross-disciplinary work, how an idea materializes and how bridges are formed, to name a few creativity-based queries.
The two artists found their common ground resting among themes surrounding the representation of the body and the collective archive and how these shape and define us as people, according to the announcement. Diverse perspectives on these topics are welcomed.
“I am so grateful for Virginia who was, from the beginning, feeling so passionate about making this exhibition not just about her work but also about using her work as a door to think about all these interesting ideas,” Mik said. “We will think about the value of interdisciplinarity in art making, or what collaboration could mean for us artists...and probably more!”
Grab Bag Studio is located at 2626 East 10th Street.