Starlight Spotlight – Co-Artifact Comes Together

By Judy Clonan-Smith, Art Studio Case Coordinator, The Learning Disabilities Association of WNY & Starlight Studio and Art Gallery

34 artists involved in the Co-Artifact Project have been very busy. A few weeks ago, 17 Starlight Studio & Art Gallery artists and 17 community artists each created an artwork, which were exchanged at a Switch Party held at Starlight. 

It has been interesting to watch the Co-Artifact-making process unfold. Some of the Starlight artists have jumped right in, knowing exactly what they wanted to do. Others seemed a bit daunted by the idea of working on the actual community artist’s work. When encouraged by staff artists to use what they already know to do: observe, sketch, research, and/or try different colors, sizes, or placement of elements of their work, they were soon underway with lots of great ideas.

Since each Co-Artifact artist only has one shot with the original work, tracing paper was made available to block in what his or her Co-Artifact partner artist had done and used other pieces of tracing paper to try a number of ideas – moving images around, experimenting with color, etc. – until hitting on the final idea.

Kelly Evans' intricate drawing over Cathy Shuman Miller's Co-Artifact start 2014 1030

Kelly Evans’ intricate drawing over Cathy Shuman Miller’s Co-Artifact start

Judy & JB, the comedian, discussing watercolor wash he  added to his Co-Artifact 2014 1030

John Budney or JB, our resident comedian, talking about the watercolor wash he just added to the co-artifact started by Kaitlin Frisicaro.

AIC discussing changes in Dennis Maher & AIC Co-Artifact 2014 1030

Andy Calderon/aka the Poet AIC talking about the hip hop and poetry images he’s added to the co-artifact started by architect, Dennis Maher.

Excitement is building for the Co-Artifact Auction party being held here at 340 Delaware Avenue, on Friday, November 14th, 2014, from 6-9pm. On First Friday, November 7th, you may preview and start silent bidding on the collaborative artwork. Tickets available online or at Starlight Studio & Art Gallery, 340 Delaware Ave.:  $25 or 2/$40. Please check us out on Facebook and pass it on.

When told we’ll be having live music by The Mustn’ts, beer and wine and food, Starlight Studio Co-Artifact artist, Kelly Evans said, “Wow, it really is a fancy party!” Evans is paired with community artist, Cathy Shuman Miller. Her peer, Ricky Hogan, who is paired with Nancy Parisi, stopped by our office and said, “I’m so excited! Thank you for having this and including me.” The Starlight Co-Artifact artists have been working very hard on their pieces and we excitedly wait to see what the community Co-Artifact artists have done. Starlight staff agree – watching the artistic development within our community of artists has been wonderful to behold.

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Starlight Studio is an open studio day habilitation program serving adults with learning disabilities; the participating artists set their own courses for the kind of artist they want to be. They are offered a variety of art demonstrations by staff and local artists, as well as field trips to area galleries to sketch and see what other artists are doing. We frequently collaborate with such places as CEPA and Squeaky Wheel and our work is shown at local restaurants, galleries, the Elmwood Festival Dance Tent and as far away as Pennsylvania!

The program and gallery are open 5 days a week with art shows year-round of Starlight artists and artists from the Buffalo and WNY community, many of whom have become friends of the studio and are involved in Co-Artifact. Learn more at www.starlightstudio.org

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