Call and Response

Chapter 3

Call and Respone to Alice Ann 2013

A Creative Collaboration

As we shared stories of creative inspiration an interesting idea, known as “Call and Response”, was brought forward. This process corresponds to traditional human communication patterns. One individual hears the “call” of another and then “responds” with creative commentary before sending it back.

This was the process: As a group we decide on a ‘theme’. Some themes we have used in past shows are: color, shapes, places around Corvallis, urban textures….etc… Each artist then has 60 days to create their original piece – the CALL. All based on the theme we have chosen. After that we meet each month and EXCHANGE our works with one other artist and are given 30 days to RESPOND to what we have received. Currently we have a fabric artist, painter, glass creations, pottery, photography, jewelry, textiles and eclectic. This process goes on for 8 months until we have RESPONDED to each original or CALL. We wrap or hide the pieces during the EXCHANGE so no one can see what they are receiving.

When all is said and done we schedule our REVEAL meeting where we present our original and then see how each artist has responded to our piece. For us as artists this is the ‘heavenly and sometimes emotional’ part of the experience. To see how others have interpreted and responded to our CALL is simply surreal. We have been fortunate to have a ‘home’ gallery at Oregon State University who welcomes our shows of which we have done five in the past 8 years. We seem to have developed a strong following. Our next show is scheduled for September of 2016.

The beauty of this experience, for me personally, is how the process has forced me to move outside the proverbial ‘box’ and beyond my comfortable patterns of behavior. This particular process allowed me to RESPOND to others works not just as a photographer but as an artist. When I received a beautiful handmade basket I was initially at a creative loss. Over several weeks I agonized over what to do; looking at the piece from all angles and experimenting with some macro shots. Nothing seemed satisfying. At one point I called a friend who does stage lighting and borrowed some colored gels from him. As I began to look at the basket with different colors, my world opened up. I ended up loving the results.

The lesson here is one of constant examination of how we live our lives. Are we willing to try new things and look at the world differently? I maintain that stepping beyond our comfort zone leads to pure growth and evolution as a person. Call and Response has definitely been a huge part of this transformation for me and I have learned so much. Love it - click here to see photos from Call and Response!!

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