A GAME OF CHANCE??????
The theme of Somerville’s Art Beat Festival 2020 is CHANCE.
Stephanie Vecellio and Kathryn Geismar, two Somerville Arts Council grant recipients, were invited to create an exhibit for the Inside Out Gallery on this theme, using a method called the Exquisite Corpse.
WHAT IS AN EXQUISITE CORPSE DRAWING?
Exquisite Corpse is a technique that was invented by surrealists in the early 1900s. In a traditional setting, one person draws a head, folds the paper, the next artist draws a body, repeats the fold, and a third draws the legs/feet. The paper is unfolded and the whole body is revealed.
What happens when you give adult artists Crayola markers and tell them to...have fun?!
Twenty-four Somerville artists volunteered. Each artist was randomly assigned a body part to draw without seeing the other parts. We delivered drawing kits, containing only markers, a pencil, and bristol board, to each artist’s home.
The project began just before the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic and subsequent quarantine, and was shaped by the events in which it unfolded. Our goal became to bring some nostalgic fun to artists while their studio work was put on hold, and the project extended over the course of 8 weeks total.
Drawings were done sequentially so that the parts would fit together: 8 heads were drawn, then the necks were marked for the body drawings. Once the bodies were returned, we marked the final sheets for the legs and feet. These drawings were then combined to become complete bodies, created by...chance!
The creation and implementation of the project were shaped by the moment in time in which they occurred. What we could not anticipate was the way each body part was impacted by world events as they unfolded. In particular, the Black Lives Matter movement became a powerful theme for artists in the second half of the project.
We would like to thank each artist for their wonderful contribution to this whimsical project, and also the Somerville Arts Council and Massachusetts Cultural Council for their support and sponsorship.
See more of these artist works by visiting the links below:
Nancy Hall Brooks
MAKE YOUR OWN EXQUISITE CORPSE DRAWING!
Feeling inspired by our game of chance?
Get three people together (safely, according to Covid-19 guidelines)! Fold a piece of paper into thirds. One person draws a head, folds it over, the second person draws a body, folds it over, and the third draws the legs/feet and unveils the whole body. Have fun and share your creations with us on Instagram with the hashtags #exquisitecorpsesomerville and #somervillecreates. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!
About the Inside-Out Gallery
Initiated in 2009, The Inside-Out Gallery is located in the CVS Window in Davis Square, a unique space that allows the public to view an eclectic array of works from artists and local organizations each month. The mission of the Somerville Arts Council is to cultivate and celebrate the creative expressions of the Somerville community. Through innovative collaborations and quality programming we work to make the arts an integral part of life reflective of our diverse city.