Directions for the Mind: Patsy and Valerie

Another update on Directions for the Mind, a collaboration between artist Laura Bucci and other artists, acquaintances, and strangers.

This time I was joined by two local artists. I invited Patsy Kay Kolesar, who is a jewelry artist, and she brought Valerie Arntzen, an assemblage artist. I have known Patsy for a number of years but hadn’t talked to her for at least a couple of years. Valerie, I knew by name only.

After catching up on life, I turned the conversation to collaboration, asking in what ways both Patsy and Valerie had collaborated with other artists and describing how this particular collaboration had evolved thus far. One of them suggested we work on creating something together each holding a different colour yarn, doing something with it on our side of the room and passing one’s ball of yarn to the next person—maybe you can picture that? We each anchored ourselves to different parts of the walls, creating a triangle and joining three walls.

The result is a web of yarn that asks the body to bend and crouch to move around. And when in the room, it looks like a circus roof—hard to see that in the pictures. As in previous encounters, the conversation flowed. One thing we talked about is how important it is for artists to create situations to come together and support each other. Valerie mentioned one such group she hosts at ther studio (I think). Everyone brings something to work on. It doesn’t have to be an art piece, it could a dress you’re sewing—the requirement is simply to bring a project. I love this idea. It removes the common experience of isolation that is often the case for many artists. This is especially true for artists that work from home, such as myself. So if you have a studio, you have the opportunity to create community.

One fo the motivations behind Directions for the Mind is to create community and to do this by using the gallery space as a studio. What we create collaboratively is becoming a colourful feast, a colourful ‘tangle’ (quoting a passerby) for passersby to see. At night especially, with the gallery lights on, it is a colourful spectacle.

I left this encounter happy and satisfied, realizing “I” made this happen and thankful that I trusted my creativity months ago even if not knowing what would happen. Stepping into the unknown is uncomfortable but necessary for growth.

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Seen below are Valerie and Patsy.