Local artist Dustin Schmidt along with three others are combining their talents to create a five-hour, one-day collaborative show opening Saturday upstairs at Fitter’s Fifth Street Pub.
Appropriately titled “Black Saturday,” the show will feature the combined work of Schmidt, Dane Stillfield and Phillip Tindell, all of Sedalia, and Kelsey Ragsdale, of Springfield.
In April, Schmidt had a collaborative show, which was well received, at the Liberty Center Association for the Arts Inc. Since that time, LCAA has been closed due to renovations.
“The last collaborative show was a success, so I wanted to do it again but the Liberty Center, our regular venue, has been under construction,” Schmidt said recently. “I sent some emails to other possible venues but never could get a place in order.
“So, I decided to have the show ‘pop up’ style. Which means, it’ll be a short-term show and in a venue that’s generally not used for this sort of project. I’ve reserved the upstairs of Fitter’s Pub, which has an elevator, and will convert it to a gallery space for just a few hours. Actually, five hours on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Therefore, the show’s name will be ‘Black Saturday.’”
Each artist in the collaborative creates three paintings using their own style. Those three paintings are exchanged with the other three artists who paint on the piece using their art style. Each piece is only worked on by two of the artists in the collaborative. In total, there will be 12 collaborative paintings on exhibit during the show. Each will be for sale.
“But, unlike traditional art exhibits, this pop-up show will allow patrons to purchase artwork and take it with them when they leave,” Schmidt noted. “The paintings will not be displayed any longer than the allotted five hours.
Schmidt had hoped to have the exhibit in June but they were unable to find a venue to host the show. Since obtaining the Fitter’s venue Schmidt has encourage the other artists to bring extra art to show during the exhibit.
“We’ll have our collaborative works on display and then some individual pieces scattered (in the room),” he said. “That way when people come through, they can see what the artists contributed individually and then see the combined work.”
Schmidt’s painting style is known as photo realism, while Tindell’s is non-objective. Ragsdale is more animal- or nature-based, and Stillfield enjoys creating single image, vintage car collages.
Working together on a collaborative stretches the imagination through a learning curve process.
“That’s the thing about these shows, nobody knows what to do,” Schmidt said. “You don’t have to match their style. You use your style and apply it to their’s.”
Schmidt, who usually paints portraits, said it’s a “new way of thinking” for him. Ragsdale gave Schmidt her painting featuring a blue heron. At first he wasn’t sure what to add to the painting to signify his style.
“I thought, and thought, and thought and said I’m going to paint a portrait in the background,” he said. “Why not make it George Washington.”
Ragsdale has enjoyed the process of creating combined art during the collaborative process.
“This collaboration has allowed me to expand my artist repertoire and has stimulated new creative thought,” Ragsdale said by email. “It has been really fun!”
Tindell, who enjoys large amounts of abstract color and graffiti, said the show has helped him keep an open mind.
“It’s really different to do your own work and then get someone else’s work, that’s halfway finished, and finish it,” Tindell said. “It’s definitely a process.”
Stillfield agrees. He said it was “fun” working with the others and he too is pleased at how the project has expanded his artistic world.
“It’s a different view, to see how they work,” he noted. “I’ve learned not to take over and control everything. It’s hard to do that if you are a single artist.”
In keeping with the theme, Schmidt encourages those attending the show to wear black for the event, show up early and take home a piece of artwork.
“After the holiday, after the shopping, come have a cocktail and buy some art,” he added.
The Black Saturday art collaborative exhibit will be hosted from 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday upstairs at Fitter’s Fifth Street Pub, 500 S. Ohio Ave.
Faith Bemiss can be reached at 530-0289 or @flbemiss.