On Saturday night, April 25th, artist Steve Prince and myself collaborated during a Life Drawing Performance culminating Who Is My Neighbor? An ecumenical conference and art exhibit in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The conference was organized by Eyekons and gathered around 200 attendees from around the country. Steve Prince and I were invited to participate in the conference and create a drawing measuring 8 x 13 feet.
We both had worked in large scale projects and other collaborations previously. However, this was the first time for both of us to collaborate with each other in the same drawing, within a two hour window and in front of a live audience. This was a challenge we happily accepted knowing that we did not know what to expect.
Steve and I met last summer during the CIVA (Christians in the Visual Arts) conference in Chicago. We sat next to each other for dinner during one of the events and establish an immediate friendship. We only spent about two hours that day but we realized that we shared a lot of common ideas, passions and interests. That brief meeting opened the door to our mutual participation in the Grand Rapids conference as we received the formal invitation to attend from Phil Schaafsma.
Prior to the drawing collaboration, we only spoke once by phone and decided that we were not going to decide what to draw until we were at the conference. That way we could be inspired by the theme, spirit and energy of the conference. The main idea was to start in opposite ends and meet in the middle. My side of the drawing explored pain, suffering and injustice while Steve’s side explored the spirit of hope, freedom and life. These two opposite forces met in the middle in the form of a male/female figure.
The end result was more than a drawing for me. It was a meaningful experience of trust, respect, anticipation and friendship. We worked hard during those two hours knowing that each line we drew represented a commitment to the overall spirit of our collaboration. Our shared faith and mutual heart for the human condition provided the basis for this collaboration. The following pictures present a chronology of the story behind our collaboration. Enjoy!
Watch the time-lapse video: