Behind The Art Collaboration between Sergio Gomez (Chicago) and Steve Prince (Pennsylvania)

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!

From left: Sergio Gomez, Dan Roels and Steve Prince. Here we are a coupe hours before the performance exchanging ideas for the collaboration. We used the paper sheet that covered the table to start drawing ideas.
This is the sketch we came up with while we waited for the dinner to arrive at our table. It was a simple composition based on both of our ideas. By the way, I forgot the sketch on the table of the restaurant. Good thing I took a photo of the drawing!
Charcoals and erasers of different types and sizes were the materials of choice.
We marked the middle of the paper and started the drawing from opposite sides only working from memory without any detailed sketch.
We worked on our respective sides without any dialog whatsoever as we began to unfold our ideas on paper.
Eventually, the moment came when we reached the middle section of the drawing and began to cross over into each other’s work.
There came a magical moment when “my” work became “our” work and a mutual sense of trust and respect dictated each line we drew on the paper. Our styles and way of working not only fused but complemented each other.
Roughly about two hours later after we started, we mutually felt we had come to the end of the session.
We finished the session by answering questions from the audience.
Drawing by Sergio Gomez and Steve Prince, 8’x13′, charcoal on paper.
Special thanks to Phil Schaafsma, Dr. Cecilia Gonzalez-Andrieu, Amy McKay, and Steve Prince.

Watch the time-lapse video:



One comment

  1. […] Gomez-Prince collaboration: At last month’s Eyekons conference, artists Sergio Gomez and Steve Prince participated in a live drawing performance on the theme “Who Is My Neighbor?” They started drawing from opposite sides of an eight-by-thirteen-foot piece of paper and then crossed over into each other’s work after reaching the middle. Follow the link above to see the final work, including detail images, and watch the time lapse video below. […]

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