Sandbox: A Story of Collaboration

Sandbox is a corner of the web dedicated to Iowa City artists working to engage the public in an interactive environment. Find out more here.

There are several other artists renting studios at Public Space One, with Tom Buckholz being one of them. He had the Free Studio Residency before me, and since he continued to rent a studio afterwards, it gave us a chance to discuss underlying themes and similar imagery in our work. We talked about collaborating back and forth on pieces, and the process took off from there.


I posted this picture and talked about how I never tire of making prints from steeped tea bags. Tom saw it and asked if we could use one for our first collaboration.


So, I gave all the pieces a good coat of clear acrylic and let Tom pick the one he wanted to work with.


Later, I found this waiting for me on a bulletin board at Public Space One/Zenzic Press.




I posted this back up (we tend to be in the studio area at different times, so the bulletin board has come in handy). I was not completely sure about this layer, but the beauty of passing a piece back and forth, is that Tom would be able to look at it with a fresh perspective.


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Tom also has a line etch of mine which he has been enhancing with sporadic, bright colors. He posted this detail, and I was fascinated to see a piece I was so familiar with being transformed by someone else’s creative process. The piece was taken to a level that would not have been possible without his point of view. Likewise, with our other collaboration, I found my own ideas being enhanced because of the new visual information being contributed. The whole process of collaborating in this way has been fun for me, especially since Tom has a drastically different way of using materials and color!

During this time Tom came up with an idea to have a collaboration bin (or board) at Zenzic Press. I think it would be a great idea for artists involved with Zenzic and Public Space One to contribute a piece or add a new layer, put their name on the back, and return it to the bin, allowing the process to continue until someone finishes a layer and deems the piece done. I would love to get this started for the new year! What do you think?


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