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At Yellow Barn, A Relay Towards Collaborative Art

Throughout the month of February, Yellow Barn artists have been creating collaboratively designed pieces of art.

Editor's note: This story is the second installment of a series of articles about an art relay at the Yellow Barn Studio and Gallery. The relay will result in three collaboratively designed pieces of artwork. Read the first installment

The Yellow Barn Gallery relay continues. Instructors at the Yellow Barn Gallery and Studio, a nexus of artists, students, curators and art lovers, have been giving life to three separate paintings over the past two weeks. Three blank canvasses are on their way to auction as individual artists orchestrate, fine-tune and alter each others' decisions in paint.

"I have a lot of ideas," said Walt Bartman, Director of the Yellow Barn Studio and Gallery. "Sometimes it turns out that what I thought was humorous or funny was not. If you really wanted to make waves, you could really make some real problems for people to solve."

As they stand at their midpoint, the paintings are not finished. Each canvas reflects a different subject and approach to painting. One is a landscape featuring the historic carousel at Glen Echo Park, another is an abstract painting and a third is a collection of self-portraits and challenges the artist to integrate him or herself into a compositional unity that can be difficult to achieve. Traditionally self-portraits are stand alone, and it is rare to see multiple self-portraits on the same canvas.

"If painting were about reflection, then a self-portrait would be the easy idea to engage," said Bartman. "Ultimately, it is interesting to see what the other artists have done and to say that it is a challenge."

Gallery Manager, Jordan Bruns has his own take on the relay process and the results it is yielding.

"Glen Kessler rotated the canvas to incorporate his own self-portrait, which is his head on a platter. Natasha Karpinskaya also rotated the canvas when working on the abstract painting. I altered the base of the self-portrait painting. All these slight moves introduce radical shifts," said Bruns.

As organizer and Gallery Manager, Bruns is keeping an eye on the way the paintings progress, with the sponsorship of the Friends of the Yellow Barn has provided a communal palette, brushes and paint thinner for the artists to use, and has also been updating a blog and a Facebook page broadcasting the event. Videos of the relay painting process are also available on YouTube.

"Although we get some visitors, most people are following us online. We have had around 1000 visitors on our blog so far," reported Bruns.

The paintings will be available for bidding at a live auction that will be held at the Yellow Barn Studio and Gallery on Saturday, Feb. 26.  

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