Most art reflects one person’s unique vision and perspective. In contrast, the CO/LAB – an art and design collective that was created by UC Davis students in November 2006 – explores the idea of combining their efforts to produce projects that are inevitably multidimensional.
An exhibition of the group’s work will be on display from June 14 to July 8 at Olipom Vintage Clothing Store at 1115 21st St. in Sacramento. A reception will be also take place at the location at 6 p.m. on opening day.
The group, founded by UC Davis graduate Milan Pham, has about 15 to 20 regular members who meet one to two times a week to work together on projects that anyone can contribute to. The idea with a collaborative project, said first-year design major Arianne Azevedo, is to see how people interpret art in different ways.
“You get a whole bunch of points of view – you see something one way, and then you work with someone else and then the whole thing changes,” Azevedo said. “It‘s cool to see people’s different perspectives.“
The sharing of ideas is another valuable aspect of being part of a creative community, she added.
“Instead of just sitting in your room by yourself thinking of what to do, you actually have people to bounce ideas off of,” she said. “It seemed like a way for me to motivate myself to do something and be productive.“
One of the projects that will be on display is a collection of photographs of all the members that have been “defaced“ in some way by another member. Defacement, the group decided, can include anything from Photoshop work to painting or printing over the original photo.
Greg Wahnon, a fifth-year microbiology major, said being part of the group has helped him grow as an artist. Wahnon is one of the few members not a student within the design, art studio or technocultural studies departments.
“It’s just helpful to have that many viewpoints and sources for inspiration and creativity,” Wahnon said. “I am definitely more confident in my ability to turn out something that I’m proud of and willing to show.“
Another project currently in the works is an “imaginary map“ – a collage of images by individual members that represent their imaginations. Beyond this basic concept, there were no other strict rules.
“We try to keep things really open-ended. You can pretty much make your contribution to the project, whatever you want it to be,” Wahnon said. “There are usually no strict guidelines with whatever we do, which is where I think a lot of the fun comes from.“
“When you work on something with someone else, you can’t help but add some of your own style, which makes the piece all that much more unique,” he added.
Group coordinator and alum Cory Keller said that he hopes members take something worthwhile from the group experience.
“Hopefully, everyone is a better artist or collaborator than they were when they first started,” he said. “I hope we look back at this and are proud of what we were once a part of.“
For more information and meeting times, visit the facebook.com group The CO/LAB: An Art Design Collective or the website at collablog08.blogspot.com.
SONIA PARECADAN can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. XXX