Vespine presents "The Convergence Project"  
  1907 South Halsted  
  The Convergence Project

Scheduled August 8 through August 23, 2008

Reception for the artists: August 8, 7 to 10 pm

Convergence Project Poetry reading: August 22, 7-8 pm

Vespine Gallery and Studios is proud to present The Convergence Project, curated by Jamie Lou Thome and featuring ten visual artists from across the United States. The exhibition opens on August 8 and continues through August 23, 2008, with a reception for the artists on August 8, from 7:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. Gallery hours are: Monday through Thursday, by appointment only, 5-8 pm Fridays, and 12-5 Saturdays. Please email vespinegallery@yahoo.com for more information.

In the spring of 2008, curator Jamie Lou Thome chose ten artists to participate in The Convergence Project. Each artist was sent a ten by ten piece of paper, with instructions to begin a collage and send it to the next artist on the list. After each person worked on the second 'round' of the collage, they sent it to another artist, and finally the finished collages were sent back to Vespine.

Each artist worked on three parts of three different collages: beginning, middle, and end; each artist responded to the work already on the paper, building on it, reflecting on the theme of 'convergence.' Each artist mentioned to Thome that some of the process of the project was a challenge, and many struggled with certain questions: how much should one change what came before? How much should one put down as a gift to the next artist, so as to not also be a hindrance? What is the artist's responsibility to his or her peers?

In addition, eight poets from across the United States were chosen by curator Jenn Morea to participate in a poetry project. Each poet wrote several lines of poetry on the 'convergence' theme, and sent the poem to the next poet. Each poet worked on three poems, changing and adding words and phrases as they received the work. The resulting poems, combining three poets visions, are stunning in scope and tone.

Somewhat of a combination of an exquisite corpse and a mail art project, The Convergence Project provided its artists and poets with an interesting set of problems to solve, and now allows its viewers and readers to contemplate the solutions the artists and poets present.

All of the artists chosen for the project are from outside of Chicago. The Convergence Project artists are RaeAnn Collins, Joleen Goff, John Haydu, Tracy Longley-Cook, Helen Moore, Pam Paulsrud, Carla Prael, Trish Shepard, Jessica Spring, and John Stewart. The Convergence Project poets are Jose Perez Beduya, Kristy Bowen, Cristina Correa, Daniel Godston, Quraysh Ali Lansana, Tony Trigilio, Anna West, and avery r. young.

Chicago artist Jamie Lou Thome is a founding member of Vespine. She teaches book arts for Art Resources in Teaching and Project AIM at Columbia College Chicago. Her MFA is in Interdisciplinary Arts from Columbia College Chicago.

Jenn Morea teaches poetry for the Arts Integration Mentorship Project (AIM) at Columbia College Chicago. Her poems have appeared in Slope, Wicked Alice, Columbia Poetry Review and elsewhere, and her work has been a finalist in the National Poetry Series.

Vespine Gallery, an East Pilsen, artist-run independent gallery, provides intimate exhibition space for emerging artists.

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