The art in collaboration is the ability to network with others. I have enjoyed working with my group members: Tina and Mandy. Our last adventure was very exciting. We met many fascinating people from jewelry store clerks to art experts. Starting at the jewelry store provided a shelter to make mistakes. Here we learned of a lady who teaches art classes inside of her home. The clerk spoke very highly of her children, one in which took courses at the Corcoran. After speaking with the jewelry store clerk I felt more comfortable with approaching random people outside. Our next stop was the Renwick Gallery. Tina suggested that we approach two ladies peacefully resting on a bench near the steps of the gallery. One lady desired to know about the Frank Gehry project at the Corcoran before participating in our project. She also wanted to know if we were familiar with Dale Chihuly. The other lady was extremely talkative and opinionated. Before we departed she commanded myself, Mandy, and Tina to stand shoulder to shoulder and listen to her Fiesty Woman poem. I recount Tina chanting, "Free at Last! Free at Last!" Last but not least we met a native Washingtonian. He was a very kind gentleman who lost his wallet earlier that day. He did not consider himself an artist but appreciated art work. This man was amazing. He and many others built the Renwick Gallery. These encounters lasted roughly 2o minutes each. Each participant was thrilled to be asked their definition of art. Come to think of it, I wish we were able to document this experience with a video camera.
These last two weeks have been more collaborative than usual. Our regular babysitter has been sick and my husband and I have done our best to take turns being our son's caregiver while still working and attending school. It has been a real challenge and pushed me to think about a lot of things differently. One of these is my definition of art. I found myself thinking a lot about the two articles we read-specifically the idea of relational aesthetics. Also, about Tina's presentation and the idea that Rirkrit's preparing and sharing food was an act of art. After these last two weeks, I think, I am more open to considering the idea that sharing yourself and the connections you build between human beings are art. Without being conscious of it, I think my definition of art has expanded. All of this may be self-serving because it is definitely nicer to think that I am creating art instead of just picking goldfish up off the floor. However, I think there is a non-selfish component to it. I guess I just feel more open to saying that art can exist in unconventional places and forms. Children are a humbling experience. I guess my newly earned humility makes me realize that there is room for a more expansive definition of art in my daily life.