Phillip Moore ’94 and Joy Smith ’94 Organize Philadelphia Arts Festival
Phillip Moore and Joy Smith, both Shipley alumni from the class of 1994, recently put out a call for art for the COLLAGE Collaborative Arts Festival, to be held in a 12,000 square-foot warehouse in Philadelphia in May, 2011. We asked them some questions about what they were up to. Here’s what they had to say:
What is the COLLAGE Collaborative Arts Festival?
COLLAGE is a multi-day festival dedicated to the idea of collage. And collaboration. And art that doesn’t quite fit in other festivals and shows. When we think about collage, we think about it most broadly: things (ideas, people, materials, actions) put together in new ways. The festival is running over four days in a 12,000 sq ft space, and as such provides an opportunity to showcase many different types of work. The variety of work should make the festival itself a collage.
What was the inspiration for the Festival?
After returning from Paris and California, Joy identified local trends including the flight of non-traditional artists away from Philadelphia. While there are other festivals in Philadelphia (even some claiming to be about new or fringe work), there are obvious complications since they are more corporate and less grassroots than they may have originally been. This suggested a need to showcase underrepresented art, art in gaps between easily identified disciplines, and artists outside of established scenes. As one of those artists, Joy got tired of waiting.
We've both been interested in pickup art projects. Last year we produced Better Than Your Living Room, a series of one-minute plays with overhead projector art, in Brooklyn, NY. The plays represented a range of artists, from a 12-year-old in rural west Florida to a former writer for The Cosby Show. This living collage provided inspiration when we thought about the type of festival we would create.
What is the goal of the Festival?
We are not goal-oriented people. While we recognize that there are situations where goals are needed and appropriate, this festival is not one of them. Phil and I are process-oriented people.
We feel that in the realm of artistic expression...subjecting the participants to the normative social construct of goal-meeting can be prohibitive. It is not about reaching a goal, but the minutiae and intricacies that help you arrive at said goal.
What is your current involvement with art (other than this festival)?
Joy is an architect and has a performance collective called Your Name Here. She is also involved with Yellow #5, a group that was conceived with Phil in the late ’90s. She is a facilitator and choreographer and her medium of choice is site-specific performance installation.
Phil is a thinking artist interested in performance, collage, and the intuitive tangential logic of hesitation. Besides COLLAGE (the festival) he is currently collaborating on work for Skeletor Saves, a collective charity show benefiting the Ali Forney Center in New York City, a shelter for homeless gay, bi, and transgendered youth. He is also directing a production of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).
Any words of wisdom for current Shipley students?
Make work, honor the work you make, and make more work. Don't be precious about it. If you make art, you are an artist, so the key is in the making. Whatever it is you want to do, make 5, 10, 15 of it a week. Also, see as much art as you can – art that you like and art that you don't like. Often we are not the first artist to visit an idea, so figure out who else work(ed)s with similar materials, ideas, locations, people… Of course, also use your resources… Find mentors and learn from them. Find collaborators and make stuff.
Get more information about the Collage Collaborative Arts Festival at http://collage48.blogspot.com/.