Monday, November 28, 2011

Jeremy Verwys in Our Studio

ArtPrize really did give us so much, as well as being a time that we could create a really solid body of work that we are very proud of, it was a time that we were able to meet some really wonderful people. Though are project was designed primarily around painting with recorded music that vistiors would bring us on their iPods, we had the extreme fortune to work with some incredible musicians. Guitarist, Jeremy Verwys was one of these very pleasant surprises.

We were very comfortable in our Grand Rapids studio supplied to us by Steepletown Neighborhood Services. That made painting 10 to 12 hours a day as much of a joy as you might think it would be. So when Jeremy showed up with his guitar case was like slipping on a very comfortable pair of shoes. His classical guitar style put every one in the room into a very sweet spot. As painters we were able to get completely lost in that moment.

When Jeremy finished his hour long set, and started to pack up, we asked if that was all, and he responded, "Hey, I would love to play more if you would like. I will play all night if you will let me."

Jeremy is a Grand Rapids native and is presently playing his guitar as much as possible. Check out his Facebook page to see what he is up to.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Angela Josephine & Our ArtPrize Jukebox

September 25th was a special day for us as singer/songwriter Angela Josephine joined us from Traverse City. Our Jukebox project was designed so that we would paint to the music that visitors brought to us on their iPods. This worked quite well most of the time, but we did have some really incredible moments as we were accompanied many times by musicians and singers that offered to play live with us. Whenever we were fortunate enough to have the music created live in our studio everyone involved had a marvelous time.

Angela contacted us earlier in the week and asked if she could come down Sunday afternoon and play some of her new songs for us that she had written for her upcoming and soon to be released album.

As Thanksgiving Day is coming up this week, among other things we are grateful for, would like to send a big thanks to Angela for being such a vibrant part of our collaboration.

This video features parts of two of her songs, That's How You Love Me and Ordinary Ways

Check out Angela Josephine's Web Site.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

ArtPrize Jukebox in Grand Rapids Comes Down.

I am going to make my way down to 671 Davis St. NW in Grand Rapids, right in the heart of the Steepletown neighborhood on Wednesday October 15th to deinstall the nearly 50 paintings that Tali and I created during ArtPrize 2011.

Tali and Royce in their Grand Rapids studio
A few of the paintings were sold and we are happy about that, and now that the exhibition is over the last of the circus finally has to leave town. Luckily some of the paintings will still be available to be seen by the public, several of them will be going to Well Being, LLC at  1118 Front Ave. NW, Suite #1, Grand Rapids. Stay tuned for images of that installation.

I am looking forward to working with Roger again, and seeing some old friends, like Dick, Eddie and Sharon. We have to thank Steepletown Neighborhood Services and these fine folks, because they hosted us in the most first class way. Thanks you guys!

More from the studio in GR.

If you are going to be in the neighborhood, give me a call, text, or email.

Friday, November 11, 2011

ArtPrize 2011

As most of you know already we had the great fortune of being a part of the world's largest art prize competition during ArtPrize 2011 in Grand Rapids, Michigan in the end of September  through October 9th. We had a wonderful venue outside of the crowded city center in the Westside neighborhood of Steepletown. 

Steepletown Neighborhood Service hosted us and gave us a really incredible space to work in and  all the corridors to display the 50 paintings we did while we were there. We were there 18 days and literally were painting 10 - 12 hours each day.

It was an incredible amount of work and it took an amazing amount of energy to be on for such a long period of time, but it was so worth it. We met so many great people, had some really meaningful conversations. We sold some art, that is a good thing. We have at least one hundred and one stories to tell so now that we are back to our respective homes and studio, and the dust as mostly settled, and there are only a few more boxes to unpack we will start to report some specifics of what went on in Grand Rapids while we were there.

So stay tuned and you can continue to be part of the art.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Can't Remember When!

Well it's 21 October 2011 and it is the first full day that Tali and Royce have spent back in our respective studios. Like last March after the first Colorboration Project we have much to report on now that we are back and can begin to process what actually really went down.

Honestly we put in the longest hours we ever have and everything everyday came so fast and furious that it was hard to keep up with anything accept simply addressing what was directly in front of us...

So now we can do that, AND look at what will be next...

All that said, I (Royce) slept till nearly 12:30 today! I really can't remember when the last time that that happened. Now it is crowding in on 5PM and believe it or not, I am starting to feel tired again... Let's hope another good night's sleep will do the trick.

Worst case scenario, it will take the weekend...

But we met a lot of incredible people and worked with some wonderful folks. The future looks bright and we will be talking all about it here.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

CoasterPrize Announced!

As you all know by now we are participating in ArtPrize 2011 in Grand Rapids, Michigan from 21 September to 9 October. Our official ArtPrize Page Link.

Never being satisfied with doing things just like everyone else we could not resist attempting to make our project just a little bit more... Thus we now have CoasterPrize!

We figured since we are in the world's largest art prize competition with our Jukebox Project and are counting on the collaborative input of the public so heavily to supply us with music from their MP3 players, we felt it was only appropriate to give our visitors a competitive opportunity simliar to ours.

Since our venue is going to be set up to have a bit of a coffee shop atmosphere, coasters seemed like one of those things that HAD to be. In fact we have hand painted original coasters as one of our rewards in our Kickstarter campaign. 

It's a crazy idea, but initially we thought; have people draw on coasters and the one we thought was best would win one of our large four foot square paintings. Yeah, that is crazy. Fun and crazy. But over last weekend the idea grew to not only include prizes for first, second and third, but also a children's category with its own set of prizes.

Go to our special CoasterPrize page on our website to see the details.

No purchase or vote is necessary to participate in CoasterPrize, but you do have to come to our Steepletown venue to get your coaster to decorate. It is just one more way that you can be part of the fun. We love it when everyone is involved.

Feel free to contact us about ArtPrize Jukebox, we hope to see as many of you there as possible.

Monday, August 8, 2011

All the L5 Paintings on Display in Zwolle

Spring of 2010 during Zwart Festival in Zwolle, The Netherlands, we presented L5(live), a production that brought together live painting, dance and music on stage to tell an original story of a search and discovery.  

For L5,  Tali and I were painting the scenery live during each performance of the play. Over the course of the festival we did 14 shows and in the end had 26 individual and unique paintings, 14 of which were chosen to remain as an exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum Zwolle. 

This last week the entire collection of paintings were installed in Isala Klinieken - Wezenlanden, Zwolle.


Each one these painting are acrylic and charcoal on cradled wooden panels that are 4' X 4' (120 X 120cm). The music in the video is I Belong to You by Muse, a song used during the Stars portion of L5(live).

L5 Cast:
Benno Hübner, The Dancer
Tali Farchi, Artist
Royce Deans, Artist
Tamme de Boer, The DJ

Monday, August 1, 2011

Art in Zwolle

As you know by now Tali lives in Dutch city of Zwolle. Yes she has her studio there where she does lots of art and design work but we have also done a few projects there that you may or may not be aware of.

June of 2010 we presented a performance called "L5" with our good friend and collaborator, Benno Hübner. We did this in the Stedelijk Museum Zwolle. During the run of that show we created 25 paintings that were 48" X 48" (120 X 120cm) and those paintings remained in the museum as an exhibition for a time. The gallery we were exhibited in only had room for 14 of these paintings, so in reality this series of paintings has never been seen displayed together in their entirety.  But that is about to change.

Starting 6 August the complete series will be displayed at Isala Klinieken - Wezenlanden, Zwolle.

Tali has been very busy in her studio preparing all of these paintings for this exhibition. Check out this little video that serves as a bit of a preview of the show, as well as a little peek into Tali's studio space. 

This is not all of the buzz in Zwolle. As we are closing in on the time that we will be doing ArtPrize Jukebox in Grand Rapids, Michigan, The web blog of Zwolle posted a great story and photo announcing to the locals Zwollenaars that one of their hometown artists is once again making an appearance on the worldwide art stage. Click here to see the blog post.

And as a final note last week Royce delivered three paintings that were created during The Colorboration Project Chicago to the Good Work Collective Gallery in Traverse City. Stay tuned as this next week we will have photos of our art as it is hanging on walls in public places in both Zwolle and Traverse City.

We hope you are having a great summer.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

About Our Next Project...

You all have been hearing us talk about our ArtPrize Jukebox project and our Kickstarter campaign  for probably 2 months now. In about 60 days we will be in Grand Rapids, Michigan for ArtPrize 2011. This is the world's largest artprize competition with a first prize of $250,000, and the winners are chosen by the voting public. Tali and I were one of the first artists this year to secure a venue which insured us a place in this year's competition. Not all artists that register for ArtPrize are so lucky.

Our vote ArtPrize getting flier.

Our project for ArtPrize is going to be very special for everyone involved, and our ArtPrize Jukebox will invite everyone to participate and to truly be part of the art. Music always plays  a large part in the projects we do. Just like a real jukebox those that come to visit our ArtPrize venue will be able to choose the music they hear. The music they hear will be the music that we paint with.

Those that come to see us need to bring their iPod, mp3 player or CD's of their favorite music. In this way those musical choices will become part of the art as the songs inspire our paintings. The musical input will be documented so that it can be permanently displayed with the painting. The person's name that suggested the song will also be included.

Collaboration has been the basis of the work we have done together from the beginning. Collaborating with musicians is always exciting, and now we are really looking forward to having this very personal interaction with the public as we ask them to provide their favorite music as inspiration for our paintings.

We realize that not all of you will be able to be in Grand Rapids this September to visit us at ArtPrize. We have as part of our Kickstarter campaign a way for you to be involved and to have your musical choices become inspiration, no matter where you live on the planet. Kickstarter is a really fun way to be a part of the art.

We always are are pushing the envelope and we will be pushing our limits as we will be in our venue/art studio working for 12 hours a day. We will be creating between 50 and 70 paintings in this time that will be shown and exhibit during the two weeks of ArtPrize in Steepletown Center in the Westide neighborhood of Grand Rapids. come and join the fun!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Berlin Activity

Here is a few of the images from Tali's visit to Berlin for the Kaleidoscope Berlin-Chicago, Connecting Cultures Event.

There are many more photos that can be seen here, Link.  But here are how the space where she made her presentation about our Colorboration Project Chicago shaped up.

The raw attic space in Berlin.

Tali installing.

Tali draws and paints where ever she goes.

Tali's portraits...

Plein aire painting in Berlin

Alpha Bruton Phantom Gallery Chicago curator in Berlin.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Colorboration Chicago Video


This video was edited by Tali and her husband Ruud, from the stills shot during our Colorboration Project - Chicago in March 2011 and video shot by Alpha Bruton, the chief curator of the Phantom Gallery, Chicago Network. 

This clip was part of Tali's presentation during Kaleidoscope Berlin-Chicago, Connecting Cultures in July, 2011.

It is a very nice recap of the project.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Traveling from Zwolle to Berlin by train only takes seven hours… That is almost a short trip compared to the time it takes to fly to Chicago on a plane. And travel to Berlin this last week is exactly what Tali did.  While we were in Chicago Alpha Bruton, The Phantom Gallery Chief Curator, introduced us to Marianna Buchwald who had organized with the German photographer, Ina Lunkenheimer an event/symposim called Berlin-Chicago Kaleidoscope, Connecting Cultures.

Through Alpha Tali and I were invited to be in Berlin to present a report along with our art and Alpha's documentation to artists and visitors alike.

With the birth of a new grandson, Royce was unable to go to Berlin, but Tali loaded up her suitcases with multi-media stuff and her big black portfolio and headed off to Ina's Lunkenheimer's Gallery in Pankow, Berlin, Germany.

Tali presented a report of what we did with our Colorboration Project - Chicago in March, as well as a video made up of still images and video that was shot during project in Logan Square. Tali was give a lovely little raw space in the attic that actually resembled in many ways a miniature version of what we had in 2515 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Tali's space in Berlin, it looks like Chicago doesn't it?
Artwork from a few of our projects were on display in this unique space plus some of the marvelously charming painted bags that Tali has been producing. (Those bags are available for sale by the way as well as a reward with our current Kickstarter program) Check out our latest Kickstarter.

Along with with Tali, other artists from Chicago were on hand. Sculptor Alan Emerson Hicks, and Pioter  Wolodkowicz were there to present their work as well.  The work of Hans -Ulrich Buchwald (Marinanna's father), Gabriel Patti, Kathryn Gauthiers and Alpha Burton were on display.

There was in the end a great exchange of cultures and art. Every one mingled and were given tours of Berlin and it's museums and galleries.

Tali and Alpha and the reception.
It was a really great opportunity that Tali had to be a part of this group and event, we hope that there will be many more like it and that we can continue to be a part of such a vibrant group.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Kickstarter is for everyone!

As you know collaboration is truly at the core of each of our projects. It is how we work. Our work from the very start has been that of collaboration. And we have always thrived on the input of others to our work, musicians and dancers have historically been the the most obvious contributors to the creative energy. But whenever we look back on any of our projects we can't help but comment on how much the audience and those that we have met in the process have also given us so much to build on.

Our next project, ArtPrize Jukebox, that will be our entry in ArtPrize 2011 in Grand Rapids, Michigan will take that concept of inviting the visiting public to provide inspiration for us. Since we will not be having live musicians in our space this time, we are asking everyone that comes to our space in Grand Rapids to bring their iPod or MP3 player and plug in and choose a song to play while we paint. In this way we will get inspiration from the music you choose.

We invite everyone that can to come visit us, but we realize that not everyone can necessarily make it all the way to the Steepletown neighborhood of Grand Rapids. 

It is an incredible amount of work to arrange such an undertaking and when you consider materials and traveling expenses, financially it is a lot to arrange as well. Last February we used Kickstarter dot com to help raise funds for our Colorboration Project Chicago. We found it was a fun and easy way to involve a lot of people in the project, many of which did not live nearby. Through Kickstarter we are provided a way to offer rewards to those that help us out. 

Since the Colorboration Project worked so well and the response we got from those that got involved through Kickstarter had such a good experience that we have launched another Kickstarter campaign for our ArtPrize Jukebox.

Please go to to see how we have designed ways for you to collaborate with us and truly be a part of the art no matter where you live.

If you can make it to see us in person, we would love it, we hope you can make it. If you can be a part through Kickstarter, it will be really fabulous. 

Thanks a million,
Tali and Royce

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

ArtPrize 2011 is Next!

Now for the news you have all be waiting for.

We have been talking about what will be next for about a month now. We were pretty sure that it would be as we had hoped, but we really needed to wait until the contracts were signed. Now we announce that our next project will be in September of 2011 in Grand Rapids, Michigan for ArtPrize.

ArtPrize is the world's largest art prize competition with some enormous prizes. First place is $250,000; second is $100,000; and third is $50,000. It is a big deal with close to 1800 artists competing for the prize. The competition will be tough and quite honestly it will be an exercise in marketing as well as it will be an art project.

Never the less, we are very excited about it. We will be in the Steepletown Center, sponsored by Steepletown Neighborhood Services. Our studio will be set up as a coffee shop that people can come in and have a cup as they watch us work to the music that they will provide from the playlists of their iPods.

This will be a big undertaking to pull this one off and for starters we are have launched another Kickstarter campaign. Our goal is to raise $950 by the end of August to fund the purchase of our art supplies and materials for our wooden panels. We will be painting over the course of the first week of the event sixty-eight 4' X 4' paintings.

This is the video we made to accompany the Kickstarter campaign. Please go to our ArtPrize page to see more details.

We have made up some really fun rewards this time around that make it real easy for everyone to participate on all kinds of levels.

We are truly appreciative of any support and help, but most of all, we would love to see you in Grand Rapids next September.  If you wont be able to be there stay tuned for a "Ustream" link that you can watch the action as it happens on line and in real-time!!


Friday, June 10, 2011

The Beat Goes On.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, sure, just like Sonny and Cher sang, The beat goes on...

Well it does for The Colorboration Project.

Before we officially announce what will be next, we felt we would be completely remiss if we did not mention the fact that three of the paintings we did in Chicago were just installed today in the lobby of the incredible State Theater in Traverse City, Michigan. 

Art in the State Theater
What is the special occasion you ask? Or is there even a special occasion? Well, yes there is. Tonight is the opening of the new Woody Allen film, Midnight in Paris.

Opening tonight.
The State is a renovated theater which has become a real anchor in downtown Traverse City. Since it's reopening downtown has really be revitalized with lots of new shops and restaurants. It is a cutting edge movie house with arguably the best sound and projection in the country for a venue this size.

So it is a great honor that the paintings that Tali and I did were chosen to be displayed in this way. This is the first time in the history of the theater that they have featured art that would be a tie in with the film.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Colorboration Chicago Thank You Page

To everyone that supported The Colorboration Project - Chicago in so many ways. We really appreciate everyone that came out to and we hope that you were glad you did.
Thanks from the bottom of our hearts!

Alpha Bruton/Phantom Gallery Chicago link
Curating from near and far.
Cara Dehenert Huffman/ I AM Logan Square link
Facilitated in ways that were most helpful.
Mark Fishman
The man with the goods on 2515.
Genesis Art Supply/ link
Phil Faro made sure we never ran out of paint.
Nora/Lynn/Jack/Artists and Display link
A classy act in Milwaukee that got us off to a great start.
Kate and Steve Strong Family link
Never complained about all the early morning arrivings.
Gabe Patti FB link
Stage building, PA, Curatorial Duties, Reeds.
Natasha Casanova link
Art Collector, I AM Logan Square
Bill and Karen Berenson
Great dinner, great company, and the best pen pal ever.
Bill Hill FB link
Murphy Hill Gallery
Barbara Faro/Strathmore Paper 
The best watercolor paper.
Andy DeLaRosa
Unending compassion, generosity and creativity.
Flabby Hoffman FB link
Musical Hook-ups Par Excellance!
Marc Gee FB link
Keyboardist with the mostest! and more.
Eric Ricks
Art Collector and supporter since day one.

Margaret Larkin link
Blogger, interesting conversations and dodger of bullets. 

Tracy Kostenbader link 
Project cheerleader.

Angela Saxon link
Lights, light stands, boundless encouragement.
New Wave Coffee link
Bathrooms and internet.
Discount Mega Mall
Bathrooms and holidays south of the border without checking passports.

Tamale Cart Lady
Tamales Rojo y verde, taeem meod! 

Dan Godston link 

Nancy Zook 
Teacher with hope.

Brooke Herbert link

Cate Baker
Modeling professional.

Lindsey Lyons-Fay
Mother behind the talent of a new generation. 

Paul Yoggerst link
The guitarist that paints and came back for more.

Tabitha Cooper
Taker of photos. 

Sheboom link
The first ladies of percussion. 

The Aperion Project
The lead off men.

Eliezar Kaplan link
the gHOST project.
Jim Cooper link
Vibrophonic friend.
Mike Felton link
Paints portraits with his lyrics.
Scott Richardson link
Marbin link
Dani ve Danny - astounding.
Sid Yiddish FB link
Oy vah Voy!
Erin Fay
Let's stay up all night again sometime.
The Earth Program link
Enthusiasm goes a long way.
Domoma link
Surprises do happen.
Craig's List link
Life saver. link
What a great idea!

Thanks again and again to everyone that supported us with
Marie Schiettecatte
Barrie Ripin
Taffy Hutchison
Sarah Elizabeth Foley
Angela Josephine
Elise Maxey
Joshua Krause
Sascha and Cora Tamarinof
Hila Zewi
Clarissa Harwell
James Gartner
Daniel Gilbert
Nelson Carvajal
Jackie Qwynne
Christine Altese
Nancy Filichia
John O'Neill
Lindsey Lyons-Fay
Reiko Lewis
Joelie Hicks
Chris and Vita Morse
Van Der Wouden Family

Robert Martinek
Jon Godston

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Packing up and Moving out.

Well there you have it and this brings us to the last day that we were to set foot in what has really become our second home. Actually, it had become our home, that is if home is where you spend most of your time. Since Tali had a flight back to Amsterdam the next morning we thought it would be great if we broke things down and got all packed up by 1pm and then were able to take a quick Chicago sight seeing tour and pick up a few souvenirs for the folks back home.

We knew all the paintings and the gear had to fit back into the Yukon, but since we seem to have added more things that we got rid of we were not sure how it would all fit. 

After a conversation with Cara from I AM Logan Square the other night, where we joked about her taking the 68" X 96" Marbin painting and displaying it in her apartment. So, in a moment of concern for the possibility that I might have to disassemble the canvas  and roll it up to take it home, I called Cara to ask if we could take the joking the other night a little more seriously. I left a message for her.

Before getting to the space to break down easels and the table with the lights and cameras, Alpha called and said to meet her at Murphy Hill Gallery on Homan, just south of the Eisenhower Expressway to talk to them about placing our Fellini painting. Since Alpha had hinted at wanting us to meet the owners of this gallery all week, so we swang by there on our way to Logan Square from Bridgeport.

Murphy Hill Gallery
We met with Ralph Murphy and then William Hill. Since we were just on our way to the space the only image we had of  Fellini to show them was on Tali's phone. Thank goodness for that, Bill Hill took one look and said he loved and would like to have us bring it to the gallery to be there for the opening of their East Meets West show, that would be their last show at this location. (The whole third floor of the original Sears and Roebuck offices and headquarters.)

Great we said, but how?

We left the gallery with a new  predicament how would we move this painting that was too large to fit inside this huge truck I have.

As we were driving both happy and perplexed, we got a call from Cara saying she would be honored to have the painting in her home. LOL Now we were twice as happy and also twice as perplexed.

Roof top painting transport!
Once the Yukon was back inside the space I scrounged around for something that might work. I found two 8 foot, 2 X 4's with huge nails in it. They would work by zip tying them to the roof rack... but those nails. As it turns out the only hammer I have is a half sized toy hammer that broke after the third nail was pulled. So the others were simply bent over and we were in the moving business.

Marbin being delivered.
Since Cara lived  only about four blocks away on Francisco we arranged to take that one first, as sort of a test run before having to attempt driving a painting all the way past the Eisenhower.

Moving big paintings up stairs is a fun challenge.
Leaning where it will hang.
 We got to Cara's met her husband and we carried the painting up three flights of stairs and after a couple of kartwheels we go the painting in place. Next stop Murphy Hill.

The old Sears Headquarter, the home of Murphy Hill Gallery.
By now, by the way, it was a bit past 1pm, in fact it was already getting to be rush hour. While we were later than we wanted to be, I was happy about two things. One it was a sunny warm day to drive with a painting on the roof, and two, we were going to have to take side streets to get there as our max speed could only be about 20mph. The stars must have been in all the right places because the delivery went flawlessly. There we were, we had our two biggest paintings safely delivered and on display. 

Up the stairs to the third floor.

Finally in the Murphy Hill Gallery
As long as we coming this far south, we thought we would also deliver a painting to Kate and Steve Strong in Bridgeport where we had been staying. So much for any sightseeing.

Tali in the salon of the Strong's house with her painting installed.
We got back to the space again about 6pm and were set to just get the rest of the stuff packed up. Alpha showed up to start cataloging all the art for the Phantom Gallery archives. Did I mention we had been not packing the art so that this task could be done? LOL Alpha announced she really wanted to go see the Chicago Urban Arts opening down on S. Halsted St. and we would have to leave in thirty minutes.

Off we go thirty minutes later with a yet unpacked truck to go see an art opening. This show was all about bicycles. Some of the art was interesting and some was not. What was fascinating was not only were there tons of people there, but so was every bicycle currier in the city. While by this time we were tired and very hungry, we did not see anyway that we would ever get packed tonight.

Is that the Parthenon or the Acropolis?
I knew that I just needed to eat something before we got back or I was going to have some sort of chemical imbalance problem. As you may well know, Greektown is on Halsted and we had to drive right through it on our way back to Logan Square. Mr Gyros, I believe was the name of the place we ate. All of the restaurants in Greektown have gyro in their name if they are not called Athena's or The Parthenon. So, at 9:30pm we were eating the first real meal of the day surrounded  by the most amazing and disgusting sea of humanity you might ever want to see while you are eating. from a man wearing what was quite possibly the worlds largest button down shirt, that fit him perfectly, to the homeless guy staring at Tali and Alpha six inches away as they ate while he proceeded to spit. Lucky for every one, he was outside on the sidewalk.

Leaving Greektown...It was snowing.
I am going to leave out the next part of the story that includes Rick Neuhaus because you just will find it too hard to believe. I mean would we ever get packed?

10:30pm, we dragged ourselves out of the Yukon so  we could pack it up. So Alpha set up her laptop and digital camera to finish documenting the hundreds of paintings and drawings we had done. As time went on, it was more and more absurd and comments became more and more sarcastic. LOL

Back to the bricks and only the bricks.
Well we did it! Yep we did, by one o'clock we were out of there. Unfortunately it was 1am. The good thing was that Alpha was going to stay in her Logan Square office all night. It was a very good thing since she had to sit on Tali's lap for that short 3 block drive. I don't think Tali would have survived driving her all the way down to 23rd St.

It was done now. It was really over. We were so over tired that we could not process anything that would have been sadness for leaving that place. Maybe it was better that way. But we were more than tired. We got back to Bridgeport, at least I think we did, I don't remember waking up in the car, so we must have made it back safely. Chances are we fell over as soon as we were inside and didn't wake up till it was time to get Tali to O'Hare.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

And now, the end is near...

The 24th of March was our last day of  making art in 2515 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago. After the bizzarro night on the 23rd, we couldn't help but feel a little bit odd as we returned to the space to make it all happen one last time. It made for a day of true mixed emotions and energy levels. Two things would go without saying though.  First, the reality of this being the last day of The Colorboration Project - Chicago was indeed enough to make us sad. Secondly, their was no admitting, we were tired.

Walls filled with art are happy walls.
So as we went about our morning routines we automatically began reviewing the highlights of this project of which there were many. So many in fact that we knew that we were going to have to chalk this one up as a success.

Last day art sales.
One other thing we noticed was that each day there were more and more people that were coming into the studio during the day because they had heard about what was happening in this old seemingly abandon space.

We even had a father and his 4 year old daughter come in today so that she could paint with us. It was pretty funny since she was quite a precocious little lady, with definite ideas and an over active imagination.

The little artist admiring her newest work.
Tonight we had mitre slated to perform with us. And as much as we thought we understood what we might be in for, there was still just enough mystery surrounding what would be, that we  had a difficult time accurately describing what the music would be like.

mitre is a group of one. It is made up solely of a man named Scott Richardson his guitar and a case made up of what appears to be a collection of every guitar peddle ever made.

Stereotypes are funny things because there is a certain amount of credence to them even though they are pretty much unfounded. Like, what does a musician look like? The last ten days we have certainly seen that they come in all shapes, colors and sizes. That said, you may never guess Scott Richardson was musician when he walked in the room except that he has a guitar case in his hand. You can only assume he is the musician since he certainly doesn't fit the stereotype of a roadie.

So much for appearances, because they really don't count for a whole lot. Another thing we learned over the last two weeks or so is to expect the unexpected. And what was really wonderful about the atmosphere that we cultivated in this immense space we allowed things to just be and there were no judgements. So when Scott was followed by two women that both could have been his wife no one batted an eye. (Only one was.) And when they sat on the couch no one but Alpha thought it a little strange that they both began knitting.

As if last night was not surreal enough, tonight there was painting, music and knit one, pearl two...

Scott Richardson aka, mitre plays this atmospheric guitar that he  runs through this crazy collection of peddles he has and samples and resample his own sounds till he fills the room with colors, textures and shapes. 

Always painting, where ever we are.
Among all the music we worked with the music of mitre stood alone, and we truly appreciated that for it's originality and uniqueness. It was an interesting challenge to feel the effect of this music on us and how in someways almost forced us into slow motion.

Tali with the first brushstroke.
This is what this experiment that we designed here and now call The Colorboration Project is all about.

Collaborating in the Colorboration.
After the show I was talking to Scott about his music and I was reminded of an interview I did with the band Low from Duluth. If you know the music of Low you will understand. I asked them, what would be the perfect Low song, and Alan Sparhawk replied, "I think it would be to play a song with only one note." I told Scott that I believe that he had in fact accomplished that.

It was with a certain amount of sadness that we closed the lights on this evening, but there was a huge relief that we had done so much, so well and apparently we were going to life to tell about it.

©2011 The Colorboration Project is the property of Tali Farchi and Royce Deans.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Jim Cooper and the Marching Band of Gypsies

Some days sneak up on you and surprise you in the most incredible ways. It is not always the case that the incredibility is so positive as it was today.

As has been mentioned and is perhaps more than obvious, but by this time we were tired. Long hard days with little sleep, and today was just going to be that. And it started out that way. With nothing scheduled this morning, we took a little extra time before leaving our luxurious Bridgeport digs. We arrived at the space about an hour later than usual to do our routine of turning on the heater and checking out what really happened the night before.

We really were looking forward to this day, and hoped it would remain as relaxing as it was starting, because tonight we were all set to play with vibraphonist Jim Cooper.  We played with Jim Cooper back in 2007 in Holland, Michigan during our first tour of the US where we piggybacked our live painting with live music with Tali's original multi-media show, Mo(ve)ment. Since then we have stayed in touch and made a few attempts to work together again. As luck would have it as plans were being made for the Colorboration Project Chicago, Jim was already going to be in the city for a gig the next night.

2007 with Jim Cooper in Holland, MI

We said to each other several times during the day about how smooth it was going to be to have an easy going and relatively quiet evening being reunited with Jim.

About 4:30 or 5:00 Gabe showed up and said, "They can be here tonight." Whatever he was talking about did not register in either of our heads.

"Who can make it?" I asked.

"The marching band." Gabe replied.

Well this suddenly made me nervous because Jim was planning on playing solo and was not so interested in anyone being there to play unless he brought them. So I told Gabe it would be cool if they played first and then we would do a solo set with Jim. With Gabe set out to see if his marching band of gypsies could be there by 6:00 or 6:30.

A little before 7:00 at the appointed time Jim Cooper showed up with his vibes and a gig bag full of his favorite percussive instruments. And you guessed it no marching band yet, so I was all set to have them play after Jim or in between his sets depending on what he ended up doing.

As Jim was set up and thinking about starting his first set, the marching band started loading in and I was not sure what would happen next. But by the time Jim was well into his first ten minutes or so, the marching band made up of Gabe Patti and friends were sitting behind Jim quietly watching the show.

Jim Cooper and Gabe Patti
Jim Cooper is a quiet man and also a consummate improvisor. It was not long before he could sense that it might be a good idea to invite these musicians to join it with him. I figured he knew what he was doing and none of us had any idea as to what would happen next.

What did happen next was totally of the moment and a little bit crazy and a little bit out there.

Slowly, one by one the marching band musicians started to join in and as each started the colors shifted and things got more and more lively. As with all of the other nights before, when we paint like this it is very easy for us to slip into the zone, and it is just the paint and the music. In fact just about anyone could walk in and we probably would not notice. This was the case tonight as while we were completely in to the moment and were settled in at this point with full orchestration, improv style, suddenly something changed. Suddenly there was a bottom in the sound that was not there before. Not only was it not there before, but with the instruments that I knew were in the room, I knew there was no way that they could generate that full bottom sound and rhythm. Yet it was somehow familiar.

Enter Rick Neuhaus and reenter Corky and Donna from Sheboom.

Tali and I did not stop or turn around until the musicians stopped for a break. It wasn't until then that I understood where that new shape of sound was coming from.

We ended up doing two more sets that kept getting more and more obtuse. We decided that this would be as good a time as any to paint our second and final large painting, and we did... in a big way.
One trombone lead the big weird parade.
After painting on what was our video projection screen, I won't say things came apart, but if it was obtuse before it was off the charts now. I turned around in front of that huge painting and through the beam of light from the projector, I saw Gabe riding a vintage bike around in circles and man playing the sousaphone following a woman playing the snare drum in a fur cowled down coat. I looked at Tali and she said, "This is a Fellini film."

That is what we named the painting.

Fellini still wet.

©2011 The Colorboration Project is the property of Tali Farchi and Royce Deans.