This Saturday, Art Attack swung by Spring Street Studios for its monthly Second Saturday with the main purpose of checking out the inaugural exhibition of east2collective's 5X5X5.
East2collective is comprised of Adrienne Wong and Holly Hoyt Miscovich, who share something very special. A wall. The two artists are next-door neighbors within their Spring Street home, which is where they met and became partners. The two were looking for an outlet for not only their own work but also the work of their contemporaries. They saw a need within the art scene for a space in which artists could showcase work in an environment that encourages community and an open dialogue. "We have the space," Wong tells us, "so we figured why not?"
The "collective's" first curatic collaborative is 5X5X5. The idea behind the current show was as simple as it was challenging. Each artist involved was constrained to create a body of work within the parameters of a five-inch square. What they did within these guidelines was completely up to them.
The result of this prompt, if you will, is an assorted collection of mediums, styles and concepts, all of which are rather small. This was the point, of course.
The artists involved in 5X5X5 come from different backgrounds and took very unique approaches to the task at hand. To find artists for this show, east2collective sourced friends, peers and others whose work they were familiar with. What these artists have in common is the high level of respect east2collective has for their previous works. "These are all professional, serious artists," says Wong, "who have strong bodies of work."
It was very interesting to see how each artist took on the confined challenge of making a piece of art that can only encompass 5 inches by 5 inches. The majority of the works are paintings or sketches and drawings. I felt as if these artists almost took the easy way out. Of course it is difficult for a large-scale painter to pare down, but the "out of box" approaches to the concept made for more interesting art.
Industrial designer Brenden Macaluso attacked the constraints through a series entitled "The American Echo System." His series consisted of random objects, rubber bands and bottle caps, packaged as would-be retail items in what were being labeled "100% Recycled Echo Cat Toys." A Felix the Cat-looking brandmark with dollar signs for eyes wickedly invites you to take a closer look. The packaging, cat toys and all, was perfect 5x5 parcels.
Miscovich also had work on display. She is a photographer whose images experiment with "color, light and motion." She took to the concept by shellacking small squares of images atop white child-sized blocks. The blocks were then put together to form a 5x5 square. The blocks, however, were slightly skewed; the textbook 5x5 square became imperfect. Each square was a puzzle in and of itself that didn't quite fit together.
Artist Lesley Bolden came at the concept from a totally different angle. A professional floral designer, Bolden created a body of work using large stones and floral sculptures. The smooth oval stones, which fit nicely into the 5x5 framework, were adorned with natural items; buds and grass were pieced together to become "Floral Sushi." Each stone was whimsical in its own way, and I could easily see these pieces showcased in a Martha Stewart catalog.
The artists and the Houston art community have been very receptive, Wong and Miscovich say. The two want to grow this concept and already have plans for the next iteration. "We want to get the Houston community's creativity flowing," Wong enthuses, and by doing so, "get people talking."
5x5x5 is open through mid-June and is viewable during working hours and on select weekends. For more information, visit east2collective.com.