Come Together exhibit at the Arts Center in Logan Square


For the past two years or so, I have posted about the collaborative project that I have been doing with Seth Apter and Jen Worden. We finished it this year and we are all thrilled to have our collaborative books part of an exhibit here in Chicago called Come Together. This is the premier exhibit at the new Art Center in Logan Square and will feature sculpture, installation and collaborative work.

Here is a quick synopsis of our project: In 2008 I contacted Seth Apter in New York City, and Jen Worden in Canada, to see if they wanted to work on a collaborative project together. They both agreed and we each created our books that we would pass along to each other. I created a plaster book called “A Book of Trees”. Jen created a box of metal pages called “Shine” and Seth created a rebound book of vintage pages called “Contexture”. We began in early 2009 and each book was shipped across the states and over the Canadian-U.S. border for more than 2 years. We created visual responses to what the preceding person had created. Each “book” encompasses a visual dialogue between three artists working in different styles and materials within the parameters that each artist set for their particular book.

Not only have our books been through quite a journey these past 2 years, but I think that each of us have as well. When I asked Jen and Seth to do this with me, I never thought that our books would end up in a show. I asked them purely out of wanting to explore themes and experiment with different media with two artists that I respect for their artwork and for who they are as people. I have known Jen for a long time through our online art activities. Actually, she bought the first painting that I ever posted online when I first started painting again. And I encountered Seth as I was preparing for my first solo show in Florida. When my show opened, he was one of the first to purchase one of my paintings from the gallery.

But why a collaboration? I’ve only done this type of thing once before with a mixed media artist, Donia Nance. And it was such an amazing experience. Creating art is a solitary practice, so breaking out of that and working with someone else can be very freeing. It depends, of course, on the mindset and the goals. But for me, it forces me to do something out of my comfort zone, to work with materials that I normally would not. And in doing so, I learn so much and feel a renewed inspiration in my own work. There are a few spreads that I did in Seth and Jen’s books that have found their way in my larger paintings. Or at least have planted seeds for future work. For example, I am still not all that comfortable working with metal, but I foresee incorporating it in my work.

The artist community can be an amazing supportive one and I am fortunate to have encountered all the creative and generous people in my own journey. I just love the title of the show “Come Together”- it encompasses so much.

For those that can’t attend the show, I created a flickr slideshow of our three books. Take a look:

This exhibit was curated by Beth LeFauve, Jane Michalski, and Emily Rutledge. I am so happy too to be showing once again with the inimitable Alicia Forestall-Boehm, who will be showing her beautiful woven encaustic baskets.

I will be attending the opening on September 10th. Hope to see you there!

Come Together
September 10-30
Artist Reception September 10 6-9 pm
Arts Center, Logan Square/Avondale
2810 N Milwaukee Avenue, 2nd floor
Chicago, IL 60618

I enjoy being given a certain amount of freedom in order to interpret or to come up with stuff, but I do enjoy collaboration. I seek and thrive on projects where I am going to learn from the people I’m working with. ~William Kempe


  1. From start to finish and beyond…this has been a pure pleasure. Thanks Bri for the creative inspiration. Wish I could be there to celebrate on the 10th.

  2. Absolutely LOVE this slideshow Bri.

    And I didn’t know re: your painting. It’s propped up on my wainscotting ledge at the bottom of our bedroom stairs (and the bathroom) so I see it many many times per day. Still love it.

    +1 what Seth said. xo

  3. I so wish I could be there to see all the amazing work! I feel very fortunate to have seen the amazing pieces you brought to ecamp. I really do want to grow young to be like you!

  4. Thanks everyone!
    Seth and Jen- I couldn’t have picked a better combo. It’s been fun!

    Jen- yes, isn’t that funny? I had been selling my journals for several years already, but as you know, selling my paintings was a big leap for me and you helped me with the leap. Thank you!

    Donna- you put it perfectly. Time to celebrate!

    I wish you all could be there too. Thanks so much.

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