why we do what we do
The | ‘sindikit | project is a creative, self-funded endeavor that emphasizes and extends our collaborative practices as artists and educators. Our interest in the intersections of art, community and education makes it crucial for us to work both in and outside of the University system. The pursuit of ‘sindikit is to foster community conversations among cultural producers, local and national visual artists, and arts allies that have a stake in discussing socio-political and cultural issues.
| ‘sindikit | is a collaborative art project created to engage our research interests in gender, sexuality, and race. It is a platform that allows us and invited ‘sindikit artists, to respond immediately to what is happening in our (collective) studios and in the world. These responses are aesthetic, culturally relevant, and often topical. The social capital of our project is collaboration and cooperation, and trust and generosity between artists.
As collaborators on the university level, we've developed curriculum, co-taught courses, and organized visiting artists programs in the Studio Art program at American University. We've been given opportunities by artists, and we create opportunities for artists; this happens inside and outside of academic institutions. There’s a wonderful kind of condition in academia, and even in the museums that we collaborate with, that is built around a particular kind of structure. We want to see what happen if we don’t rely on that structure, those parameters, or expectations. We invite artists to make and show work outside of their general practice or to develop what they consider experimental, or what they’d simply like to ‘test out’. We deliberately move beyond the university to directly connect with artists, their research, and their communities.
We are fascinated by artists who we consider ‘opportunity-makers’ for other artists. We’re inspired by Isabel Manalo’s The Studio Visit Berlin, the artist-run project spaces like Marginal Utility in Philly, PA, the work of Michelle Grabner, Sharon Louden’s enthusiasm for artists, smaller spaces like The Bindery in St. Paul, and Jennifer Chenoweth at Generous Art (Austin, TX). We value the work of places like Project Rowe Houses (Houston, TX) and ThreeWalls (Chicago, IL)-- both organizations put artists' exploration and their relationship with communities at the forefront of their programming.
| ‘sindikit | is both an extension of our individual practices and is our collaborative art project. We conduct studio visits, give joint artist talks, moderate panels, and develop programming as a team. It's this shared endeavor and the experiences that arise from them that make our collaboration meaningful.