This Saturday, after a two-year hiatus, s/ART/q is back.
Local artists Tim Jaeger and Joseph Arnegger, along with a dozen other artists, founded the artist collective back in 2008 out of a desire to both showcase local talent and provide an avenue to display art in nontraditional galleries.
During its run, the collective's regular print parties and exhibitions became popular hangouts for artists, art lovers and other creatives to convene and socialize.
But after three years, as many of the involved artists graduated, moved or started families, the collective disbanded and remained dormant until this year, when Jaeger says he was inspired to revive it — this time with new artists, an official 501(c)(3) designation and a new, more sustainable structure.
"About six months ago, I started thinking this would be a good time to bring back s/ART/q," says Jaeger. "I want to help continue fostering the artists in our community. As artists, our sole purpose is to create and nourish one another's creativity."
So, armed with a new board of directors, s/ART/q will relaunch with a print party this Saturday with 15 members, all but four of which are new, and the collective will raise funds to resume hosting its signature nontraditional gallery exhibitions in the fall.
Under its new incarnation, the collective will have a strong focus on education and engagement with the public, and Jaeger says he hopes to find a physical space where artists can work. A lack of affordable access to studio space is one of the biggest obstacles in keeping local artists in town, he says.
One of the biggest strengths of the revived s/ART/q will be the diversity of its new group of artists, in gender, age and medium, which includes ceramics, photography, watercolor, paint, installation, multimedia, video and more. And with a new, easier submission process that allows artists to submit their portfolios for consideration at any time, the stage is set for growth.
"Artists have a big desire — and a need — to get together with a group of quality artists to share ideas and get feedback," says Jaeger. "There's a sense of camaraderie about it, and it helps build a dialogue. The more we nourish that dialogue, the more our arts community will grow."
This screen-printing party gives the public a chance to interact with both art and artists and meet the newly reformed artist collective and learn about its goals. Bring shirts, pants, skirts — anything that can be printed on — to have one of the s/ART/q artists screen print an original design on it for $5.