joint portfolio project

New Collection: Lifespan Comprehensive Cancer Center

Kelly M. O'Brien,  Small World , mixed media on paper, 50 x 70 cm. ©2014.

Kelly M. O'Brien, Small World, mixed media on paper, 50 x 70 cm. ©2014.

After spending a lot of time in the new Sheikh Zayed Tower at Johns Hopkins Hospital last year where my father was being cared for, I grew to understand the incredible value of thoughtfully-placed art in a healthcare setting. The hospital's Art + Architecture Program reflects this value:

As a leader in research and patient-centered medicine, Johns
Hopkins recognizes that the character of the hospital environment
can have a positive impact on the healing process for patients and
their families. The building’s medical profile is matched by the
thought and innovation of its design and the creative contributions
of numerous artists.

The collections in the new tower and Bloomberg Children’s Center are stunning, curated by Nancy Rosen, Inc. of New York. From the actual building design and materials, to main lobbies, elevator lobbies, waiting rooms, hallways and patient rooms, a huge amount of consideration was given to human impact. Speaking from personal experience, it was at times profound.

One of my goals is to learn how I can get my work considered for healing art projects and commissions. I would love to create significant work that patients, visitors, and staff can benefit from in these environments. A tiny step in that direction is the recent acquisition of my print, Small World (above) by Lifespan Comprehensive Cancer Center in East Greenwich, Rhode Island, US. As part of the handmade prints created for The Joint Portfolio Project, our collective work now hangs in this treatment center.

Next up for the Joint Portfolio Project: NIH

Next up for the Joint Portfolio Project: The National Institutes of Health Gallery in Bethesda, Maryland. The exhibition opened last Saturday and runs through September 11. We are also preparing for our next stop at the Bristol Art Museum in Bristol, Rhode Island.

The project's founder, Carol Strause FitzSimonds, recently interviewed me. She is preparing for a discussion panel on the project, to be hosted by the museum as part of the Opening events.

CSF: Why did you do this portfolio project?

KO: My situation is a bit different in that I am a former Printmakers, Inc. member who lives overseas. It felt great to be invited and I saw the project as a way to continue my relationship with the studio. When I was a member, we did something similar for the group's 35th anniversary and it was very rewarding.

CSF: What did you personally get out of the experience?

KO: Continued connection to a group of artists that I like and respect. An introduction to the talented printmakers of the Providence Art Club. Exposure for my work in ways I could not have garnered on my own. The satisfaction of being part of something beautiful and professionally done.

CSF: How much of your time was required to meet this committee? Biggest challenge?

KO: Developing and producing the print edition took about a month. I've also helped out with marketing by managing the project's Facebook page, which has been fun. The biggest challenge has been being so far away! I wish I could be at all of the exhibitions and meet other artists who are part of the collaboration.

Exhibition: Joint Venture+ at Candita Clayton Gallery

The little portfolio that could is still going! Our next stop for the traveling exhibition of framed prints from the collection is Candita Clayton Gallery in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

Most, if not all, of the boxed portfolio sets have been sold. Thirty-one individual framed prints are still available (one from each artist), and some artists are showing additional work as well.

studio update: late summer 2014

Kelly O'Brien,  Home is Where You Are  (detail). Acrylic on paper on canvas. 2014

Kelly O'Brien, Home is Where You Are (detail). Acrylic on paper on canvas. 2014

Here in chilly gray Frankfurt, change is in the air already. Where did summer go? This is our fourth one in Germany, and I'm still not used to August days in the 60s and nights that dip into the 40s.

Which means I've been in the studio, making new work! My current focus is on acrylic painting, with some mixed media sculpture to keep things interesting. It feels like acrylics are opening up a whole new level of freedom. I've only scratched the surface and am eager to see where this goes.

Kelly O'Brien,  You Can't Run From Yourself . Acrylic on paper on canvas. 2014

Kelly O'Brien, You Can't Run From Yourself. Acrylic on paper on canvas. 2014

If you're in the Frankfurt area this autumn, you can see the new work in two upcoming exhibitions in October and November. Stateside, I am delighted to have mixed media prints included in The Joint Portfolio Project, with exhibitions at the Providence Art Club and Torpedo Factory in September and November. More on each of these as dates draw nearer.

Kelly O'Brien,  Inside Job . Acrylic on paper on canvas. 2014

Kelly O'Brien, Inside Job. Acrylic on paper on canvas. 2014

Speaking of change, the theme I'm exploring is Geographic Cure. My husband and I are moving to England this fall, so the topic has been on my mind. As much as I love living in Germany and will miss the friends I've made here, I look forward to what lies ahead. I'm learning that with a little conscious effort, you can stay connected and involved, wherever you live.

Upcoming exhibitions:

September 7 - October 3, 2014: The Joint Portfolio Project Exhibition, Moitié Gallery, Providence Art Club, Providence, RI

October 24 - 26, 2014: To Be Continued | Fortsetzung folgt, grassgrün, Frankfurt, Germany

November 1 - December 31, 2014: The Joint Portfolio Project Exhibition, Printmakers Inc, Torpedo Factory, Alexandria, VA

November 2014 - January 2015: She is Herself, Frauenartztpraxis Dr. Med. Seelig, Bad Soden, Germany

the Joint Portfolio Project

The Joint Portfolio Project

The Joint Portfolio Project

One fun benefit of being a printmaker is that you get to exchange original handmade art with other printmakers. Sometimes, whole groups of printmakers get together to swap prints – a real bonanza! And not only for the artists involved. A small number of complete print sets are sometimes made available to the public (see below).

The Joint Portfolio Project is one such project in which I’m privileged to be involved. A total of 31 artists – 22 artists of the Providence Art Club in Rhode Island and nine artists of the Torpedo Factory Printmakers Inc. in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia – are busy completing 5x7 inch limited edition prints for the collection.

Several exhibitions are scheduled for the project through 2015. A traveling exhibition, Joint Venture+, will showcase the 31 framed portfolio prints, plus additional pieces by each artist.

There will be only 12 print portfolios for sale to the public, some of which have already sold. They are $550, which includes an attractive box to store the 31 signed, hand-pulled prints.

You can find previews of the prints that will be included and more detailed information about exhibitions on The Joint Portfolio Project Facebook Page.

You can reserve a portfolio or purchase one at the pre-publication price of $500 by calling Printmakers Inc. at 703-683-1342 or Providence Art Club at 401-331-1114 ext. 5. Telephone sales are accepted with a credit card.