Red Hat has sponsored THE LAB at VAE in Raleigh. VAE calls itself a creativity incubator, gallery, and artist hub. The theme for the year-long exhibition, which highlights a new artist or group of artists each month, is collaboration. This theme is a perfect fit for us as an open source and community-powered company.
The first show kicked off on First Friday this September with artist Lyudmila Tomova and professional drum circle facilitator Greg Whitt. The collaboration didn’t stop at just the two artists, however, as the attending public was also asked and encouraged to not only make music along with Greg, but to also write and draw on the walls with Lyudmila.
As more and more people joined in the collaborative process Lyudmila captured their faces and participation through watercolor portraits. “Lyudmila has the gift to be able to grab life and hold it still for just a second. She doesn’t alter it” said BJ Davis, Founder & Director of Development, Emerging Women NC. The quiet gallery and empty walls began to fill with music and art as the night progressed. Words turned into phrases and into whole conversations, doodles became drawings that built off one another.
This show broke down a few misconceptions about art: that art is something you shouldn’t touch or interact with and that it’s only an individual process. “The idea is to change the relationship with art so that it isn’t simply someone viewing art on a wall or a sculpture on a pedestal. We’re taking it from a cognitive experience to an embodied experience” said Greg Whitt. The community came together to make this show something that it couldn’t have been on its own and each person left their own mark along the way.