BLOOMINGTON — TWOgether, a new exhibit opening Sunday at the Jan Brandt Gallery in Bloomington features artwork created by artists working in pairs.
"My idea was to offer an opportunity, especially in the current atmosphere of divisiveness, for people to work together toward a goal," said Brandt, owner of the gallery at 1305 Morrissey Drive, Bloomington.
"I am hoping that these experiences combined will result in something larger than only beautiful art," she added. "Shared experiences can create a stronger community."
The exhibition will open with a reception from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, and run through March 30. Appointments for viewing can be made online at firstname.lastname@example.org.
She invited a group of artists to participate in the exhibition. They, in turn, invited someone with whom to collaborate.
More than 30 pairs of artists are participating. Spouses, parents and children, professors, students, roommates, musicians, friends and professional artists make up the exhibiting duos.
"I think creatively two artists working together will open up new avenues of thought," said Brandt. "There can be an exchange of theory, skills, approach, and practice."
"I don't want to get too political, but I think there are so many people who are very divisive now ... so I am hoping this exhibit ignites this idea of what happens when people work together and appreciate each other and respect each other," she said.
"There is a story behind every piece," she added. "I didn't know what to expect, but I knew interesting things would happen."
For example, Brandt said Bloomington sculpture artist Herb Eaton told her about being inspired by the joy Ben Harney, who is autistic, brought to working on the "All Hail to Wind Gods" sculpture that is part of the exhibition.
"It's basically Herb's piece, but there was a detail on it that he thought Ben could do well," said Harney's father, Rick Harney, an artist, himself, who created the sculpture of Abraham Lincoln seated on a bench outside of the McLean County Museum of History.
Ben Harney, 30, tied all of the ribbons on a staff that is part of the sculpture.
"I think partly the reason Herb asked him to do it is because Ben is very detailed-oriented, and that is partly because he is autistic," said Rick Harney.
"I think it's a good thing to feature talents of anybody with disabilities," said Rick Harney, adding he will be bringing his son to the reception. "I think that plays into the theme of what (this exhibition) is trying to do by bringing people together."