I think I have been doing CoLab for over 1 year I’d say, in my gallery in Miami but since my downsizing in January I had to bid a silent farewell to Colab. CoLab needs space, a lot of space and when I hosted it in Miami I was able to run a seamless sheet of white paper, about 5’ tall across my wall which ran about 40’ long. Then I would invite friends, friends with kids, artists, and non-artists to come draw on this stream of white paper. Afterwards I would paint over the collage of drawings, cut the sheet apart into many smaller pieces and then sell those for mostly local charities. It has always been a fun event and I was saddened by the thought that I wouldn’t have any more CoLabs.
Until last weekend that is. Artists & Fleas, along with the Chelsea Market asked if I would host a workshop in a temporarily vacant space. I don’t prefer doing workshops, actually I don’t prefer doing anything that has the word work in it, work days, workaholic etc. I suggested a CoLab revival and to my happiness CoLab was alive one more time!
There were several unknowns however since I had never hosted a CoLab in NYC I knew I would have to get a lot of supplies and thanks to Artists & Fleas help we were able to get about 80’ of paper up onto the walls. I also hadn’t thought of doing a CoLAb for such a long time period, usually, as in the opening night we can fill a ream of paper in about 4 hours which was right on target but I hadn’t anticipated that the next 4 days we would host for 7-8 hours more each day! I also hadn’t considered how many people would come through the Chelsea Market during those 3 days!
Needless to say, a LOT of people came through, by our best geusstimates, at least 2000 people came in and drew, and drew and drew! Tiny kids drew! Big kids drew! Teens, parents and adults all got in on the fun and all, every one of them loved it! We went through almost $600 in markers, 8 rolls of paper and when that ran out we used the brown paper we had been using to keep the floors marker free! It was exhausting, it was amazing! I got to see some amazing NYC talent in action, some I incited like Kenji, Rine, Wore all alumni of my Art and Design high school and accomplished graffiti artists as well as Cey and Cycle but what surprised me most was the talent that came by that I didn’t know, the young teen that drew a huge Godzilla and had such a great time doing so, the many who felt they couldn’t draw so they wrote poetry or inspirational messages! Even Raymond, who heads security in the market and Charlie who has worked in the market for so many years before it got good as it is today lent an artistic hand! All in all I was fantastic!
I will savor this CoLab, probably much more than the others because it was so much larger, and it was in NYC, so as I prepare to add my personal flare to the seemingly endless amount of drawn paper I tip my hat to the Chelsea Market who chose to do something amazing with this space (they really didn’t have too) and to Artists & Fleas, my buddy Ronen who thought of me when approached by Chelsea Market, knowing my history with the Market, a heartfelt thanks to everyone!