My friend Merritt works with artists at Pacesetters on a regular basis.  This organization "provides a humane and productive lifestyle for people with developmental disabilities."  She was recently awarded a grant to pair up professional artists with Pacesetters' artists, with the goal of exhibiting one work of each individual and a joint piece for each pair.  Appropriately, the project is called Collaborations.










This is the second time Merritt has received such a grant, not surprising since she knows both sets of artists so well.  In Dean's and my case, she brought together two women who connected both aesthetically and personally.  My anxiety at project's outset soon melted in the presence of such a warm, talented, hard-working person as Dean.  She had no trouble making artistic choices at every step in the process, including titling her piece.  It's hard to say who was prouder on satisfactory completion of our artwork.  I know we were both very happy.


I had had the idea of a fan series in mind, so I ran the concept by Dean, also mentioning vintage photographs and papers.  And I made sure she didn't mind getting her hands sticky, inevitable when working with acrylic medium.  All sounded good to her, so I gathered a variety of choices for us in backgrounds, papers, fan constructions, photographs, vintage buttons and postage stamps.  It didn't take long for Dean to select old sheet music for her background, a photograph of a woman who could have been a mutual ancestor, and orchid-pink paper for the fan. 


Merritt brought us a piece of gold organza ribbon that Dean wanted to use, too.


What a moment when Dean signed her piece, "Music Fan."

Our collaborative piece came together rather quickly ... and beautifully, I think.  It's called "Patterns Fan."

And here are the fruits of our labor ... and play ...


                     "Music Fan"                              "Patterns Fan"                            "Victorian Fan"