At the podium, photography teacher and sponsor of the Creative Co/Lab Adam Finkelston, announces that the next club meeting will be held on Feb. 4. By then he wants students to have sketches of what each of them will produce for the end-of-the-year gallery.
The group of around 15 students scattered about three old wooden lunch tables look away from Finkelston and begin to chatter amongst themselves.
Some look sheepish while others nod with excitement. Whether they know what they are doing yet or not, Creative Co/Lab members are on a fast track towards preparing for their art exhibition on May 1.
In fact, by the third week of February, students will file into a chilly warehouse in the West Bottoms and get a first-hand look at the canvas they will fill. Finkelstein desires for students to think big. With no specific guidelines or requirements and a blank warehouse space, students are given unlimited possibilities with what kind of art they want to produce.
“By spring break I want people to have a pretty good idea of what they are going to do and what they need to do it,” Finkelstein said. “Materials, logistics. Right after spring break is when we’re really going to start ramping up with the actual filling and transforming of the space.”
A trip to the Missouri River back in September served as a basis of inspiration for members of the club. Although no restrictions were given to the subject matter of the pieces the river is a suggested base for students to grow their ideas onto.
“Humans use water for like everything, power, drinking, etc and the river is a big part of local culture here,” sophomore Grace Menninger said. “I think it is a great place to start.”
Members of the club have yet to produce any ideas for the large-scale, collaborative piece that will be a product of every members contribution but individual artists have begun the process of working out their ideas. Sophomore Natalie Roth has already tried out glaze techniques for her main pieces. She will make ceramic recreations of litter and debris found on the Missouri River bank.
“One of the most interesting things I remember seeing were two needles on the ground, a few prescription bottles, a lot of cigarette butts, a lot of empty cigarette boxes, a lot of cans, and a lot of like fast food litter,” Roth said. “Just garbage.”
But traditional art mediums aren’t the only things that can be presented during the exhibition.
“It could be a science experiment, it could be literature or a musical performance,” Finkelston said, “I would encourage whoever is doing something like that to think about the presentation and how it will look as it’s exhibited.”
The art exhibition will be held at the Healthy River Partnership headquarters on 815 Woodswether Rd, and will be open to the public during First Fridays on May 1.