What We're Doing
During the 50 States Project, artists Kate and Tom will travel to all 50 states while conducting visual research, visiting arts and community organizations, and collaborating remotely with CHAW’s Youth Arts Program.
As they travel to all 50 states in a small camper van, the artists will conduct their own individual research. They will produce works of visual art while on the road, each engaging with a particular theme or research question of their choosing. At the end of their travels, the artists will return to DC and begin reflecting on the work. They will spend three months organizing, curating, processing, and analyzing their research before presenting it in a gallery setting. During the run of their exhibition, the artists will present their work to the public in community workshops and artist talks. Meanwhile, the artists will also craft a book through which to showcase their research and share it with the many communities they will have visited.
During the course of their journey, Tom and Kate will video chat with CHAW’s Youth Arts Program twice monthly. At each check-in, the artists will answer a standard set of questions: Where are you now? Who have you met? What have you experienced? The students will have real-time dialogue with real working artists sharing stories and insight. From there, the kids will launch into a corresponding project with teaching artist, Kelly Tumulty. The artists will also reach an adult student audience by video chatting with CHAW’s long-running watercolors and pastels class. Tom and Kate will share their experiences on the road, as well as their experiences as practicing professional artists. At the end of their journey, the artists will show the students’ work alongside their own at the CHAW gallery.
The artists will anchor their trip with stops at arts organizations across the country, engaging with at least one formal arts community in each state. The artists may choose to formally present their research or informally meet with the community as participants in classes or events. These communities will then be linked together through the 50 States Project, creating a nationwide network of arts organizations.