This exhibition by Jacob Ramos, Audrey Hester, and Justin Jaro in the spring of 2010 was an outstanding example of the collaborative power of art. Each artist in this exhibition required the audience to participate in the making of the work at the exhibition.
Ramos had the gallery goers draw, doodle and sign their names within a pre-cut stencil that he created. The stencil was unveiled at the end of the opening to display the aritst's self portrait created by the audience of the work, literally giving the viewers a hand in the final product. Additionally, he wrote a new version of the preamble to the constitution that actually stripped the audience of their rights. They were asked to sign if they agreed, as a way to prove that we often do what others do without reading the fine print or realizing the repercussion of our actions. In a sense, the artist was making a mockery of the ignorance that often accompanies a mob of people.
Hester's understated and quiet them was on the opposing side of the gallery and included an interactive writing table where the audience was invited to write portions of a story on small sheets of brown paper. The participants were asked to add their writing to the mason jars that hung from the ceiling in front of the decorative gallery wall. All of these activities recalled the nostalgia of Hester's childhood, and the content of those writings were later used by the artist to create a cryptic narrative painting from the content she gathered.
Jaro, now a professional photographer, film maker, and designer asked his audience to participate in a studio portrait photo session in the gallery space provided to him. These portraits of the audience were edited, printed, and displayed on the walls for the remaining month that the show hung after its opening night.
WE THE PEOPLE
MARCH 2010 JACOB RAMOS + AUDREY HESTER + JUSTIN JARO