Assumption Professors Collaborate on Art Exhibit

Feb 07, 2019

Assumption Professors Joseph Ray and Tyler Vance have collaborated on an art exhibit entitled, “Van Rance & Joe Bob Go to the Movies,” a collection of charcoal drawings that showcase the highs and lows of collaboration and improvisation.

 “Van Rance & Joe Bob Go to the Movies” is a collaborative project by Joseph Ray, an adjunct professor, and Tyler Vance, a lecturer in studio art and art history. The exhibit consists of four large-scale charcoal drawings, which were improvised with no prior sketches, reference or any major planning. The resulting exhibition in its entirety is a product of action and reaction and demonstrates the struggles and high points of collaboration and improvisation.

“Just before this project, Joe and I were doing our own charcoal drawings independently, using similar intuitive methods,” said Prof. Vance. “When we were approached by Lynn Simmons with an opportunity to show together in the d’Alzon library, we thought we would try using the methods and momentum from those previous projects collaboratively.”

The creation process was a conversation between Profs. Ray and Tyler; as they drew together, they would vary, develop and alter each other’s marks. The direction of each drawing would change significantly from start to finish as the compositions revealed themselves.  Additionally, six smaller sheets of paper were taped to the professors’ footstools as they drew. These act as records of the process and were later embellished by the artists. 

According to Prof. Vance, the process was rewarding, though sometimes frustrating. “Some directions we moved in proved not as fruitful as we hoped,” said Prof. Vance. “But we found that if we stuck to our one hard rule of ‘nothing is sacred,’ we could change our approach as drastically as needed and arrive at a successful – and mostly unforeseen – result.”

The exhibit will be on display in the Emmanuel d’Alzon Library from February 4 through March 27.