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Thursday, January 1
6:00pm - 9:00pm

Fresh Eye Gallery presents Eye to Eye, bringing artists together to build a stronger, more inclusive art community, with a focus on upcycling and repurposing through art.

Eye to Eye is an exercise in friendship and creativity. The exhibition project is founded on the principles of radical inclusivity, where Fresh Eye intentionally brings artists with and without disabilities together, who have also never met before, for the purpose of building a stronger creative community. Artists are paired up in teams of two to collaborate and create new artwork.

This year, Eye to Eye artists were encouraged to incorporate upcycled or found materials into works of art. “So much creativity, experimentation, and surprise can come from working through upcycling.” Jes Reyes, Eye to Eye coordinator, expresses. “Repurposing also extends the life or expands the meaning of materials or objects. It can save something from being discarded.” Nick Cave’s colorful Soundsuits are made of discarded items. Louise Nevelson turned wood objects she found into monochromatic sculptural assemblages. Rodney McMillian layered latex paint onto handmade blankets he sourced from thrift stores. Eye to Eye artists are encouraged to seek similar approaches that use alternative materials, items from their personal lives, or search for desired articles to create with.

Collaboration is important for artists. Through the process of connection and exchange, sharing material as well as ideas happens. It can influence and create friendships. It can also encourage experimentation, growth, and the possibility of new artwork that expands the skills of artists. Creating a collaborative art piece takes patience, respect, and teamwork. It helps to build community and challenges the idea of working in isolation and encourages exploring interconnectedness as part of one’s art practice.

Fresh Eye Gallery is committed to barrier-free artmaking and ensuring access so that intersecting identities and those with various lived experiences can participate. We value radical inclusion, community connection, partnerships, fun, and delight.


This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation of the arts and cultural heritage fund. It is also sponsored by Wet Paint and Ergodyne.

Art image credit: Kenneth Bowling and Ursula Lang.

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