2nd City Council Gallery Participates in National Collaborative Art Project ‘Oh Beautiful’

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ohbeautiful , a collaborative art project on a national scaleOh Beautiful, a collaborative art project on a national scale, launches today here in Southern California.  Visual artist Margie Darrow has aptly titled her project.

According to Darrow, Oh Beautiful creates a large scale three dimensional wall map made up of fifty individual works of art by fifty artists – one from each of the US states.  Wooden “state-shaped” canvases are provided to the fifty map artists and their mission is to render and represent their state using personal perspective, imagination, facts and geographical location.

Oh Beautiful is endorsed and inspired by Mark Stein, author of the bestselling book How the States Got Their Shapes (Smithsonian/Harper Collins, 2008)

“In my book, I too endeavored to have its readers come to see the American map as something of an art object,” agrees Stein.  “So familiar are we with that map, its straight lines boundaries are often viewed as being much a part of nature as the squiggly boundaries of rivers and mountain crests.  But the American map is, in fact, a mural.  The stories behind its lines and squiggles reveal how we came to be who we are today.”

Artist Margie Darrow challenges artists from each of the fifty states to envision and render their state’s shape in just this way but with additional creative layers.

One of the many objectives of the Oh Beautiful project is to create and educate through art.   “As artists we can visually share information concerning where we make our home and its influence on who we are,” said Darrow.  “In turn this vision creates a unique map and national portrait of the collective individual.

According to Darrow, Oh Beautiful is much like the USA’s original assemblage, piece-by-piece, state-by-state.

2nd City Council, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit art gallery and performance space, will serve as fiscal receiver for Oh Beautiful.  For 10 years 2nd City Council has been dedicated to supporting and promoting artists, their work and art education.  Their mission is to expose the public to the wealth of creativity that exists and explore ways to bring the community together to engage in dialog initiated through art, literature and performance.

“At its core, Oh Beautiful is about bringing people together. Whether it is the artists who are participating in the collaborative project or the viewing audience” said Cheryl Bennett, Founder and Executive director of 2nd City Council Gallery.

An additonal and vital aspect of Oh Beautiful is utilizing all the resources of the web to bring the collaborators closer together, if not physically, then virtually.  Darrow has set up a virtual Oh Beautiful web presence as a pedestal for the project artists. (OhBeautifulProject.com) The website is supported by a Facebook Fan Page, and a Twitter page. She plans to make the project even more interactive and interesting with blogging, podcasting and YouTube videos as part of the experience.  Darrow feels creating the foundation for a virtual community will promote dialog, ideas and auxiliary creative projects that will encourage artist of all mediums.

2nd City Council Art Gallery + Performance Space (2cc) is located at 435 Alamitos Avenue Long Beach, CA 90802. For additional information call (562) 901-0997, email 2ndcitycouncil@earthlink.net or visit the 2nd City Council website.

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