The "Seven Artists and a Toothbrush Factory" project almost never got off the ground. At our first meeting, my brilliant mentor Billie Mandle suggested the Brushworks Arts and Industrial building as a location for a follow-up to my "Foundry" series. The setting was perfect -- a hundred-or-so creative (and visually interesting) artists working with dozens of different media in a funky former toothbrush factory!
Then came the hard part -- rounding up my volunteer artists. As I wandered the hallways, the building seemed deserted. The only sounds were mine -- creaky floors, loud clangs echoing down empty halls as heavy metal doors slammed shut behind me, and the tiny 'click' as the motion-detector switches turned the overhead florescent lights on and off. The artists in the few studios that were open politely declined my invitation. E-mails to the handful of artists with addresses on their closed doors went unanswered. I almost gave up.
And then I found Emily's large, sunny studio in the far corner of the top floor! The door was open (it's always open) and Emily greeted me with a smile and a wholehearted "yes" when I described the project. Eventually, I filled out the series with six more artists but it's fair to say that "Seven Artists and a Toothbrush Factory" wouldn't exist without Emily.
Which brings us to this week's photo of Emily in her studio. Thank you for agreeing to share your time, space, enthusiasm and creativity with me!