Blank Pages 1995

Catherine Smith with Andrea Vidosh and Fred Wagonlander and the 120 art students of Central High School in Flint, Michigan. Writing workshops organized by Rebecca Sofa with Kristi Cummings, Denise DeLay, Lisa M. Smith, Kim McDonald, Mark Rabitz, Elizabeth Dickens and Veronica Smith. Special thanks to Doug Hoppa, Tonya Jaeger and Kathryn Pekarek

I have been making a series of works that use, as their central idea, the recycling of useable materials from art object back to functional object. They are made up of things that sculpture or installations can be constructed from and then after the show is over can be dismantled and used as they were originally intended. Among these pieces have been: a kitchen form made from stacked canned foods that later went to a food bank; a bathtub with running water, filled with electric frying pans, that were donated to a women’s shelter; and two large forms made up of dishracks laced together, and weighted down by cast iron frying pans. These works have been funded through donations, grants, and honorarium.

This piece is made up of art supplies that will not be consumed in the art making process. The 120 homemade sketchbooks that make up Blank Pages will go to the art students at Central High School who also participated by making the Xerox transfers of their portraits onto the covers of the books, and by writing artist statements while learning calligraphy. Special thanks go to the instructors: Andrea Vidosh for all her enthusiasm, motivational gifts and hard work and to Fred Wagonlander for his enthusiastic support, hard work and ability to run a quality program on what amounts to a mere $5/per student/per year in supplies. These young artists need all the support we can give them. It was a pleasure to work with them on this project.