Picture three musicians all with a different instrument. They pick a theme such as “a new mythology”. One musician makes a sound, the second responds, the third responds to both sounds and so on. They build upon each other’s sounds and architecture develops. However, in this case the musicians are replaced by visual artists and instead of instruments they have paint brushes or charcoal. They choose a theme and go about creating an image the same way as the musicians, building and improvising on the spot to create a work of art. In the case of the Kindred Art Collaborative members, some of the ideas they share are: replacing old myths and old visual social stereo types of races and gender with new mythology and current multi-cultural and gender values and creating art that is both random (relying heavily on chance and process) and at the same time deliberate. Carl Cellini
No doubt, mostly everyone is aware of the changing times. Our society is out of balance. The changes we see seem to reflect both events in the now with a blending of events of the past. We thought we were moving forward to only find our paths back to former atrocities. We are wired, droned, profiled and living in a culture marginalized and based on great wealth, sex and power. The images I paint are from a future world which reflect and contrast current world ideals. The dimensions I paint, are within us and outside of us and is both beautiful and horrific. We are a multicultural society. Everyone's origins are key elements to finding the balance of nature we sorely need. In art there is also an imbalance of images. The time has come to acknowledge art as culturally rich in its diversity and having an important role in moving our society forward in a more relevant, expansive way. With enlightenment, positivism and effort we can rise. This is the realm in which my work inhabits. Mikel Elam
The works of the Kindred Art Collaborative are inspired by a wild pursuit of our collective imagination, like a jazz improvisation, touching associations with our past and blending our personal histories with our shared vision of the culture we grew up in.
The works explore our differences and shared realities and make fraught attempts to connect with our inner selves and the culture at large. The process of collaboration is veiled; it is a mysterious artistic adventure with unknown outcomes. But it’s clear that these works are much more than the sum of our individual abilities: the act of working together creates a new persona: Kindred. Richard Metz
Carl Cellini is a painter, sculptor, musician, composer, martial artist and instructor of martial arts who grew up in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. He has had numerous painting exhibits in the last forty years and his work has been purchased by businesses, schools and individual patrons during this time. He received his BFA from Temple University's Tyler School of Art in 1980. Cellini's latest paintings are gestural and expressionistic, focused on incorporating the movements of the martial arts animals he studies. The process is important to his art making as he strives to invoke something direct and authentic. Carl formed Cellini Studios in 2014 which is a gallery space, studio space and houses a school of martial arts that he owns and operates in Ambler, Pennsylvania.
Richard Metz grew up in Abington, Pennsylvania. He received a BFA from Temple University’s Tyler school of Art, and an MFA from Maine College of Art. He recently retired from a career as a high school art teacher. In addition to showing his work frequently and widely, he is a musician and writer, with an interest in radio drama. He has been an environmental activist for many years and remains passionate about protecting forests. He has been chosen to participate in artist residencies across the country for the last ten years where he creates ephemeral painted tree installations.
Painting and drawing have been a lifetime pursuit for Mikel. Having grown up in Philadelphia, Mikel’s art degree is from Philadelphia University of the Arts. In one chapter of his life Mikel went to work as a manager for famed jazz musician Miles Davis for several years. This experience helped shape and define Mikel for years to follow. Although Miles Davis was a renowned jazz musician, he was also drawing and painting everyday while traveling the world. He convinced Mikel that he had the ability to be and do many things at the same time. Whether working in the art supply business, or in the past when he was working with Miles Davis or currently, painting and drawing in his studio Mikel is truly living the life of a full-time artist. In recent years his focus on Afro Centrism and world cultures has permeated his individual work.