Collective 7 Sets Up Shop

7 Kensington is bland looking and easy to miss - especially on Pedestrian Sunday, when everyone else is hitting the streets. I had to ask a store owner to find it. The only indication that the building is inhabited is a cute kitty on a leash out front. Inside it's much more eye-catching. Collective 7 have just set up shop here and opened their doors for the local street festival.

Sam, who greats us at the door, gives us a tour of the studio; pointing out the work of collective members. One of them has made wax reproductions of different meats and slopped them on to old mirrors and picture frames - "she's a vegetarian" we're told. The group is also renting drawer space in an old letter filing cabinet for $10 a month. Inside are handmade booklets, jewelery, a crude sort of music box and Carrie (formerly of blogTo) is selling panties.

I didn't see any fake poop, though it seems like a natural for the size of the drawers. When she gets to her own work, Sam mentions that two of her pieces are slated to appear in American Illustration, one of commercial illustration's more prestigious awards annuals. As a practicing illustrator, I suffer a few quick pangs of jealousy and look to the kitty for a moment to calm down.

The Collective 7 studio space feels good to hang out in - despite my envy problem. Being able to wander in and chat with an artist or two goes a long way towards connecting you with the work. I'd like to stop by again and check up on the collective's progress and next time, I'll bring the fake poo.


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