Houston artists' collaboration to debut at Nave Museum


July 7, 2010 at 2:07 a.m.
Updated July 8, 2010 at 2:08 a.m.

John Ross Palmer and Chris Silkwood

John Ross Palmer and Chris Silkwood

It started out as just a suggestion from an avid art collector. It's ending with a highly anticipated new art exhibit at the Nave Museum.

Houston artists John Ross Palmer and Chris Silkwood are debuting the newest artwork from their collaboration at the museum, starting July 16 and running through August 29. The two well-known artists began collaborating about three years ago at the suggestion of friend and art collector Bill Baldwin of Houston.

"He asked us if we thought we could collaborate on a piece, and since then, the pieces have been very well-received," Palmer said. "We had already been friends for a long time and even shared a studio together at one point. We had talked of doing collaborations before, but Bill was the catalyst that actually made it happen."

Silkwood, a mosaic artist, learned her craft 12 years ago while living in Australia studying with the artists of ArtBusters, a renowned mosaic studio. Ross, for the most part, is a self-taught abstract painter, although he has studied professionally at the Santa Reparata International School of Art in Italy and under various masters. Together, the two create unique large-scale pieces by combining both of their skills.

"Chris and I, together, gauge and decide the dimensions of the underlying piece of art. Then, Chris uses her mosaic magic on the piece. Her art form is very time and labor intensive. It's not simple and easy to cut and perfectly apply those tiny mosaic tiles," Palmer said. "After she is finished, she delivers the piece to me to complete. Looking back, it always works like a charm. Both Chris and I operate in our own spheres of creation and then are both pleased with the way the styles complement one another."

The two artists have created four large pieces specifically for the Nave exhibit, he added. In addition to those pieces, art pieces done individually by Palmer and Silkwood will also be on display.

"I definitely enjoy collaborating with Chris. Art can be so solitary," Palmer said. "I really think genius is born when two people come together to create. Two people can create this third entity."

The Nave Museum is open from 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. For more information about the Solo & Collaborative Exhibit of Chris Silkwood and John Ross Palmer, call 361-575-8227.



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