So who are we? Atlantika members want to make work that’s about something, motivated by a belief in the power and value of art. We’d all worked with each other in some combination before, and when we realized we all shared a commitment to addressing social issues through work that inspires us from an aesthetic standpoint and drives our own engagement and activism, we realized there were real opportunities here. To work in a free-form environment, erasing some traditional lines between media and roles that often define our individual professional work. To work on things we care about in ways we care about exploring and promoting. To put our ideas about art and social engagement into practice, with partners equally committed to process and results in such a collaborative spirit. As our conversations emerged we kept coming back to the same question and to the same ethos: how does a collective become more than the sum of its individuals? How does the group enable the individual voice? How can combining artists, writers, and curators in the same group take all of our work in new, different directions?
Both inside of Atlantika and in our own work, everyone does a real diversity of stuff, but we’re all makers, interpreters, and presenters at heart. Atlantika is all about raising questions and making connections, and in doing that we fully embrace a collaborative attitude, including transparency. We’ll offer a more public view of our creative process than is typical, to provide some insights into the process for shepherding work from idea to completion. And we believe this offers opportunities for new ideas, dialog, and critique. In this aspect of our collective intentions, we reach beyond our group to embrace other valued creative people and include them in our circle. Nearly as important as our commitment to process is our conviction to bringing work to completion. We believe strongly that if any of us have the vision or abilities that make us capable of producing something others find interesting, that is needed now.
That’s who we are. Our name reflects that we’re in the mid-Atlantic region and, while our interests are diverse and our focus is international in scope, we do respond to the issues and concerns we find in our region. So as creative folks invested in environmental, community-oriented projects, we naturally gravitated to thoughts about water, specifically the Chesapeake Bay and its ecosystem that encompasses the entire mid-Atlantic region. And that’s where we’ve invested our first collective energies: Watershed.
The Watershed Project explores the environmental, social, and cultural state of the Chesapeake and its surroundings, through visual art and in collaboration with the communities that live there. In the coming weeks, we'll be posting about our process as we lead up to our first exhibition. So check back in with us right here, and in October come see the show at the Boyden Art Gallery at St. Mary's College of Maryland!