1. an area or ridge of land that separates waters flowing to different rivers, basins, or seas.
2. an event or period marking a turning point in a course of action or state of affairs. (a turning point, milestone, landmark)
What that means to us:
We are looking to definition #1 as a literal use of the term watershed, the 757 is surrounded by water, there’s something I’ve heard about it sinking beneath sea level, if you’re from around here you can probably make this correlation pretty easily.
Now, its second definition is where it starts to get interesting. Remember the NEON district? It’s a place for artting. The wonderful city of Norfolk has been tirelessly working to organize and develop an area, a recognized vicinity where creative stuff happens. However, things have come and things have gone, my friends. And it’s not been for lack of effort! We like art around here, but we might not be making enough of it. And for those of us that are, well, not to be blunt but no one’s buying our sh*t.
WE WANT AN EXPERIENCE!
And lucky for us, art has stretched itself well beyond the parameters of the rectangular canvas in the past few decades, we’re just catching up. Leading me into what Watershed – this imaginary hub of transient creativity and juices that we are working pathetically hard to make a tangible space – a little slice of heaven where art comes off the walls. Watershed wants to produce art that becomes a visceral experience, the tantalizing threesome of art, philosophy and psychology: conceptual art.
What is conceptual art?
(google it but I found this article kinda cute)
And let’s take it a step further and let’s make it a group affair. Here is a concept for one of our Watershed art classes:
Group Impromptu Drawing:
Imagine a 15-foot long sheet of paper is rolled out across a huge room’s cement floor. And there is a group of eager individuals, some of which are seasoned and self-proclaimed “artists” and some use the ole “I can’t even draw a stick figure!” excuse to convey that they have zero to no experience with drawing, at least not by art academia’s standards. Now, they are each given a mark-making utensil. This can be a pen, pencil, paintbrush, cigarette butt – it doesn’t matter as long as it makes a mark, people! And they are then asked to move around and all about this paper canvas on the floor without ever lifting their mark-making utensil and they all must do it at the same time. Picture that. That looks like a mess, y’all. But it’s a mess I’d really want to watch.
Watershed’s art is not about:
The end product, the thing you hang on the wall or selling a tangible work of art at all (although this Group Impromptu Drawing thing would definitely be hung up on the wall, I can’t speak to how sellable that painting would be, but I digress).
Watershed Art House’s mission is:
To give you an experience, to challenge your mind, to see what something is about rather than what it looks like. But we want to be off-canvas even more than this.
We want lecture series. We want artist talks. We want book clubs. We want big brother/sister art programs. Watershed wants to provide the experience of art academia to everybody. Classes will be offered in a variety of media, pulling in sound art, installation art, interactive art, performative art, we want to get the 757 up to speed on where art has been the last twenty years. We want to make art sooo incredibly touchable.