Our physically integrative dance company has a brand new logo! Calling it a “logo” feels insufficient – it is truly a work of art, created lovingly by California artist Kathryn Bishop. Kathryn’s greatest inspiration for her abstract, minimalist figures is movement – the process of creating this piece was a beautiful collaborative dance between Kathryn and, me, AaA director Sarah Leversee.
dance as visual art
Earlier this year, I ordered a print of “Blooming” from Kathryn’s website. I had the crazy thought to ask her to design a logo for us, but I figured an artist of her caliber wouldn’t be interested. Her business card sat on my desk for months – until finally one day I conjured the courage to email her: “(Blooming) has become a very special part of my home. Every time I see it, I feel connected to the softness, flow and power of my femininity and I am so grateful! I love following your work and seeing the amazing things you do with lines – as a dancer, I see your work as movement and it moves me every time.” I told her about our work redefining dancer and asked if she’d be interested in creating a logo for us. To my surprise and delight she said “YES!” and quoted a price that was totally possible for our small non-profit budget.
I went through Kathryn’s awesome Instagram feed to choose some other pieces that resonated with me in relation to this project, and also sent some photos of our dancers moving for context and inspiration. Kathryn sent the first draft: “Taking inspiration from your photos, I created three dancing figures who are light on their toes, reaching up and supporting one another. My idea was to create an abstract A.”
“I love the connection between the dancers through their arms and the idea for it to make an A,” I responded, “the middle dancer is my favorite – her roundness, her focus toward the viewer and how she anchors the other two. I also love how the dancer on the right has her arm around the center dancer and how their heads are together – that connection warms my heart.
“I have a few ideas for making the dancers less able-bodied and more representative of our dancers. (As a fellow creator, it feels uncomfortable to offer this specific feedback – I offer it as how we approach choreography in the company: I create movement as an able-bodied dancer and then as I teach it to my dancers, we discover places that need modification for different bodies and it leads to deeper creativity and collaboration. I hope that feels okay for your process as the “choreographer” in this situation!)”
I asked that the dancers feet be planted on the floor and legs be lower to the floor. I asked that the left figure be replaced with an abstract older male body, seated, that is connected to the other dancers but without his arms fully extended.
We went through a few more rounds of revisions, Kathryn was incredibly generous and patient in fine tuning the figures to fit Art as Action.
About 40 emails back and forth after my first, Kathryn sent me the final work of art.
During the process with Kathryn, I had been working on a new text layout – I wanted to emphasize our identity as a dance company and show movement in the font and design.
Kathryn shared the finished product on her Instagram feed and said “I am so honored and flattered that my work is now connected with this wonderful non-profit organization.”
I am so excited to explore how this powerful work of art can be a tool for redefining dancer – I hope you love it as much as I do!
yours in Art and Action,
Wear your Artivism
Check out our 2019 gear featuring “Redefining Dancer” on the front and our brand new logo on the back! These beautiful shirts are only available until September 3 – order yours now!
SAVE THE DATE:
Reconnect with your Body 8th Birthday
Celebration and Community Class
Sunday September 15, 1-3pm at Colorado Conservatory of Dance