MeetUp

 

Adrienne is a collaborator. Is that even a question? I really believe for her kind of work … she is saying that we as a community have amazing ideas.”  –  Excerpt from Nato Thompson’s Conversation on Art, Politics and DEVO, for FLEX IT! Catalog, 3/15

“Toward the end of the show, Adrienne Outlaw, co-curator and artist, introduced badminton into the gallery space. This supported her MeetUp project, which included Capture the Flag, a bread-making group, a Zumba class, a community picnic and more. We set up a portable net that we made available for visitors on a daily basis.  This activity brought palpable change to the galley vibe. The badminton set was extremely popular and people became engaged in the exhibit. The gallery was full of discussion and laughter. People playing were having fun while those who watched encouraged the players and helped to teach the youngsters the proper way to serve. Visitors interacted easily in this now animated space, as strangers met strangers. They remained longer in the gallery, lingering while waiting for friends or for the completion of a match. The social practice art on view in FLEX IT!  benefited from the action activities because it playfully engaged our visitors and let them know that art can be fun. With the addition of the badminton, the exhibition became a playing field of social practice.”  —  Excerpt from Susan Shockley’s ArtFear and Badminton, Observing the Museum Visitor, for FLEX IT! Catalog, 3/15

“Outlaw became interested in bringing people together when she was making fiber casts that required her subjects to sit still for two to three hours. She noticed conversations would develop no matter who she put next to each other. “The art almost became an excuse for me to get people together. I kept putting disparate people together just to see what would happen,” she said.  – Excerpt from Michele Jones’ Parthenon Exhibit Celebrates the Body, for The Tennessean, 8/30/14

“I’m very interested in getting to create more partnerships between artists and the public,” Outlaw says, “so there’s an increased trust and understanding that artists can add another layer to the dialogue about any subject.” … “Social-practice work,” Outlaw explains, notably choosing to call it work rather than art, “is much more concerned with the ability to engage with everyday people. And often it doesn’t really matter to us if those people understand that it’s artwork or not.  –  Excerpt from Laura Hutson’s Look into the Future, for The Scene, 11/20/14

“Adrienne Outlaw’s series of videos serves as both an installation and documentation of collaborations with the Glendale Spanish Immersion School and Casa Azafrán, a community center in Nashville. She filmed activities she organized such as capoeira, Zumba, and Capture the Flag in Centennial Park, as well as dozens of badminton games played inside the Parthenon. She also included portions of other FLEX IT! projects — people pushing the Parthenon as O’Malley’s signs suggest, volunteers mixing mud and straw for Williams’ oven, and Williams collecting yeast for her bread. And as co-curator of the exhibition, she has been a guiding force in every project produced for FLEX IT!. … Clearly Outlaw wears many hats: curator, community organizer, host, writer, grant writer, and of course artist are just a few of them.”  –  Excerpt from Amy Mackie’s Conversation on Art, Politics and DEVO, for FLEX IT! Catalog, 3/15

“On a Sunday in October, artist Adrienne Outlaw organized a game of Capture the Flag that allowed children to be models of wellness. Capture the Flag requires team members to communicate and strategize and rewards different levels of athleticism and skill. Players found themselves conversing more with the people they didn’t know than those they did, and adults relied on the speed and gall of children to race to the opponent’s side and capture the flag, their pursuit of fun guiding them every step of the way. The game quickly became an exercise in community bonding as much as physical resilience and players enjoyed an emotional and spiritual workout to boot. The game was the latest in Outlaw’s social practice work MeetUp, which invites us to consider the ways we exercise health and harmony with each other. At the core of the piece is the concept that individual responsibility can cause a sea change. A subtle shift in our lifestyle choices–honoring ourselves and bodies, valuing the food that we eat, and celebrating movement–can effect change around us, rippling out to transform our society at large.”  —  Excerpt from Erica Ciccarone’s Outlaw’s MeetUps Makes Players Consider What Moves Us, for NYCNash, 10/1/14

“‘But what’s the point?’ That was a question my kids asked when I loaded them into the minivan and drove to Centennial Park for a game of Capture The Flag, which was a FLEX IT! Meet Up. ‘When did you sign us up?’ they asked. ‘Whose team will we be on?’ ‘But we don’t have jerseys.’ To be sure, it wasn’t something we were used to, this intergenerational, mildly competitive game among strangers who wore no uniforms and expected no trophies. After all, I’m usually on the sidelines watching—or at least fretting about how to get everyone fed before bedtime. But quickly enough we pick-up players learned our teammates’ names and were conspiring to steal a hidden flag. ‘Mom, you’re playing?’ my kids asked. Yep. Mom’s playing. In fact, I ran so hard I pulled a muscle. When we got home, the boys told Dad all about it—about sprinting through roses and escaping jail in the colonnade, about Mom actually being pretty good, for a mom. We all agreed it was a great afternoon, and we resolved to play more games—not just the kinds that come with schedules and trophies but the kinds that give us time together.  —  Excerpt from Go Slo-Mo, by Carrington Fox for FLEX IT! Catalog, 3/15

STATEMENT

MeetUp is a series of community events that I organized both in the park and museum, the documentation of which I showed as an evolving nine channel video installation. MeetUp was my contribution to a much larger vision — FLEX IT! My Body My Temple, which I co-curated for the Parthenon Museum and Centennial Park in an effort to engage in dialogue and shared activity with people not only frequenting the museum, but also the park. The exhibition culminated in a catalog.