Book and Wheel Works : artist’s statement . cv | Oscar Melara . Kate Connell
As a pair of collaborating artists who are also a bus driver and a librarian, we see our artwork as a public service with the same intention as our day jobs—to work together with our community.
The experience of our daily lives is the focus of our collaborative work, which began in 1995. Our first joint undertaking, The Nacimiento Project, centers on our artistic and cultural community, our second, Our Work Life, was organized around the people we work with. Made in the Portola, our third collaboration, is centered on the people we live with. Our projects either evolve over several years of engagement or are ongoing annual events. Together we have produced community story telling projects that take the form of installations, murals, exhibitions and events. Our work makes use of a variety of media, from digital to ceramic. Our roots go back to the late 1960s and 1970s in the arts community of San Francisco’s Mission District where we first began to do community-based artwork.
In addition to collaborating with each other, we have collaborated with writers, musicians, a transit system, an archive, libraries, cultural festivals and trade unions. Our individual work has been shown internationally, is in university collections and has been funded by councils, foundations, and businesses.