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Fundraiser Article in The Pink Line Project!

Posted: January 28th, 2010

Soup/Art/Beer: Community Soup Supports Artists Making New Art by Elizabeth Ward

Mary Coble is not what you would call an artist born of convention. Of course, sovaldi sale not many artists are. She is an enthusiastic, uninhibited, lovely individual who seems to always be thinking, “Why not?”

When I met Coble, I was captured by her dedicated vigor and spontaneity of thought. As Red Dirt Studio’s newest artist in residence in Mt. Rainier, MD, she is already making big plans.

On Saturday, February 6, Coble and her artistic collaborator from New York City, Blithe Riley, are hosting a fundraising event called Soup / Art / Beer at Red Dirt Studios. While this event is indeed a fundraiser for Coble and Riley’s next collaborative project in London, the true heart of the event is in its ability to bring a community together for art’s sake. As Coble states, “Of course the fundraising part is exciting, but bringing together a community of people to eat and talk is even more exciting.”

The duo has been invited to participate in the Market Estate Project, an event transforming 100 empty flats in a 1960s housing estate in London into an art production site and exhibition arena prior to its slated demolition. They will live and work at the site, which is a mostly vacant complex, for two weeks in late February.

Their project consists of modifying a section of the housing complex into a kind of set, that they will then use to create a series of performances for video. These video performances will then project back into the space, transforming the space once again through a multi-channel video installation. They are intent on working on this project spontaneously – “responding to the environment and its history as a housing project, its current state as an empty relic, and its future as a vacant demolished lot.”

The only problem left unanswered in this exciting new project? How to get to London.

Thus, Soup / Art / Beer.

As Coble explains, the idea for the community soup came from an experience she had while at a residency in Skowhegan, Maine this past summer, where she met Blithe Riley.  Riley organized an online auction and dance party to raise money for her dental bills that she sustained from a horrible bike accident. Like many artists, she didn’t have dental insurance to help, but the creativity and cooperative spirit of the event inspired the community to raise over half of her total bill.

“The ability to do this for ourselves and hopefully, eventually, for others is extremely empowering!” says Coble.

This fundraiser is more than a “fundraiser” as we see at galas, events, performances, and the like. Instead, it is a community vehicle to raise awareness about the lack of funding and support for U.S. artists creating new work. With this obstacle facing new work, how can we expect for opportunities to be fulfilled unless we can come together and help one another out in cool, new ways like bringing onions and carrots for soup parties?

Soup / Art / Beer will include soup, beer, a presentation and screening of Coble and Riley’s London project, and a raffle. People are encouraged to bring $10 and their favorite soup ingredients for all-you-can-eat-and-drink conversation and food-cutting community fun. Glut Food Co-op is generously donating much of the soup ingredients, and kegs will be provided.

Soup making begins at 3pm. A short video screening and presentation will happen at 5:30pm & 8pm. At 11pm, Coble claims all the kegs must be kicked.

Red Dirt Studios is located at 3706-08 Otis Street, Mt. Rainier, MD 20712.

For questions, contact Mary Coble at

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