Spring Break Collaboration

The finished piece

Arlo's marker center surrounded by my tempera paint.

Arlo's corner (age 5)

Linus's corner (age 7)

Sybil's corner (age 2)
Nephews and niece visited for spring break. We each took a corner of the kraft paper and drew with  markers. Arlo also drew the center of the circle. I then went in with tempera paint and colored pencils and pulled it together, attempting to unify four very different drawing styles. I think it works!

CD Weavings for the Kansas Capitol

PSU Art for Elementary classes made weavings on CDs for a collaborative project by PSU alumnis Deanna Morgan and Kylee Baldetti. They will be on display in the State Capitol in March for Youth Art Month.

The Penners

I love my friend Erica. She and the Fredeen family were family friends of mine growing up in our hometown of Roeland Park, KS. Now her own clan, Darin, Emory and Adeline Penner have only expanded the circle of life and love. A few years ago, a voraciously progressive form of MS (they think), began to deteriorate Darin's body. It's been devastating, but they have shared every step and are surrounded by a generous community. My miniscule part this year was to facilitate a collaborative piece with them in their home. My only instructions were that each of their hands were traced, and their names were there. I jumped in, too. Wonderfully, Darin was able to participate. We had a blast. For Christmas, I had the piece framed (thanks, Cleo Copeland of Cleo's Frames in Joplin). They love it, as I love them. Count your blessings, people. And keep this precious family in your thoughts and prayers.


My nephew Arlo and I have been working together on drawings for a couple years now. I thought his entering kindergarten would radically change his style, but it hasn't. He has only gotten more prolific and determined. We take turns drawing; he'll make a shape or line, then I will. Until Arlo decides it is finished. He wanted to play tic-tac-toe, so we did. Then turned that into a drawing. 

The Beehive is Back

2 YEARS SINCE A POST. Shame on me, but not to fear, COLLABORATIVE ART is still here! I've realized that just because there is not one studio, I have not lost interest slightly in collaborative projects. There is a clear delineation between my personal studio work (Josie Mai Studio) and my job as Associate Professor of Art Ed at PSU (Pittsburg State University Department of Art). Oh, the gallery I've opened out of my house, (Gallery 831). Then there is my personal fb page and website (Call and Response). This is the life of an artist, seeing the common threads, committing to them, finding the space and people and materials to make stuff. So from here on out, this page will be devoted to the recording of collaborative projects, mostly that I have initiated and created. This photo is important: it's a detail of Pollock's Convergence, the first painting where he introduced colored drips into the black and white drip paintings. Sometimes it's these slight shifts of what we already do and love that brings new life.

Leaving 509 Grant..Going to???

Big news. The lease is up. With a heavy heart, I'm deciding to leave the space. It is simply not cost-effective and I'm not able to spend as much time in it as I would like. I was fortunate to break even for most of the year, but the utilities for that old building were just way out of my price range. The Beehive was lucky to have a sub-leaser the last few months. The last couple weeks I've moved all the art supplies and furniture to my home. Now my garage is full of tables and chairs! They are just waiting for the right place and space to be useful to the community. 

I am not giving up the business itself, and will continue to post projects, exhibitions, and opportunities that involve collaboration and the wider community. Meanwhile, I will also be posting at my personal blog about other projects and observations: http://josiemai.blogspot.com/

I am taking the time to consider the best next move. I'm wondering if I can establish the Beehive in the art department on campus, forging a partnership between the public and MSSU. I think that could be fruitful, and centrally located. I could continue to offer workshops and summer camps at times when my classroom is not being used for university students. Or perhaps partnering with Spiva Center for the Arts, who has already been so supportive of my art education initiatives. I'm excited for the next phase, and I am thankful for those of you who have participated in forging this small but mighty idea.

Please continue to support local arts endeavors and businesses with your money and time. It is vital to our quality of life in Southwest Missouri. Thanks!

2013 MAEA District 9 (K-12) Art Show

Joplin, Monett, Carthage, Webb City, Neosho, Carl Junction, Diamond school districts represented. Shots are of the opening reception. Collaborative work is a Robert Delaunay piece by participating art teacher and my 3 and 5 year-old nephew.  Thanks to all who participated. It was a huge hit!