Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Studio Art Major, German Minor
After a term studying abroad in Flensburg, Germany, Alyssa Kennamer '14
extended her time in the country by spending the summer interning with
Ida-Nowhere, an art collective in Berlin. In addition to her internship, Alyssa had a solo art exhibition at the collective that opened in August. Her work as a studio art major helped prepare her to create a show that utilized painting, fiber, and performance, called "Pull Together."
What is Ida-Nowhere?
Ida-Nowhere is a non-profit arts/culture collective. It was conceived by a couple from Vienna, who moved to Berlin and wanted to realize a space in their neighborhood where arts could be shared and exchanged. WG (Wohngemeinschaft), or apartment-sharing communities, are popular in Berlin and in Germany, and Ida-Nowhere is almost an extension of that idea. At its most basic it's a meeting place, a watering hole, and it's up to the people/participants to transform the space/environment. It's a junction for ideas to be tried and made. (Photo at right: Painting by Alyssa Kennamer '14 included in her solo art exhibition, "Pull Together.")
What was the coolest part of your internship?
The execution of my show was cool, and I was astounded by the support I got for it. But otherwise I really enjoyed getting to know Berliners and talking with them at the Stammtisch or taking a coffee break while working in the studio -- just to get a bigger picture of their life and their stake in Berlin.
Can you cite an example of how your experiences at Knox benefited you in your internship?
During fall term 2012 at Knox, I had the tremendous opportunity to collaborate with an artist-in-residence to the College, Danielle Kimzey, and fellow peers to make a public painting on the wall of the Box gallery in downtown Galesburg. That experience had really sparked a desire to continue seeking work collaboratively, which guided both my later performance work in Berlin with Harry Golem and my work with the team of artists at Ida-Nowhere.
Shadowing Open Studio last winter with Mark Holmes and my advanced studio classes with Tony Gant and Lynette Lombard were, of course, essential in preparing me to build a body of work in Berlin. (Photo at left: Alyssa Kennamer '14 and her collaborative partner Harry Golem are pictured after the performance portion of Kennamer's art exhibition.)
How do you think this internship will benefit you you in terms of your education, future career plans, personal development, etc.?
My six weeks in Berlin were a good marker for the points at where art and the everyday life meet. I wasn't working with the galleries or the art market -- I was working with Berliners who have to make art. Some were students, who worked office jobs on the side. Some had work that was more aligned to their medium, like working with photographers or in printmaking studios. But they were working only so much as to get by. The rest was focused on their place of Ida-Nowhere and how to continually foster the community there and to keep striving to make work together. I don't how this will influence my future yet, but I know there will always be a place for me there in Berlin, if I choose to go back.
Photo Below: Alyssa Kennamer '14, right, helps set up a talk show installment at the Zwischenraum Arts Festival over the summer in Germany.