Alyssa Kennamer '14

Alyssa Kennamer

Senior

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Studio Art Major, German Minor

Alyssa studied abroad in Flensburg, Germany, and extended her time there by interning with a Berlin art collective and preparing for her solo art exhibition.

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.

Tell us more about the art collective.

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.

Alyssa Kennamer '14 in the art studio

How did your experiences at Knox help 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 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. Also, it was through Todd Heidt and the German Department at Knox that I secured the internship, and I received funding for it through the Richter program and the Stellyes Center for Global Studies.

Did the internship influence your future plans?

My six weeks in Berlin were a good marker for the points at which 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.