Tavares Strachan Viewing Room, Marian Goodman Gallery, 2020

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Slated for 2020, the Telluride Foundation in partnership with Ah Haa school in Colorado will debut a newly commissioned monumental public art work by Tavares Strachan. Together, a far-reaching community engagement project, is informed by his long-term collaboration with local residents. The project is conceptually grounded in an obliquely simple message: WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER. As a call for unity, the project gestures to a utopic provocation, but for the artist, it is a call to action. The Together project will incorporate philanthropy, social engagement, conversations, and sculpture.

Tavares chose the phrase WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER to ground this project five years ago. But at this particular...

Tavares chose the phrase WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER to ground this project five years ago. But at this particular moment in time, the universal abstracted text has taken on new significance as a truism for our new local, national and global realities.

This project seeks to bring the community together and to add to the narrative of Telluride. I was interested in shedding light on local issues around housing, climate, food, education, and immigration. It is about coming together to research and address some of these questions at a local level that resonates more broadly in our current climate. In this moment of nationalism, it is particularly difficult to manage global issues without zooming in on local issues.

– Tavares Strachan

 In early March 2020, the discussion surrounding the Together project pivoted as President Trump and every company, organization, entity and individual invoked the phrase. The local Telluride community turned to this text as a banner for this particular social moment. This prophetic public proposition is more than a work of art. It will serve as a historical marker and as an umbrella for ongoing community work to mobilize and effect change in the way only art can do.

We Are All In This Together, a pink neon sculpture by Tavares Strachan, to be installed on the ski slopes of Telluride

The text-based neon sculpture, WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER, is a call to arms: an anthem for our political, social, economic, cultural moment. This universalizing message is humanist and grounded in the idea that collectivity, unity, integrity, and identity are inextricably bound. This is a mode of address—typical of Strachan’s lexicon—that acts as an effort to mobilize community and societal change, and make a gesture of solidarity.

Strachan’s sculpture is far more subversive than its color and anodyne humanist message might suggest. “I’m from the Bahamas, where you don’t have a lot of access to opportunities,” Strachan told me.  “It forces you to think about how different powers are shaped. If you have to say, ‘we’re in this together,’ then I don’t know, are we?”

– Brienne Walsh
In conversation with Tavares Strachan, Forbes, 28 April 2020.

Tavares StrachanWe Are in This Together (Multi), 2019
Cobalt, super blue, sky blue, traffic light green, green, clear gold neon, transformers
16 x 73 x 3/8 in. (40.6 x 185.4 x 0.8 cm)
Edition of 9 plus 2 artist's proofs 
(24010)

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Tavares StrachanWe Are in This Together (Shades of Blue), 2019
Violet, cobalt, super blue, sky blue, white neon, transformers
16 x 73 x 3/8 in. (40.6 x 185.4 x 0.8 cm)
Edition of 9 plus 2 artist's proofs 
(24011) 

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Tavares StrachanWe Are in This Together (Pink), 2019
Pink neon, transformers
16 x 73 x 3/8 in. (40.6 x 185.4 x 0.8 cm)
Edition of 9 plus 2 artist's proofs  
(24012) 

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Tavares StrachanWe Are In This Together (Silkscreen), 2020
Pigment on moab paper
24 x 36 in. (61 x 91.4 cm)
Edition of 60 plus 6 artist's proofs  
(24013)

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Tavares Strachan

About Tavares Strachan
Strachan was born in 1979 in Nassau, Bahamas, and currently lives and works between New York City and Nassau. He received a BFA in Glass from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2003 and an MFA in Sculpture from Yale University in 2006.

Strachan’s work has been featured in numerous solo exhibitions including You Belong Here, Prospect 3. Biennial, New Orleans; The Immeasurable Daydream, Biennale de Lyon, Lyon; Polar Eclipse, The Bahamas National Pavilion 55th Venice Biennale, Venice; Seen/Unseen, Undisclosed Exhibition, New York; Orthostatic Tolerance: It Might Not Be Such a Bad Idea if I Never Went Home Again, MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge; among others. He has been the recipient of numerous awards including 2019-20 Artist in Residence at the Getty Research Institute, 2018 Frontier Art Prize, and the Allen Institute’s inaugural artist-in-residence in 2018, 2014 LACMA Art + Technology Lab Artist Grant, 2008 Tiffany Foundation Grant, 2007 Grand Arts Residency Fellowship, and 2006 Alice B. Kimball Fellowship.

Working with The Telluride Foundation, the Together project will include philanthropic efforts including fundraising for local food banks. To join us in these efforts, we encourage you to help the larger Colorado community one meal at a time by visiting the FEEDING COLORADO website.

About the Telluride Foundation
Since 2000, the Telluride Foundation has worked to improve the quality of life for residents, the workforce and visitors of the Telluride region. We meet the challenges of today and tomorrow with a focus on serving people, strengthening community organizations, addressing emerging and unmet needs and bolstering our region’s economic ecosystem; all to Make More Possible for everyone living and working in the Telluride region. The community is our work.

About the Ah Haa School for the Arts 
The Ah Haa School for the Arts is a vital component of the Telluride community, inspiring artists and audiences since 1991. A center for creative expression, Ah Haa offers diverse inspirational multi-media classes for both youth and adults alike. Artmaking is an integral part of humanity, challenging us to think about life in new and different ways, imagining a more hopeful future. Together is a call out to our community – and the larger world – to find connection and common ground through direct communication and action. Ah Haa will engage community members in this project through participatory events and programming for all ages – lectures, writing, performance, object making – to create a dialogue and self expression inspired by the text. Our hope is that participants and observers alike will be inspired to come together to create a better world.

PLEASE NOTE
Due to Covid-19 works will ship as soon as practicable after non-essential businesses reopen.  

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