Artists Tim Rollins and Kids of Survival Bring Collaborative Art Exhibition to Colorado State University

Note to Editors: Tim Rollins and K.O.S. student artists will be available for interviews during their visit to Colorado State April 5-9. Linny Frickman, Hatton Gallery director, can talk about the new movement toward collaborative art making and about how the university has modeled a pilot program after K.O.S. To arrange for interviews, contact June Greist at (970) 491-1194.

Colorado State University will host an exhibition by Tim Rollins and K.O.S., or Kids of Survival, a collaborative art project that has won international acclaim since its beginning in the South Bronx.

The community art project, called the "Art and Knowledge Workshop," started in the early 1980s when artist and teacher Rollins formed a collective with his students. Rollins and his group of inner-city students, ages 9-25, use literature to inspire their artwork. Choosing books with themes that speak to adolescents, they develop images to increase their understanding of the text. The project helps youth boost self-esteem, increase literacy and stay in school.

"Tim Rollins and K.O.S.: Fifteen Years of Art and Teaching" will open March 22 and run through April 30 at the Hatton Gallery in the Visual Arts Building at Colorado State. The exhibition will include a lecture by Rollins at 7 p.m. April 6 in the Lory Student Center Theatre. On April 5, Rollins and two K.O.S. student artists will present a gallery talk at noon in the Hatton Gallery. The talk will be followed by a reception for the artists. All events are free and open to the public.

Tim Rollins and K.O.S. have been featured in dozens of national and international exhibitions, including solo and group shows in New York City and exhibitions in California, England, West Germany, Switzerland, Mexico, Italy, Japan and Washington, D.C. Pieces of the artists’ work are part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art and the artists are sought by collectors. The group also travels nationally and internationally to lecture and assist with community-based art projects.

"Tim Rollins and K.O.S. have ignited community-based art projects around the world," said Linny Frickman, Hatton Gallery director. "Rollins’ work has provided marginalized youth an outlet for self-expression and a vehicle to achieve success. The project has benefited his own students, as well as many kids who have participated in programs inspired by K.O.S."

A pilot program started last fall by Colorado State’s art department is modeled partially after Tim Rollins and K.O.S. The after-school program is designed to allow elementary students to create art and improve academic skills in the process. The program, called "It’s a Gas!" is directed by Colorado State faculty members Frickman and Patrick Fahey and serves about 30 students at Garfield Elementary School in Loveland. The children meet twice weekly for collaborative art-making sessions currently led by art teacher Valerie Lloyd. Colorado State students enrolled in a service learning seminar called "Art, Diversity and the Community" assist the children with art projects as well as with academics, homework and reading.

Rollins and two student artists will direct a workshop for "It’s a Gas!" participants based on the Greek playwright Aristophanes’ "The Frogs." Participants also will visit the Tim Rollins and K.O.S. exhibition at Colorado State.

The "Tim Rollins and K.O.S.: Fifteen Years of Art and Teaching" exhibition is part of the Colorado State art department’s Critic and Artist Residency Series, a program that brings national and international artists and art critics to campus. The Critic and Artist Residency Series was created from an anonymous $1 million endowment given to the art department early in 1997. The program was developed by the art department as a way to put students, faculty and the community in touch with the latest creative thinking and practices in the art world.

For more information, call the Hatton Gallery office at (970) 491-7634.