Off the Wall Artist Collective

November 27th, 2014


One afternoon, huddled around steaming lattes in a local coffee shop, Bainbridge Island artists had an off-the-wall idea—starting a local artist collective. One year and 30 members later, Off the Wall Artist Collective has been feverishly creating all mediums of art, from music and film to bronze castings, paintings, fine jewelry, and many others. Pioneered by such locals as Juliette Wallace, Sean Sebastian, Susannah Schaeffer, and Kaylë Steele, the collective is comprised of all-aged and all-experienced artists in the greater Kitsap county area. Off the Wall believes that we all have something to teach each other and can do so through creative expression—especially if that creative expression exceeds the boundaries of commercial standards and ventures into the realm of avant-garde.

Although the island cherishes and nourishes artist culture in the forms of a monthly art walk and various galleries planted across our little rock—not to mention the abundance of inspirational natural beauty and vibrant community—artists in the Off the Wall collective desire to reach beyond watercolor sunsets and driftwood centerpieces. These artists never cease to be possessed by the spirit of art, finding time to create in every hour of every day. By giving themselves assignments that seem like challenges, Off the Wall Artist Collective strives not only to expand their knowledge of all mediums of art, but also about themselves as artists, both individually and as a group. The Nightwalker Series, Off The Wall’s version of “homework,” was created in order to challenge the artists by working within specific frames of time, beginning at conception and working through filming, editing, and scoring. The first episode was created by four artists in four hours.

The Nightwalker Series was born from Pizza Box Productions, the collective’s most recent side project that focuses on filmmaking. BOUND, the production’s first large-scale film, was created by 30 artists, in four separate locations, over seventeen hours, in one day. The film focuses on choices and the consequences of making poor decisions. Members of the collective have lost many close ones due to the dark path of drug use and excess. “We wanted to show how fast young people, especially those who have no sense of self or direction, can be consumed by the glamour of the party scene and fall prey to people with malevolent intentions,” wrote Juliette Wallace, one of Off The Wall’s founders and consistent visionaries. Another project of Pizza Box Productions, titled Life on a Rock, is a seven-minute short “about the hidden culture on Bainbridge Island, and how our youth can continue to sustain culture in an isolated environment,” explained Wallace. The project is still in progress and will be released in February of 2015.

Off the Wall took an unexpected turn at Life on a Rock, as more and more teens became interested in joining the collective. Adult members of Off the Wall have been inspired by these teens’ unfiltered creative visions, causing them to create an avenue for these teens to do more than inspire adults within the collective, but to inspire their peers in the collective’s Teen Group, consisting of artists aged 12 to 19, with a focus on freedom of expression and an emphasis on the completion of individual pieces of work. Off the Wall’s mentor program, separate from Teen Group, is yet another avenue for seasoned artists of all styles and mediums to share their talents with budding artists by hosting seminars, workshops, meetings, and personal feedback regarding individual artists and their growing portfolios.

Keep an eye—and an ear—out for Off the Wall’s next seasonal art show, an exhibition of the musical talents who record and practice in the collective’s musical hub, Bard Rock Studio, as well as art and other musical guests from the Puget Sound area.


Contributed By Christine St.Pierre

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