OFF THE HOOK: Summer on the Vineyard means that “everyone is everywhere,” but that hasn’t deterred Sally Taylor from trying to round up supporters for Tuesday’s shindig for her Consenses project.
Five years in the making, Consenses has essentially created an artistic version of the game Telephone where one creative builds on the inspiration of another’s work and then passes it along through their own creation, resulting in a chain of sorts. To date, 150 artists, musicians, photographers, poets, sculptors and others have joined in. Along with the founder’s parents Carly Simon and James Taylor, a slew of others have done their part, including Jimmy Buffett, Natasha Bedingfield, Alison Shaw, BalletBoyz and Michael Nunn, Bjørn Okholm Skaarup (whose hippo ballerina sculptor can be found at Lincoln Center), perfumer Felix Buccellato, jewelry designers Gogo Ferguson and Hannah Sayre-Thomas, poet Honor Moore, fashion designer Carly Hampel and chef Gail Arnold.
Tuesday night participants and supporters will gather for a fund-raiser to help get Consenses’ educational curriculum off-the-ground in Martha’s Vineyard school this fall. The gathering will also help fund next year’s Consenses installation at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art — the Berkshires museum that is better known as MASS MoCA.
Once the pilot program is in place in four school systems, Taylor will be striving to make Consenses a nationwide curriculum, which has been developed with the help of students at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. By the end of 2020, her aim is to reach 4,000 students. “It really is a vehicle of connectivity and for unity because it offers alternative lessons and learning.” A musician and artist, she will be singing for her supper, so to speak with her mother, brother Ben and a few other family members at this week’s event for a crowd of 60 or so.
Open as Taylor is to all types of creatives, she draws the line when potential participants ask who else is involved. “If you’re asking that question, this isn’t for you,” Taylor said. “Artists can’t know who else is participating. That would create a prejudice for them to know that it was from a particular artist.”
The way she sees it, there are no right or wrong answers, just different perspectives — including some that are not always sufficiently expressed by spoken words. Recognizing the force and understanding that can happen when people work together, Taylor said, Consenses “helps people understand their own piece of reality. When they see their version, they can let go a little bit.”