Unprecedented Connection: Art Collaboration during COVID-19

Kefi Collective Exhibit Artwork

Vanderbilt Kefi Collective Artwork collaboration by Calendula Cheng and Isabel Kinney

The Vanderbilt Kefi Collective is a public art organization at Vanderbilt University dedicated to the creation of public art on Vanderbilt campus. Members strive to link that art with the living and learning community that is Vanderbilt. For the last several years, the libraries have been honored to host exhibitions by the Kefi Collective, and this year was no exception, Every artwork in this year’s Unprecedented Connections exhibition was a joint work of two artists who had never met- one partner started the piece and the other finished it. Each pair of artists was assigned a shared symbol— be it a star, a cloud, or a heart— that served as the sole identifier for each participant. As a result, the final reveal of each piece is as much as a surprise to them as it is to the viewer!

The artists’ work demonstrates the power of shared ideas, reminding us that together we can make beauty. Without knowing anything about their partner, each participant was still able to foster a connection through their artwork- augmenting the work that had already been done.

Kefi Collective Artists together in the Library with their pieces.

Artists: Back row (L to R): Jessica Wu, Katherine Xie, Annie Zheng, Jon Ma. Front row (L to R): Rachel Lee, Nazirah Khairi