Art collaboration

Tim Carmany and Dyanne Williams, with their collaborative collage piece “Steve McCurry’s Afghan Girl,” were voted the 2016 winners of the Canton Arts District All-Stars exhibition. This year’s All-Stars competition attracted works from more than 75 participating artists.

Tim Carmany and Dyanne Williams, with their collaborative collage piece “Steve McCurry’s Afghan Girl,” were voted the 2016 winners of the Canton Arts District All-Stars exhibition. This year’s All-Stars competition attracted works from more than 75 participating artists.

Dyanne Williams:
Dyanne Williams has been working with mosaics for about 16 years. The North Canton native got her start in Los Angeles, where she created fine art pieces and collaborated with interior designers, architects and homeowners on custom architectural installations. Her work can be found all over the world, and she has created pieces for Delta Airlines, Red Bull and Rummage Boutique.

Last year, Williams, who is a teaching artist for ArtsInStark, opened a new mosaic studio, Dyanne Williams
Mosaics, at 514 Fifth Street NW in the downtown Canton Arts District.

Tell me about your art. How did you get started?
I really started mosaics on a whim.

I had done other kinds of art, and I was acting at the time. I had a free day and decided to make a mosaic. I made a horrific mosaic with stuff I found at Home Depot … but I figured out what I wanted to do. I’m self-taught.

I was making my art and figured I’d have to go the interior route, when my neighbor, she’s an interior designer for celebrities, was outside while I was photographing (a piece). She said she had work for me. I realized I could market my work for interior designers, homeowners and by doing architectural work.

What brought you and your art back to Stark County?
To be closer to my family. I lived in LA my entire adult life. If I’d put more thought into it, I might not have left, but all of a sudden one day, I decided it was time to move back close to my family.

It’s been rougher (than I thought). In my head, I was like ‘Oh, I’ve got a successful art business out here and I’ll just go out there and (continue that).’ It took a lot longer than I thought. I’m just now getting settled.

If I’d thought about it too much, I probably wouldn’t have moved, but I’m glad I did. It’s good. Being close to my family is great. ArtsInStark is amazing. I’m a teaching artist with them, and I’d wanted to do that out in LA.

The people here are really great. The people here are so supportive and friendly. LA is so spread out and so busy—you barely have time to see your friends, let alone feel there’s a community, and here, there is that community.

You worked with Tim Carmany on “Steve McCurry’s Afghan Girl.” Can you talk about that project? What was it like collaborating?
It was the first time I’ve collaborated with another artist. … It’s a little different collaborating with interior designers because they don’t know the medium.

I’ve never done collage before, and Tim took the lead on doing that. We worked to our strengths. I focused on details; he focused on contouring for the face and overall shapes … We were really happy with it.

Are you working on any big projects right now? What can folks look forward to?
Tim and I are working on doing a series together. We’re going to have a show at The Hub when we’re finished. We’re doing five more pieces collaboratively, then working on a few of our own and doing a show. It’s going to be collage mosaic style.

Personally, I’m working on—I think it’s going to be really awesome—a plaque for a Spanish revival home in LA. It was built in 1927 and given the name Casa de Los Robles (“house of the oak” in English). (The homeowner) wants a commemorative plaque establishing her home …

I’m working on a lot of projects with ArtsInStark for kids. That’s keeping me super, super busy right now.

Tim Carmany:
Tim Carmany has been a presence in the downtown Canton arts district since 2011.

The visual artist, who specializes in glass paintings and large-scale murals, is a teacher with ArtsInStark smARTS program and the owner of The Hub Art Factory, 336 Sixth Street NW in downtown Canton. The nonprofit Hub is a combined studio space and gallery for its residence artists.

Tell me about your art—what kind of work do you do? Where do you draw your inspiration?
I didn’t really go to art school. I’m not too familiar with a lot of artists, a lot of famous artists, but I’ve always been a fan of Andy Warhol’s pop art and Banksy. Their style and the stuff you can say with it. It always seemed very ingrained with the time … It’s a commentary on the time. I guess I like that part of it, and I feel like my stuff is that style.

As far as the medium I use, I keep switching it up. Other stuff, as I’m learning about it, I get more excited about it. The mosaic stuff I’ve done with Dyanne is incredible, and I learn something every time I pick up a new medium. I’m excited to see what I can do with it. Every piece I make, I’m teaching myself how to properly use it.

How have you seen Canton’s arts scene evolve?
A lot (of artists) have left the downtown area since I started. The general energy has gotten better, and more events are popping up, people are doing more public art and that’s great, but as far as artists working … They’re starting to see what it takes to run a business, and the business side has taken over for a while.

That’s not a bad thing. It’s a sustaining thing, but it kind of limits the amount of artists who can just work downtown.

What inspired you to create The Hub?
I like working in a group or at least around different artists. When I was working alone, I just found myself exhausted. I found it hard to stay focused when I was alone.

(The Hub started) just to selfishly create an environment conducive to me working, but once I got into it, I found it really benefits the community to have a space a lot of artists are occupying. They can see different media artists are working on. It’s a good gathering spot not just for resident artists, but people curious and wanting to do something different.

You collaborated with Dyanne Williams on “Steve McCurry’s Afghan Girl.” What was that experience like?
I had no idea what to expect when we started. And at the moment, I was saying yes to everything … When she brought up the idea, I said let’s dive in and do it and figure it out on the way.

She’s working meticulously with tiny pieces, and I’m used to working with large pieces. When it came time to do this, neither of us had worked in this fashion before. She found her niche in the small details, and I was broad strokes … Once we got the image together, it just became fun and an excuse to get together and play with images and hide funny little (visuals) in different places. She’s super easy to work with. Very accommodating. Just a gregarious person, naturally easy to get along with.

Are you working on any big projects right now? What can folks look forward to?
Well, Dyanne and I are working on a dual show together … The (pieces) are all going to be huge; 6 to 8 square feet. I’m hoping to get a mural set downtown this summer. I’ve been fundraising or thinking of fundraising ideas for The Hub. Now that we’re a nonprofit, (I’m working on) getting grants and funds for community classes.