The Locker Project consists of sixteen mixed media prints completed in anonymous collaboration with high school students over the course of a year. At the beginning of the school year, Watson placed a gallery-style wall label on an empty locker inviting students to contribute something or alter the contents of the locker in some way. For every day that this happened a work was created in response to the alterations, which were displayed on the classroom wall opposite the locker, the following day. Students began to notice the actions manifesting into a prime location of conversation. As the stage became larger for the commentary the actions became more adventurous and humorous, creating a call-and-response rhythm imbued with the mystery and unpredictability of anonymous interaction. Each work in the Locker Project documents the creative actions inside the locker with a screenprint of the locker’s contents over a collage with descriptive text. Operating within a set of simple constraints, using old supplies and recycled materials (whatever was in the bin that day); each work completed that day. Photographing the contents of the locker, a collage was created from the materials discarded by students and the photo of the locker’s contents screenprinted over the over the collage. Each work featuring Letraset text at the bottom of the paper as an itemized list or a commentary on the locker’s contents. The works are as much portrait of the space as documents of actions.
Jack Watson is an artist and educator living in Durham, NC. He received a BA in Studio Art and Art History from James Madison University and an MA in Art Education from Ohio State University. Watson’s work explores the intersection of visual art, education and activism by involving the spectator (in many cases, students) in its creation. From the Locker Project, an anonymous artistic dialog with high school students, to Media Remix, a Snapchat experiment co-facilitated with Mark Bradford, Watson seeks to create unexpected collaborations that disrupt the routines that govern shared spaces. Watson teaches Visual Art and Art History at Durham School of the Arts in Durham, North Carolina.