Collaboration With Sterling Witt

How It Began

Sterling Witt and I first met at an opening reception for a show of his artwork at a now defunct gallery in Kansas City, KS about 6 years ago.  I arrived toward the end of the night.  Most of the patrons were long gone and in the most casual of settings he and the few people left were sitting around, sipping wine and engaged in conversation interspersed with Sterling’s singing original songs while accompanying himself on an old acoustic guitar that appeared to have been well used.

Following a brief introduction by the gallery curator we became friends almost instantly.  For several months we corresponded on Facebook until our next in person meeting when he invited me to his birthday party at his farm near Freeman, MO.

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Sterling Witt with Dave Michael, author, at a gallery opening for a show of his “Wild Women” Paintings

While there I photographed the event, his home which is an extension of his art, the guests and the activities which included a pot luck dinner, a musical performance and a giant bonfire.   I also made some video recordings, a medium that was new to me at the time.

In days following the party I worked diligently editing both the images and video into two short productions which I posted on Vimeo and shared with my new friend.  Being a total novice at video production I believe my editing was more than a bit primitive, but Sterling was impressed enough to ask if I were interested in collaborating with him.

I had reservations about my ability to do a quality job.  Sterling seemed to have more confidence in my abilities than I had, but he persuaded me to try, and we began what has become a series of video slide shows using the imagery of his visual art accompanied by his original musical compositions as soundtracks.

Our collaboration began with a face to face meeting where we outlined what we intended to do.  From that point much of our work together was conducted online, by text messages and on the phone.  Sterling sent image and audio files and I edited.

In the early stages working together was just a little rocky as we each had our own ideas about how to proceed.   Eventually what might have been described early on more as a competition than collaboration came together and our first jointly produced video, “Wild Women,” became a reality.

Images and text Copyright 2016 Dave Michael.  No portion of this article may be reproduced without permission of the author.

Visit Sterling’s website at http://www.sterlingwitt.com

 

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