Prospects and Provisions
Workingman Collective
June 18 - August 20

Hemphill Fine Arts

Washington DC

Swing, 2011
steel, fir, powdercoat, clay pots and assorted houseplants
selected from Environmental Scientist, Bill Wolverton's study
of plants that clean air of V.O.C.'s, Volatile Organic Compounds.
108" x 110" x 115"
Pack, 2011
fir, oak, waxed canvas, steel, copper
30" x 15" x 8"
Edition of 7

Pack canvas fabricated by Wendy Downs

Swing, 2011detail
Tablecherry, elevated steel track + G scale train, chalkboard,
9 one hour scheduled conversation socials every Wednesday
June 18 - August 20

photo by Max Hirshfeld


Lunch #9
Ben Ashworth


Barrel, 2011
55 gallon container, drain spouts, spigot, custom label, wooden base
52" x 32" x 24", Ed. 7

Watering plants
Ben Ashworth Suzanne Codi

Lloyd "Trapper" Nelson Original Backpack, c 1924
(U.S. patent #1,505,661)

Pack, 2011(detail installation)
fir, oak, waxed canvas, steel, copper
30" x 15" x 8"
Edition of 7

Pack canvas fabricated by Wendy Downs


Prospects, 2011
letterpress, silkscreen, and hand coloring on paper
24" x 18", Ed. 15

Cover, 2011
letterpress and digital print on paper
15” x 18”, Ed. 15


Champion, 2011
installation: 1/2 ping pong table, DVD,
32" video monitor, 6 plants
64" x 50" x 60"


Handshake Ping Pong, 2011
ping pong ball dispenser, 100 matte black ping pong balls
17 1/2" x 8" x 8"

purchase of work includes dispenser, balls, consultation and conceptualization
Contract, 2011
7 notebooks bound and silk screen, handshake
1 1/4" x 3 1/2" x 5 1/2"
Ed. 7
purchase of work includes notebooks, consultation and conceptualization
Thursday July 21
A group of DC poets take over the installation of Swing for a lively and informal reading.
Jessica Cebra & Casey Smith
Katy Bohinc & Adam Marston
Kady Ashcraft & Jim Beane

Emilia Olsen & Christopher Cunningham

Organized by
Casey Smith PHD, visual-vocal artist
Faculty in Arts and Humanities
Corcoran College of Art + Design, Washington, DC.

Exhibition Wall Text
By Casey Smith

The motto of Workingman Collective (WMC), “Your Ideas Are Ours,” is the first indication of the gentle provocation at the center of their project-based work. The four simple words are radically declarative, almost obnoxiously so. The key word, of course, is ‘ours,’ which refers not to the members of WMC, but to a universal ‘we.’ Unsurprisingly, the WMC Web site is administered by an entity with the name ‘Us Are We.’
This inclusivity is apparent in all of their work, starting with Five Mile Line (Butte, 2006) and here in their newest exhibition Prospects & Provisions (WDC, 2011). In fact, whether you like it or not, the fact of you reading this text and entering this gallery makes you a member of WMC. The invitation is implicit.
In art terms we could reference historical movements such as Surrealism and ‘Pataphysics, also more recent fashions and trends such as relational aesthetics and social practice, but that would miss the point. Like all of their work, Prospects & Provisions offers spaces of contemplation and reflection, but not in individual isolation. It’s not a coincidence that tables, places where people come together socially, feature in so much WMC work. Tables make things happen. Work gets done at tables. People talk, drink, eat, argue, and laugh at tables. The table is an invitation. A ping-pong table is also an invitation. A plant-covered swing is an invitation. What you (we) do with these invitations is your (our) business. WMC makes objects, that’s for sure. But the objects are never ends in themselves, they act as catalysts for the construction of social experiences, not merely aesthetic delectation. Their work is characterized by an open sense of play and a denial of the supposed split between craft and concept.