In October 2018, three artists came together to form VINEGAR, an experimental art collaboration in Birmingham, Alabama.
Ryan Meyer, Ann Trondson, and Melissa Yes were drawn to each other by a kind of gravitation or magnetism, each having brought their creative careers to Birmingham after incubating them in other American cities. They each make and champion forms of art that are experimental, participatory, ephemeral, or otherwise expanded beyond conventional boundaries. Meyer, Trondson, and Yes—together, Vinegar—are working to support and expand conversations around art and culture in Birmingham, Alabama, and are taking inspiration from artist-run organizations that have found success elsewhere in the country.
Vinegar seeks to connect Birmingham to a vibrant global network of art and cultural organizations through exhibitions, screenings, artist exchanges, and more. In their first exploratory year, Vinegar is working as a vagabond collective, producing events with the help of friends and organizations who are willing to lend free or cheap spaces and resources. Vinegar is currently seeking a more permanent space for the future.
Meyer was raised between the suburban deep south and the road. He received his MFA from the University of California, Davis and has shown work nationally and internationally.
He has recently been interested in the complexities and absurdities of producing art in (and from) non-traditional art contexts such as the day job, the vehicle, the bowling league, the Skype call, and waffle house.
Ann Trondson’s artistic practice is based in live performance, video, sound, and drawing. Recent exhibitions of her work have been held at Louis B. James Gallery, New York City (2014); College for Creative Studies, Detroit, MI (2013), and MAK Center of Art and Architecture, Los Angeles (2012). Her films have been screened at Salon 94 Gallery, New York (2014) and the Palm Springs Art Museum (2010). In 2014, she was selected to participate in one of two artists fellowships in Giverny, France at the Terra Summer Residency. Previous residences include The Guesthaus Residency, Los Angeles (2012), The Vermont Studio Center (2009), and The Banff Centre (2009). Trondson was born in Murfreesboro, Tennessee in 1976; received her MFA from the University of Southern California; and lives and works in Birmingham, Alabama.
Melissa Yes uses low-brow materials and DIY digital techniques to create multi-sensory, live, and experiential projects that put bodies in physical, cultural, and existential tension. Using destruction as a creative process and vice-versa, Yes considers the interplay of production and consumption in American cultural narratives, gender performance, physical bodies, and occupation of space.
Melissa Yes earned an MFA with an emphasis in sculpture (2017) at the Ohio State University, as well as a BS in biology (2006) and a BFA in fine art (2012) from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Yes lives in Birmingham, Alabama, where she is working as an artist, designer, and educator.