kin collective group photo

The KIN Collective – Owen Schwab, Michael Slavich, Lizzy Wilson

KIN Collective is a community artist group based in Albuquerque, NM and are best known as the hosts of the Arty Party. Though many members had been collaborating together for years, the group organized as a collective last August. Since then, they have been working to find ways to make art accessible to everyone and to forge connections amongst different facets of the community. The collective is comprised of fifteen local artists, ten are working on their current project, and five are FUSE Makerspace members. Their latest endeavor is CUCKOO BEEST, a large scale roadrunner performance piece for SOMOS 2019. CUCKOO BEEST will be paraded through the event with puppeteers in costumes. It is made out of metal, recycled fabric and materials. During the day it is meant to serve as an icon of New Mexico and our community, at night it transforms into a psychedelic spectacle of light. We sat down with a few members and asked them some questions, here’s what they said:

Tell us a little bit about what you’re making.
“Imagine a giant Roadrunner roaming the streets, singing, dancing, and getting trippy during the night. It will be a grand undertaking and a spectacle of light and psychedelic movement.”

What brought you into FUSE?
“It was the only space that could facilitate our project, not the only but the best. We also knew Dena, Dana, and Manny.”

What was the most valuable thing to you here?
“The people here. The staff has been beneficial and helpful. Shared knowledge and the willingness to share knowledge. Manny offering to help with any insight.”

What does your process look like?
“Concept, sketching, technical sketching into 3D modeling into pricing and ordering then into fabrication. Then when in fabrication figuring things out as you work.”

What advice would you give to someone who might be considering joining/might be considering FUSE?
“Don’t be afraid of the price. Even though it’s a substantial startup price it is worth it in the end because you get access to everything.”

What were the biggest things you learned?
“I know everything.”

What were some complete failures/successes you ran into?
“The welding has been going well.”

What’s your favorite tool?
“The welder.”

How do you see yourself or your business growing? Where would you like to be in the next 5 years?
“We’re primarily artists whose mediums aren’t necessarily large scale or permanent or something you need a workspace to keep in. We want to have a deeper commitment to building, leaning more towards installation than object art.”

What is your proudest moment as a maker?
“When things line up the way they’re supposed to.”

Be sure to check out CUCKOO BEEST by the KIN Collective and at SOMOS 2019 on September 28th. You can donate to their project on kickstarter.