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Collaborations between artists in the IOEMA Collection started with Michael Hoffee sending Mikey Welsh a canvas on three different occasions. The first time, the canvas disappeared in Mikey's studio, probably painted over. The next two are below. You can see the result below but for me, they have been one of the best surprises of the site and one I never expected. Hoffee did another with Francesco Garieri in the first international effort and then again with Stephen Judges, both in France. Each time, I was shocked by the generosity and humbled that the site had somehow fostered the connection. Lately, other artists have gotten into the act, with Stephen Judges/Steve Murison making an amazing work on board and Connie Sales/Khara Oxier completing one of the most powerful works in the collection.

2008 IOEMA Collection
Michael Hoffee/Mikey Welsh
Rock Some Magic/Destiny 74"x62" house paint, oil paint, acrylic, oil stick, marker on canvas

As I answered the cell and Mikey talked, it all sounded so simple. "John, how you doin'?", he asked. I was standing in a ticket line with Mrs. Outsiderart at Bush International Airport waiting to see if I would be able to fly home. I was real glad to hear Mikey's voice. "I'm doin' good, Mikey", I said, "I miss you." Mikey and I didn't meet physically but I would talk or write to him whenever I could. "Yeah, I miss you too. Hey, I got some good news for you", Mikey said. "Me and Hoffee did a collaboration for you. I think you're gonna like it. It's finished so I just need your address again man." Everything after that hazes up. My mind went blank, the itch rested just above my skin and I could feel my heart straining to move around my body. As Mikey talked on, described how Michael Hoffee initially reached Mikey with the idea, I thought of the colors bashing against each other but finally finding a resting place. I imagined towering figures blazing with ideas from opposite ends of the country, Welsh in Vermont and Hoffee in California. I thought of the pieces from these two already in my collection and wondered how me. Two days later, at home, I got the box and unfolded the canvas. And unfolded. And unfolded. Sixty-two inches by seventy-four inches. I'm still looking for the right words to say thanks. Unbelievable. Mikey did the left half for the most part and painted over Hoffee's right side with tan paint on the cities and along the bottom on the bridge. If you scroll down and look at the Flowers for Mikey collab, Mikey did it again.


2010 IOEMA Collection
Michael Hoffee/Mikey Welsh
Flowers for Mikey 110"x72" acrylics, house paint on canvas

Again, a collaboration started by Hoffee and sent to Mikey and from Mikey to me. Hoffee's flowers are the fan shaped affairs spread across the canvas and when he sent the unfinished painting to Mikey, the background was all raw canvas. Mikey promptly painted in all the white and made his flowers explosions, with spikes escaping a sometimes rounded center. They look like bombs bursting in air. Mikey repeatedly painted over Hoffee's flowers along the line running up to the left and over painted other flowers, essentially obliterating them. Mikey finished the painting by throwing a white stream of paint at the middle right side. You can still see lots of the raw canvas along the bottom . Both artists signed it lower left and on the back. After this painting, Mikey went on a fast run of large flower paintings that produced some of his best work in a peaceful return to the beauty of his life.


2010 IOEMA Collection
Michael Hoffee/Francesco Garieri
Totem of Insane/Dance with Bulls 84"x84"  house paint, acrylic, oil stick, marker, stuck paper, canvas pieces, and graffiti on canvas

Another collaboration initiated by Michael Hoffee, this painting combines the visions of Francesco Garieri on the left with the work of Hoffee on the right. Starting in France with the hand of Garieri, the seven foot x seven foot painting made it's way half-done to Hoffee in California. Dual titled Totem of the Insane/Dance with Bulls, the painting mixes house paint, acrylic, oil stick, marker, stuck paper, canvas pieces, and graffiti. The art has made a home here at the Ioema Collection through the unique generosity of both artists. This painting is one of three the Hoffee/Garieri combination created. Hoffee kept the second  and Garieri kept the third. Garieri has credited the Hoffee contact and collaboration with a renewed fire of painterly energy Garieri now lives in France.

2013 IOEMA Collection
Steve Murison/Stephen Judges
A Goatly Procession 21.5x32 paint on board


2014 IOEMA Collection
Michael Hoffee/Stephen Judges


2014 IOEMA Collection
Connie K Sales/Khara Oxier
Sing Choirs of Angels/Not Always Kind 33"x43"