Art, Epic Journeys, Collaboration and Community (plus Sketchy Cat)

Three Young Women Travel to the West Coast, Bringing Collaborative Art to Cities Along the Way

To be a young artist, to be on a creative mission in 2015 is a grand adventure! These three graduates of MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art) in Baltimore, are “Wolf-Cat Collective” which is the sum of the collaborative efforts of Justine Cady, Cassis Pitman, and Valentina Elise (and Sketchy Cat) on their journey to the Mojave desert by way of the North American south.

Three artists on a road trip

Left to right: Cassis, Justine, Valentina

These ambitious artists are on a road trip from Frederick to Los Angeles, with plans to stop in different cities along the way, making art for free with people… collaborative drawings and the like. Their objective is to create interactive, meaningful experiences, with art supplies and tools carried with them, and to broadcast their ventures as a virtual road trip.

Another Virtual Adventure to Enjoy!

To enjoy a vicarious road trip, all you need to do is follow their adventure on their Tumbler Blog, Wolf-Cat Collective.

“At best, we employ narrative and cyberspace as a vehicle to reconnect the present mindedness to collective consciousness. At the very least, we are 3 creatives on an adventure with a vision, and a cat that doesn’t know she’s a cat.”

sketchy cat

Sketchy Cat


This project is an outgrowth of Justine Cady’s thesis project as a recent graduate of MICA, wherein she created a traveling art-making-space to bring collaborative art-making into areas previously void of art. Parks, driveways, public spaces, anywhere she was allowed.

In this adventure, these artists will bring art and painting supplies, musical instruments and tools for the free use of local residents in several cities: Chattanooga, Decator, Houston, Dallas, Mesa, San Diego, and Los Angeles are just a few…with the culmination of the trip ending in a pop-up art event in San Francisco. Large, collaborative pieces are the idea, while people who have little opportunity will be able to explore and express themselves through art and music.

Social Connection – Social Impact

It’s long been known that artful expression and creativity, when nurtured and encouraged, are necessary for people to develop to their fullest. In a day and age when school budgets are cut and stressed, and people have less time and energy to devote to art education, communities are coming together to find solutions for this lack. Artists of all genres are giving back and finding ways to bring awareness, as well as experiences, and doing so quite effectively.

In 2011 the NEA developed a national task force to study and make recommendations on the subject of art and human development, lifelong learning and individual well-being. Some of their findings:

  • Neuroscience research showing strong connections between arts learning and improved cognitive development;
  • Small comparison group studies show the arts’ contributions to school-readiness in early childhood;
  • Data analyses demonstrates positive academic and social outcomes for at-risk teenagers who receive arts education; and
  • Several studies report improvements in cognitive function and self-reported quality of life for older adults who engage in the arts and creative activities, compared to those who do not.
  • Older adults participating in a chorale program reported higher overall physical health, fewer doctor visits, less medication use, fewer instances of falls, and fewer health problems when compared to a control group.

These findings show the connection between artistic endeavors and human development…but what about Community? Community is built on relationships. Relationships take time and opportunity. Collaborative community art experiences are certainly a wonderful opportunity to create together, express together, and meet someone new.

If you would like to support the grand adventure, consider purchasing some of their artwork, like handmade jewelry, prints and patches, or a Sketchy Cat poster!  Learn more about these artists, or just follow along on their journey.

Cargo Collective/Valentina Elise

Bon Voyage and Safe Travels!

Three Artists on a Road Trip



Karen Highland

I'm a real estate agent, real estate blogger, communications director, a wife, mom (empty nest - yay!), dog-lover, and wine-lover. Frederick Md is a great place to live, work and brag about! The Highland Group. 301-401-5119 Google

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.