Despite changes in artistic attitudes and predilections, the basic format of the artist's workshop stayed largely the same from the Middle Ages through the 1800s. These workshops consisted of one lead artist and a group of dedicated students who in learning the artistic techniques of a leading artist graduated from apprentice to journeyman to master, at which point they started their own workshops. At some point The workshop became a reflexive space, a combination of the workroom and the study where the act of contemplation was incorporated into the process of painting itself. Small Works and Workshop features artwork by Arnold J. Kemp and students of King School students who, following Kemp's lead, have been incorporating elements of chance and concentrated periods of observation to challenge notions about art. Kemp’s works simultaneously emerged from a residency in the Printmedia Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. with special thanks to artists and professors Ayanah Moore and Oli Watt.
Arnold J. Kemp is an artist with works are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, The Tacoma Art Museum, The Schneider Museum of Art and the Portland Art Museum. He is a 2012 Guggenheim Fellow and has also received awards and fellowships from the Joan Mitchell Foundation, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Art Matters Inc., Printed Matter, Inc., and Portland Institute for Contemporary Art. His work has been recently exhibited in Chicago at Iceberg Projects, in New York at May 68, in Mexico City at Biquini Wax EPS and in Portland at Fourteen 30 Contemporary. Kemp is the Dean of Graduate Studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.