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Red Brick Gallery Poetry and Art Exhibit “EKPHRASIS: Writers Responding to Artists”

The Red Brick Gallery and Gift Shop was founded In 2011 by botanical watercolorist and former Westinghouse senior executive Donna Edmonds, establishing it as a venue to display and promote the work of visual artists and artisans from the region in an eight-month season from April to December. In the first floor Gift Shop, RBG Cooperative artists display their work throughout the season in a variety of media. The Upstairs Gallery in the historic building once owned by the Fox family on Main Street in Foxburg features six guest exhibits each year and has been an ideal location for pairings of the arts – such as visual arts and poetry exhibits and jazz and poetry readings.

In his second year as Artistic Director of the Red Brick Gallery, acclaimed western Pennsylvania landscape painter Jason Floyd Lewis has curated a season with several collaborations, including this between writers of the Bridge Literary Arts Center and visual artists of Arts Oil City and the region: “Connecting artists with one another and with a greater audience, is one of the most exciting things about what is happening at the Red Brick Gallery.”

Opening on Sunday, June 2 with a poetry reading and wine/cheese reception from 4 to 6 PM is an exhibit featuring fifteen poets and fifteen visual artists from the region, “EKPHRASIS: Writers Responding to Art.” Inspired by frequent ARCA poet colleague and long-time Clarion University professor now affiliated with the Bridge Literary Arts Center, Phil Terman said:

“The literary landscape between Erie and Pittsburgh is one of Northwest Pennsylvania’s best kept secrets, housing an ever-evolving community of writers inspired by the diverse people, places, and atmosphere of our unique region. The Bridge Literary Arts Center is thrilled for the exceptional opportunity to partner with our area’s inspired visual artists to create what the Greeks called “ekphrasis,” crafting a collaborative work of art. The exhibit runs weekends from Friday, May 31 to Sunday, June 30.

Pairings of writers and visual artists in “EKPHRASIS: Writers Responding to Art” include: Brady Buchanan responding to artist Karl Jacobson’s Coal Tipple; Raymond Gerrard Bugay to James Stewart’s Young Poet; Cory Childs to Richard Sayer’s Weary Christ; Cindy Eckert to Andrew Hazelton’s Gliding; Austin Gray to Kathe Umlauf’s Screech Owl; Aster Grim to Marcy Hall’s World Bearing Turtle; Byron Hoot to Keith Hileman’s Autumn; Tracy Lander-Garrett to Jamie Hunt’s October Sunrise with Fog Rolling Downstream; Garth Porter to Mary Hamilton’s Journey; John Miller to Greg Clary’s Bashful Cow; Barbara Rumore to CJ Hurley’s River Alph; Deborah Sarbin to Rafi Perez’s Source of Happines; Juanita Smart to Anne Cutri’s Sun Drenched Vineyard; Phil Terman to Mike Hoover’s One of the Apples; and Patricia Thrushart to Julia McCray’s Peekaboo Moon.

The June 2nd poetry reading from 4 to 6 PM is a perfect opener for the Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts concert at 7 PM in Lincoln Hall featuring the powerful self-revelatory lyrics and boundary-breaking bluegrass music of BECKY BULLER and her Band from their newest album – JUBILEE – released on May 17. Becky Buller is an acclaimed national touring Grand Ole Opry and 10-time IBMA singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who has written songs for three Grammy award-winning albums. To reserve tickets, call 724-659-3153 or buy online: alleghenyriverstone.org

Jason Floyd Lewis said of this celebration of literary and visual arts, “When I began discussing this collaboration with poet Phil Terman of the Bridge Literary Ats Center, I saw it as an opportunity to connect our audience, and our cooperative members at the Red Brick Gallery, with a broader range of artists and writers than ever before. I requested assistance from co-curator Barbara Pierce of Arts Oil City. Bringing her experience with collaboration and arts promotion, she was able to put me in contact with several established regional artists with whom I was not familiar. For example, some members of the Roycroft collective, the Northwest Pennsylvania Artists’ Association, and participants in the artist relocation program in Oil City, have been included in this exhibit. Thanks to Barbara, we together have collected a distinctive group of artists from all over Northwest Pennsylvania.  

The poetry facet adds a unique dimension to the visual arts exhibit. I imagine this will be a new experience for many of our viewers. And what an intimate relationship has been established between two creators!  The process of contemplating another’s artwork and composing a response - and the opportunity to hear a poem written specifically about your own work - this is something special. 

I hope this exhibit will foster connectedness and build bonds between the creators, and with our audience. I know it will serve as a celebration of the diverse creative talent that is flourishing in our region!”

The RBG is located a 17 Main Street in Foxburg, PA 16036, with weekend hours Fridays, 1-6 PM; Saturdays, 11 AM to 7 PM; and Sundays, 12 noon to 5 PM.

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