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Creating a spark for art
By JOSEPH SITARZ
Saturday, August 03, 2013 8:00 PM
When people attend art galleries around the world, many try to get into the head of the artist and want to interpret what the artist was thinking, what the artist was doing in his life and why the choices made by the artist were made.
Scholars have done this with some of the greatest artists and artworks throughout the years. Unless the artist is still alive and can be asked, no one really knows the answers when such interpretations are pondered.
But there is an interesting movement among artists, writers and musicians taking place internationally via the getsparked.org website ... or Spark: Art from Writing/Writing from Art.
Spark takes place multiple times a year and was founded in 2008 by Amy Souza as a way for her to combine her love for art and writing. She notes, before that, she wasn't successful in that endeavor.
Each Spark is a 10-day project with the results posted on the site.
More than 400 people have participated, including Greenwood's own Amy Alley. There have been more than 1,000 new works of art, writing, video and music created through Spark.
Alley has had her art or poetry as a part of Spark about nine times.
Souza turned to a group of artists she met at the Art League in Alexandria, Va., and writers from Vermont College of Fines Arts, and asked if they would be interested in trading and responding to each other's works.
Many said yes.
In Greenwood, we have our own version of Spark.
For the second year in a row, members of Greenwood Artist and Writer's Guild are exhibiting works at the Arts Center in a show, Mirror Images: Art to Words/Words to Art.
Alley helped plant the seed for the idea of the show. Then, she stepped back and allowed leaders of each guild to make decisions and plans. The result is Mirror Images.
The guilds worked hard to put the shows together this year and last. The show is incredible, not only for the art and prose or poetry, but for sparking everyone's creative juices.
The art is everything from whimsical to weighty. The writing is thought provoking.
Sometimes, it's easy to be creative in our own little worlds without ever having to show anyone outside of that community what's being done.
But that's not the task of most artists and writers. Artists create pieces for others to see. Writers create pieces for others to read.
Taking a step or two outside that comfort zone can be rough, self-exposing and, well, scary. You leave yourself open to interpretation of motives, agendas and either praise or ridicule.
The exhibit is at the Arts Center of Greenwood through the end of August. It's definitely worth making the effort to stop by and see the show. You might even get lucky and see one of the artists up in the gallery or down in their studio doing what they do best - creating.
While there, don't skip the show in the main gallery. The AIR, or Artist in Residence Show, showcases artists who have studios at the Arts Center.
Artists in Residence are Sarah Dean, John Johnson, Karen Johnson, Alice Rambo, Marianne Lenti, Mary Catherine McCartha, Ray Sparrow and Skip Shelton. All have been mentioned in the pages of the Index-Journal a multitude of times for various reasons, exhibits or awards.
Karen Johnson is pulling double duty this month. She has works in both shows. Most of the art in the AIR show by Karen Johnson are landscapes. In Mirror Images, she painted a cat.
For the month of August, the Arts Center is giving visitors two treats in one - one stop gets visitors a double dip of local talent. It doesn't get any better than that.
Sitarz can be reached at 943-2529 or via email at email@example.com. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper's opinion.
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