The Grownups Keep Talking, at Massillon Museum
Books are meant to be read. Even artist books—handmade, with original prints and other art integral to their pages—don’t come to life until someone reads them. For this reason, in conjunction with the Massillon Museum’s participation in the NEA’s Big Read event, and during an exhibit of my woodcut prints and artist books at the museum’s Studio M space, I’m planning for the first time ever to give readings from the works on view.
It is startling to me to realize I have not done this before. I’ve frequently noted that I came to printmaking as a writer. More than two decades ago my poetry was published in dozens of literary magazines and other periodicals, including Rolling Stone, and in several chapbooks. I had given readings in literary and art centers, coffee shops, libraries, and other venues around Cleveland, Washington DC, and elsewhere. Then life got in the way, and I stopped for several years. When I had the energy to go back to writing as an artistic pursuit, what came out were books that seem to be written for children.
This began when my own children were learning to read. So I found my way to Zygote Press, and eventually the Morgan Conservatory, where I produced several artist books, each in editions of 100. I wrote the stories, carved the blocks, set the type, printed them one color and one block at a time, and bound them myself. All this involved tens of thousands of printed impressions, and hundreds of bindings, and resulted in solo shows at William Busta Gallery, BAYarts, Tregoning & Company, group shows at Zygote Press, the Morgan Conservatory, and elsewhere, and a residency supported by the Ohio Arts Council at the Grafikwerkstatt in Dresden, Germany. Each of these projects began with the writing of the story or poem. But none of those books have ever been read out loud in public.
The Grownups Keep Talking / Nobody Knows Why is an exhibit of woodcut and letterpress artist books, and additional woodcut prints, all grounded in common experience for children that will resonate for adults. I’m looking forward to showing them to new audiences, and especially to bringing the characters, rhymes, and stories to life by reading them out loud. Bring the kids.
THE GROWNUPS KEEP TALKING / NOBODY KNOWS WHY | APRIL 16–JUNE 1
ARTIST RECEPTION / LETTERPRESS DEMO 5-7PM SATURDAY, APRIL 23
ALL AGES READING & PRINTMAKING ACTIVITY WITH ARTIST MICHAEL GILL |
11:30AM SATURDAY, APRIL 23 AT
MASSILLON PUBLIC LIBRARY, 208 LINCOLN WAY EAST, MASSILLON
UN-SETTLING: A STORY OF LAND REMOVAL AND RESISTANCE | MARCH 26–MAY 22
THREADS MOVING BACKWARD AND FORWARD: CONTEMPORARY TEXTILE ARTWORKS FROM OHIO | APRIL 2–MAY 18
TIGER LEGACY: THE STORY CONTINUES | FEBRUARY 5–JULY 10
CLICKING FOR A CAUSE | APRIL 30–JUNE 15
THE IMMEL CIRCUS | ALWAYS ON DISPLAY
121 Lincoln Way East
Massillon, Ohio 44646