By Sandra Strieby
A steampunk Alice, a road crossing stripped to essentials, form and void underlain by cartographic projections — that’s what literature looks like to some of the 17 artists whose work composes the Confluence Gallery & Art Center’s newest exhibit. “The Color of Words” will open with an artists’ reception from 5-7 p.m. on Saturday (Jan. 11), with many of the artists on hand.
Featuring mostly local artists, the exhibit was inspired by curator Penelope Varn’s urge to foster cross-pollination between Confluence and the Friends of the Winthrop Public Library (FOWL). “The phrase popped into my head, and the idea followed: ask artists to render in any medium their favorite work of literature,” said Varn. The results are arresting. With diverse materials — “Sculpture using various media, assemblage art using repurposed objects, oil on board, acrylic on canvas, pastels, you name it,” according to Varn — the artists have made the written word visible while revealing their own imaginative bents.
“It’s been so fun to see what the artists did with their pieces of literature — how they interpreted them with their media,” said Varn, adding that Kaileah Akker, the gallery’s assistant director, “was absolutely instrumental in putting this show together … She did at least as much as I did” to juggle the results into a coherent show.
“The Color of Words” will be a partnership show, with a portion of proceeds from gallery sales benefiting FOWL. The library organization will host a literary salon each week during the show’s run — three readings by local authors and three poetry events (see accompanying article). A display of handmade books submitted in response to an open call for entry will further enrich the exhibit.
“The Color of Words” will run through Feb.23. The opening and events are free. The gallery is now open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Wednesdays-Saturdays and Mondays, and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sundays; closed on Tuesdays. For more information, call 997-2787 or email Sarahjo@ConfluenceGallery.com. Learn more about FOWL’s literary salons at www.winthroplibraryfriends.org/events.