One month ago there was a great art event in St. Clairsville, Ohio. Musicians, painters, photographers, professional, and amateur poets got together and shared the evening. The turn out was overwhelming. Our community that night was flourishing.
The gallery decided to open the doors a little wider and invited 15 people to participate in a poetry and photography show. It was titled ‘Journeys: an exploration through photography and poetry,’ and was defined by each individual in their own creative way. There was a photo of a bright horizon in Aruba, one taken at a silence retreat in front of a fire, and another of a stairway strewn with over-growing vines. Our work looked lovely, floating in the low-lit room before everyone arrived. Our collaborative was successful in many ways. The participants were filled with anticipation and pride. There is an entire new perspective of what you feel you can do when your work hangs up on a wall.
The positive response came from the excitement in the artists that had never had the chance to ‘show’ in a gallery, and their many friends who came to support them. Many people there that night had never attended a Main Street Gallery function, but were eager to come back again. The discussions lasted until 11 in the evening, but the memories made a lasting impact on me.
The deep fluid sound of trombone and keyboard held together the mood that night.
A few artists took a moment to explain their ‘Journeys.’ It was an impromptu and informal presentation that the entire gallery paused to be apart of. Marc Harshman shared poetry from his newly published collection ‘All That Feeds Us‘ and unraveled his poem ‘Why Not Wish’ with animation, that was printed for the evening’s event. Local painter, Melanie Steffl-Thompson encouraged everyone with her words of soothing advice. Creative things are happening here, positive things are happening here, here where we live in Ohio. She encouraged the young and old people listening; people listening and playing their own part in the evening where we all came together to share art.