Text Size Default Text SizeDefault Text Size Large Text SizeLarge Text Size Largest Text SizeLargest Text Size Print Print this Page

2009 News Releases

Two Longwood faculty members are curators of national gallery exhibition

October 20, 2009

Two Longwood University faculty members are curators of "Somewhere Far From Habit: The Poet and the Artist's Book," a poetry-art collaborative show that opens Nov. 6 at the Pierre Menard Gallery in Cambridge, Mass.

Mary Carroll-Hackett, associate professor of English, and Kerri Cushman, assistant professor of art, along with Catherine Parnell of Suffolk University, have brought together 30 of the country's most recognized poets and most respected book artists in a collaboration for which the artists have created one of a kind or limited edition book artist's book. The show pairs 10 poets and 10 book artists, including Cushman, in which the artists are creating artist's books inspired by the poets' work.

"Longwood has a thriving arts community, and we are taking it national with this show," said Carroll-Hackett.

Poets in the show include Robert Pinsky, former U.S. Poet Laureate, and Natasha Trethewey, 2006 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Artists include Richard Minsky, founder of the first Center for Book Arts in New York City, and Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler's Wife.

The show bills itself as an "unprecedented celebration of the arts...a collaboration between some of the country's most inspiring poets and most exciting book artists, bringing these two communities together and reaching a larger audience for both arts." It will be at the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts from Jan. 22 through March 19, 2010.

Each artist has up to four pieces in the show, at least one of which is inspired by the poets' work. Cushman, who has shown her works in more than 85 exhibitions, is a sculptural book artist and avid papermaker with an affinity for letterpress. Three of her pieces in "Somewhere Far From Habit," created before the exhibition, are Pumping Iron, My Name is Carrot, and Venetian Restaurant. The other piece, Floating with Liam 2009, was inspired by the poem "The One at the Oars" by the late Liam Rector, who had Longwood connections.

Carroll-Hackett's teacher, Rector was a founding member of the advisory board for both the Dos Passos Review, produced by Longwood's Creating Writing program, and Briery Creek Press, also affiliated with Longwood, and his last reading performance was at Longwood, in April 2007. Longwood hosts the Liam Rector First Book Prize for Poetry.

Longwood Creative Writing students, including graduate students Alex Odom, Melissa Clampitt and Edd Howarth, have worked as curatorial assistants and will serve as staff for the opening. Howarth also designed the show's promotional materials and catalog. The show logo was designed by Longwood art student Michael Shelton.

The show is being sponsored by Dr. Chuck Ross, dean of the Cook-Cole College of Arts and Sciences, and Dr. Anthony Koyzis, dean of Graduate and Extended Studies. Both will attend the opening reception, as will President Patricia Cormier and her husband, Raymond.

The show's web site (http://somewherefarfromhabit.net/) thanks Ross and Koyzis for their "vision and recognition of the honor and value of the arts, and for their continuing support of Longwood's growing arts community."

Also in the show, 10 of the nation's best broadside artists have created limited edition letter-pressed broadsides of the 10 central poems to accompany the artist's books in the show. The Pierre Menard Gallery, founded in 2006, specializes in contemporary and post-impressionist art.