Perhaps it’s only my personal attention span, but I believe that focused collections of any art can be easily perused and set aside for any number of reasons. A collection of one type of literature or art must be read or looked at one piece at a time and held for reflection. A combination allows for any mood and many returns. Such is the Still Point Arts Quarterly’s summer issue and their idea to showcase their current site exhibit.
It begins with photos from the gallery’s current exhibition (since it’s a real place, this could be its catalogue). The choice to showcase the current exhibition is a very good one; the only down side to such a presentation is the small size of the graphics. Fortunately there’s more access online, and the presentation provides a temptation to go there in order to take a larger and longer look at the quality of the work. Throughout the journal, the photography and pictures capture the quality and intent of the theme; an artist can hold something still: and idea, a moment, a sight.
Since the gallery is physically located in Maine, this summer issue also encourages the reader to take a vacation to the northeast coast. Another plus is the listing of every artist’s website and web address. Even the promo for the texture exhibit beginning in August becomes inviting when you have both pictures and well written text. (I can’t find any of those confusing theoretical/philosophical statements that artists put on their exhibits; you have to like their writers just for that.)
Personally, I believe this is as good as it gets. Poets capturing a moment; writers describing process, painters clearly explaining their work. And a collection that draws one in rather than just publish another issue. How else could you enjoy Charla Puryear’s “a sampling of paintings based on rubbings of trees and rocks” without hesitation.
Peggy K. Fletcher’s poem “Emily Carr’s Struggle” is accompanied by two Emily Carr paintings; K.S.Hardy reviews a collection of Van Gogh paintings for us; Elias Wakan shows us how a journeyman carpenter can make woodworking an art form that would enhance anyone’s private or public space.
Perhaps my responses are neglecting the poets and writers; the visual arts are so appealing and accessible in this work that as much as I’m enjoying the written work, I keep stopping at the visuals. I assure you that I return to both. I read Peggy Martinez’ profile, and then stop to show her watercolors to my wife (at the risk of making comparisons to her work); I read Kat Collins’s comments on art and censorship, pause, and reflect on how the ideas can be taught in my film course. I don’t neglect the writers; this issue of the Still Point Arts Quarterly is like a rainbow: I have to consider one color at a time, step back and look at the whole thing, and forgetfully start looking at one color again.