River City Art Association members Todd Stokes, Deanna Swearingen, Sheila K. Ter Meer and Don Turner have artwork on display throughout March as part of the Wabash Valley Community Read Artist Exhibition in the Vigo County Public Library in Terre Haute, Indiana.
The 2016 Community Read book selection is “Shakespeare Saved My Life: Ten Years in Solitary with the Bard,” by Indiana State University professor Dr. Laura Bates.
The exhibition is a reflection of Bates’ work as she teaches Shakespeare to maximum-security prisoners.
In her book, Bates explains that by engaging with prisoners and incorporating Shakespeare she is “introducing critical thinking to people who have never had that opportunity.”
In keeping with that theme for the exhibition, the library asks “In what other interesting ways can we connect with Shakespeare?”
Artists of all mediums are encouraged to create entries inspired by the theme “An Unconventional Shakespeare,” and based on any work by William Shakespeare.
Stokes entered a glass etching titled “Fear and Anxiety.” Always a representation of the performing arts, the comedy and tragedy masks have always interested me, Stokes said. These atypical renderings show fear and anxiety.
Swearingen’s photography entry is titled “Reflection of Humanity.” She chose the line from Macbeth, “Let every man be master of his time,” and set the stage with a prisoner reading “Shakespeare Saved My Life.”
Photography by Ter Meer incorporates fantasy and a bridge over Le Fer Lake at Saint Mary-of-the Woods College, thus titled “The Woods Enchanted.”
In “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Shakespeare wrote of a forest enchanted specifically by the presence of Oberon and Titania, the fairy king and queen. Like many forests in Shakespeare’s works, it becomes a place of metamorphosis and resolution. People come out of the forest changed for the better.
Turner’s charcoal and pastel drawing based on Shakespeare’s poem, “Ringtime, It Was a Lover and His Lass,” and the song “As You Like it,” (Act V, Scene II), features a woodcutter and a milkmaid on a spring day just before their marriage.
A coffee and conversation reception, and awards ceremony are scheduled 6 to 7 p.m. March 30 in the library. A special judge will announce Best of Show and library patrons are asked to vote for their favorite entry to win the People’s Choice award.