The Westmoreland Selects Four Literary Artists for Bridging the Gap Public Art Project
The writers will be commissioned to create original text to be featured over the next four years on artist Janet Zweig’s Analog Scroll
GREENSBURG, PA (July 10, 2020) – The Westmoreland Museum of American Art is pleased to announce the selection of four literary artists from Southwestern Pennsylvania to be featured on artist Janet Zweig’s Analog Scroll as part of the Museum’s ongoing Bridging the Gap public art project. Located on the North Main Street Bridge in downtown Greensburg, Zweig’s work utilizes three-dimensional letters held by tracks fastened to the concrete walls of the bridge to reveal text through a manual scrolling process. Each writer will create original text that will relate to the site specifically; the concept of bridges or bridging; or the idea of “Bridging the Gap” between downtown Greensburg, the Museum, and the surrounding neighborhoods or communities. Their text will appear over the course of one year, from February to February, with new stanzas installed on a monthly basis.
The four selected writers and the schedule for their text to appear are as follows: Fred Shaw, February 2021-February 2022; Sarah Williams-Devereux, February 2022-February 2023; Joy Katz, February 2023-February 2024; and Karen Dietrich, February 2024-February 2025. Please see below for information about each of the writers.
“We were very pleased with the response to our call for the next installments on the North Main Street Bridge. It was difficult to select just four writers. However, their proposals were compelling, and we feel that they will each deliver a unique experience to the public with their writing. I look forward to reading and seeing their contribution to Analog Scroll over the next four years,” stated Chief Curator Barbara Jones.
Currently, Michelle Stoner’s poem Mile Marker 322 appears on Zweig’s Analog Scroll. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a delay in the schedule for installing new stanzas, which is a manual process overseen by Curatorial Assistant Bonnie West and completed by her with help from a small group of dedicated volunteers. Stoner’s poem is expected to conclude in January 2021.
The poems Main Street Bridge, Greensburg by Jan Beatty and Ohr Ein Sof – Light Without End by Jacob Bacharach were shown previously on Analog Scroll. In total, ten writers will be selected for commissioned works. A call for artists to select the final three writers will be issued in the future.
In 2018, Janet Zweig’s Analog Scroll was recognized by the Public Art Network (PAN) Advisory Council in their 2018 PAN Year in Review Trends and Themes: Site Responsive Projects. More information on the Bridging the Gap public art project is available at thewestmoreland.org/visit/bridging-the-gap.
Funding for the project was provided in part from a National Endowment for the Arts Our Town grant program award, The Heinz Endowments, Westmoreland County Tourism Grant Program, Community Foundation of Westmoreland County/Revitalizing Westmoreland, Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area, Carol R. Brown, The Tomahawk Hill Foundation and supporters of an Indiegogo campaign hosted by the Museum. Throughout the project, technical support has been provided by the Office of Public Art, Pittsburgh.
About the Writers:
Fred Shaw is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, and Carlow University, where he received his MFA. He teaches writing and literature at Point Park University and Carlow University in Pittsburgh, PA. His first full-length collection of poetry, Scraping Away, was published by CavanKerry Press this year. He is also the author of the chapbook, Argot (Finishing Line Press). His poems have been published in 5AM, Poet Lore, Briar Cliff Review, Permafrost, SLAB, Spry Literary Magazine, Floodwall, Nerve Cowboy, Mason’s Road, Shaking Like A Mountain, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and Pittsburgh City Paper, where he currently reviews books, and he serves as poetry editor for Pittsburgh Quarterly. In a parallel life, he has also worked in the service industry for the past twenty-five years. He lives in Pittsburgh with his wife and rescued hound dog. https://www.littsburgh.com/literaryroster/name/fred-shaw/
As a poet and teacher of writing, Sarah Williams-Devereux frequently draws upon her background—multiracial African American, Buddhist, living with chronic mental and physical illness, and an abuse survivor—to explore issues of race, sexuality, human connection, compassion, mental illness, and recovery. Many of her past personal and professional projects have focused on using words as vehicles for transformation. She leads poetry workshops for the Madwomen in the Attic Creative Writing Workshops at Carlow University and is the managing editor for the annual Madwomen anthology, Voices from the Attic. She is pursuing her MA in teaching writing from Johns Hopkins University and is a member of the Pittsburgh Poetry Society. Her poetry has been published in Snapdragon: A Journal of Art & Healing, Sampsonia Way Magazine, Pittsburgh City Paper, multiple volumes of the Voices from the Attic anthology (Carlow University Press), and the anthologies Nasty Women and Bad Hombres (Lascaux Editions, 2017) and Pittsburgh Love Stories (The New Yinzer, 2004). https://sarahwilliamsdevereux.com/
Joy Katz is a poet and essayist. In her forthcoming poem, The Color Cure, she documents every minute of whiteness in her life. Her previous collections include All You Do is Perceive, a National Poetry Series finalist and a Stahlecker Selection at Four Way Books; The Garden Room (Tupelo Press); Fabulae (SIU Press); and two chapbooks, Which From That Time (Argos Books) and White: An Abstract (Bonfire Books). With Kevin Prufer, she co-edited the anthology Dark Horses: Poets on Overlooked Poems (University of Illinois Press). Since 2015, she has collaborated in the activist art collective Ifyoureallyloveme, using word, music, and performance to create social change in Pittsburgh and other cities. She teaches off the tenure track in Carlow University’s Madwomen in the Attic workshops for women and in Chatham University’s MFA program. She is an editor-at-large for Copper Nickel. Trained in industrial design, she worked as a graphic designer for a decade before starting to write poems. She lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and son. http://joykatz.com
Karen Dietrich is the author of GIRL AT THE EDGE, a psychological thriller from Grand Central Publishing. She is also the author of THE GIRL FACTORY: A MEMOIR and several poetry chapbooks. Karen plays drums in the indie rock band Essential Machine. She received a BA in English from University of Pittsburgh and an MFA in poetry from New England College. She has worked as a college professor and high school English teacher. She is currently a Language Arts substitute teacher, grades 6-12 at the Greensburg-Salem School District. Karen lives east of Pittsburgh, PA with her husband, son, and three cats. https://www.karendietrich.net/
About The Westmoreland Museum of American Art:
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Westmoreland Museum of American Art remains temporarily closed to the public, but . For the latest information from the Museum regarding this temporary closure, please click here, and, for information on ways to connect with the Museum from your home, please click here. Western Pennsylvania’s only museum dedicated to American art, The Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, is a place to share meaningful cultural experiences that open the door to new ideas, perspectives and possibilities. The Westmoreland’s extraordinary permanent collection, with its strong focus on the art and artists of Southwestern Pennsylvania, is complemented by an impressive schedule of temporary exhibitions featuring both nationally traveling exhibitions and those organized by the Museum as well as community-oriented programming and special events. More information is available at thewestmoreland.org and on the Museum’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram profiles.
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