Power of the Arts is an initiative dedicated to promoting and advocating for

the visual, performing, folk and media arts

in Mahoning and Trumbull Counties.

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Power of the Arts

PO Box 48

Warren, OH 44482

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James Shuttic|Art on Park



James Shuttic is a Warren native and graduate of Warren G. Harding High School. He earned his B.F.A. in painting from Youngstown State University and later went on to earn a degree in computer drafting and design. James is co-owner/artist at Shuttic Arts alongside his wife and fellow artist, Julia Shuttic. James is a founding member of the Independent Artist Association, and sits on the board of the Fine Arts Council of Trumbull County, where he serves as Board President, and helps manage and oversee the operations of the organization, along with the day-to-day at Art on Park, home of a number of artists studios and art organizations. Through the arts, James has helped raise money and brought awareness to a number of charitable organizations and causes, including the Mikeyfied Fund for Adult Autism, Sahara Club Recovery Center, animal rescues, recovery and mental health, urban blight, and urban redevelopment.

James has helped create and organize a number of arts-based events, including the Warren Art Hops and the annual THINK shows, where artists of all fields are invited to participate as where the public has the opportunity to interact firsthand with the arts. As an artist, James works in a variety of mediums including painting, sculpture, photography, mixed media, digital/computer, and has for the past several years been collaborating with poets, writers, musicians, and members of the community on a series of live painting and performance works for the public. Over the years, James has shown in a number of both solo and group shows, and has won multiple awards for his work, as well as aided and promoted other artists.

Power of the Arts Coordinator Karen Schubert met with James in early September for coffee and conversation.

KS: This is Karen Schubert and I’m here with James Shuttic. We’re upstairs at Pressed Coffee Bar and Eatery near campus and James was just telling me some of his memories of being here when it was the Beat and I remember that, too. This has been an iconic place and gathering place for a long time.

Thank you so much for taking time to talk to me today. I really appreciate it.


JS: Thank you for asking me.


So let’s talk about your work. I know that you have a BFA in painting from Youngstown State University and it’s occurred to me many times over that having YSU here with such strong programs in the arts really creates a whole crop of artists that graduate every year, and a lot of them stay, and it just gives us this wonderful artistic density.


Artists everywhere.


Exactly. Are you connected with people that you went through the program with?


No, actually– I was fairly reserved when I was here, so I didn’t have too many friends. I was kind of quiet and did my thing and that was about it.


And so now you’re a multi-media artist, you have many interests and pursuits. You have a studio that’s an artist collective, right? Tell us about that.


Yeah. We term the building Art on Park, or that section of the building. It’s located directly on Courthouse Square in downtown Warren at 180 N. Park. There’s about seven different artist studios in there; a couple of them are collectives within themselves. There are different hours and whatnot. The Fine Arts Council, we also operate our office out of there as well, that’s kind of like our headquarters for things.


So all of the artists share a space, you share the cost of the space–


The Fine Arts Council, we rent out the major space, and then within that, it’s divided into separate studios. And then, so, we’ve invited different artists, or organizations, Collective Palette is one of the organizations, which is a collective of mental health agencies with artists with disabilities throughout the county, as well as Mikeyfied Fund for Adult Autism which is a nonprofit that uses arts to raise money for autism, adults with autism, and then there’s some independent artists. My wife and I work out of there and a couple of the artists do community-based work. So there’s not just those artists in there, but the people that they associate with work on projects, and there’s a lot of stuff that goes on at any time, at all hours of the night, which is kind of fun.



Yeah, fun and a brilliant concept, because you’re anchoring down these historic buildings right on the Square, so you have this beautiful space right in front of you–


Walk right outside, the courthouse, yeah, it’s beautiful down there.


And rather than any of you struggling to keep it alive on your own, you can pool your resources.

So before we talk about the Fine Arts Council, I would like to talk a little bit more about your own work. I was listening to your podcast on The Makeshift with Brandon Noel, just a really terrific interview that I recommend everyone listen to, and you were telling him that you’re a painter, photographer, you’re a digital artist, you work in graphic design, printmaking, and you’re also a writer. Talk a little bit about how you maneuver through all of those different media—


I think for me it goes to my, I guess, personal viewpoint of what art means to me. I think back to early childhood, I used art as a means to express those things that I couldn’t, verbally. Later on I would get into writing and what-not. So for me, I look at it as what– there’s something inside I’m trying to express and essentially use whatever medium is best suited or I feel pulled to, to do that. Which leads me to use a ton of different things. I try not to limit myself or restrict myself. That can be overwhelming and problematic at times, but at the same time, it definitely keeps me busy. It’s a lot more fun, it can be chaotic, kind of, projects all over the place, one thing leads to another, and you just kind of follow a flow of things.



That sounds really fun. And you always have the coolest t-shirts. Do you make them?


Oh, thank you. Some I do, and some I buy. [Laughing]


I’m glad tie dye is alive and well. I grew up in the era of tie dye.


I started wearing tie dye in high school but then when I came to YSU when I started taking painting classes. It hides paint and stains and coffee– I love it, to this day. [Laughing]


That sounds like a good shirt to cook in, too. [Laughing]

So talk about the Fine Arts Council of Trumbull County. What is it, exactly, what kind of an entity, where do you get your funding, what do you see as the mission, what are a few things that you have going on?


The Fine Arts Council was founded in, I want to say, 1971, so we’ve been around over forty years. I believe it was six different artist organizations and groups that came together. The reason they came together is they saw that coming together they’d be able to do more as a whole than they would as any individual singular entity or group. So six led to however many organizations over the years. They started doing programs.


One of the things that was early on, that we still have as part of our mission statement, is that we use the arts, through fostering the arts, we attempt to improve the quality of life for individuals in the community. And so we do that through providing different types of programming, it could be free music or maybe movie night or whatnot to the general community where they can just come and enjoy things. We sponsor and organize art hops where artists are invited, and artists and vendors to sell their creations, and it provides opportunities to artists that are either established or wanting to be established to reach out to the community to get involved, to have contact, to get feedback, to maybe make a little bit of money and step a foot in, and some of them decide to take a deeper pursuit, and some don’t, more hobby or whatnot.



So we do those type of things, we do Ghost Walk which is one of our events coming up in October. We have volunteer actors that re-enact famous people, historically within Warren and Trumbull County. You’re guided  from the historic location and while you arrive they re-enact their story. It’s kind of cool. That type of thing helps give people a sense of what this area was about, by connection, and we try to do it in a fun way. And it’s always cool to learn new things.


And we also, this will be the second year, now, but we’re organizing, it’s actually the end of this month, is Warren Homecoming, we oversee. It’s a four-day citywide celebration of Warren with the hopes of bringing the community together to celebrate our past, our present, and hopefully guide our future somewhere more positive, working together. We get people from out of town that come. I think one of the things, with that event, it highlights what we’re able to do, and that’s a lot of smaller organizations or businesses or individuals are able to join in that weekend. Essentially what we do is, we create a community calendar, is one of the things we do. We also assist them in answering questions like, How do I set up an event? Do I need permits? What would I need to do? So we’re able to answer those types of questions and we’re also, the big thing is promote them, in a way they wouldn’t be able to do by themselves, so I think that’s important, because it kind of goes, in a sense with the mission statement of the Fine Arts Council, if we come together, we can do a lot more as a whole. Improve the life of the people in our community. So it’s kind of fun. It’s exciting.


So those are some of the things we do. We get grants, various grants, not as much as we used to, but we do get donations from businesses, organizations, as well as individuals. And thankfully because of that we’re able to do these type of things.


So you’re really helping people in the area re-conceptualize the community as being an artistic hub, a creative place, right? A place where people come together, they have a sense of identity [of the place], know their own history a little bit better, have a deeper emotional connection through the history and cultural events.



Absolutely, yeah.


I think a lot of our area is kind of nostalgic, as you say, you’re calling it a homecoming, a lot of it is people returning who grew up here, right? And they’re remembering this place and I think when people return and they feel a certain way about the place when they come back, it has an impact on the people who are still here.


Absolutely. Through my personal experience, I think this is common with a lot of people, we kind of get stuck in our own little bubble and we see things in a very restrictive way. We forget there’s a larger picture, or a past, or other stories within the community around us going on so that weekend is a way for people to come out. And I think a lot of our programming does that, too. It helps bring people out and realize Oh! there’s this, there’s that.


I think the common thing, and I was one of those people, even when I was at YSU, I was like there’s nothing to do! There’s so much to do. You just get stuck in your own little thing and it’s like there’s a whole world going on around you. So we try to highlight some of those things and we try to bring people together, bring artists together with the community as well as bring the community together with each other, get them out of their homes, or out of their yards or whatnot, and try to engage with other human beings rather than being stuck on the t.v., computer or cell phone.


That’s really terrific. I just attended a talk by Ohio Citizens for the Arts Executive Director Bill Behrendt and he was saying, the people who are in the arts really get the value of the arts to the community. But if we have to talk about economics, we really can. The arts bring a tremendous amount of economic benefit to our communities. In fact, the return on investment is 10:1. So when the Ohio Arts Council, for example, gives an organization a dollar, the State of Ohio reaps $10 of benefit from that.


I believe it. I see, from our experience in Trumbull County, when we do events, especially if we do them downtown, we’ll even do just art openings within our gallery, within our space, maybe a third to a quarter of those people eat within the area, or go get coffee. They buy things, maybe not there, from a shop or place down the street from us. We definitely see that. So it’s been important to the revitalization of, not just Warren itself and the county but, I mean, to the state and the country as well. To see the power of what art can actually do. And I think it’s true, artists see that. We have a better way to see that. We try to create these events so that the community can start to see that, too.


And just see the economic worth of the arts, as well.


Absolutely. And not just something that’s just nice to look at.


So you’ve done some interesting collaborations, as well. Tell us about the live paintings you’ve done in conjunction with the poetry readings.


Yeah. I’m friends with a few poets, quite a few, poets and writers, and when I attended YSU, one of my teachers was Al Bright. I don’t know if you’re familiar with him.


Sure.


Al used to do live painting to jazz, and he always encouraged us to be expressive. In college, I started doing live painting to death metal or just going outside— one of the things to me, too— it was a matter of coping with my own insecurities and fears because I’m not very much a public speaker, I don’t like being in public and I think as an artist, a lot of us are self-conscious about what people will think about our work and being judged and if it’s no good. So I made the decision to just kind of say, screw it, I’ll just go with it and put myself out there and be very vulnerable. And so that led to me partnering with all types of people throughout the years and doing different types of music events, raves, and performance, then started meeting more and more writers and it just seemed logical. Poetry and painting are very much connected, to me. I used to do a lot of poetry, and I used to do a lot of painting, and I’d incorporate words as a lot of people do.


So it didn’t seem like an illogical leap to incorporate the two. So I just kind of put it out there, and all of a sudden when I did, people were interested in partnering, which was kind of cool. One of the things I think that’s important for me, when I do them, too, is that the poets and writers, the musicians— I go into it blind, not wanting to know what they’re going to read, or even what it’s about, the subject matter— because to me, I don’t want it to be something that I overthink ahead of time and then worry about, I need to do this or that. I want it to be more organic and the feel and just capture it immediately and put it down. When I do that and I don’t second guess, it seems to work really well and not only just for me for me, but I get the sensation and also get the feedback from the poets that they can see that happening. And how their tone can change or their remarks— after they see their words or how they’re reading it— how it looks, visually, because a lot of them aren’t painters, so they love it, too. It’s been a very cool thing.


That really cool.


The public loves to see it. It’s almost like when I first saw a photograph develop out of no where. All of a sudden it’s like this thing and you’re like, that’s what it looks like. And it’s fun.


I bet it’s really fun.

And nervous, because it’s hit or miss.


And that’s a really challenging thing that you’re setting up for yourself, because a poem, is maybe a minute long.


Ffft. [Laughter]


Right? That’s the concrete imagery, but there’s also a tone and a cadence to it that maybe can also be captured artistically.


Yeah, and what color is that? It’s weird because sometimes I’ve worked with different poets and they might say the word like “sun” and lot of us think yellow or orange. But there’s been times when I went blue or black, not questioning why. And I think that has to go to the tone of the piece. I think it’s fighting the things that maybe traditionally— I think art, poetry, writing, dance, allow you to see things differently, outside of the expected way of seeing things. That’s why I think the artists, they’re the  rebels, the change to how people see. There’s more to this world than what you’ve been led to believe. I think people get to see that. And it’s pretty cool.


It’s really cool!


It’s nerve-wracking going into it, know what I mean? One of those things because I love, too— in the end, I have to accept it, whether I like it or not, it is what it is. I think that’s life. I don’t go back, I don’t rework, it’s just, that’s it.


Right. Right. Each of those media have a different opportunity for revision. I know with [metals sculptor] Tony [Armeni’s] work, I tease him that I can carry my whole body of [poetry] work on a flash drive and no one gets hurt. [Laughter] As we’re carrying a 3,000 pound piece of metal. And when he makes a mistake, there’s a lot of hammering and swearing and re-welding involved.


But it seems like you have maybe a little bit of synesthesia going on in your, the way you think about your artistic creation in the sense that the senses are not delineated, right? As you said, what color is that tone or cadence. As I was looking at a few of your paintings I was wondering if you had been influenced by Charles Burchfield or what your influences, who your influences have been.



Well, I think– I’ve had a number of influences. I think the first one that I can think of, as far back, was probably– I know for me, I guess as far as traditional artists and what not, I guess as a kid, going to Catholic school, you learn Renaissance artists and traditional– Byzantine art was one of those things. I remember when we got to Byzantine art, and even in college, I remember the look of it was very different from the Renaissance, almost like photorealism. It’s a little more expressive, the dimensions were off and stuff like that. I think as a kid there was something, for me, I loved DaVinci as a child, but I love his sketches. I love artists that would leave things to the imagination, in a sense. So I’ve always been attracted to art more like that.

Early on we used to have, when I went to Catholic school, in grade school, we had a woman come, she was Chinese I believe. She taught sumi, Chinese brush painting, and I remember I loved the black on the manila paper, I loved the space in that, and the expressiveness, the quality of it. I think for me that was a huge thing. Later on, the impressionists, and Degas. Where art can be this expressive, and void can have— like a well-placed pause, in speech or in a poem, the break, that being important.


And then later on artists like Jackson Pollock, that would just explode, pure energy on canvas, and color, and then, to me, too, my time at YSU I got into a lot of street art. I started getting on the Internet a lot. I think one of the cool things about technology, and sometimes we take it for granted now, but when the Internet was, not new, but newer, and we were on it I remember looking at a lot of art going on in like L.A. or New York that, you know, I hadn’t necessarily seen as a child. You can see things in like these colors. So I don’t know if there are singular artists, there’s a couple that I think have had an impact, but really it’s— I look at like the pieces or maybe their qualities, but I try not to get into– lock myself into favorite– but I do have, it’s hard not to. I always love a Degas. If I go to a museum, I always– if I know they have a Degas in that city, I almost always make it a point to see a Degas or a Van Gogh or Robert Rauschenberg or Jasper Johns–


And we also have an incredible amount of contemporary art coming through, the Butler­–


Which I love. Yes, yes. I attended when Robert Rauschenberg has his show here, which was wonderful. I was a huge fan of his prior to that. It was almost unbelievable that he came. It was just amazing because Youngstown, Ohio! I’m from Warren. Youngstown, Ohio! It’s like– I’ve never been into sports, but that would be an all-star Hall of Fame player to me, it’s like wow. It’s like one of your idols is here! And you forget that. This place can attract all types of people. It’s an awesome thing.


That’s really cool. I would like to know more about the new ceramics studio and the Trumbull Art Gallery. So the Trumbull Art Gallery is part of the Fine Arts Council?


No. A lot of people get confused.


What is that relationship? I don’t have it clear.


We do have a relationship. We partner on things. Being the Fine Arts Council, we do partner with other agencies or we have, even within our board, a number of individuals that are on our board as well as on the Trumbull Art Gallery. And I think that’s one of the things, when it comes to the arts, there’s a lot of cross-pollination as well as a lot of the nonprofits. My wife and I volunteer, we helped build, I was on the gallery committee for the Trumbull Art Gallery and still volunteer. It’s one of those things: they are two separate organizations but we do a lot together. One thing we see with the Fine Arts Council, I think something that if you look, nationally, I think a lot of people started to realize, to get out of that old idea of us vs. them, like let me get mine and screw everyone else. We saw the power of that. If we do something and we partner with someone else, we get the people that would come to theirs, and the additional people that wouldn’t come to either individually but will come, so we see the value in that. We do a lot back and forth.


That’s no small thing.


We’ll work with anyone willing to work. We try not to say no.


That’s really great. Every once in a while I kick a toe and think, “Is that a silo?” [Laughter] I think it’s so unproductive.


Yeah. But I think it does lead to some confusion because we’re just a couple doors down from each other, the Fine Arts Council and the Trumbull Art Gallery, we partner on events, so people see our logos and that–


And the art gallery is a nonprofit as well.


Correct. One of their big focuses is, they function as an art gallery, and while the opportunity for artists within the community as well as the region, they do regional art shows to show their work, to be shown, and they’ve had artists from out of state, too, so nationally have shown they’ve been able to bring artists from all over and then they’ve done workshops for artists in the community, and children, and they just recently opened, they just dedicated their basement towards, essentially, a maker space.


It’s stunning. It’s so beautiful.


It is. One of the things I’m excited about, well two of them. Because they have the ceramics studio. I used to love doing ceramics, but firing in the kiln, it gets expensive, once you do that. Just having a space dedicated to that so they are able to do that, and it will make it easier for a lot more people within the community, not just artists but maybe people that have always wanted to try. Also, they talked about doing a dark room for photographers. Which is another thing I’m excited about because I miss those days, too, so it’s hard to have a space.


And a residency.


Yes, and a residency.


That’s pretty cool.


Yes, it is. It is. And it’s just a couple doors down.


That’s just amazing, I mean, Warren is a pretty small place to have such a thriving arts scene. Do you have any theories about how that all works? I have a theory. Let me lay mine on the table and let’s look at it. My theory about Warren is that it’s really attributable to a handful of incredible individuals who didn’t only want to make their own work but also wanted the community to come together around the arts.



I agree. I think that’s the big thing. And that’s why I said it’s getting past that 20th century mentality of almost corporate mentality of like, it’s us vs. them, and we need ours, and more, more for me, not for you. And if you’re doing something it takes away from me. I think it took enough individuals to say, if we come together and do things for the greater good, it actually benefits us all.

And I think what it’s done, it’s created more opportunity for all those individuals. Not only did it help the community but it ended up helping some of those individuals, not just as much as it would have by their own means, but even more. It has exponentially increased the traffic.


I think so too and it’s so enlightened. For example, the brownfields exhibit. Where a number of photographers, maybe six–?


I think there were six of us.


And you all went out and took images of some kind of ruins– and just brought them back. How did you want the community to engage from that?


I think the one things is, when we were approached there was what they wanted, of course they wanted to, essentially bring awareness to the community about the largely industrial properties, some even vacant, or no longer there, that were either a potential hazard to the community or a perceived hazard, maybe just look bad, as well as some residential. So they wanted to highlight that and bring it together because some people tend to, some people can see things and they blow it up more than it is. And some people see things and they just kind of like, nah, it’s not that bad. So they wanted to give an honest evaluation of here’s what’s going on in the community. And not only that, they presented information of their plan, and not just here’s a problem, but here’s a plan. Things they’re trying to do. There was a clean-up on one of the sites, the old Republic Steel was one of the sites we documented and they’re in the process, it’s probably three quarters knocked down. They have funding through the county, state and federal government to clean the soils, a couple million dollars. So that was one of the things, not just to document the wreckage, but the process of what they’re doing which I think’s important, too.



But I know, for me, I grew up, I’m not sure about all of the other artists. I know a couple of them what they were trying to do. But I know for me, I grew up in an industrial complex with factories and right by train tracks, it’s in an area called the golden triangle, it’s in Warren, Howland. Back in the day, it was like the central location of business within that. On a map it looked like a triangle, and they called it the golden triangle because gold, money, and that was the hub. The Packards were there and all of these other places. It was the thriving part of the industry within the community. And if you were to go there today– it is a little better than a few years ago when we documented it– it’s getting better. At one point it was pretty rough and pretty bad.

So for me, I try to document some of that area but I didn’t want to– when I go there– I grew up in it– someone might say it’s depressing– to me it’s home. I grew up on the train tracks, playing in vacant buildings. I tried to, through the use of art, and photography, and I did kind of, I shot a lot of Polaroid, and packfilm for mine as well as did a digital slide show and then presented it in a way, like in an installation on the wall. I tried to make mine more interactive and draw the viewer in rather than present like an eyesore. To highlight things like the human factor without having humans in it and try to make it a little personal.

Because I think for me,  when I look at– there was a point when I wanted to be an archaeologist and I remember I was always fascinated with objects, and objects that were worn down and had a story. I’d always think, what happened? The mystery of it all. And when I see buildings, architecture and that, I don’t look at it as being depressing, but having a story. I think our society looks– especially if you look at our treatment of the elderly. If something’s older, it’s no good. We get rid of it. This piece of equipment is old, let’s get rid of it.


I got into Buddhism at one point and started studying Asian culture and their value for the elderly and for history, how these things have a story. What’s the value, what can it tell the present community and what can that mean to the future so we don’t have to make the same mistakes? So for me, when I look at things I try to look at that. I look at an inanimate object almost as human. Because there’s a human element to it. It’s not just a broken-down eyesore, it’s someone that’s had a story and been through a lot, and just kind of left and abandoned but it doesn’t have the possibility– there’s a lot of possibilities.


Things can change, and in Warren we’ve seen that, where businesses started to come in, more recently, because they’ve seen the value in the community. We have tons of property and there’s a ton of potential there and we’ve used the arts to try to make life a little more enjoyable or pleasant to give people an outlet. I think when that happened, the quality of living started to increase and the desire for people to have fun things to do has increased, so business sees that, and they start moving into downtown and surrounding areas and it’s been pretty cool. So I think the brownfields, it was a huge success for that, for a number of reasons and I think that was one of them. The artists, the organizations, the county, the governor’s office, the EPA, the Port Authority, and the Fine Arts Council, Trumbull Art Gallery, that was an example of different organizations coming together.


In strength and collaboration.


Exactly. That none of them on their own could have done. And not only was it shown in Warren, it was shown over at the Erie Terminal, and after that they had some type of State function for it and they presented it there and they talked about maybe nationally next year or so. It was a wonderful thing to be a part of.


That is a great thing. So maybe a message to people from Youngstown. Let’s just just clear up a few things. If people from Youngstown want to come to Warren, do they need a passport?


[Laughter] Isn’t that a funny thing?



Does it take an hour and a half to get there?


Two days’ travel by horseback. Yeah. It’s so funny because [laughter] I just had this conversation. I remember going to YSU, doing events in Warren. And I was also involved with showing art in Youngstown, as well, to individuals. But I would always have a problem when I’d ask artists from Youngstown to come over to Warren, and vise versa, when I’d try to get people from Warren to come over to Youngstown. And I don’t know what that is. It took me 20-some minutes to get here today, and it’s not like a horrible drive, and I wasn’t speeding or that. I’m not sure what the mentality is.


We’ve tried to provide the opportunity for not just artists in Warren and Trumbull County, but regionally to do kind of cool stuff and we’ve done a couple of larger-based shows, like we’ve done these THINK shows, and the idea that I had for that was to create a big city show in a small town. I worked with a couple other individuals, a couple other artists. What we did was we found locations, businesses that could basically use the traffic. We used our show as a means to highlight the potential of different locations. We invited artists of all mediums, painters, photographers, poets, performance, we’ve had dancers, clay artists, just kind of like anything and everyone, you know, and we’ve invited them and we essentially don’t give them any limits, we just tell them, as long as it’s not illegal, we’ll show it. [Laughter] You gotta say that.


The other thing too, is, when I tell the artists, if you want to create something, don’t worry about creating something that you’re worried about what the viewer is going to think, or that you need to sell it. This is a show, if you want to do something really weird and get crazy with it and something that you’ve wanted to do but you’re afraid no one’s going to like it, do it. Don’t worry about it if it sells. Do that thing you’ve wanted to do. So people have done that. We’ve had these really amazing couple of shows.


The first one we did, we had 8″ or 10″ of show that day, and we thought, Oh no, this is going to be horrible, and no one’s going to come, and we had 5-600 people show up, from not just Warren and the surrounding communities, but we had quite a few people from Youngstown, some people came over from Sharon Pa., and we had some artists from Cleveland and Pittsburgh show up! And Cleveland had over a foot! A couple of the D.J.s, I couldn’t even believe they came. We tried to create a big show and on multiple levels and all types of stuff going on. I think that’s been something that’s been cool as well as partnering with  others, those members and founder of the Independent Art Association which did some shows, who try to make art fun and engaging to where it’s like an event for people and not just like it’s hanging on the gallery kind of boring and snooty-tooty type of thing but, essentially, show the community that art can be fun. It doesn’t have to be something that’s sitting out of your reach and you can never afford it. And just because it’s not in a museum doesn’t mean it’s not good.


I think poetry has that liability as well, that it’s difficult and not accessible. But poetry is all over the place just the way art is.

Thank you so much for all of the work that you do in the community. We’re really grateful to learn more about it, and I hope you’ll see some more Youngstowners coming up your way.


I hope so!