Elaine Sexton and Ro Lohin are neighbors in New York, and met by chance two summers ago, when Elaine hosted a pop-up exhibit of work by a mutual friend. They quickly found they had Cullowhee Arts, and so much more, in common. Ro, who has a passion for poetry, suggested they put together a panel on “metaphor, where poetry and visual art meet” during the 5-day Cullowhee Arts workshop session, where they will be teaching at the same time as Rita Baragona (June 24-29).
Ro Lohin, has been cross-pollinating with fellow artist NYC artist Rita Baragona for years. also teaching that same week during the Cullowhee Arts “Summer Arts Workshops Series,” to join in the conversation of “Metaphor, where Poetry and Visual Art Meet.”
Rita Baragona has been a good friend with Ro for many years. “We met through the NY Studio School. I think our friendship is one strengthened by simpatico sensibilities and ideas. We both love to paint and to teach and intentionally bring a thirst for understanding through diverse disciplines including poetry, to our paintings.
Elaine’s poetry intrigues me.”
“I am for a poetry that makes nothing happen.
I’m for a poetry that is too young to date, but too old to overlook.
I’m for a poetry that wants to paint.”
Excerpt from “POETRY & SMOKE: A MANIFESTO,” by Elaine Sexton
“I think for me I am a painter who wants to write poetry or play music too.” Rita Baragona
Elaine Sexton: Poet, Art Critique, Artist
Ro Lohin: Artist, Curator, Lecturer
Ro is passionate about art and education in the arts. She was Assistant to the Dean of the New York Studio School and was a member of the drawing faculty. In Fall 2017 she curated “The Thing Unseen”, a celebration of Nicolas Carone, at the Studio School Gallery and organized and participated in a panel discussion about his work. Lohin taught painting and drawing at the School of Art and Design at Alfred University, Western Carolina University, and the Chautauqua Institution. She is the former owner and director of the Lohin Geduld Gallery in New York City. Lohin’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. Her awards include artist residencies at the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, the Vermont Studio Center and the Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris. She paints on site, on the North Fork of Long Island, and Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Lohin is an avid reader of poetry, which often influences her painting.
Rita Baragona: Artist, Curator, Lecturer
In Art in America Jed Perl wrote, “What a nature painter must do is impose some human logic or private poetry on the natural world. By this measure Baragona is a very interesting painter.”
I recently asked these three “connected” women,
“What is happening in your creative work life at present?”
This spring was a featured speaker at City College (CUNY), teaching graduate students on “How to Make a Chapbook."
I also taught a focused workshop on writing poetry and micro prose in response to visual art at the Sarah Lawrence College Writing Institute, where I teach poetry and text and image workshops. I have also been granted a month-long residency to work on my poems and visual art at the Siena Art Institute in Italy this Fall.
I recently interviewed Ro, who will be a featured artist in the Summer issue of Tupelo Quarterly. I'm the visual arts editor for this journal. A beautiful portfolio of Ro Lohin's work, alongside a brief interview, will appear in the summer issue (out in June)! Ro offers some thoughtful comments into her process, making the connection between poetry and how she thinks when she works.
I am currently exhibiting at the Bowery Gallery,NYC – the show is called “Cadences.” I named my show Cadences because i find more meaning and validity in the rhythmic relationships of words, shapes or notes then the narrative they say, what they portray or the idea the music is based on.
I was also in “Rooms with a View, 7 artists,” March 3-March 17 with a panel talk March 10. We each got our own rooms and each of us, was very different. I had the smallest room and exhibited small paintings.
- The Unstilllife April 10-July 28, 2018 - University of Mississippi Museum and Historic Houses-
- Drawing the Curtain, May 22- June 9, 2018 - First Street Gallery, NYC, NY
- Veils, May 25- June 3, 2018 - 135 W. 26 Street, Apt.9B, NYC, NY
I've spent the last year dedicated to painting and drawing full time.
I've prepared my studio for visitors and have been entertaining artists all , curators, dealers on a regular basis. My work will be featured in Tupelo Quarterly with text following questions by poet Elaine Sexton.
Each artist offers comments about art, poetry and metaphor in their work
I think I might share with my colleagues an impulse, a kind of chemistry, to make something of the place where our consciousness meets the natural world. When I wrote, in a poem, "The prospect of paint / is the refuge of ideas," I was thinking of that place where the sea, a tree, a burgeoning in the landscape serves as a stand in for something else.
As for metaphor my flowers are beautiful but flowers change constantly. They are also a metaphor for time passing cadence and rhythmic change. As the dahlia petals on the outside wilt and grow limp, tiny petals continue to grow at its center. The yellow center where the honey is grows more prominent.
"Sometimes lines or phrases in poetry engage me unconsciously over long periods of time. I love all the lines from Wordsworth’s poem, "Tintern Abby," for so many reasons, but one phrase always stuck with me:
“All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things”
I thought painting had that in it. I mean when a painting comes to completion I wanted the stuff that “rolls through all things” to be what my paintings had."