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WPI Hosting Visual Art and Poetry Exhibition

Friday, March 15, 2013


A unique exhibition of visual art and poetry by Worcester area artists is coming to Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) later this month. The show, titled When 4x4=8, features a local collaborative of four poets and four artists – 4x4.

For the last three years, 4x4 have discovered new ideas and creative energy in each others’ work, visions and voices. Group members include visual artists Lisa Barthelson, Carrie Crane, Dorothy Magadieu and Susan Sedgwick and poets Clair Degutis, Dan Lewis, Susan Roney O’Brien, and Patricia Youngblood.

When GoLocalWorcester last spoke with member, Susan Sedgewick, she said, “We meet once a month, and it has brought me a whole new perspective.”

“I was primarily a black and white photographer, but this group really opened my eyes. It was what I was trained in,” Sedgwick said.

4x4’s third annual exhibition and reading opens Friday March 22 at 5:30 PM, with an artists’ and poets’ talk on Tuesday, April 9 @ 4 PM. at WPI’s Gordon Library Gallery.

This is the collaborative’s third annual exhibition. Their 2012 show “Voices and Visions” and related events were held at Worcester’s Sprinkler Factory

4x4 grew out of a 2010 lunchtime conversation between Roney-O’Brien and Sedgwick, friends and fans of each other’s work. By the end of lunch, they had decided to invite other artists and writers to share their projects and, perhaps, spark new creative possibilities. What grew from the original sources often took on its own life … and still does.

Photo by Sue Sedgwick, one of the show's featured artists.

Susan Sedgwick of Holden is primarily a nature / landscape photographer, currently transitioning from darkroom to digital, black and white to color. She has exhibited her work in galleries from South Carolina to Maine, and in Boston, Worcester and other Massachusetts venues. She credits working with the 4x4 group for helping expand her vision and thinking in color and abstract presentation.

Susan Roney-O'Brien's work has been published in “Prairie Schooner”, “Yankee”, “The Christian Science Monitor”, “Beloit Poetry Journal”, “Diner”, and many other journals. She has two books to her credit, Farmwife, winner of the William and Kingman Page Poetry Book Award, and Earth, with photographer Bruce Dean. She teaches middle school English in Princeton where she lives with her husband, Philip.

Collaborative members are motivated and inspired by their monthly sharing of current and in-process work, says poet Patricia Youngblood.

“Sometimes the connections are clear; other times unexpected visions or voices emerge. Both provide a common language of respect, care, and outright astonishment,” she said. “With eight people involved, we’re never quite sure how our shows will take shape but the synchronicities and accidental collaborations surprised and delighted all of us. We certainly haven’t lost pleasure in watching our work come together on the gallery walls.”

Patricia Youngblood of Worcester is a lifetime art and design devotee whose work has always been influenced by color and art. She is the 2011 winner of the Worcester County Poetry Association’s Frank O’Hara prize and has been published in the “Worcester Review” and elsewhere. The now-retired online content editor of Bose.com and Furniture.com is also a former journalist, editor and interior designer.


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