In times of dread, artists must never remain silent. This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That’s how civilizations heal.
Terry “Big T” Wrightwood’s Got Talent Show
Saturday, March 19th
The Wrightwood Blues Society’s annual talent show is back and bigger than ever! This year the annual scholarship, presented in honor of blues legend Terry “Big T” DeRouen, takes on a new look by featuring all finalists in a collaborative concert rather than a competition.
The preliminary round opens February 26th and closes March 19th, and all K-12 students in Wrightwood and surrounding areas are welcome to submit a video via YouTube link. Tickets for the April 2nd show go on sale March 15th. For more information, and to watch some of last year’s audition videos, visit wrightwoodblues.org.
Picture Me Here
Drawing Together is an arts-based nonprofit, which recently relocated to the tri-community area. Their mission is to work with individuals and communities to creatively envision a healthier future through art. They consider health from a holistic perspective and view equity and social justice as part of a healthy community. Their work includes art education classes, adult workshops, community projects, and advocacy work.
Their first project they are presenting in the community is “Picture Me Here,” a collaboration with the Wrightwood Arts Center, which will result in a culminating exhibition at WAC on April 30 from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. The goal of the project is to expose the community to a diverse group of contemporary artists.
The public is welcome to see the four exhibiting artists at either the opening or on May 7, 14, or 21 from 1:00-4:00 pm. Artwork will be for sale and will include paintings, sculptures, fabric art and video. Families are encouraged to attend!
The exhibition builds on a series of art assemblies that will be offered at Wrightwood Elementary School, where all four artists will be presenting artwork and drawing activities in March. Every student will be receiving a workbook to take home too.
An adult workshop will be offered on Saturday, March 7th from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m., and will be part conversation and part drawing.
“Another more kind and compassionate future is possible,” says the artist and founder Jamie Crooke Powell, and that’s just what Drawing Together aims to create.
This project was made possible by a grant from the California Arts Council and from individual donor contributions. Drawing Together is a 501C3 nonprofit organization that accepts tax-deductible donations, which help to provide free programming to the community.
Wrightwood Arts Center’s Documentary Film Project
Wrightwood has long been a thriving artists’ community, notably Aldous Huxley in the mid-20th century, Dillie Thomas later in the 20th century, and currently John Frame, Gayle Dowling, David Svenson, and Patricia Farrell, to mention only a few. Building on a history of local artistry, the Wrightwood Art Center (WAC) began in 2008 as an artists’ studio and gallery, evolved into an arts education center, and eventually a nonprofit arts organization.
Nominated by our local Desert Community Bank, WAC is the proud recipient of a grant from Flagstar Foundation, which will be used to produce a short documentary film focused on the Arts in our community. The emphasis will be on local artists, nature, and community, highlighting their intersectionality, with music from local talent. About 15-22 minutes in length, clips will be excerpted for social media promotion of the inaugural Wrightwood Arts & Wine Festival on Saturday, May 21nd, and later the completed film will tell the story of our arts community. Filming will begin in March and continue through the festival.
Surrounded by the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, Wrightwood inspires art and artists, past and present. The WAC’s vision is that Wrightwood will become a gathering place for dynamic, diverse engagement with the arts in the Tri-Community, High Desert, Inland Empire, and beyond. The Wrightwood Arts & Wine Festival and this short film are steps in realizing that vision. The final cut will be available this fall.
Thank You to All of Our Festival Sponsors!
We’ve been amazed with the amount of local support for the upcoming Wrightwood Arts & Wine Festival—thank you to all of our sponsors! You can find the current list of them with links at our sponsor page.
Rattle‘s Poem of the Month
Image: “Dark Figures” by Matthew King. “Why I Love that We’re Not Gods” was written by Sean Keck for Rattle’s Ekphrastic Challenge, January 2022, and selected as the Editor’s Choice.
WHY I LOVE THAT WE’RE NOT GODS
If we could live all time at once,
there’d be no room for words
in that total lack of silence.
The sky, grown thick with birds
trailing themselves like film frames,
would buckle and heave, spurred
along by wind and flames,
competing moons and stars,
bodies no longer named
on any legible charts.
Buried beneath thunder
of innumerable heart-
beats half off, under
the weight of too many
todays, we’d wander
nowhere and there. Any-
where you turned
there’d be a litany
of you and me, churned
into an us of each of us,
two we who learn
nothing because the cup
of our choices
is already filled up
with overflowing voices
of every grace and sin
we’d done or do. Noises
all about. The love we’re in,
in that total lack of silence,
won’t end but won’t begin.
—from Rattle’s Ekphrastic Challenge
January 2022, Editor’s Choice
Sean Keck is an assistant professor and the Director of Graduate Studies for English at Radford University, where he teaches American literature, African American literature, and fiction writing.