A Timely Revival
EXHIBIT: ANIMAL FARM: A 75th ANNIVERSARY
APPRECIATION / On view at Stark Library, Main Branch, 715 Market Avenue
North, Canton, Ohio / Sat. November 7 through Sat. Dec 5 during regular library
hours / For those wishing to attend a socially distanced PRIVATE OPENING (masks required) on Friday
November 6 from 5 to 8p.m., sign up for
a slot at
read this announcement from Craig Joseph:
“Though a more relaxed schedule has been a blessing, one
of the things I've missed during the pandemic is having the opportunity to
shape and champion the work of other artists - both on stage and through visual
So it's with great excitement that I invite you all to ANIMAL
FARM: A 75th Anniversary Appreciation. In celebration of this
classic novel, I've revived the Translations Art Gallery brand and
partnered with Stark Library to host an exhibit of 52 scenes from the book,
created by artists from Stark County, Ohio, and around the nation. These are
people whose work I treasure and admire and I'm so honored to have them all
creating and exhibiting under one roof.
Additionally, I've cherished my opportunity to work with
students at Malone University and specifically through Theatre At Malone University,
where we'll be presenting an online production of ANIMAL FARM: A Fable in
Two Acts, by Nelson Bond. These students have worked incredibly hard to
create a "visual radio play" of sorts that you can view online, and I
think you'll be impressed by their creativity and skill in still making theatre
happen during a pandemic.
Details about all of these events - along with a few more
- can be found at
I’m thrilled and
grateful that Craig invited me to exhibit a new work for this show. In my
re-reading of George Orwell’s classic tale about a rebellion of farm animals
against their human keepers, I was startled at how the vivid narrative seemed
to literally pop off the pages and invade my consciousness, my sense of place
in time. While Orwell’s novel was a bitterly satirical allegory of the Russian
Revolution and its tumultuous aftermath, I felt the story explode beyond the
confines of its time. An ignoble ethos of tyranny and corrupted ideals, the
story still lives today, outside the book. A then has become a now.
My wall piece is
an assemblage of found objects (a hardcover book, stones, and plastic toy farm
animals). Call it a 3D drawing which I’ve titled, “The fruit of all their struggles.”
It addresses the episode in chapter 6 wherein the windmill being constructed by
the animals was destroyed. The ferocious leader of the animal community, a boar
named Napoleon, blames another banished pig, Snowball, for this treacherous
Orwell’s words describing the scene:
“…A terrible sight had met their eyes. The
windmill was in ruins.
With one accord they rushed down to the spot.
Napoleon, who seldom moved out of a walk, raced ahead of them all. Yes, there
it lay, the fruit of all their struggles, levelled to its foundations, the
stones they had broken and carried so laboriously scattered all around. Unable
at first to speak, they stood gazing mournfully at the litter of fallen stone.
Napoleon paced to and fro in silence, occasionally snuffing at the ground. His
tail had grown rigid and twitched sharply from side to side, a sign in him of
intense mental activit. Suddenly he halted as though his mind were made up.
’Comrades,’ he said quietly, ‘do you know who
is responsible for this? Do you know the enemy who has come in the night and
overthrown our windmill? SNOWBALL!’ he suddenly roared in a voice of thunder,
‘Snowball has done this thing!...”
so it is that I excerpted some words from this passage for my piece. I wrote
them in cursive, quickly. As if writing on a page in a journal, or like a
student taking notes. Cursive, after all, remains for me the most urgent if not
earnest form of drawing.