Thirteen Ways Of Looking At A Blackbird at Loading Dock Gallery

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Loading Dock Gallery

122 Western Avenue

Lowell, MA

Show: Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

Show dates: March 2 – March 27, 2016

Opening Reception: Saturday March 5, 2016, 5-7 pm


            Poets paint with words. This March, three visual artists turn the tables and interpret Wallace Steven’s poem Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird with paintings and sculpture. Compact yet complex, Stevens’ poem compels, even a century after it was written. Gayle Caruso, Nan Hockenbury, and Robin Levandov respond to each of the poem’s 13 stanzas with work that extracts the poems’ essentials, rendering them into personal visions.

            Gayle Caruso always works in series. She describes her art as “an adult struggle to piece together images, shadows and forms from my most hidden memories.” In Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird she works with white and black, on canvas and in 3-D, to express the poem as emotion and experience. She describes her work as “a sweet song to myself.”  Caruso lives in Andover, MA.

            Nan Hockenbury has a background in women’s art history. She works from a feminist perspective and uses a wide variety of materials to express an emotional interpretation of her subject matter.  In Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird she changes the point of view to parallel her personal story. Several pieces feature cups or bowls. For her, these vessels symbolize the generative power of the female, “the emptiness and fullness of creativity.”  A native of Lynnfield, MA, Hockenbury maintains a studio at Western Avenue Studios in Lowell.

            Robin Levandov traces her art back to a childhood love of fiction, which led her to create her own stories and imagery. For her, “painting is the poetry of art.” In Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird Levandov uses rich color to paint the emotions elicited by each verse, paralleling Stevens’ understanding of the poem as a collection of sensations. She lives in Belmont, MA and spends time on the east and west coasts. Her work finds inspiration from the “animate fog, majestic mountains and the mystery and treachery of the ocean.”

            During the exhibit, visitors are invited to add personal poetry on sticky notes to a collaborative poem outside the gallery. The flutter of words and color will continue the exhibit’s oscillation of perspective, as Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird moves from word to image and form, and back again.

            Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird runs March 2-27 at the Loading Dock Gallery at Western Avenue Studios, a part of Loading Dock Arts, Inc.  The opening reception will be on Saturday, March 2, from 5 – 7 pm, immediately after First Saturday Open Studios. The Loading Dock Gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday, noon – 5:30 pm and Sunday, noon – 4 pm. For more information, call 978-656-1687, or visit


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