Tell Me A Story: Narrative Art

WRITERS WANTED: Connect with a piece of art in the show and write a story, poem, essay, etc inspired by the artwork. Submit your work to for possible publication on the website and join us on Sunday, October 25, 2020, from 3-5 PM to share the writing you created with our audience.

Artwork in the exhibition will also be available to view and purchase online through the Emerge Gallery Artsy shop where you will find additional works in the exhibition. A virtual tour and artists discussion is scheduled for Sunday, October 4, 2020, at 3 PM and a virtual reading is scheduled for Sunday, October 25, 2020, from 3-5 PM where writers may share their work written to accompany a piece of art. Both events will be broadcast live on the Emerge Gallery YouTube channel. Virtual events will be archived for later viewing on the gallery website at

The exhibit includes two works from Kay Kenny's photographic series Into the Night in the Middle of No Where, a poetic tribute to the rural night. “The darkness gives rise to our inherent fear of the unknown,” she explains. “While photographing, I tried to address those fears as well as capture the beauty of the night — a beauty we have all but forgotten to see as we light our way through the darkness.”

© Kay Kenny, Orchard House Archival Ink Jet photograph, 18" x 18"

Red Bank, NJ, painter Eileen Kennedy works in egg tempera, a medium where the artist mixes pigment with egg yolk and applies the paint with a fine brush, layering to create a hazy blend of color. Her paintings depict situations without explaining exactly what is going on. She likes to evoke enough emotion that “someone can make up their own stories.” Writers will have the opportunity to finish Kay’s, Eileen’s and the narratives of 38 other artists throughout the month of October. Writers are asked to submit the work created to Response writing will be published on the gallery website.

© Eileen Kennedy, Dona Nobis Pacem Egg tempera on wood panel, 24" x 34" 2018

Additional artists include Lucinda Abra, Gertrude Abramson, Luis Alves, Geta Badea, Loel Barr, Nancy Catandella, Shelley Davis, Michael Eagan, Timothy Ebneth, Howard Finkelson, Andrea Geller, Patti Gibbons, Dan Goldman, Melissa Harris, Susan Hoffer, Deborah Joyce, Suzanne Kirschner, Tracy Leavitt, Barbara Tepper Levy, Sophia Levy, Yvette Lewis, Linda Lynton, Marjorie Magid, Barbara Masterson, Susan J Murphy, Will Nixon, Suzanne Parker, Stacey AS Pritchard, Elaine Ralston, Tad Richards, Rita Sherry, Janet Siskind, Margaret G Still, Cindy Sumerano, Jean Tansey, Pamela Tucker, Vinette Varvaro, and Mimi Young, Tell Me a Story is curated by Emerge Gallery director Robert Langdon.

Tell Me a Story: An Exhibition of Narrative Art and Writers Respond to Tell Me a Story are part of Shout Out Saugerties — a celebration of culture and the arts in October. Information may be found at

© Lucinda Abra, Fear

Encaustic, Oil and collage on wood, 14" x 18"

Artist discussion and tour of TELL ME A STORY


© Shelley Davis, We Say Bad Words All the Time!

Mixed media, 14" x 11"


So I curse sometimes. So shoot me. I can't help it -- when something goes wrong, when I spill something or break something, I yell "SON OF A BITCH!" or "FUCK!" or "SHIT!" I don't mean to -- it just pops out. So what harm does it do? Well, I guess if somebody thought I'm a nice cultured lady, and that's real important to them, after they hear that, they think less of me.

My mom, who was a real nice lady, figured out a way around it. When she needed to, she'd yell "FISH!" or "FIDDLESTICKS!" I've tried it, but it doesn't do the job for me. Cut my finger with a knife, it's "GODDAMITTOHELL" before I know I've said anything.

My daughter married into a family who sternly disapprove of cursing. Oh, the rolled eyes and pursed lips! The embarrassment! The shame! Sometimes I belch too, and that's just as bad. I'm not invited back. Screw 'em.

So why the hell are some words "bad"? I can talk about an ankle, or a shoulder, or a nose, or even about a chest (altho that's getting a little too close to an erogenous zone). I can refer to eyes or teeth or tennis elbow without giving anybody the willies. But say "ass" and the eyebrows go up. Say "cock" and a murmur goes around the room. Say "cunt" and it's all over, I'll never live it down.

There are words that name things so bad that they should be abolished: "war" "nuclear bomb" "torture" "holocaust" "slavery" "lynching" "capitalism" "poverty" "eviction" "rape." But these these are commonplace. These words can be spoken anywhere. It might be shocking to hear them come out of the mouth of a child, but the child would not be punished for speaking them. But let the same child say "motherfucker" and oh, the horror!

So kids know exactly where and when they can speak freely, and when they have to be careful. Kids use cursewords among themselves all the time. And grownups too! We know who we can be unguarded around. In our house, we say bad words all the time.

— © Susan Murphy

© Kay Kenny, The Orchard House

Archival Ink Jet Photograph, 18" x 18"

Orchard House, 2013

after Kay Kenny

May I say that’s me,

or any other poet/writer,

having a field day

in the woodshed,

away from all house din,

welcomed by the garden buzz.

Sitting in an old chair,

old pillow under my rump,

at a long wooden table

expounding on a yellow tablet,

pounding on my keyboard

words: last vestiges of light

outside dissolving,

the mysteries of night beginning

on my page.

Not all sheds hold tools

or nasty things like spider webs,

some, like this one you’ve

stumbled upon, would welcome

you for a spell with a light

tap on the door.

— © Patrick Hammer, Jr.

When Santa does the nasty in his red-lit love shack

And the fox arrives to steal salty underwear off the rack

When the girl shines her flashlight up to make a scary face

And the rest of us wonder what the hell just landed from outer space

When the forest fires her decorator for such poor lighting

And the photographer fears her latest idea is kinda frightening,

When the grass has nothing better to do than collect heavy dew

And the girl with a monster face begins to regret her wet shoes

When the stars start to spin like failing a sobriety test

And Santa shoves his red-nosed hussy into the position he likes best

When the rest of us wonder if we really have nothing better to do

And the fox is of the mind to find that girl for a fragrant shoe to chew

When this silly thing has enough lines to be approximating a sonnet

Then, doggone it, the photographer should say cheese and step on it.

— © Will Nixon

© Kay Kenny, White Umbrella

Archival Ink Jet Photograph, 18" x 22"

a haiku inspired by White Umbrella, 2015 by Kay Kenny

her white umbrella

casts a glow like a halo

in a field of dreams

            — © Sari Grandstaff


© Suzanne Kirschner, Wishing Rocks

Oil, India ink and Aluminum on paper 24" x 30"

Wishing Rocks, 2017

after Suzanne Kirschner

Not Easter eggs,

with their sugar-colored

filigree, bound for tummy.

Not shells from the sea,

small or large, held up

to the ear for Mer’s message.

Not coins of this or any

other realm rattling

in pockets to be spent.

Not store-brand pasta

or anything homemade, boiled,

eaten with sauce and cheese.

They are wishing rocks all:

these black/white/grey amulets,

all powerful talismans

waiting to be held.

— © Patrick Hammer, Jr.

© Linda Lynton, What's for Breakfast?

Oil on canvas, 21" x 17"

haiku for Lynda Lynton’s What’s for Breakfast

a seagull’s question

are you going to share that?

gives me the side eye

— © Sari Grandstaff


© Will Nixon, Untitled

Digital photography, 10" x 8"


after Will Nixon

Since I died I lost

all sense of color.

Things now like cars

and twigs are washed

out black and white.

Yes, that’s my car

at the side of the road.

And I guess these are

my twigs since I rest

not too deeply under them.

It was random, just off

the highway, at a pit stop,

for coffee and the paper.

He got me to follow him

this far. Guess I’ll be in

the Daily News, on Dateline,

60 Minutes, 48 Hours.

I did not know him, did not

know why he took my life.

There’s patience in death.

I’ll wait here quietly until

you or someone else

uncovers my name.

— © Patrick Hammer, Jr.


Roots have their opinions,

Stubborn, stuck up, stabbing at air.

They know what we fear:

Voices buried in soil,

Bones no longer bones,

The truth that crawls forth

To catch up with the speeding car.

— © Will Nixon

We sped by, lost in thought about tonight’s menu, tomorrow’s meetings, and yesterday’s shopping trip. Eyes on the road, mind directed inward.

The fallen leaves watched us go by. They had no regrets about releasing their hold from the branch that had given them life.

The twigs witnessed our passing. They had no plans for the future. They were prepared to melt back into the soil.

The worms felt the rumble of our wheels overhead. They existed purely for that moment, so the shuddering of the ground did not distract from their focus.

We were the only ones who divided our energy and attention. We were carried over the earth, never touching or becoming attached.

— © JoJo Murphy for Will Nixon’s “Untitled”

© Suzanne Parker, She Will Be Missed

Mixed media on canvas, 18" x 18"

A haiku in response to Suzanne Parker’s She Will Be Missed

notorious one

soars through the gates of heaven

scales of justice tip

— © Sari Grandstaff


© Suzanne Parker, Trumpula

Mixed media on wood, 8.25" x 11"

Trumpula, 2020

after Suzanne Parker

Trumpula, Trumpula,

T-rump, you strumpet,

you, you, you are all orange

hair and livid face

on fire. Out for blood,

you vamp, teeth so sharp,

sinking your ugly mug

into our lives.

Trumpula, Trumpula,

put your shit-crusted

finger down. Put your micro

pee pee back in your pant.

Make America Civil Again.

Make your Proud Boys go

home to their basement bunkers.

Lugosi at his worst, better

than you masquerading

in formal wear. T-rump,

T-rump, your Erection Day

is a no-no, a no-go.

— © Patrick Hammer, Jr.

© Janet Siskind, Haunted

Monoprint, 21" x 18"

Haunted, 2020

after Janet Siskind

Last night I dreamt

of Manderley again.

I stood cloaked

in red and watched

fire eat the roof

and windows and walls

and all our lives


Last night I gave up

again but also dreamt

a young woman

from India on a bier

awaiting cremation

out on dark waters

like her flowing hair.

In a circle of people she

stood up, took a breath,

and walked away

to live again.

— © Patrick Hammer, Jr.

© Margaret G. Still

Celestial Storage Units, Maiden, North Carolina

Oil on wood, 19" x 25"

a haiku in response to Margaret G. Still’s Celestial Storage Units, Maiden, North Carolina

a matter of space

we’re slaves to our possessions

in storage we trust

— © Sari Grandstaff


Emerge Gallery & Art Space

228A Main Street, Saugerties, NY  (845) 247-7515

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