The artists’ presentations are open-ended; the speaker can do a demonstration of their art or craft, present examples of their work, or create a unique format specific to their topic. Arlene Olshan, MAAG’s co-founder and executive director presented the first Artist Talk in February. Arleen talked about her fulfilling lifetime as an artist, teacher and therapist. Her colorful story of learning leatherwork and becoming a master leatherworker charmed her audience and lead to numerous thoughtful questions. Arleen is a good storyteller and made a great introductory speaker for this new series. MAAG is Arleen’s dream come true and we are truly grateful for her dedication.
In Emic Rizzle Tinkerer, Mary Ann Domanska took her daughter’s imaginative childhood experiences and built a wonderful novel for elementary age readers. There are elements of mystery and intrigue, as Emic boldly and fearlessly tackles the challenges of per-adolescence. This is her first published novel. The next novel, a work in progress, The Grit of Cora Belle Delany emerges from Mary Ann’s childhood in which she lived with parents who fostered dozens of children in their home. Mary Ann presented to a highly engaged audience on March 2, with her vivid descriptions of the inner life of a teenage girl in the foster system. In Cora Bell’s life there was no end to what she could fear and worry about. Sharing this fictionalized child’s life Mary Ann reveals how resilient a child can be, day after day , when life is unfriendly and she doesn’t know what tomorrow will bring. She read from a working draft of this emerging novel. This excerpt of this poignant, eloquent description of a child in “emergency temporary placement” left one wanting to hear more, to know what would become of the vulnerable, yet intensely strong young character.
When asked, what was the writing experience like for her, Mary Ann said, “ Sometimes I am in control and sometimes the character is in control.” Her immersion in writing about character and place produces imagery that is compelling and irresistible. It was a pleasure and an honor to hear Mary Ann read her work in progress. We look forward to the completion and publication of this moving, insightful tale of survival.
Please join us for future Artist Talks on the first Saturday of the month, at MAAG, 4-6pm. Light refreshments are provided and donations are welcome.