Artists, authors collaborate at show

Cove Leader-Press 

Writers joined artists to collaborate and create a visual artwork and a companion written piece as part of the first-ever artist and writer exhibition, Word Works: Artist and Author Challenge displayed at Frame & Things in Cove Terrace Shopping Center, with a reception showcasing the pieces held on Friday evening. 
The idea came about months ago, when Samra Thompson, who coordinates the monthly lineup of artists for Frames & Things’ monthly show First Friday Art After Dark, and Nicole Metts, founder of the Central Texas Writers Society, were talking. The artists and writers were paired up randomly and began collaborating. 
Many of the writers and artists never met the person they were working with until Friday evening but “by sharing words and the visuals they were able to come up with these amazing pieces that really work well together,” Thompson said.  
Guests voted for their favorite pairing, with Frames & Things owners Joe Friddle and his wife, Debra, providing prizes for first, second and third place winners of the People’s Choice award. The Friddles took over Frames & Things from Robert Weidinger II, the shop’s former owner, and have continued the monthly art show, First Friday Art After Dark. 
“Basically, what we’re trying to do is bolster art itself and do it all different kinds that we can,” Friddle said, referring to the literary, visual and musical art featured at Friday’s event. 
“If we don’t do something to make people aware of what we have, then it’s gonna die,” Friddle added. “I do a lot of art shows myself and we have fewer and fewer young people taking part and if we don’t do the things that are of interest in the area of art, it’s just gonna die. And we don’t want that to happen, so we’re trying to make something happen to make people aware.”
Friddle said that it was interesting to see how the artists and writers interpreted each other’s work. 
“It was interesting to see what they felt about it and what direction they wanted to go with the interpretation of the literary pieces with the combination of the art pieces,” Friddle said. 
First-place winners of the People’s Choice awards were Heather Chandler and Annette Capps. Chandler wrote a poem called “Southern Girl” and Capps painted a portrait of a red-haired girl with magnolias in her hair. 
Chandler shared several poems with Capps and Capps chose “Southern Girl” and blew Chandler away with her interpretation of it, Chandler said. 
“I didn’t really tell her anything about me but the name of the book I’m working on is called ‘Magnolia Whiskey’ so for her to implement the magnolia flower - just really, really awesome.”
Second place went to Wanda Gunter and Azeita Taylor, who collaborated on a book, incorporating Gunter’s poem “The Wait” and Taylor’s photograph of a woman with a cup of coffee sitting at a table. 
Gunter’s poem could be read in different ways- either by color or as a whole. Gunter read her poem in red first before reading the whole thing through. 
The pair were complete strangers but ended up coming up with so many different ideas before reducing it to one, Gunter said. 
Taylor shared that they originally wanted to do a series called “Things Forgotten” before finding out they could only do one piece. The picture represented any woman trying to find herself and see the person they’re meant to become, Taylor said. The poem and the picture were placed into a book to portray the pair as one artist and was burnt to show the person has gone through tough times. The book itself represents a treasure from someone’s life, Taylor added. 
The third-place winners were Jose Estrada and Missi Thompson, whose poem “Honey Dipper” inspired Estrada’s portrait of a woman with daisies in her hair and bees surrounding her. 
The goal of Word Works was to inspire creativity, Thompson said. 
“It was just a challenge. It wasn’t a contest,” Thompson said. “It was just meant to have people who have nothing to do with each other usually- maybe their styles don’t even go together, you wouldn’t think, but yet they do, because look.”
The large number of people who showed up to support the artists and writers pleased Thompson and Metts, who said it showed that art is growing in Cove. 
“I think people are a lot more interested in art and creativity than you would think for our community,” Thompson said. 
While guests enjoyed the art pairings and refreshments, music was provided by musician Scott Taylor. 
Word Works will be on display at Frames & Things until August 25. 

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