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Ekphrastic Writing Wanted: Deadline Jan 1

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Bearing Arms:  Responding to Guns in American Culture

We have, according to the constitution, the right “to keep and bear arms” in the United States.  But how, in the wake of Las Vegas, Pulse, Sandy Hook, Trayvon Martin, and other abuses of firearms—by citizens and in some cases by those trained to protect and serve—do we bear that right?  How do we bear it?

At Broadsided, we believe that art and literature belong in our daily lives. They inspire and demonstrate the vitality and depth of our connection with the world. We had to speak out—we had to make a space for you to speak out—on this issue.

We put out a call to visual artists asking for submissions. Work came from all over the country, in all media.  Powerful, provocative, dynamic work.  Guest Arts Editor Stacy Isenbarger selected six pieces that offer a range of attitudes, aesthetics, and opportunities.  Of her decision, Stacy has this to say:

How do we confront that of which we already hold tightly? Collectively, these chosen works offer a dimensional conversation of this weighted issue. Some may suggest a boundary of societal judgement, but they don’t necessarily reveal what side they are one. Instead these pieces offer evolving space. They welcome an opportunity for viewers to discuss how we bear that which touches our lives.

We now ask you to respond with words.  Below are six works of visual art.  When you submit your writing, be sure to be clear as to which piece you are responding.

DEADLINE EXTENDED: January 1, 2018.

GUIDELINES: Our general guidelines for length apply.  There is a special button on Submittable for this feature.  The form asks you to indicate which artwork you are responding to.  If you respond to multiple pieces, please make sure the correlation is clear on your submission itself. Because poem and image will be presented together as a broadside, we are most interested in writing that opens new engagements with the art.

"true believers" Sandra Cohen
“True Believers” 24” x 24”, acrylic on canvas.  Sandra Cohen studied fine art at Parsons School of Design, the SMFA, and the Art Institute of Boston. A Massachusetts Cultural Council Painting Fellowship recipient for 2008 and a member of the Copley Society of Art, she was formerly the singer and guitarist for Boston bands Grind and Planet Queen.
“Gun Culture Timeline,” 10″x100″, graphic design, 2014. Jonathan Clyde Frey is an artist and designer who currently resides in the central PA. His work broadly explores the influence of ideology on contemporary culture. Jonathan has earned degrees in art & design from the University of Dayton, the University of Florida, and the Pratt Institute. Since graduation he has taught at a variety of schools, and is currently an assistant professor of art at Bucknell University.


“End of the Rainbow” 5″x12″x1″, mixed media. David Kamm earned an MFA from the University of Iowa. For 28 years he has served as gallery coordinator and assistant professor of art at Luther College. His work has been included in over 150 exhibits, and for several years has addressed the problem of gun violence.


"Bruce and Elsie," Osceola Refetoff
“Bruce & Elsie – Independence CA – 2016” digital photograph. Osceola Refetoff’s interest is in documenting humanity’s impact on the world – both the intersection of nature and industry, and the narratives of people living at those crossroads. His photography is widely exhibited, and High & Dry, his long-term collaboration with writer/historian Christopher Langley, is syndicated on KCET’s Emmy-winning program Artbound.


"Does Big Brother's Uniform Fit Johnny?" Dixie Salazar
“Does Big Brother’s Uniform Fit Johnny?” mixed media. Dixie Salazar is a Central Valley artist who has been working in oils, watercolors, collage, assemblage, and hand-colored photography for the past forty years or more. Her work has been shown in the Central Valley, San Francisco, Las Vegas, New York and Merced. She has also published five books of poetry and two novels.


"Female Target," Kristen Woodward
“Female Target,” 24″x35″, mixed media, 2015. Kristen T. Woodward received her BFA degree in Printmaking from Syracuse University, and her MFA in Studio Art from Clemson University.  Her mixed media works combine painting and printmaking, and often utilize found collage materials.  Woodward is currently a Professor of Art at Albright College in Reading, PA, teaching painting, and printmaking, and disciplinary courses on Latin American graphic art, and gender and the arts.

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