2021 Between The Lines

Between the Lines

The word writer encapsulates poet, playwright, novelist, etc, perfectly. These creatives use the written word to share an idea or emotion with their audience. To tell a story. This April, The Springfield Regional Arts Council shares how visual artists can be inspired by the creative nature of the written word in our April exhibit, “Between the Lines.” After all - an image is worth a thousand words! An open call show the Creamery exhibition center will be welcoming a variety of local artists including:  

Cole Closser
Cole Closser is a self-described small-town kid from Springfield who knew they wanted to be an illustrator at a young age. Cole's first graphic novel, Little Tommy Lost (Koyama Press), was named one of the ten best graphic novels of 2013 by A.V. Club, nominated for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Award in the category of Best Publication Design in 2014, and featured in Best American Comics 2015. Their second graphic novel Black Rat (also Koyama Press) was listed as a Notable in Best American Comics 2017. 
Cole, an assistant professor of Art and Design, worked alongside Jen Murvin, to create a new degree option: BFA in Design, Sequential Art at Missouri State University. Together they co-teach Graphic Narrative—a one-of-a-kind course that combines both writing and art to create comics. This course promotes growth for all students, with the ever-present challenge of learning something new, all the while sharing their own stories.

Jessica Blackburn
Jessica Blackburn is an illustrator and art educator from Southwest Missouri. She's called the Ozark Mountains home her entire life and traveled the world to study art and art history. She loves to create fun worlds and characters using colored pencils, gouache, watercolor, and graphite as well as digital art.  

As a mother and educator, Jessica understands the importance of childhood literacy and prides herself in creating picture books that will benefit a child's life and ultimately our future. 

Jo Van Arkel
Jo Van Arkel is a professor, poet, writer and artist who teaches at Drury University, with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Oregon, an M.A. in Literature from Texas Christian University and an M.A. in Art and Art Theory from Drury University.   She currently coordinates the Graphic Storytelling Certificate at Drury University.  Her art has been shown at the Creamery Art Center, Springfield-Branson Airport Gallery, Obelisk, Pool Art Gallery, and the Chicago Center for the Book and Paper Arts.  She has completed workshops at Penland, the San Francisco Center for the Book and Paper Arts, Quelquefois Press in Berkeley, CA, and at the Carol Brighton Studio.  She works with letterpress, printmaking, book arts, zines, paintings and illustration.   For Jo, the written and visual arts are inextricably linked.

Rex Ybañez
Rex Ybañez is a former Pushcart Prize nominee and Filipino American poet living in Springfield, MO. He is the Director of Community Outreach for Artists Empowerment Collective, a budding nonprofit organization and official subcommittee of the Springfield Regional Arts Council that serves to amplify artists of color through education, community engagement, and cultural healing. He has been the master of ceremonies and a judge for the 2020/2021 Poetry Outloud regional competitions. His work is featured in Haverthorn, Noctua Review, Peculiar Mormyrid, Prism Review, and Half Mystic. He hopes to host literary events again for local writers once the pandemic is over.

 "Between the Lines"  will be on display in The Creamery Arts Center Exhibition Hall during the month of April, with an opening reception and live poetry reading during First Friday Artwalk April 2nd from 5-8 pm. 

As always the SRAC thanks you for masking and safely distancing while attending events at The Creamery Arts Center!