Supporting and Promoting Inclusion in the Arts Since 2005
Starlight Studio & Art Gallery
Artist Poetry Books Are Now Available!
Another Light Brightens Buffalo: First solo book of poems & drawings published by poet/artist, Kelly Evans.
Starlight Studio & Art Gallery, 340 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, NY, is pleased to announce the release of Another Light by Kelly Evans. Writing mentor, Michael Rembis, UB Assoc. Prof., says Evans’ work “provokes both thought and emotion. Its beauty and complexity make the reader demand more, with each new reading calling forth deeper meaning.” The black and white renditions of nineteen original drawings by Evans counter-balance and open another window for her light to shine out. Kyle Butler, Visual Artist, Curator and Adj. Prof. of Fine Arts remarks that “Evans work tends toward two moods…a sort of performed cool…(or) tenderness and vulnerability.”
Previous work by Kelly Evans her involvement in Between People, the Affirmative Project, a freestyle play, directed by Galia Binder at the Jim Bush Studio on Buffalo’s Westside. Three of Evans poems were accepted for (Dis)Integration, a juried 2017 anthology of writing and artwork by community members with special needs. Evans’ poetry and artwork are included in Writer’s Block (fall 2015), Daemon College literary magazine. She has had artwork in numerous shows at Starlight Studio and Art Gallery 2015-present. Evans collaborated on artwork for Co-Artifact 2014 and 2018 with artists, Cathy Shuman Miller and Pam Glick, respectively.
Evans currently spends most of her time creating art and poetry and enjoys being an artist/poet at Starlight Studio and Art Gallery in Buffalo, NY. Evans, who hopes to get back to regularly read her poetry for art openings, etc. at the gallery, resides in the Buffalo area.
-17 original poems & 19 original drawings by Kelly Evans
-Printed locally with Keller Bros & Miller Inc
-Funding from Erie County and through Learning Disabilities Assoc. of WNY
Praise for "Another Light":
Another Light is aptly titled. It is a collection of sparks, insights into the self, underbellies revealed, vulnerable, a fast paced glimpse at the soul. The poet illuminates dark corners then whisks the light away and lets the shadows settle in—loss, love, sadness, joy, celebration, and realization. They speak truths.
-Lorna Czarnota MacDonald, author of Breadline Blue; Legends, Lore and Secrets of WNY; and Dancing at the Crossroads
Kelly Evans' drawings tend toward two moods. One is of a sort of performed cool, as in her renditions of musicians like David Bowie and Marc Almond. The figures calmly pose, as cool does, aware but not flaunting. In other drawings, the mood is more of tenderness and vulnerability. The figures seem to dwell in thought, their body language more slack, eyes more alert. Even in non-figurative work, this combination of matter-of-fact cool and pleading openness seems present in the mix of stern lines, thinly scratched-in detail, and sparse or absent backgrounds. In their pairing, these two moods illustrate distant but related mindsets: one of projected confidence and one of reflective reservation.
-Kyle Butler, Visual Artist, Art Curator, and Assistant Professor of Fine Arts,
Villa Maria College
Kelly Evan’s poems beg the reader to not make assumptions, to observe, to go deeper and realize that we are all capable of being loved, being in love and of being hurt. These poignant poems are full of surprises. In Blue Jay she asks bird to sing a song and show her the way. In I Was Wrong she berates herself and feels ridiculous as so many women do for trusting someone she loved. In Love is Pitter Patter Gone she plays delightfully with colors and questions. As well as writing poetry, Evans is an artist of some merit. Her well defined pencil drawings show us a complex woman who is strong, playful, caring and vulnerable. Evans’s poems and her drawings are brave in their awareness of the unpredictability and sometimes cruelty of life, “it’s a confusing, heartless world we live in” she writes in Room Slave. But we can be sure that Evans will never give up. Her words are honest and she has given us poems that we should all read to remind ourselves that we are flawed and that we need to have more compassion for each other.
-Jennifer Gold, author of Yes! I Knew the Queen and Top Leaf
Whether it is the sullen and mysterious tones of “Room Slave” or “Wooden Flies,” or the playful melody of “In the Middle,” Kelly Evans’ work provokes both thought and emotion. Its beauty and complexity make the reader demand more, with each new reading calling forth deeper meaning. Evans’ unique blend of hopefulness and deep introspection demands attention.
- Michael Rembis, Ph.D., Assoc. Professor, Department of History Director, Center for Disability Studies, Univ. of Buffalo, and Co-editor of (Dis)Integration
Up way in the trees lay a blue jay that I see,
way up high in the deep blue sky.
She is singing to me that our friendship should never die.
It is no lie that we all get too shy and
like to hide our faces in disguise.
Show your face and your bright blue eyes.
Be sure to say hi without despise,
but with a caring smile we all can share.
So blue jay, blue jay, deep in the sky
show me the way, sing me a song that we all can sing along.
The shades of blue sea carry us away
where happiness is eternal.
Let our wings take us away where we may stay.
Take us to a fantasy land where we have the freedom to stand
in a big field of blue flowers
we’ll stay for many hours.
The dawn never becomes dark
the blue days are always bright without some kind of fight.
So blue jay, blue jay, deep in the sky,
show me the way, sing me a song that we can all sing along.
Wake up in the sight of the blackest night,
it seemed it was just another theme
of a dream in my head.
But instead soon the moon would be the sight of a new day.
So one last time blue jay, blue jay, deep in the sky,
show me the way, sing me a song that we can all sing along.
Change is never easy,
but it is a new reframe
to start something new.
Change an ever growing face
full of grace,
a fashion statement always changing.
Technology always growing
not knowing what will come next.
Words are silent, never face to face
but may be ignored.
A change where people have a sustained view
of never stopping,
never looking to say hello.
Hidden words behind the screen
never see a face with expression.
Aggression is advised that
hurtful words can be troubling.
to see you,
black as coal
but never a toll
for what he is.
Fast as a rabbit,
playful so never a habit.
Ready to hunt
with a grunt,
so dark and swirly.
In the month of May
eyes like a new born baby,
Do you need a spanky?.
Has a cute little beard
not so weird.
Always a lovable friend
every need to tend
always full of energy
and a great memory
will never die!
You like to tickle
like a sweet sour pickle
You remain in my heart.
Young Eyes, Old Soul
Keys to another life,
to another light;
scenes to a world could have been.
Old eyes, young skin.
Keys of an old, soft song.
If I had a perfect body, perfect mind,
maybe I could have been born in another time.
Crystal balls, will I learn to grow old as been told?
How much time do we really have?
Today is new, but yesterday is old.
Why do the days fly by
but not enough time to cry?
A betrayal that she’ll never be
forgotten but claimed in time.
The glorious forest walls
Where has daddy gone?
He took a trip to Heaven,
always looking down under the hazy walls,
into a twisting maze of a winding forest.
The vines of time will cover me
and the walls of beauty for eternity.
Just like you daddy, forever young.
But you are not forgotten
and never lost your spirit,
for it lies within me.
Maybe in the next life
we can meet again.
In the Middle
A sandwich has two pieces of bread
with deli meat,
lettuce, tomato, cheese,
mustard, ketchup and mayo
in the middle.
That makes a good sandwich
when you put all that
in the middle of two pieces of bread.
An Oreo has two cookies
in the middle
that makes a good cookie
with a glass of milk.
Sometimes you can have
a fried Oreo at the fair.
An Oreo has all kinds of flavors now.
Life can be troubling
in the middle of a heartless gloop
at the double.
If you learn to judge
how people love,
would you be afraid
with Cupid alone?
Pointing, thick, fat fingers
shouting stay away.
How are you
in the middle
when you always
know how to judge a
book by its cover?
Bellow like a big hyena
pockets full of cash,
but learn how to harass
with a lip not a fist.
Remembering Alison Mantione
It is with a heavy heart, that the Starlight Studio and Art Gallery Program of the Learning Disabilities Association of WNY must say good bye to one of its star artists, Alison Mantione.
With an eye to perfection, Alison had a focused approach to her art making. Turtles, animals, and nature imagery were the primary subject matter of her methodical creations. Her artwork evoked emotion and asked the spectator to take a closer look.
Alison joined Starlight Studio and Art Gallery in 2008. “I think I can be a perfectionist in my art making… I like to take my time when I make my art. It’s important to me to use the right colors and shapes to have things come out the way I like”. One of the highlights of Alison’s time at Starlight Studio included her work in the afterschool arts program called AIM, Arts Instruction Mentoring, where she helped to facilitate artmaking with youth. She learned to research lesson plans, manage art supplies, and teach projects. “I feel like the mentoring program is helping me manage my time and feel more accomplished. This makes me feel really good about myself”. “My sense of liking things to be ‘just so’ has helped me to have patience with the kids, because I have learned things take time.”
Along with the exacting drawings and paintings that Alison created, she also was a collector of objects that she found while walking through the city neighborhood where Starlight Studio is located (“her second home” as her Mom referred to Starlight Studio).
In March 2018, as part of its Side by Each exhibition series, Starlight Studio was proud to organize and host an exhibit of Alison and the Buffalo artist, Marc Tomko’s, artwork which showcased their respective collections of found objects. As the exhibition curator wrote, “the two artists collect for reasons both habitual and creative. Alison Mantione collects from the world around her seemingly indiscriminately: broken jewelry, discarded packaging, pins, bottle caps, a damaged license plate, broken bike parts, and more, all from the proverbial discard bin of gutters, yards and sidewalks. The found objects are organized by date-discovered, placed in bags or other containers, and labeled in Mantione's idiosyncratic handwriting that is as much flourish as it is text."
Alison was a singular artist and human being. Her motivation was peace and understanding.
She was a free spirit and a loyal friend to all – sensitive to the under-dogs of this world. Alison hoped that her artwork reflected her dedication to improving this world by inspiring others to create peaceful nonjudgmental attitudes. Her openness, curiosity, humor, acceptance, generosity, and glitter will live on in Starlight Studio’s institutional memory.