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When visual and literary beauty combine: Grayslake artist inspires local poet

GRAYSLAKE – “Endless Winter,” a beautiful oil and cold wax painting created by Grayslake artist Rebecca Stahr, recently became the source of inspiration for a local writer-poet.

Stahr is a full-time artist whose work has been displayed in private collections and public gallery spaces in the Chicago and Milwaukee areas. She is inspired by being able to find beauty and value in the broken, as well as in impermanence and the cycles of life and nature. Her works point toward a reflection of deeper value and identity and enable compassion for humanity’s brokenness and imperfection.

J.A. Calvillo had seen Stahr’s featured artist exhibition “Transformations: Conversations with the Soul in a Time of Solitude” that showcased 21 new works of oil and cold wax paintings at the Blue Moon Gallery in Grayslake in October 2020. He met the artist, they connected, and Calvillo became enchanted not only with the overall presentation of the artwork, but specifically with the ethereal serenity and emotional presence of “Endless Winter.” He admired it so much that his wife surprised him with the painting as a birthday gift later that month.

Calvillo said his writing explores “finding the dark between the light, understanding negative space and hearing the silence in the music” citing that “these each are poetry’s voice for all those who are muted.” It was from this vein that the painting’s presentation of wintry colors and stark textures prompted Calvillo’s poem. When coupled with the visual expression of Stahr’s work, the two form an elegant and gracious honoring of this sometimes most trying and weary of all the seasons.

ENDLESS WINTER

by J.A. CALVILLO

The narrowing days consume the aperture’s light

As winter’s hands dress the warm soil in blankets of white

And too, summer’s passions flicker away into the last embers

Before a frigid grasp claims foolish lovers; lost and not at home

Safe, in golden slumber; awaiting the sweet songs of spring’s rite

That gainsay a death’s epilogue and ease the peril one remembers:

How the isolation and regeneration grasses of brome

Swayed and soothed away an endless winter’s night.

“As winter fully made its appearance, and as the pandemic rages on, it’s so important for people to have beauty and meaning in their lives. Art and creative expression can fill this essential need,” said Kendra Kett, director/owner of the Blue Moon Gallery. “We love it when patrons at the gallery connect with our artists and deeply resonate with their visual expression. We love it even more when a collaboration like this brings added beauty, respite and grace to our community.”

To see more works by Stahr, visit www.thebluemoongallery.com/featured-artists/rebecca-stahr or stop by Seymour Street Studios, 31 S. Seymour Ave,, in Grayslake.

To experience more of Calvillo’s poetry, visit jac-jacasa.blogspot.com.

The Blue Moon Gallery is at 18620 Belvidere Road in Grayslake. Gallery hours are 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Inquiries may be directed to Kett at 224-388-7948.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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