SARASOTA, FL – Art in Common Places is pleased to present two programs to celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day, April 27 to April 28, as well as National Poetry Month. The April 27 program, noon at Selby Public Library, features poets Melanie Lavender and Don McLagan and artist Ann Burroughs. The April 28 program, 6 p.m. on Zoom, features poet Danny Shot and artist Mara Torres González. Both programs include poetry readings and discussions about their collaborative works with Art in Common Places. Registration for these free events is required at scgovlibrary.librarymarket.com – keyword search “art in common places.” For more information, visit ArtinCommonPlaces.com.
Art in Common Places was founded in 2020 by Cynthia Burnell, Leslie Butterfield, and Teresa Carson. The non-profit’s mission is to put art – in the form of broadsides that combine images and words – in public places such as laundromats, car washes, medical offices, and other common places for people to enjoy in their daily lives. For each broadside, an artist is matched with a poet, and they spend six weeks collaborating on a piece based on a theme they choose together.
On April 27 from noon to 1 p.m. at Selby Public Library, 1331 1st Street, in Sarasota, poet Melanie Lavender and artist Ann Burroughs will discuss their collaborative work on “Survival.” The women bonded over their common experience of motherhood to create a broadside for Art in Common Places that includes Lavender’s poem, “To My Son,” and Burroughs’ artwork titled “A Woman’s Heart.” Lavender will read her poem, and together they will discuss their collaborative process. Poet and entrepreneur Don McLagan, who is in the process of being matched with an artist for a future broadside, will read and discuss one of his poems.
The April 28 Zoom event, from 6 to 7 p.m., features poet Danny Shot and artist Mara Torres González, collaborators on the “Jump!” broadside for Art in Common Places. Sarasota artist Gonzalez, a Puerto Rican transplant due to the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria in 2017, and Hoboken, New Jersey poet Shot, a first generation American and child of Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany, chose resilience as the theme for their project. They will present a reading of Shot’s poem and share how their conversations led to the creation of “Jump!”
Carson stated, “As a poet, I’m especially excited to celebrate National Poetry Month by working with the Sarasota County Library System on these events, because public libraries are truly common places where everyone can access a wide range of poetry books.”
Registration for these free events is required at scgovlibrary.librarymarket.com – keyword search “art in common places.” For more information, visit ArtinCommonPlaces.com.
About the Poets and Artists
Ann Burroughs, a painter, metalsmith and printmaker, graduated from the University of Colorado with a B.F.A. and studied at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan; the Center of Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan; and Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. She is a member of the Goldsmiths Society of Florida and the American Goldsmiths. She has exhibited nationally, internationally, and at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art.
Artist Mara Torres González was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico and is currently living in Sarasota. She graduated from the School of Plastic Arts and Design of Puerto Rico in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts. Since then, she has lived through art as an artist and an event designer. In 2020, González opened MARA Art Studio + Gallery in Sarasota where she showcases her work as well as that of other modern contemporary artists.
Melanie Lavender is a spoken word artist and a proud Sarasota native. Educated in the Sarasota County school system and Newtown community, Lavender is a wife, mother, and a podcast/radio host of “Soul of Tha Matter” and co-host on “The Power Circle” at 107.5 The Vibe. The chaotic beauty of life influences her to write, and through writing she found a way to transform anxiety and depression into poetry and community activism.
Don McLagan is an entrepreneur and poet. He is the author of two books of poetry: “Fragments in a Glass Bowl” (2019) and “Tug at the Knot” (2016). Having spent 40 years as an innovator of big data services, McLagan is now retired, advises young entrepreneurs, and writes poetry. He lives and writes in Sarasota and in Chappaquiddick, Massachusetts.
Danny Shot is an associate editor of “A Gathering of the Tribes” online. His “WORKS” was published in 2018 by CavanKerry Press. Shot was featured on the television show “State of the Arts NJ” in July 2018. His play, “Roll the Dice,” co-written with Lawrence Kelly, was performed at the NYC Theater Summerfest in September 2018. Danny lives in Hoboken, New Jersey where he is poet-in-residence of the Hoboken Museum. Born in the Bronx and raised in Dumont, New Jersey by German Jewish refugees, Danny graduated Rutgers College in 1980 with a B.A. in English and then earned his master’s degree from Montclair. Shot’s poetry has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies.