From left, Patricia O’Neill, Fran Kimmel and Elena Rousseau enjoy a visit during the opening reception for Age on a Page, a new literary art exhibit from Writers’ Ink. Mark Weber/Red Deer Express

Writers’ Ink explores aging in literary art exhibit

‘Age on a Page’ runs through to Sept. 1st at The Hub on Ross

A new literary art exhibit from Writers’ Ink is delving deep into the meaning of what it means to grow older.

‘Age on a Page’ runs through to Sept. 1st at The Hub on Ross.

Participating writers include John Burnham, Jo-Ann Campbell, Jenna Cole, Mary Lou DeRidder, Annette Gray, L. Hemmingway, Judy Jackson, Lionel S. Lustgarten, Richard McIntyre, Lyle Meeres, Carol Ritten Smith, Elena Rousseau, Barb Rusiewicz-Enright, Rose Marie Sackela, Leah Scott and Patricia O’Neill.

Rousseau said the idea to explore the concept of aging provided a terrific means of drawing members out of their comfort zones into a topic that treads into potentially challenging territory.

“Everybody came up with their own interpretations of the theme,” she said, adding there are compelling examples of both poetry and prose.

“O’Neill, who is the group’s president, said it was fascinating to see what members came up with once they learned what the theme was and let their imaginations soar.

“The theme is a way of motivating us to write in a certain direction, and to watch how different people interpret the same thing. That’s always exciting,” she explained. Visitors to the exhibit will also notice that the written portions are part of works of visual art as well.

The two meld together seamlessly in piece after piece, that much more emphasizing the power and poignancy of the various pieces.

“Having the opportunity to take our words and marry them to images was a lot of fun as well,” she said, adding that several members of the group are skilled in the visual arts as well.

“We’ve been talking more for the past couple of years about getting out into the public more. So we are trying to do something different. That includes marrying our stories with images and partnering with The Hub to use their space which is a great idea, too.

Meanwhile, Writers’ Ink continues to make its mark on the local literary landscape.

And they are growing as writers, too.

Last fall, members took a shot at writing for the stage with guidance from mentors, and ended up seeing several of their works produced and performed by Central Alberta Theatre. It proved an absolutely delightful experience, said O’Neill.

“Each of our plays was performed twice – in the span of four days. This past spring, they hired a professional from Calgary to come in and host a poetry workshop, so the learning opportunities offered via Writers’ Ink are endless.

“We keep growing and expanding, and we have new members,” added O’Neill, noting that it was just last year that the group celebrated its 25th anniversary.

Currently, they meet every Tuesday at the Sunnybrook Farm Museum (4701 – 30th St.) from 7 – 9 p.m. Once a month, they also have something call ‘Learning Tuesday’ which provides members with a special educational opportunity as well.

During a regular meeting, members will bring in their stories on a memory stick, and share what they are working on with the others.

Folks interested in learning more about the group are also welcome to drop in anytime.

Belonging to the group provides a non-stop sense of fulfillment, say both Rousseau and O’Neill.

“I don’t just want to write – I need to write,” said Rousseau with a laugh, adding that belonging to the group provides a great place to initially share one’s work as well. “It’s also the fact that what you write will benefit from their opinions. It’s welcoming and encouraging, and they are really nice people – all of them.”

O’Neill agreed.

“I’ve been writing for 30 years, and I finally joined a writers’ group in 2007. What a writers’ group does for a writer, is it gives them some kind of a gauge as to how well they are doing. Sometimes when you are alone, you don’t think you are doing so well, but then you read what you’ve written to someone, their feedback can be encouraging and positive.

“Having people of all ranges when it comes to writing makes for a wonderful place.”

For more about Writers’ Ink, contact Patricia at 403-550-0180 or check out their web site at www.reddeerwritersink.wordpress.com.

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