Selena McCracken reports on “The Dark Lady of the Sonnets” and Pyro Gallery opens with Double Vision on Friday

Press Release: Double Vision 

PYRO Gallery pairs artists and poets in Double Vision Exhibit

Pyro Gallery will exhibit the collaborative works of 16 of their member artists paired with 16 local poets in Double Vision, opening at the gallery, 909 E. Market, Friday January 9, 6 – 9 PM and running through February 15.

In addition to the exhibition, there will be an exhibit catalogue. A series of literary readings/ conversations between poets and artists will be held Thursday evenings January 22, 29 and February 5 at 7 PM at the gallery. And local high school and university teachers have been invited to bring their classes to visit the gallery in a hands-on experience where several of the works invite participation and ongoing dialogue about the art/poetry collaborations.

The finished works range from an installation where visitors are invited to add their own words to form new poems in a hybrid between a Shinto shrine and Native American prayer sticks, to photography, printmaking, and a large scale fabric enclosure of image and text.

“The collaboration between artists and poets is testament to the myriad ways in which people can come together through art,” said the exhibition’s curator, Jeff Skinner, PYRO member and recent winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship. “The resulting works are varied and exhilarating: witty, intense, provocative, and profound,” he added.

“Because art making is often a solitary endeavor,” said PYRO’s administrative director, Susie Harrison, “ Double Vision offered artists the opportunity to travel outside studio routines and familiar creative processes to engage in a word and image, free-form partner dance across creative art forms.”

“We hope Double Vision serves as a counter-point to our product driven culture by placing great emphasis on process and collaboration,” said Harrison. “Some pairs met and shared meals together, others took road trips. Each pair discovered and lived their own definition of collaboration.”

PYRO Double Vision Exhibit                

The poet /artist pairs are:

POETS                          ARTISTS

Bill Smith                   Keith Auerbach

John James              Carrie Burr

Erin Keane                Beverly Glascock      

Lynnell Edwards       Kay Polson Grubola  

Martha Greenwald    Susan Harrison

Sarah Gorham           Paula Keppie

Jessica Farquhar       Jeff Skinner  

Kathryn Welsh           Bob Lockhart

Ellyn Lichvar              Debra Lott  

Sean Patrick Hill         John McCarthy

Michael Estes           Mike McCarthy      

Annette Allen            Susan Moffett    

Kristen Miller              Corie Neumayer

Fred Smock            James (Chip) Norton

David Harrity             C.J. Pressma

Adam Day              Jeff Skinner

Makalani Bandele  Wendi Smith

“Pyro is so pleased to have had the opportunity to work with so much of the literary talent of Louisville and hope we can continue with these kinds of collaborations,” Harrison added.

PYRO is an artist owned and operated gallery with 19 current members. Working in many different styles and media, a diverse group of professional artist members guarantees a lively assortment of work to visitors and collectors.

For additional information contact Paula Keppie at 502-883-0722, or at


Ignite. Excite. Inspire.

PYRO Gallery

909 East Market Street, Louisville, KY 40206

For information and directions: (502) 587-0106

Visit our website at:

Hours: Thursday-Saturday, 12-6

Keep Louisville Literary will be hosting several of the collaborative pairs on the radio hour to chat about their process.

Thursday January 15, 1pm on
Kay Grubola/Lynell Edwards
CP Pressma
Jeff Skinner/Jessica Farquhr/Adam Day
Thursday January 22nd, 1pm on
Sean Patrick Hill/John McCarthy
Makalani Bandele /Wendy Smith
Martha Greenwald/Susie Harrison

-Selena McCracken reports:

“On January 6th, Kentucky Shakespeare performed the one act play “The Dark Lady of the Sonnets” by George Bernard Shaw at the Kentucky Center and Louisville Public Media was there to record it. Matt Wallace, Producing Artistic Director, told the audience what’s in store for us this year. I’m excited about the “Shakespeare on Stage” Film Series at Baxter Avenue Theater and “Shakespeare in the Library,” for which two actors will read “Tempest” at all eighteen public library locations. He mentioned original, Shakespeare-inspired plays written by Theatre 502 and The Bard’s Town Theatre. “Macbeth” is coming to the Iriquois Ampitheater in the spring and the three plays we’ll see in Central Park this summer are “The Tempest,” “The Taming of the Shrew,” and “Macbeth”. “Late Night Shakes” will feature Louisville Improvisers after the play ends.

Next, the audience was invited to participate in the recording! We gasped and cheered on cue while the actors read a short, funny promotion for the play. To save on air time, we did everything a second time only much faster. Finally, Matt Wallace signaled to record while playing “The Beefeater” guard. The accents were flawless. That and “The Lady” (Queen Elizabeth I’s) red royal cloak was all it took to create the imagination of Whitehall. Abigail Bailey Maupin played a beautiful and frightening Virgin Queen. Gregory Maupin played the bard William Shakespeare, son of an alderman, who was waiting to meet with his lover, “The Dark Lady”. You know the one, with the wiry black hair, reeking breath and dull voice. “The Dark Lady” was played by Megan Masse who possessed none of those traits. Her suffering is somehow hilarious as Shakespeare blatantly ignores her to flatter the queen. “The Dark Lady,” who has often inspired reflections on the concept of true love, was not at all impressed by the sonnets about her. In fact, she had come to meet Shakespeare only to break up with him before he became so distracted by the Queen. Naturally, his romantic insinuations nearly got him executed, but it was gradually revealed that Shakespeare’s real opportunity was in convincing the Queen to consider funding a national theater for his plays, which he did. George Bernard Shaw wrote this play as part of a campaign to open a “Shakespeare National Theater” in 1916. It was quite an exhilarating unraveling when suddenly this tremendous feat of Kentucky Shakespeare came to an end.

It’s essential to mention that Kyle Ware utilized an entire table full of carefully selected random objects with which to create sound effects for the radio. There was much boot stomping and bell dinging and he had to slap his own face like 10 times. It was very special for me to see that again, because I voted for Le Petomane’s radio serial play “Gladys…of Adenture!” during the “Festival of Shorts” in which it debuted, but I never could get to another episode. It’s fascinating when the actors can create an environment that is engaging and entertaining on so many levels. Place and Time get spectacularly compounded and warped, especially in this adaptation of Shaw’s Shakespeare play, especially with Matt Wallace’s Beefeater accent. Add to that the fact that “The Dark Lady of the Sonnets” was actually recorded live for Louisville public radio and you might get why I was so charmed by the experience. Now we all get to be excited to finally listen to the podcast later this year! See you in the park!”

write on,
Rachel Short

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