Just inside the front door of Location Gallery at Austin Hill Realty hangs a lovely mixed piece by Rubi McGrory that includes a love poem and love letter. The poem reads in part: "In all of the libraries/in all of the world/there are not enough words/to tell you how much/I love you."
McGrory's art is paired with Chela Gutierrez's story about finding love letters in unexpected places - in a notebook borrowed by a former girlfriend, in a drawer after her mother's death, in the trash when she moved into a new house and even in the street.
The collaboration between McGrory and Gutierrez is one of 18 pairings of writers and artists in the exhibit "Page Rippers 2018," which culminates Feb. 23 with a book launch and the final bids for the ongoing silent auction.
Last year, Location Gallery director Peter Roberts approached local writer Amy Paige Condon about mounting a show that included visual art and stories inspired by various scenarios related to libraries. Condon told me that Roberts and she ultimately came up with 25 scenarios ranging from the realistic to the fantastical.
Then Roberts approached a variety of artists with the list of prompts and told them to use their imaginations but to limit the size to 12 inches by 12 inches. Once the artwork was completed, Condon reached out to area writers, including some who take classes at The Refinery, the writing studio she founded in 2017. The work from the authors includes both fiction and nonfiction.
The pieces in the show are by turns realistic, funny, whimsical, surreal, touching, inspiring, provocative. It's a show worth seeing - and reading.
In keeping with the mission of Location Gallery to support area nonprofits, some proceeds will go to the Savannah Book Festival.
"It's a keepsake, a collector's item that captures this single amalgam of local artists and writers," Condon said of the new book. "It captures Savannah at this moment in time."
Bill Dawers writes City Talk in Savannah Morning News and blogs at Savannah Unplugged (www.billdawers.com) and hissing lawns (www.hissinglawns.com). Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
IF YOU GO
What: "Page Rippers 2018" book launch
When: 5-8 p.m. Feb. 23
Where: Location Gallery at Austin Hill Realty, 417 Whitaker St.
Cost: Free admission; books for sale; gallery profits go to Savannah Book Festival
Info: locationgallery.net or therefinerywritingstudio.com