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FreedmanArt opens group exhibition
Sam Francis (1923-1994), Untitled, 1973, acrylic and gouache on paper; 22 x 30 inches.

NEW YORK, NY.- FreedmanArt is presenting “Colors." The exhibition features works by over twenty-five artists, including Josef Albers, Jack Bush, Sam Francis, Helen Frankenthaler, Hans Hofmann, Robert Motherwell, Kenneth Noland, Larry Poons, Kurt Schwitters, and Frank Stella, among others.

The exhibition is inspired by an original work of poetry, titled “Colors,” which was itself inspired by an original work of art.

The original work of poetry is by middle school student Zoe Kusyk, age twelve. Ms. Kusyk attends Village School, an all-girls school in Charlottesville, Virginia. The original work of art is a painting by artist Larry Poons called Untitled, 77-A-9, 1977, in the collection of the Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

The poem begins with the word “Colors,” the visual impact of which continues in our exhibition. Our selection of paintings, works on paper, and collages celebrates numerous artists whose “colors” speak in their imaginative ways with Zoe’s closing words: “Separate colors, when let live and die, become one.”

Ms. Kusyk's poem “Colors” won first place for poetry in the Fralin Museum of Art's annual literary competition, Writer’s Eye, in 2016. That year, the Fralin celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of Writer’s Eye, which “challenges writers of all ages to create original works of poetry and prose inspired by art on display in the Museum” (Introduction to the 2016 Writer's Eye Anthology).

“Art is beauty with a purpose. We make art because we want to make a difference, a positive difference, with our work. We sense there is a void somewhere, and we think—with all humility—that our words might be able to fill it. We want to add our voices to an ancient conversation.” —Christopher Tilghman, January 2017*

*This quote by one of the jurors for the competition, published author Christopher Tilghman, was expressed in the 2016 Writer’s Eye Anthology.

“Colors” By Zoe Kusyk

Colors running down
Separate in the beginning,
Blurred in the end.
Distinct, indistinct at the same time.
But they’re not just colors,
Even though that’s what you see.
There’s a story behind each of them,
And the stories tie together in the end.

Pink is a boy from Boston,
Who dreams to be a writer,
But is forced to be a soldier.

Orange is a girl from Houston,
With a drunk for a father,
Who runs away from home.

Green is a boy from London,
Who wants to be an artist,
But can’t draw a stick figure.

Red is a girl from Delhi,
Who wants to be a doctor,
But instead is destined to marry rich and leave.

How these stories tie together
Well, the truth is,
Everything ties together in the end.
There are similarities in all of them—
Suffering, pain,
Happiness that you can’t see.

They’re not just colors,
But humans
With human nature.

Separate colors,
When let live and die,
Become one.

“Colors” By Zoe Kusyk (Village School, Charlottesville, VA)
Inspired by Larry Poons’s Untitled 77-A-9, 1977
1st Place, Poetry, Grades 6-8
30th Annual Writer’s Eye Literary Competition, 2016
The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia

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