Writing the Walls 2017: A Call for Writers

To produce is to draw forth, to invent is to find, to shape is to discover.

Martin Buber, I and Thou

Dear Writer,

The Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art (HVCCA) and Deputy Director, Mara Mills, are really excited to invite you to submit your work for this season’s word/image project called, Writing the Walls 2017: Between I and Thou. This year we are dedicating the program to Tom Lux (see full bio HERE).

This is the 11th year of Writing the Walls. Over the years, poets and playwrights have enhanced the exhibitions at HVCCA with their literary creations. This year, the exhibition, Between I and Thou, combines a sense of the mystical, the domestic, the meditative, and the playful. The art work in the exhibition will be a wonderful creative catalyst for inventive minds.

HVCCA invites writers to respond to works Between I and Thou. Viewing hours are Fri 11 – 4, Sat & Sun 12 – 5 or by appointment, contact Jo-Ann Brody at [email protected] or Mara Mills, [email protected].

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL INVITATION LETTER, including specifications and schedules, all of which you can forward and pass along to anyone you think would be interested.

Please note that the deadline for submission is June 30th.

We are looking forward to reading your work,

Mara Mills
Deputy Director of HVCCA

VIEWFINDER: A New Play by Donna Barkman

– 5:0

Writing the Walls
2017 opened with VIEWFINDER, a new one woman show by Donna Barkman, and directed by Mara Mills. Viewfinder was performed at HVCCA on Saturday, April 23 @ 4:00 pm.

Viewfinder is a kaleidoscopic response to Emma River’s “Bathrobe Chronicles” from HVCCA’s Word exhibit and an exploration of the internalized influences of home, family, social milieu, and lived experience.

As a writer/actor, Donna Barkman has performed her solo plays, “Hand-Me-Downs: Scenes from a Life with a Little Help from Antigone and Mother Goose,” and “Sticks and Stones and Women’s Bones,” in New York City and environs. Her poetry has appeared in Chautauqua, Boston Literary Review, String Poet, Per Contra, Pennsylvania English, Trivia: Voices of Feminism, and others, as well as in many anthologies. Ms. Barkman served as a juror for the Bronx Council on the Arts Poetry Competition and has regularly written and performed poetry and short plays for many ekphrastic events at Upstream Gallery, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, and Ceres Gallery in New York City.

*Photograph by Corrado Serra

Writing the Walls Junior

March 5 & 18
Sunday 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
2 Weekends, Cost $20 (+$2 online admin fees)

Writing the Walls  is an opportunity to put word and art together. Writing the Walls invited writers to respond to works in the current art show at the HVCCA: BETWEEN I and THOU. A tour of the exhibit was first, then a discussion about the work and what pieces inspired the participants took place to create poems or prose about the work, which were then hung on display next to the corresponding artwork.

Ages 11-16

Click here to read the poems!

The Maiden and the Stag

February 4th

Two performances took place at the opening reception of Between I & Thou. In front of the magnificent “Samuel” by Todd Murphy, Meredith Fages performed “Time Stamp 3,” choreographed by Heidi Latsky. Meredith wears work by Susan Obrant.

Deputy Director, Mara Mills, also led a structured improvisation with Masks made by HVCCA’s Winter artist-in-residence, Remy Jungerman in the central space of his installation.


“Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks.” — Plutarch

Over the past ten years, HVCCA has been bringing together visual art and the written
word through Words that Paint and Writing the Walls. These programs provided the
opportunity for word and image collaborations between the HVCCA’s exhibited works, along with
poets and playwrights. Performances of the original literary works were in front of the art
that inspired it, under the direction of Mara Mills.

We are pleased to present 2016’s word/image installation: Writing the Walls II,
featuring original written works inspired by the current exhibition, WORD, at the HVCCA.
The project was designed to give a platform for poets and playwrights who live and/or
work in Westchester and Putnam County. A panel of judges selected 37 pieces from those

The selected poems/prose/plays are framed and placed near the work that served as
inspiration so that visitors may read them at their leisure.
After WORD ends, the selected works will also be collected and placed in the HVCCA library.

A reading performance, Get the Last Word In!, gave the writers another chance to share their work.

On December 3rd, 2016, Mara Mills staged a guided walk-through of the exhibit with staged performances by the poets.  

Click HERE to watch the poets perform!

Poets selected for Writing the Walls II: Donna Barkman, Loretta Oleck, Robert E. Miss,
Karen Marie Marmer, Liz Burk, Tony Howarth, Bob Zaslow, Ceci Iacobuzio, Kathleen Caputo
Nelms, Julie Nord, Moira Thielking, Michael Seri, Les Von Losberg, Merle Molofsky, Star
Blossom Goddess, Catherine Wald, Patricia Horn O’Brien, Coni Koepfinger, Gene Tashoff,
Marc J. Straus, Ruth D. Handel, Celia Reissig-Vasile, Susan Schefflein, MaryAnn McCarra-
Fitzpatrick, and Alicia Morgan.

 The creators of Madness & Nudity with poster
Madness & Nudity: Women in Art

Saturday, May 7th, 5 – 6 pm


Past Performance Art Events


JULY 17-DECEMBER 7 2015: Writing the Walls 

Writing the Walls
is an opportunity to put word and art together. Writing the Walls invites writers to respond to works in the current art show at the HVCCA: Love: the First of the 7 Virtues. This word/image project is mainly for poets who live and/or work in Westchester.

On July 17th, 2015, selected poems/prose/plays were put on display the gallery for visitors to read as they view the work. We will attach the relevant artwork images to each. Work selected also will be put onto the HVCCA website and collected into a binder to be kept post exhibit in the museum’s library space.

SEPTEMBER 27 -DECEMBER 31: Peekskill Project 6