Night Gallery: An autumnal artistic fusion

Susan Mangan teaches Writer's Salon at BAYarts on Wednesday nights. 

Five years ago, I joined an enthusiastic team of volunteers at BAYarts. Through many enjoyable hours spent at the Fuller House and Sullivan Galleries, I met artists and antiquarians, readers and philosophers, nature lovers and gardeners, all connected by their shared passion for the arts.

Wanting to expand my involvement in the exciting educational scene at BAYarts, I discussed the possibility of beginning creative writing classes for both adults and children with BAYarts Executive Director, Nancy Heaton. I envisioned courses dedicated to writing as a way of further enriching the already vibrant and diverse selection of classes available to the public. Prior to my years spent as a stay-at-home mom to my three, now almost grown children, I had the privilege of teaching English at Bay Middle School. I always enjoyed working collaboratively with art teachers Gloria Wilder, Sherri Bauer, and Ruth Purdy, to make the study of literature and writing more accessible, and creatively inspiring.

Nancy Heaton embraced my vision. BAYarts Writer’s Salon for adults and Adventures in Writing summer camp for middle-school-age children was born. Each Wednesday evening from 7-8:45, adult writers – seasoned, novice, and multi-generational – join together to explore their voices as poets, essayists, readers, thinkers, and ultimately, friends during Writer’s Salon. Our sessions begin and end with each new season. By the end of our 7-week course, each student has produced an original work of written art.

This fall, we at Writer’s Salon are excited to join our talents and creative energies with visual artists led by BAYarts Artistic Director Karen Petkovic. One day Karen came to me asking if I were familiar with the supernatural cult classic "Night Gallery," a Rod Serling television series which ran from 1969-1973. She had this wonderful idea to join forces with students from Writer’s Salon to create an innovative autumnal exhibit loosely based on the series, as a means of showcasing the talents of our writers and the many artists who make BAYarts so dynamic.

Over the summer, interested Writer’s Salon students created suspenseful short stories, vignettes, and poetry that encapsulate the mystery of fall. Ms. Petkovic paired each of the written submissions with talented artists who then interpreted the written art and expanded the poignancy of the selections through visual art. Psychological thrillers, time travel science fiction, haunting poetry, and downright ghostly ghost stories, coupled with unique and thrilling interpretive artwork will delight all who attend the exhibit, opening Friday, Oct. 11, 7-9 p.m., in BAYarts' Dianne Boldman Education Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through Nov. 8.

People of any skill level can sign up for the Winter Writer's Salon at on Nov. 5.

While autumn winds howl through the Huntington Woods, come join us at BAYarts for Night Gallery, a collaborative exhibit that will ignite your creative fall spirit, but may just cause you to pause and look twice over your shoulder.

Susan Mangan

Susan Mangan teaches Writer's Salon at BAYarts on Wednesday nights.

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Volume 11, Issue 19, Posted 9:15 AM, 10.01.2019