The Artists of BOOKED: Contemporary Literary Art


Michele Bledsoe “Dear Franklin…”

Inspired by Lionel Shriver “We Need to Talk About Kevin”


I really enjoy assembling group art shows, an activity I’ve done for years in many different capacities.

I’ve been the exhibition committee chairman of a non-profit gallery; run my own open studio in the warehouse space I lived in for 2 years; been part of a long running and beloved cooperative gallery in downtown Phoenix. I volunteer  to hang shows for our church. I’ve hosted pop up art installations and performance events in my home and other assorted venues: hair salons, coffee houses, office buildings, street fairs, and even a trailer in the middle of nowhere. In 2014 I brought the works of 28 artists from 5 countries to Arizona for International Stuckists: Explorers and Inventors.   It’s all been a labor of love.

In my mind an artist should be an exhibitionist (but only of their artwork!) and should take every opportunity to have their work seen, by as broad an audience as possible. If art is not shared it remains incomplete. Through these experiences I’ve developed a certain curatorial philosophy. I usually don’t select pieces.  I look for artists whose work inspires me, and invite them to show what they want. I respect their creativity, and give them a chance to display their own vision.

Theme shows are fun in the sense that some boundaries are set that will create a cohesive experience in the exhibit, but will still give the participants a chance to innovate and show their own character by their unique approach to a common subject. I’m always amazed by the results. It evokes the energy of synchronicity and highlights unexpected connections.

This is the case once again with “BOOKED: Contemporary Literary Art.” Artists were invited to create works inspired by favorite books. I sure appreciate everyone who took the time to make something that shows what they’ve enjoyed; it is thrilling to me to see what this independent group of creatives devised. It’s also an impressive reading list!


Leslie Edeline Barton “Flowers for Algernon”

Inspired by Daniel Keyes “Flowers for Algernon”


Richard Bledsoe “A Horrible Hopping Creature in White”

Inspired by M R James “Casting The Runes”


Stephanie Carrico “Mechanical Turtle”

inspired by Salvador Plascencia  “The People of Paper”


Anna Dufek

 Anna Dufek “Lucy”

Inspired by C S Lewis “Chronicles of Narnia”


Annette Hassell “John Uskglass the Raven King”

Inspired by Susanna Clarke “Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell”


Clay Martin “Uzumaki”

Inspired by Junji Ito “Uzimaki”


Joe Montano III “Young Naked Mary”

Inspired by The Bible


David Morgan “New Breed”

Inspired by Daniel H Wilson “Robopocalypse”


Larry Ortega “The Angel Descends”

Inspired by The Bible


Shelley Whiting “Ripple 2”

Inspired by Dave Cooper “Ripple: A Predilection For Tina”



Artwork Inspired By Favorite Books

February 2 – February 28. 2015

Opening Reception First Friday February 6, 2015 6pm

Third Friday Reception February 20, 2015 6pm


1506 NW Grand Ave

Phoenix, Arizona 85007


15 thoughts on “The Artists of BOOKED: Contemporary Literary Art

  1. “In my mind an artist should be an exhibitionist (but only of their artwork!) ” so true but…. ho… let’s pray!
    good luck though… what you are doing it’s amazing!

  2. Thank you! My advice is don’t play the game the establishment art world presents as the only option: the kissing up to the existing power brokers that they make believe is the only way to have opportunities to show your art. Blow their corrupt system to pieces by making your own events happen. It’s fun!

  3. THe methodology here is related to the notion of “book” and “literature.

    Your words again; « I’ve developed a certain curatorial philosophy. I usually don’t select pieces. I look for artists whose work inspires me, and invite them to show what they want”. Just like the Ivory Towers you “developed a certain curatorial philosophy”. In fact, you are also choosing…. You choose artists whose works inspires you. The same is done in the top artworld: but they have more criteria, the most important, the UNESCO definition of an artist, and their determination, the latter being in their résumés. If you paint 5 poor paintings a year, you dabble in paint, but you cannot be an artist. There are many art-worlds in our world, yours is yours, and good for all of us. The strongest pieces of your show: Larry Ortega’s “The Angel Descends” and David Morgan’s “New Breed”. Unfortunately, you do not indicate the size nor the medium. Are you subscribed to my blog walkthearts?

  4. What a gorgeous collection of paintings. And what a concept for an exhibit.

    I’m reminded of the influence that Cezanne exerted on the young Hemingway. Both created complex masterpieces from simple elements.

  5. Heaven save us from those who would conflate a criteria of credentials and cronyism with actual accomplishments-same as it ever was, and not the way forward at all.

  6. Richard, the “no good deed goes unpunished” angel is hovering ever watchful. Kudos in your effort to promote the art that gives.

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