The Connectivity of 3 Women Artists

3 Women Artists – talk about art, poetry and metaphor

Elaine Sexton, Rita Baragona and Ro Lohin
To teach Workshops for Cullowhee Arts
June 24 – 29, 2018, Cullowhee, North Carolina

Elaine Sexton and Ro Lohin are neighbors in New York, and met by chance two summers ago, when Elaine hosted a pop-up exhibit of work by a mutual friend. They quickly found they had Cullowhee Arts, and so much more, in common. Ro, who has a passion for poetry, suggested they put together a panel on “metaphor, where poetry and visual art meet” during the 5-day Cullowhee Arts workshop session, where they will be teaching at the same time as Rita Baragona (June 24-29).

Ro Lohin, has been cross-pollinating with fellow artist NYC artist Rita Baragona for years. also teaching that same week during the Cullowhee Arts “Summer Arts Workshops Series,” to join in the conversation of “Metaphor, where Poetry and Visual Art Meet.”

Rita Baragona has been a good friend with Ro for many years. “We met through the NY Studio School. I think our friendship is one strengthened by simpatico sensibilities and ideas.  We both love to paint and to teach and intentionally bring a thirst for understanding through diverse disciplines including poetry, to our paintings.
Elaine’s poetry intrigues me.”

“I am for a poetry that makes nothing happen.

I’m for a poetry that is too young to date, but too old to overlook.

I’m for a poetry that wants to paint.”

Excerpt from “POETRY & SMOKE: A MANIFESTO,” by Elaine Sexton

“I think for me I am a painter who wants to write poetry or play music too.” Rita Baragona

Who are these 3 remarkable women?

Elaine Sexton: Poet, Art Critique, Artist

She is the author of three books: Sleuth, Causeway, and Prospect/Refuge.  Her poems, art reviews, book reviews, and works in visual art have appeared in journals and anthologies, textbooks and websites including American Poetry Review, Art in America, Poetry, O! the Oprah Magazine, and Poetry Daily. An avid book maker and micro-publisher, she has curated many site-specific events with accompanying limited-edition chapbooks. She teaches text and image and poetry at Sarah Lawrence College, New York University and in private workshops. Formerly a senior editor at ARTnews, she serves as the visual arts editor for Tupelo Quarterly, and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle.

Ro Lohin: Artist, Curator, Lecturer

Ro is passionate about art and education in the arts. She was Assistant to the Dean of the New York Studio School and was a member of the drawing faculty. In Fall 2017 she curated “The Thing Unseen”, a celebration of Nicolas Carone, at the Studio School Gallery and organized and participated in a panel discussion about his work. Lohin taught painting and drawing at the School of Art and Design at Alfred University, Western Carolina University, and the Chautauqua Institution.  She is the former owner and director of the Lohin Geduld Gallery in New York City. Lohin’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally.  Her awards include artist residencies at the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, the Vermont Studio Center and the Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris. She paints on site, on the North Fork of Long Island, and Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Lohin is an avid reader of poetry, which often influences her painting.

Rita Baragona: Artist, Curator, Lecturer

Rita Baragona is an artist /teacher, who has exhibited her paintings in one-person and group shows throughout the USA, including numerous exhibitions at the Bowery Gallery, where she is currently in the exhibit “Cadences.” Also, in 2018, her paintings will be shown at Westbeth Gallery and with Zeuxis. Past selected one-person shows include exhibitions at Dutot Museum, PA, Washington Art Association, CT, Well Street Gallery, AK, Fairleigh Dickinson University, NJ and Rider University, NJ; highlighted group shows at Prince Street Gallery, NYC, Lyme Academy, Lori Bookstein Gallery, Borgenicht Gallery; Bergen County Museum, Bryn Mawr College and Allentown Museum and, Noyes Museum and Lancaster Museums.

In Art in America Jed Perl wrote, “What a nature painter must do is impose some human logic or private poetry on the natural world.  By this measure Baragona is a very interesting painter.”I recently asked these three “connected” women,
“What is happening in your creative work life at present?”


This spring was a featured speaker at City College (CUNY), teaching graduate students on “How to Make a Chapbook.”

I also taught a focused workshop on writing poetry and micro prose in response to visual art at the Sarah Lawrence College Writing Institute, where I teach poetry and text and image workshops. I have also been granted a month-long residency to work on my poems and visual art at the Siena Art Institute in Italy this Fall.

I recently interviewed Ro, who will be a featured artist in the Summer issue of Tupelo Quarterly. I’m the visual arts editor for this journal. A beautiful portfolio of Ro Lohin’s work, alongside a brief interview, will appear in the summer issue (out in June)! Ro offers some thoughtful comments into her process, making the connection between poetry and how she thinks when she works.

“Red Wheelbarrow II” from Ro Lohin’s series “The Red Wheelbarrow” (after the William Carlos Williams poem)…


I am currently exhibiting at the Bowery Gallery,NYC – the show is called “Cadences.” I named my show Cadences because i find more meaning and validity  in the rhythmic relationships of words, shapes or notes then the narrative they say, what they portray or the idea the music is based on.


I was also in “Rooms with a View, 7 artists,” March 3-March 17 with a panel talk March 10. We each got our own rooms and each of us, was very different. I had the smallest room and exhibited small paintings.

I am in three group shows with Zeuxis, a still life group at the moment:
  • The Unstilllife April 10-July 28, 2018 – University of Mississippi Museum and Historic Houses-                   
  • Drawing the Curtain, May 22- June 9, 2018 – First Street Gallery, NYC, NY
  • Veils, May 25- June 3, 2018 – 135 W. 26 Street, Apt.9B, NYC, NY

RO Lohin:

I’ve spent the last year dedicated to painting and drawing full time.

I’ve prepared my studio for visitors and have been entertaining artists all , curators, dealers on a regular basis. My work will be featured in Tupelo Quarterly with text following questions by poet Elaine Sexton.

Each artist offers comments about art, poetry and metaphor in their work

I think I might share with my colleagues an impulse, a kind of chemistry, to make something of the place where our consciousness meets the natural world. When I wrote, in a poem, “The prospect of paint / is the refuge of ideas,” I was thinking of that place where the sea, a tree, a burgeoning in the landscape serves as a stand in for something else.

As for metaphor my flowers are beautiful but flowers change constantly. They are also a metaphor for time passing cadence and rhythmic change. As the dahlia petals on the outside wilt and grow limp, tiny petals continue to grow at its center. The yellow center where the honey is grows more prominent.

A flower grows in a spiral movement from the center out, based on  golden mean proportions, 1, 3, 5, 8, like a chord in western music. c,e,g,c. I love to watch and record the change.  It is a meditation or mindful awareness.

“Sometimes lines or phrases in poetry engage me unconsciously over long periods of time.  I love all the lines from Wordsworth’s poem,  “Tintern Abby,” for so many reasons, but one phrase always stuck with me:

“All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things”

I thought painting had that in it.  I mean when a painting comes to completion I wanted the stuff that “rolls through all things” to be what my paintings had.”

Elaine Sexton, Rita Baragona and Ro Lohin To teach workshops for Cullowhee Arts


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