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“Hat & Key" by artist Walter Hatke, NA and poet Jordan Smith

  • Bright Hill Press and Literary Center 94 Church St Treadwell, NY 13846 (map)

The Word and Image Gallery at Bright Hill Press and Literary Center of the Catskills will present “Hat & Key” by artist Walter Hatke and poet Jordan Smith from May 4 to May 24, 2019.

There will be an opening reception from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 4. The artist talk and reading will take place at 4 p.m.

“Hat & Key,” a collaboration between painter Hatke, Smith and printers and designers Jennifer and William Argyle of FourColor is described by organizers in a media release  as “an investigation of authentic assumed and invented identities.” Hatke’s paintings, each one a visual pun on the syllables of his name, picture different hats in different states of wear, each of which might be put on for a different purpose, to suggest a different aspect of a personality, or to present a different version of the self. In a set of brief monologues in long lines, the poet, as Adrian Frazier writes in his foreword, “engages with the mysterious man in the hat, or rather the mysterious hats from whom men have departed, only to deepen the mystery.”

Hatke is a painter whose work has been shown and collected since he was in high school, the release said. Hatke’s work is in collections throughout the world, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Academy Museum, The Art Institute of Chicago, Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art, Smith College Museum of Art, Tucson Museum of Art, Sheldon Museum of Art at the University of Nebraska, Kansai Gaidai University in Japan, Nanjing University in China, JP Morgan Chase, Hallmark, and The Boston Company. He has received awards and honors from the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Ingram Merrill Foundation, and has participated in the U.S. State Department’s Art in Embassies Program for nine years.

Smith is the author of seven books of poems, most recently “Clare’s Empire,” a fantasia on the life and work of John Clare from The Hydroelectric Press. His poems have been published in a range of literary journals. The recipient of grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Ingram Merrill Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and The New York Foundation for the Arts, and of the Swan Scythe and Tampa Review poetry prizes, he holds graduate degrees from the writing programs at The Johns Hopkins University and The University of Iowa.