Torn Pages Event @ OHNO!Doom


An event that is almost a full year in the making is final going to be a reality as curator Josh Lucas and OHNO!Doom Gallery team up for the first Torn Pages Show. The concept is to combine a handful of the city’s best writers and with a selection of the city’s brightest young artists. If that wasn’t enough they were then asked to create “imaginative, funny, and original children’s stories”. That’s right children’s stories. The writer/artist pairings include: Joe Meno and Cody Hudson; Zach Dodson and Allison Burque; Tim Hall and Ryan Young; Jenah Garrett and Stacey Earley; Ben Tanzer and Dominique Holmes; Nancy Khurana and Ruben Aguirre Jr.; Jill Summers and Andrew Thompson; Amy Guth and Pea-Be; Lindsey Markel and Jason Brammer, and Jaime Calder and Joe Call. I asked writer Ben Tanzer about his thoughts on the project and he had this to say. 

The first stories we are exposed to are children’s stories and so in a way this show is an illumination of our earliest influences. It is also quite fascinating to see an artist’s interpretation of your work. I may have some ideas about what I think the story looks like in my head, but the artist has their own set of influences and these influences impact their reading of the story, something I find very cool, and especially so in this case, because the artist illustrating my piece is Dominique Holmes, a former neighbor of mine, whose work I really like, but who I only sort of know”. That is one of the fascinating elements of this show, the pairings were done by Lucas and not formed naturally as in other shows. These artists are receiving the stories and in most cases not having a history of reading or knowing the writer.

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I asked artist Dominique Holmes about her feeling on the show and she seems genuinely excited to be involved in this show. “I am eager to see how the show will come together, whether these adult narratives masquerading as children’s stories will lean towards whimsy or menace. Ben trusted me. He handed over his story like the baton in a relay race and I took off, breakneck, exuberant, and to some extent defiant. ”

What will be shown at the gallery and what was sent to the artists are only excerpts from what may or may not be larger stories. Many involved have expressed an interest to take these relationships further. 

Finally I talked to writer Tim Hall, who regular works with an artist to put together his text-based comic Uplift the Positivicals, and he echoed that feeling. “I loved the idea of excerpts from imaginary children’s books from the moment Josh emailed me, and hope some of these collaborations turn into the real thing. Ryan has been extremely pleasant to work with, and I’m a huge fan of his work. I love collaborating with artists in general and wish there were more artist/writer pairings like this. Given the extremely high level of talent in this show, hopefully there will be”. 
 The Following are Pages Torn from our Most Favorite Imaginary Books open on February 13th at OHNO!Doom Gallery (1800 N. Milwaukee Ave.) from 6pm 10pm.

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