What’s Happening

Wisconsin Artists Unite Canvas, Written Word for New Collection

Milwaukee-area artist Frank Hoeffler and Madison writer r. r. campbell are excited to announce the “a binge, a purge” collection. Featuring paintings from Mr. Hoeffler and the poetry of r. r. campbell, “a binge, a purge” explores the complementary relationship between canvas and the written word by integrating the two into a series of prints to be bound into a single volume later this year.
Aside from having individual prints and bound copies of the entire project available for purchase, a sample of the “a binge, a purge” collection will be available for public viewing on the Art Wall at the Ian’s Pizza on State Street in Madison near the end of March, where it will be on display throughout the summer of 2014. In addition to its appearance there, the Guys and Dolls Hair and Gallery in Germantown currently displays Mr. Hoeffler’s original artwork painted for the collection.
A classically trained professional artist, Frank Hoeffler has earned his reputation as a contemporary master of expressionist painting. His work has been published three times in New Art International’s “A Compendium of Recent Works by World Contemporary Artists.” For this project, Mr. Hoeffler painted more than a dozen new pieces in response to the poetry of r. r. campbell (born Ryan Campbell), whose writing Mr. Hoeffler has described as “pictorial.” When painting in response to Campbell’s poetry, Hoeffler said he did so using palettes that represented “the cold, the loneliness, the isolation and strength of the words, each word.” In 2013, Mr. Campbell was selected as one of the winners of the Wisconsin Writers’ Institute Page or Poem Contest.
“a binge, a purge” – A Visit to See Frank
frank and ryan image 1

Frank (left) and me (right) in front of the piece to be used for “word spatter.”


This weekend I took a trip to the Milwaukee area to visit Frank, the artist with whom I am cooperating for the “a binge, a purge” project, to see in person the paintings he’s been working on so diligently over the course of the last two months. I had seen images of them before, captured mostly from the camera on his phone, but having the opportunity to see them on the canvas itself was a different experience entirely.


From left to right: “an argument,” “masquerade,” “turtleneck,” “in the company of solitude,” “and the antidote is,” and “but then internet.”

Listening to Frank describe the process that went into envisioning, developing, and then actually painting each piece left me with a greater appreciation for the effort required to bring each painting to fruition. The manner in which he interpreted each poem and put it on the canvas amazed and inspired me. For some pieces I found myself wishing I had a better poem to do the artwork justice.

golden hour

“golden hour”–one of my favorites.

From here the plan is to find a way to digitize the images in a way that will maintain the stunning craft of each piece. We have looked into photography, but are considering making use of a large format scanner so that we have two versions of each painting we can compare and select from. Once we have digitized versions of each painting I will continue to work with Adam May of With Gusto in order to integrate the poetry into the images themselves.

some call it a disease

“some call it a disease”

After we have five to six images completed, we will be hanging them up at The Ian’s Pizza on State Street in Madison on the restaurant’s art wall, where the images will be on display throughout the summer. A special shout-out to them for featuring our work (and for being the great employers that they are).

Yellow in the Deep

The painting for one of the short stories to be featured in the collection, “Yellow in the Deep.”

After we’ve made it through these stages, we plan on making prints available for purchase online. I am going to be working on setting up a website for the project this week where said images will be displayed and available. Keep an eye on my twitter feed for the web address.

Ultimately, of course, the idea is to have these images and poetry printed in a single publication–something we are both confident we can continue to work toward as we wade our way through the current stages of the project. In the meantime, however, I’ll be sure to keep you posted on developments as they occur either here, on Twitter, or both.

I’ve shared a fair amount of Frank’s work with you today, so I’ll leave a poem here for you folks as well. Hope you enjoy.

some call it a disease
glutted with the wicked
i plunge my hand down my throat
and pull it back wet with words
to fling sticky onto the page
acid rotting my fingertips
bile dripping from the pen
the stench of my entrails thickens through the night
until that crisp emptiness marks the dawn
it is no burden, this
this nausea
this interminable rot
in it, i rejoice—
a binge, a purge
craved, not spurned
earned, not endowed







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Davines Artistic Director and three-time British Hairdresser of the Year  ANGELO SEMINARA releases the Mother of Pearl color and cut collection in Minneapolis

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