14 May 2017

ART CRITICISM FOR AMATEURS 101

Vincent van Gogh is peculiarly cursed to be travestied, misunderstood and reduced to a kitsch parody of himself. Look at the art section in your local bookshop and you will find a glitzy new publication of his “lost” Arles drawings being heavily promoted even after the Van Gogh Museum denied the drawings in it are by Van Gogh at all. Now more fake Van Gogh is on its way, with the release of the trailer for Loving Vincent, a feature film about the artist that has been made by animating oil paintings that ape his style. From WE MUST RESCUE VAN GOGH FROM BECOMING A POP CULTURE CLICHE, Jonathan Jones, The Guardian, 23 January 2017

Then this came along:

High art needs all the friends it can get. Museum attendance is dropping all over the world, and earnest attempts to court the young and identify with the new are clearly not working. Something more eloquent is needed: unequivocal enthusiasm for great art in a language people in the 21st century understand.

How about a Louis Vuitton bag with RUBENS written on it in big gold letters over a reproduction of that 17th-century painter’s violent, exuberant and gorgeous work Tiger, Lion and the Leopard Hunt?" From JEFF KOONS' LOUIS VUITTON BAGS: A JOYOUS ART HISTORY LESSON, Jonathan Jones, The Guardian, 12 April 2017

Kind of gross, if you ask me. But a critic doesn't produce--he just takes. He isn't even accountable for his own contradictions because opinions are an ephemeral commodity. Cultural toilet paper. An artist or writer takes real risks, and the mistakes they make may linger for generations, if they're lucky.

28 March 2017

Michael A. Arnzen: HUMOR IN WRITING Saturday, April 1, 4-6pm



Join us this Saturday from 4-6pm for a visit from author Michael A. Arnzen, who will speak on the subject of comedy in writing. Light refreshments, a book raffle, and meet-and-greet will follow.


Free tickets are now available at the Library's main desk. To learn more about the Author Series, please visit: http://www.uniontownlib.org/author-series

11 February 2017

WORKSHOP: UPL Writers Workshop with Heidi Ruby Miller and Jason Jack Miller

This week (Wednesday, February 15) at the UPL Writers Workshop, we'll continue our discussion of formatting and submitting and will do a critique of another writer's work. Hope you can join us!

The Uniontown Public Library offers a Writers Workshop led by authors Heidi Ruby Miller and Jason Jack Miller each Wednesday afternoon. The weekly meetings will include a short writing lesson, writing tips and advice, and a discussion about members’ work. We'll be using lessons from Many Genres One CraftEach lecture and activity will be self-contained in case you can't attend every week. 

This is a great opportunity to meet fellow writers, talk about your ideas, and explore your creativity. The UPL Writers Workshop is a free program and writers of all genres and experience levels are welcome!

The Writers Workshop will meet every Wednesday from 4:30 – 6:00 PM in Meeting Room A.

If you have any questions, please contact UPL at (724) 437-1165.


Heidi Ruby Miller and Jason Jack Miller started as travel writers more than a decade ago and continue to explore the globe, but now as research trips for their fiction. In their spare time, they teach in Seton Hill's MFA in Writing Popular Fiction program. Between them, they have published six novels (with two more forthcoming this year), a hundred short stories, poems, articles, and essays, and a travel guide. They chronicle their adventures on Instagram and YouTube under their own names, as well as their shared project Small Space Big Life.

10 February 2017

SMALL SPACE BIG LIFE: Florence, Arno River, August 2016



Just wanted to post the video I made for our little Arno River cruise from last August. Heidi and I have been sharing some of our travel videos over at Small Space Big Life. It's been a fun way to share our travels in a slightly different way, and it allows to get a little creative without worrying about word count or dangling participles.

30 December 2016

SMALL SPACE BIG LIFE YEAR IN REVIEW 2016



Earlier this year, Heidi and I started a YouTube channel as a place to share our travel videos. It's been rewarding and a lot of fun, and we hope to vlog more frequently next year.

This is a highlight clips from some of the amazing things we got to see and do this year. If you want to see more, check out our YouTube channel SMALL SPACE BIG LIFE.