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Writers and artists share the love at Hearing Voices Seeing Visions March 2014

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You are worthy of love. You are capable of expressing love to others. No matter what your story is, you’ve got one worth telling. From writer Carl Kenney to artists and writers Jenny McGee and Bob Hodgson, the message of the evening of Tuesday, March 18 at Orr Street Studios was spread the love.
“Kenney the voice of many” is a columnist who fights for gay rights, women’s rights and any other rights out there. Basically, he fights for the right to be human. His novels stay true to his real story. “It’s me,” he says. He can’t escape his story and there’s no way to maintain his distance. He wanted to be authentic and use the real language he used at the time. His drug addiction was real. His addiction to the church was real. For these reasons, the story uses graphic language. To him, the human experience is all the same thing. If you really think about it, it’s true. And his way of defining a mid-life crisis is the moment when you become tired of pleasing others. But the most important thing he learned from his recovery process is “I am a person who is worthy of being loved.” Amen.
Jenny McGee is a professional artist who “sucks at selling art.” Her mission is to help people express their love to another person through her artwork. She is not only a cancer survivor, but someone who paints to express her pain and shares why it is a person is valuable. She spent time as a missionary in El Salvador and what she saw there was very different from what she was used to in Springfield, Missouri. As a result, she painted secretly to let out her emotions. Painting is her way of dealing and her way of expressing. Her hope is through her art she can show the importance of “I love you” and that to accomplish this, she needed to feel loved first. We exist in relationship, not in isolation.
Bob Hodgson is Jenny’s father and a talented translator, writer and artist. He is able to take a picture and write an elaborate caption for it. It’s actually more of a story that goes along with the picture and the story is his interpretation of the image. His favorite quote is an Italian one that states, “All translators are traitors.” Translators cannot completely preserve the authenticity of the piece. Personally, Hodgson is comfortable either to go from creating a painting about a text or writing a text about a painting. Life has more complexities than anyone can ever imagine. He showed us several paintings of his that included people he knew. One of them featured his uncle Johnny and the one thing he learned from uncle Johnny was to always “pay it forward.”

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