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RAA members show work at TAG

RAA members show work at TAG

“Random Thinking” isn’t the exhibition Terry Polonsky imagined when it was first scheduled at Trumbull Art Gallery.

The president of Random Acts of Artists said there won’t be a juror or any awards, and the gallery won’t be filled with people attending an opening reception.

But the show will provide an increasingly rare opportunity since mid-March. It’s a chance for area artists to have their work seen in person instead of on a computer screen.

“If an artist does a piece of art and it sits in their studio or living room and no one gets to see it, it’s a waste of time,” Polonsky said. “If you’re able to get it out, like the TAG show is meant to do, it’s nice to get some input from other artists and the public.

“Not only with 3D sculptural pieces, but seeing a painting or a photograph face to face is much more impactful. It goes well beyond what you can see on your screen.”

Members of RAA were invited to show their work at the downtown gallery, and “Random Thinking” will feature more than 90 pieces from about 30 area artists.

“It’s a good representation of 3D sculpture, photography, watercolor, pastel, acrylic, oil, textiles,” Polonsky said. “Just about everything you can think of, from landscapes to abstracts and everything in between.”

RAA is a nonprofit organization based in Sharon, Pa. It has 136 paid members, primarily from Trumbull and Mahoning counties in Ohio and Mercer and Lawrence counties in Pennsylvania. The group has been involved in several public art projects in Sharon and until recently had a gallery space there.

In addition to its work in the visual arts, RAA also has subgroups focusing on theater (Black Sheep Players), creative writing (For the Love of Writing — FLOW), photography (For the Love of Photography — FLOP) and music (Random Acts of Music — RAM).

Some of its social media pages have more than 6,000 followers, including people from all 50 states and around the world.

RAA shows have been featured at TAG before, and the two organizations and SOAP Gallery in Youngstown partnered in 2019 on the exhibition “Where Sidewalks End,” which was displayed in all three locations.

RAA had a show open at Soap Gallery in March right before all non-essential businesses were forced to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic. TAG reopened last month, but still is operating under limited hours, from noon to 4 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and by appointment.

With events like Youngstown State University’s Summer Festival of the Arts, WaterFire Sharon and the Canfield Fair canceled this summer, the gallery show at TAG is one of the few outlets available for artists to be seen.

“There’s just no place for artists to get their work out,” Polonsky said. “At least this gets work in the gallery. It’s a beautiful space where people can come in on a limited basis and take a look at the artwork.”

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