Monday, December 12, 2011

Creative space: Artists find inspiration at The Pharmacy

On a recent crisp, fall Sunday evening, in a building from which pharmaceuticals and root beer floats formerly were dispensed to customers, more than 30 people gathered to hear University of Illinois Springfield student fiction writers read their work.

Flanked by paintings hanging in Springfield’s newest artist-run co-op, gallery and community center called The Pharmacy at 401 South Grand Ave. W., one by one the students stood in front of the audience to read.

Kristen Chenoweth read an excerpt from “Cabbages and Kings,” her story about a woman walking away from her marriage to a man from an affluent family with whom she has little in common. In the passage Chenoweth read, the woman was headed inside a bookshop.

On the recent Sunday before students read their writings, their instructor, Meagan Cass, assistant professor of creative writing at UIS, expressed thanks for what The Pharmacy has brought to the community.

Given the recession and a political climate in which the value of art and “the necessity of supporting artists has been repeatedly called into question, this place is a bulwark as well as a sanctuary,” Cass said.

Chenoweth & Cass were featured in an December 11, 2011, article in The State Journal-Register.

Read the article online