The NEPA Creative Series: Poetry, art modes of expression for local women
Katie Wisnosky, of Tunkhannock, and Ariell Stewart, of Mountain Top, were the 37th and 38th #NEPACreatives of 2017, respectively.
Katie brings creativity to the area through performance poetry. She founded the youth-run nonprofit group Breaking Ground Poets seven years ago with a mission that an individual can overcome anything through storytelling and performance poetry.
“I am always inspired by artists and writers, who are the most creative of people. I have great admiration for their ability to take risks and ask questions. To push an unpopular perspective into the light through their craft to raise awareness about a topic,” Wisnosky explained. “I think about all the mentors, friends and colleagues I have in the artistic world who have worked, achieved, survived and thrived because they stayed true to themselves — and I take inspiration from their stories.”
Breaking Ground Poets hosts open mics and poetry slams, and takes a team every year to the world’s largest youth international poetry festival, Brave New Voices.
To Katie, being creative is something that is unique to an individual. It is something that rises within them to express something they need to have released. Creativity isn’t a broad stroke, it is intricate and multifaceted.
Ariell brings creativity to NEPA with art. She creates mindful art using geometric shapes called mandalas. She hosts paint nights all around NEPA and offers people the chance to experience creativity through painting.
“As far as design goes, I try to have that come organically,” Stewart said. “I don’t generally sketch my designs prior to painting them unless they are custom orders that require for me to show the client a proof. I usually can just sit down, and it seems to just pour out of me. Whatever feels right, I let it be, and sometimes it doesn’t and I wipe that off and start over. The great thing about painting on wood is that you can sand it and have a clean slate again.”
Ariell began painting again three years ago after suffering from postpartum depression. She needed an outlet and something to calm her mind. After working in the yoga industry for five years, Ariell realized that meditating while painting was something that relieved her stress, and she began to heal herself through her art.
To Ariell, being creative means living her life to the fullest expression and offering a piece of herself through her art.
When being considered as an NEPA Creative, individuals are asked to explain how they bring creativity to the area, how long they have been doing it and why, and finally what being creative means to them. Once chosen, the next step is to bring each creative into CoalCreative’s studio space to be filmed for a 60 second video that is shared every Wednesday across all their social media platforms. The series plans to highlight all sorts of creatives throughout the rest of the year. There are no limits to who could be considered. Photographers, musicians, barbers, magicians, and improv artists are just a handful of the submissions CoalCreative has received thus far.
To be considered for the series, submit a consideration form at www.coalcreative.com/are-you-a-nepa-creative or send an email to [email protected]