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Tom Scherschel

Tom Scherschel is a self-taught artist and lover of all things southern Californian.  As a recently retired elementary school teacher, he is in the process of reinventing himself yet again.   
His art is literally and figuratively mirroring his life. He is exploring new avenues and taking chances in ways that he hasn’t previously done. .  

Tom's paintings can be viewed at The Hellada Gallery in Long Beach, California . His artwork has also been recently published online in the inaugural issue of Subprimal Poetry Art (  

He lives in Long Beach with his partner, Craig, and their cats, Buddy and Sally.

An Exhibit of Tom Scherschel Paintings opens April 5th at the Hellada Art Gallery in Long Beach California. 
The show opens with a signing of the chapbook Elemental Long Beach featuring the collaboration of Tom and Laurie Zupan. 
The exhibit runs through most of April. 

 get more information at

Poem and Painting from Elemental Long Beach


an old friend used to say
questions are more important
than their answers

I write questions because
they are all
I have

not even yesterday's bread
on the kitchen counter
or a half cup of cold coffee
can sustain me

the moonlight spills
on the page
but offers no illumination

Melissa F. Kaelin

Melissa F. Kaelin is a painter, writer and poet residing in Apple Valley, Minnesota. She is a self-taught artist, who paints under her maiden name to honor her past.
After an automobile accident killed four people in her immediate family in 2011, Melissa turned to art for therapy and healing. She picked up a paintbrush for the first time that year, letting mindful brush strokes transport her to a place of peacefulness and tranquility. Her paintings juxtapose darkness and shadow with brilliant light.
For Melissa, the inspiration for each painting comes from the interplay of complicated grief and the beauty of life. The resulting images capture the rare beauty that appears at twilight, after sunlight parts the storm. website

Finding the artwork for the cover of a chapbook can be both difficult and delightful.  In the case of Joe Wilkin's "We Had To Go On Living" I knew what I wanted, but lacked a source.  The image had to have a river.  The image I wanted had to be a silhouette.  And trees are always good.  While wandering around at an Art Crawl on Sunday afternoon I happened upon Melissa's images and I knew then and there I wanted one of her images on the cover of Joe's chapbook.  Not only the silhouette form but the colors seemed right.  Melissa's story, her turn to art as a means of comfort and healing all made sense, seemed to fit with Joe's essays.  
We corresponded, found a few images that might work (her collection of work can be seen on her website) and then Joe got to choose which he thought would be best.  I am pleased with the cover, the chapbook and Red Bird is honored and blessed to have Melissa F. Kaelin as one of our cover artists. 

Carl Bernard Huelsman

Carl Bernard Huelsman started drawing in his late teens and became passionate about digital illustrations while attending the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, where he received a Bachelors Degree in Graphic Arts. In 2013, he co-founded AskTell Agency, a communications firm focused on the lesbian and gay community. Carl is also a co-host on the Creative Briefs podcast, an Internet radio show that interviews creative professionals about their attitudes, philosophies, and processes. Since 2008, he has created "corporate art” pieces for Net Health, a Pittsburgh-based medical software company, where the art showcases the company’s corporate culture. Carl's artist portfolio is available at 

Mo Fink

Mo Fink is living her childhood dream of being an artist. She finds beauty in nature, anatomy, and anything that's mysterious, so most everything. She's currently studying art at MCTC and hopes to study ceramics further in Seattle someday, but for now she's working on drawing the perfect eye.  

Mo's image is based on the poem "Ouroboros" in the chapbook Inner Passage by Karen George.


Side by side in canvas deck chairs,
we cradle words in our palms:
you, A Walk in the Woods;
I, the salve of Li-Young Lee.
The cruise ship pulses beneath us;
above, flags flap 
a staccato against the salt 
air we can taste.

An Asian couple sits near us
in the crook where two benches
converge in a vee.
Knees touching, 
they lean close to talk, 
forming a cave.
On the back of her moss-green kimono
a red dragon devours its own tail. 

I follow the curve of the beast's back,
edged in ebony,
while the flow of foreign syllables 
lulls and impales me.
How I ache to pierce through
all the silences, and wail
Cancer and chemo are eating
my husband alive.

But I close my eyes,
enter the couple's hallowed voices,
and the loop of waves
heaves me back
to our conversations in cars
on serpentine roads
beneath vault of trees,
when motion unhinged our tongues.

Robert Cox

Robert Cox is currently Assistant Professor of Art and Foundations Coordinator at The University of Tennessee
at Chattanooga, where he has taught for thirteen years. In 2005, he was awarded the Outstanding Teacher Award
from the College of Arts and Sciences at UTC. He has taught multiple levels of Drawing, Painting, Color Theory
and Design at various schools in the South including The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa and Young Harris
College in the north Georgia mountains. Robert Cox received his Master of Fine Arts degree in Studio Art from the University of Memphis. He also holds a degree in Studio Art from the University of North Alabama in Florence, Alabama. In 1999 he was awarded a Fulbright Foreign Scholarship. He has participated in over 90
regional and national exhibitions of art over the past thirty years, including 10 one-person exhibitions.

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