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Digital era artist takes pen to newspaper to create poetry

Austin Kleon, Fine Arts SeriesAustin Kleon, an artist and author who blacks out words in a newspaper to create poetry, will show 30 new works at UNT on the Square April 11 through May 6

Kleon is the author of Newspaper Blackout, a 2010 collection of poetry made by redacting newspaper articles with a marker. The exhibit features his poems, others submitted to his website and an area for visitors to make their own blackout poetry.

Kleon’s blog,, has more than 80,000 subscribers, and has featured thousands of poems from people all over the world.

“The exhibition is somewhat unique because of the area where visitors can try out and display their own experiments with the newspaper blackout technique,” Kleon said. “The viewer will turn into the artist, and the artist will turn into the viewer.”

  • Learn more about Kleon's work at a gallery talk during the free exhibition’s opening reception from 4 to 6 p.m. April 11.

Kleon's book, Steal Like An Artist, was a New York Times best-seller described as a manifesto for creativity in the digital age. The book is based on a list Kleon made that has key insights he wishes he’d known when he’d started his career.The list includes pieces of advice:

  • Steal like an artist
  • Write the book you want to read
  • Use your hands
  • Creativity is subtraction.

He used the list in a talk to college students, which grew into a blog post that went viral and reached millions of readers. The blog post became a book that explains the list. For example, when Kleon says to “steal like an artist,” he doesn’t mean plagiarize; he means give credit to those whose ideas have shaped your own, while creating something new based on those influences.

The free exhibition at UNT on the Square can be viewed during gallery hours: 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, with extended hours until 8 p.m. on Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Kleon's appearance is sponsored by the Fine Art Series and UNT’s Institute for the Advancement of the Arts.

-Margarita Venegas, News Promotions

Posted on: Wed 03 April 2013

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