Hear it, see it
"Poetry and Art" shows creative connections
By Adam Coughlin firstname.lastname@example.org
Potter Robert Roy always loved the flow and undulation of the Eagles song “I Love to Watch a Woman Dance.” But it wasn’t until he participated in a new exhibit at East Colony Fine Art that he was able to look at one of his large, open bowls with a repetitive pattern and see the music in his own work.
“Poetry and Art” is one of two new exhibits intended to lower the barrier between artists and viewers and offer insight into the creative process. On display at the exhibit, which runs through Nov. 27, will be both a work of art and lines of poetry, literature or music that either reflect or inspired the work.
“It is a little extra facet that gets the consumer closer to the artist,” Roy said. “It takes a layer away.”
Roy said he had never used music or poetry for specific inspiration before this exhibit. But he felt the exhibit was unique because it would allow the viewer to read a poem and then immediately see how an artist interpreted that same piece of poetry. If the artist, like Roy, chose a piece of music that he felt reflected his work, that choice, in and of itself, would reveal a great deal about the artist.
“I always liked the song,” Roy said. “But when we came up with this idea, I looked at one of my pieces and it was right there. It was right there for me. It might not be right there for you.”
Roy said an artist never knows where inspiration will come from and so it is important to be open to all life has to offer. He said he has been inspired by movements he’s seen in nature, a new student’s great idea or even an insignificant piece of machinery.
Marcia Herson, a member of the art group Three Squared, always plays music while she works. While she’s sure the music had an impact on her, she never purposely sought it for inspiration. Until now.
Herson and other members of Three Squared, as well as eight artists from the group The Left Bank, will be participating in an exhibit called “2D or Not 2D: Art Inspired by Poetry” at the Sharon Arts Downtown Galleries in Peterborough.
“Each of the 19 artists will have two or three pieces and each will have a poem attached to them,” said Camellia Sousa, gallery director at Sharon Arts. “Visual arts can be inspired by just about anything, especially poetry. We feel this exhibit will give viewers insight they normally don’t get. The artists’ reaction to the poem will tell much more than an artist statement or placard.”
At both exhibits there will be a wide variety of media on display including paintings, prints, collage, glass, ceramics and much more. In Peterborough, in addition to the exhibit, there will be educational outreach. Students from the Art and English departments at ConVal High School will participate in the project by attending the opening reception on Friday, Nov. 5, visiting the studio of one of the artists, writing a poem inspired by art from the exhibition and then creating a piece of art based on a classmate’s poem, according to Sousa.
While Herson believed the assignment was difficult, she understands its value and knows artists carry around inspiration with them wherever they go.
“When you see inspiration of any sort it gives you greater inspiration,” Herson said. “Everyone experiences things differently. This collaboration is another avenue. The two art forms will come together and those who are more visual will grab onto the art first and those who are more literary or even literal will see more in the poetry.”