23 May 2011

Verse & Vision: Home in the Hive

"Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others."
~Jonathan Swift

Friday was the opening event for the First Annual Verse & Vision exhibit at the Gallery Q in downtown Stevens Point.

I came to find out that this event was spurred into being by my show from last summer called "Inspired by..." where I interpreted the works of the artists at the Gallery Q through my jewelry. The artists that mounted this show wanted an event that would connect an even wider pool of Q artists with the community and be inspired by poetry. So the idea of Verse & Vision was born.

The idea is simple: have the artists at the Q interpret verses from Wisconsin poets through their medium. Two artists from our gallery put the plan in motion in December 2010. They thought that they might get about 50 poems submitted. They received nearly 300 entries from all across the state! A UWSP English professor and her upper level students acted as the jury committee and culled that number down to 62 poems.

Then they were brought to the artists at the Q and there was much excitement over the selection. We were allowed to read through the poems blind (no names attached) and choose those that spoke to our heart. It was first come, first served and so there was much wrangling among the artists. No more than two artists were allowed to portray each poem and overall 29 artists participated, some selecting more than just one. I chose four.

Then on Friday, during the 6th annual Arts Walk in the downtown, we invited the poets to come and read their verses. It was a packed house. A standing room only crowd. We had an after party that was well attended, and sold so much that we could scarcely close the till. The art and poetry will be on display until the end of June. And a book was made of the poems and the accompanying artwork. What a fine gift to give to someone who loves poetry and art!

The first time that I knew the authors of the poems I was drawn to was when they came up to read their lines. I was pleasantly surprised to have a connection to two of them.

I have spoken to the poets, or am in the process of speaking to them. I want to thank them for writing these powerful words. And I wanted to ask them if I could share their words to accompany my jewelry designs. I have a hearty approval from two of them, so I will share them first this week, and hopefully hear from the others.

This first poem is from Lesley Wheeler, who happens to be married to the son of a family from my church. Her husband is a musician and her parents are as well. In fact, I am a cantor at Newman Parish and her mother-in-law is the music director. Lesley and her husband Karl did live in New York but have since moved to Iowa, so Lesley might be the poet that traveled the farthest for this reading! I am delighted to share her work with you.

Home in the Hive by Lesley Wheeler

At home in the hive
of convergences, we
sit back and drink
lemonade from jars.
Cracks in the comb
reveal views of clipper
ship sails which pass
by slowly, decks laden
with crates of worry
disguised as treasure.

(P.S. I did take video of Lesley reading this, and I have my original sketches. I will try to add those later, but I wanted to get something out there today!)

And here is my interpretation:

Beautiful copper chain given a rich patina and the clipper ship silver clay button
by artist Shannon of MissFickleMedia
Brass bees
Honeycomb inspired gold sunstone quartz beads
Antique skeleton key
Ceramic honeycomb round by artist Kylie Parry
White linen yarn

So now it is your turn...
Has a poem ever inspired you? What was it - do share!
Is there a favorite poet that speaks to your heart?
Can you see the reference from poetry to art? I would love to hear your comments!

Enjoy the day!

P.S. Stay tuned for the rest of this week when I reveal the remaining poems and art jewelry.


EB Bead and Metal Works, LLC said...

Wow Erin! The necklace is stunning and you capture the poem perfectly with that piece! Love it!
The poem "Calvary Crossing a Ford" by Walt Whitman has struck me the most. I remember being in my English Lit class and we read that poem in class. I could see the guidon's flowing in the wind and I could hear the bridle and the creak of the saddles as the soldiers rode by crossing the ford. I could even smell them, that is how powerful that poem is to me. I don't know if it is because I am a veteran and I can understand those soldiers or what, but this poem is the one that touches me. I have done a ceramics piece (http://ebbeadandmetalworks.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2009-07-27T12%3A47%3A00-04%3A00&max-results=44) representing the poem but I still want to do a piece in metal. We shall see if the muse will hit.
I can't wait to see your other pieces and read the poems!
Have a wonderful week!

Lorelei Eurto said...

love those sunstone beads, where did you find them!?

Heidi Post said...

What a lovely collaborative event! Your necklace is just perfect for that poem. I can't wait to see the other things you created, and read the inspirational poems :)

sandi m said...

Erin, As soon as I saw the words in the poem I knew what kind of elements you would select ~ Perfect interpretation! Look forward to your other pieces.

And what a great idea for the poets and gallery - marketing at all levels at its best. Congratulations!

sandi m said...

An idea/thought - maybe a contest for your readers? They select one of the poems and create a piece.

Wouldn't it be fun so see how the words inspire others?

swopemelmel said...

Wow!! I love it!! Those Sun Stones were PERFECT and where on earth did you find those darling brass bees? I also like Sandi M's idea of your readers doing their interpretations of some of the poems or a poem that you choose. swopemelmel@aol.com

SueBeads said...

I have been waiting for this! What a gorgeous interpretation of the poem! Really, really just amazing Erin! I can't say that poetry has ever inspired me to make a piece of jewelry, but things like hydrangeas have...

Cynthia said...

The necklace is stunning and looks just like the poem! What a fantastic job.
Even your inspirations are inspirations!

Pretty Things said...

As much of a reader as I am, books don't inspire me. Rather, they calm me down so my mind can quit designing and writing to itself and night.

Noemi said...

Wow, I wish we had this sort of events where I live.
Just lovely.

Cristina M. R. Norcross said...

Thank you for sharing such a beautiful, thoughtful poem with elegant imagery and a necklace so alive with symbols. What a beautiful collaboration. I wanted to stop by to say hello. I wrote one of the 60 poems chosen for the book ("Acceptance"). I specialize in ekphrastic poetry and have written many poems inspired by visual art, including my first book written with a watercolor artist. How lovely for you to showcase the beautiful contributions you made to Verse and Vision on your blog.

Cristina Norcross

steufel said...

What a cool event. And your necklace is - stunning! Rgearding your question, I have go with Lori on this one - I'm an avid reader but I'm not inspired by books. But maybe it is due to my choices - I'm a sucker for crime novels:-)

Alice said...

Wow, they liked your 'Inspired By' idea so much that they expanded on it for this event--that's very cool! What an amazing colaboration between two different types of art.

Your necklace is a wonderful interpretation of the poem.

I have to say I love to read, but hardly ever get inspiraton from a book or poem. I think its because I turn my brain off of the 'wander' mode so I can just enjoy what I'm reading.

Brandi Hussey said...

Oh, wow, I didn't know "Verse and Vision" was inspired by "Inspired by"! (Okay, that sounded funny, but you know what I mean.) What a rush and how flattering!

I'm also thrilled that the opening was so well received. You must be walking on cloud 9! And the necklace - those hexagon beads are incredible. What a fantastic weekend you had, Erin!


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