Frank Beltrano was one of the featured Authors July 6th, 2014, over on my other blog, Reading Recommendations, and told us then of this unique way he’d developed of presenting his poems. He’s back now to describe a new project in which he’s participating that allows him to showcase his writing alongside the work of visual artists.
In March, when I unveiled my Coffee Shop Mysteries poems as shadow-boxes, it was suggested by the Westland Gallery that I participate in their Square Foot Show.
At that time I had already written a palindrome inspired by two greeting cards I kept on my desk. That poem benefits greatly from being read while viewing the artwork, watercolours by Cori Lee Marvin, that inspired it. So that was a natural for a visual poem.
I had also been asked by my friend, photographer Al Sugerman, to consider a series of photos he had taken of our mutual friend Tony Eyamie turning clay. The black and white photos were close-ups of his hands working the clay into the shape of an urn. My wife, Marie-Claire, and I visited Tony and Joan Bailey’s gallery, the Patina Studios in Bayfield, where my shadow-boxes are currently hanging, and Joan talked to us about the funerary urns Tony makes. All this came together in a second square foot piece entitled, “Hands and Clay”.
The Square Foot Show is an annual event at the Westland Gallery in Wortley Village, London, Ontario. Artists are allowed to submit no more than three pieces, which when framed must each measure one foot by one foot. This year, 172 artists are included. All sorts of media were used to create over 400 pieces.
I am honored my work is on the same wall as some of the finest artists from the region. My biggest thrill came from watching gallery-goers at the opening linger over my pieces and read the words. It is possible to see the observer’s attention shift from viewing to reading. It made me feel I have had an impact.
The show runs to August 16th. Plan to spend some time if you go. There is a lot to take in.
And here I am, conferring with Frank Beltrano – who was also a Coffee Shop Author! – outside of one of the other popular spots in Wortley Village in London, The Black Walnut.