AMH Gallery Exhibit
Poets Respond to Art
In light of the current public health concern surrounding the rapid spread of Covid-19, Arts Mid-Hudson is
presenting its first-ever virtual gallery exhibit.
Ever since poets have been putting pen to paper, ever since Keats’ “Ode on a Grecian Urn” where he declaimed “Beauty is truth, truth beauty,–that is all / Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know,” poets have been enraptured with the fine arts and inspired by them. Poems inspired by other works of art are known as ekphrastic poems, the term ekphrasis coming from the Greeks meaning a vivid description of an art work. But the very best ekprastic poems go beyond a mere description of the art work to use it as an inspirational jumping off point. This is natural because poetry thrives on imagery and voila—art supplies the images!
In this daring virtual exhibit you will find poems that riff on the art they are reacting to by many of our local poets. For example, poet Meghan Adler reacts to Kara Cerilli’s luscious lavender horizon photo, “Peaceful” with a poem that is a series of disconcerting questions about the “Purple Ether of Middle Age” and the state of the world, ending with “How does a lilac glow hug the horizon?” In Pilar Jiminez’s acrylic and ink, “In the Process of Looking for my Voice II,” poet Wendy Insinger appears to deconstruct the natural setting and personal history to the “sheer Abundance of abandonment” ending triumphantly with “Unfold, Un-fangle! / Elate!” The painting surely suggests the shaking free of this searching for the personal voice and Insinger’s poem captures that triumphant freedom. Check out how Jean-Marc Superville Sovak’s “a-Historical Landscape: Lake George” is an invitation to poet Roger Aplon to narrate the escape of an African American woman “leaping” to her freedom in this deceptively idealistic Hudson River School engraving. Have fun with Kaete Brittin Shaw’s “Saturn’s Wishbone” and the marvelous poem by poet Brook Hamling who responds to the dramatic wooden figure by conjuring images with a series of commands that sound like putting a spell on someone or something which perfectly reflect the starkness of that wishbone! There is witchery here to bedazzle us!
Especially in these trying time, please enjoy this stunning collaboration of two art forms as they speak to both beauty and truth. Relax and take a moment to be still and breathe with Linda Lynton’s “Summer Doldrums” and Matt Spireng’s meditative reflection on its moment. Even better, try writing a poem inspired by a work of art you love!
— Raphael Kosek
Dutchess County Poet Laureate
Participating Visual Artists:
Sydney Cash, Kara Cerilli, Claudia Gorman, David Holt, Pilar Jimenez, Roxie Johnson, Linda Lynton, Barbara Masterson, David Munford, Karen Schaffel, kaete brittin shaw, Jean-Marc Superville Sovak, Barbara Todd, Crystal Yang
Meghan Adler, Roger Aplon, Timothy Brennan, Lucia Cherciu, Linda McCauley Freeman, Virendra Goolcharan, William Greenfield, Harvey Greenwald, Brooke Hamling, Wendy Insinger, Mike Jurkovic, Ted Millar, Matthew J. Spireng, T.A. Young
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