In an attempt to understand our social and political climate, artists and writers have a unique perspective that is worthy of our attention.
Art that sparks further thought or encourages communication can have an impact on individual views and how they are shaped into the future. Engaging words and images have always had a powerful ability to elicit a wide range of responses, from outrage to revelation.
In a culture oversaturated with sound bites and quick images, meant to only be eye-catching for a moment, poetry and visual art are able to add to the civic dialogue posing big-picture kinds of questions and provide a platform on which conversations can be started that, hopefully, lead to communication between people, communities, even political parties.
This is not a new concept. Art and poetry have historically played a role in shaping public consciousness, from William Blake to Patricia Smithand from Picasso to Kara Walker. Art has always been a faithful documentarian, often acting as a moral compass, asking difficult questions of establishment views and institutions.
We asked fifteen local, regional and national poets to submit poems that address a variety of political and social issues, from our environment to our present political divisiveness. We then invited fifteen visual artists to respond to a specific poem with work they felt illustrated the feeling and meaning of the poem chosen for them.
The result of this “blind” collaboration is a thought provoking exhibition of work, on display from May 10-June 9, 2019 at the Pink Dog Creative Gallery, 348 Depot St., Asheville, NC 28801. There will be an opening reception May 10 from 5:30-7:30 pm. Three poets will read their exhibited poem at the opening reception, Robert Zachary, Meta Commerse and Jessica Jacobs,
May 10, at 6:30 pm.