The Poetic Image
A Collaboration of Words and Images
Redwood City, CA –On view April 25th through May 26th at The Main Gallery is the exhibition The Poetic Image with Belinda Chlouber, Pixie Couch, Diana Herring, Nina Koepcke, Terrie Wilson Moore, Andrea Rosenman, Ginger Slonaker, Teresa Silvestri and Tony Williams. The gallery, located at 1018 Main Street in Redwood City, will host a reception with the artists on Saturday, April 28th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. There will also be a closing reception with poetry readings and artist talks on Saturday May 26th from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Here is a small sampling of what you will find from the exhibition The Poetic Image:
After passing away last year after a tragic illness, Belinda Chlouber’s mother, Carla Chlouber, whom she loved dearly, left many poems and short stories. Belinda states, “I have been working with her poetry and recently started working with my grandfather Arthur Sweet’s poetry after I found a long lost notebook of his poems at Christmas. Their poetry has greatly inspired my recent mixed media work and I feel I am collaborating with them in spirit. Two of the pieces in the show are based on my mother’s poems, ‘Sunday Evening’ and ‘Blackberry Wine’ and another is based on my grandfather’s poem, ‘Gentle Things.’ The small monoprints I am showing also have bits and pieces of both of their poetry. Working in this way with their poems has expanded my imagination, helped me heal the loss and see the invisible thread that runs through generations where life is a continuation not a ending.”
Mary Oliver, the American poet who is known for her poignant observations of the natural world, inspired Teresa Silvestri‘s watercolor paintings. Silvestri comments, “In my new painting ‘Wise Sheep,’ I could imagine the long life and maturity in the sheep’s eyes: She has seen much and is the wiser for it.” Oliver expresses the sentiment this way in her poem “Messenger”: “Are my boots old? Is my coat torn? Am I no longer young, and still half-perfect? Let me keep my mind on what matters, which is my work, which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished….” For Silvestri, the New England setting of Oliver’s poems also reminds her of her own recent trip to Cape Cod, which inspired her to capture a few of those special memories with her paintings.
For his photograph “Escaping Art,” which was taken at the De Young Museum in San Francisco, Tony Williams wrote his own poem to accompany the photograph. He is also showing a series of poetic desert landscapes. Williams will also have a display of his Perspective Image work at Kondeterei in Portola Valley for the month of May.
In interpreting the theme of The Poetic Image, Diana Herring chose to focus on the process of creativity. One piece in the show is entitled “Can the Poet Carry the Meaning of Life Across the Bridge of Art into the Land of Joy?” The other is a description of the “Seasons of Creativity”–spring, summer, fall, and winter. Another piece, in a slightly different style, is a comment on the great blues song, “Mother Earth,” as sung by Memphis Slim. Herring states, “These are similar to previous work I have done in that I can only get inspired by a humorous approach to life”.
Pixie Couch likes to transfer poems or pieces of poems onto clay surfaces. The words are either imprinted or written and the clay is formed to reflect the scene or feelings of the words. “I’m working with two local poets. Marian Slattery is a potter/poet and lives in Palo Alto. Her poetry evokes a range of images,” writes Couch. A line from “Drawn to the Dark” by Slattery holds special meaning for Couch: “mythic forests hung with tangled fronds, that way calls me.” Couch continues: “Philip Hubbard is a potter/poet living in San Francisco who writes Haiku as a daily diary. After a walk he recorded the event as this haiku:
Spring flowers swaying
by the San Andreas fault –
it’s only the wind.
Bringing that to a clay expression is just plain fun. Usually my work is thrown on the potter’s wheel, but all the work for this show will be hand built. Much of it uses varieties of clay and natural geologic stains for color.”
Nina Koepcke tells us, “The pieces that I made for this show are outgrowths of my interest in and observations of ravens, crows and other birds. I read a great many poets’ writings before settling on the works of four poets. Two, Charlotte Muse and Len Anderson, are personal friends and two, Philip Levine and Charles Wright, are former national poet laureates. Each poet had something unique and inspiring to say about birds and their relationship to the human condition. I spent a great deal of time thinking about these poems and how I might best interpret them in ceramic form.”
Koepche will be traveling to Berlin, Budapest and Prague with nine other artists from around the US at the time this show opens. They will be visiting galleries and artists’ studios and sharing images of their work with artists in all three cities. She will also be visiting Barcelona on her own at the end of this trip to see the Gaudi sculptures there.
Erna Metzger is showing handmade paper pieces with a simple, earthy feel to them. Metzger states, “I found the process of making a visual response to poems very stimulating and discovered many, many great poems to inspire future works.
Alara Slonaker, Ginger Slonaker’s fourteen-year-old daughter wrote a poem entitled “Mr. Gold“ which inspired her mother to create a diptych after the poem. Alara Slonaker states her poem “Is about sacrificing what’s really important for artificial reputations and material wealth….it’s about Rumpelstiltskin”.
The show richly mixes famous poets with local poets and aspiring poets then giving the poems a visual voice. The closing reception will host poetry readings and artist talks and is scheduled for Saturday, May 26 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the gallery. Please come join us where you can enjoy hearing the art and seeing the art!
The Main Gallery, an artists’ cooperative with some 23 members, showcases the work of some of the best local talent in the Bay Area. The Gallery is located at 1018 Main Street at the corner of Main and Middlefield in the historic yellow Victorian Cottage in Redwood City. The Gallery is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.