When artist Diane Shanti Kennedy reads Elizabeth Van Ness’ poetic line “Maiden, Mother, Elder Crone, teach me to find my way at night, goad my soul and pick my bones,” she thinks of three blackbirds in a dark bush.
When Margaret E. Farrar reads Michael Nolan’s poem “A light shines from this lamp, which screams to me, come home, stay with me, for this is where you belong,” she envisions a child resting safely in the glow of a lamp, as vague demons lurk around him, unable to penetrate the shaft of light.
Kennedy and Farrar have contributed work to “Word Art,” this year’s installment of a show presented bi-annually at Gallery on the Green in Canton. Fifty-nine artworks by Farmington Valley artists fill the downstairs gallery, to offer visual accompaniment to written words.
The show was founded 14 years ago and is curated by Kent McCoy, who wanted to combine his work with the Collinsville Writers Asylum and his involvement with gallery, where he has been on the board for 17 years. McCoy said he created the show, in part, to extend the impact of written pieces. “Visual work is on the wall for five weeks. The spoken word is ephemeral. It’s there and then it’s done. It happens, it’s brief and then it’s over,” he said.
Two of the most engaging pieces in the show were both created by Anita Gangi Balkun. For “Thin-Skinned,” Balkun re-creates Colleen Feeney’s poem about cutting an onion — “pieces fall to the cutting board and it stings, the smell fills the air, fills my eyes, fills everything,” by writing it directly onto a cutting board. For “Elegant Desserts,” Balkun creates a honeycomb…
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