OPENING RECEPTION: Friday Oct 2, 7-9pm
POETRY READING/ Friday Oct 2, 8pm
LOCATION: Frank Bette Center for the Arts, Signature Gallery
1601 Paru Street, Alameda, CA 94501, 510-523-6957
- Exhibition of an award-winning photographic series by Naomi Onaga, displayed with 12 companion poems selected from the Art & Poetry Happening 2015 contest.
- Poetry reading with 10 of 12 selected poets, including Julia Park Tracey, poet laureate of Alameda, and Masami Fukuzumi, of Osaka, Japan who will display calligraphy of her poem.
- Three of the poems will be set to music.
- Launch of a book bringing together the photos and poems.
- Live music & jam from 7 to 8 pm and after poetry reading.
“Shades of Infinite Sound” is a collaborative fine art photography and poetry exhibition that will present an interplay of an abstract photography series by San Francisco-based artist Naomi Onaga, with poems selected from the FBCA / Alameda Island Poets Art & Poetry Happening 2015.
Shot with small point-and-shoot cameras and not digitally manipulated, Ms. Onaga's award-winning fine art photography series "Shades of Infinite Song" reveals evocative, lyrical glimpses of the natural world and its underlying movement and music.
In July and August 2015, the Alameda Island Poets and the Frank Bette Center for the Arts invited poets to submit poems related to the photographs as part of the poetry contest in Art and Poetry Happening 2015. Twelve poems were selected as companions to the exhibition’s photographs. Three of the poems have been set to song and will be performed at the opening reception. A poet from Osaka will also display Japanese calligraphy of her poem.
Julia Park Tracey, poet laureate of Alameda and one of the poets selected for the exhibition, said, “It's exciting to see artists come together using different media to express their views of the world. Photography, music, and poetry are all expressions of the spirit and it's pretty amazing when they combine to celebrate a shared vision.”
The other selected poets are Jack Chang (Sacramento), Sharon Coleman (Berkeley), Cathy Dana (Alameda), Masami Fukuzumi (Osaka, Japan), Rafael Jesús González (Berkeley), Persephone Hintlian (Alameda), Kit Kennedy (San Francisco), Bernadette Perez (Belen, New Mexico), Vince Storti (Alameda), Emmanuel Williams (Alameda) and Robert Williams (Albany, California).
The opening reception, will run from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 2, in which the photographer will give a short artist talk, and 10 of the 12 selected poets will read their works. The poems set to song will be performed by musicians Heather Kipnis, Jennifer Moore and Carina Louise Rose Renner, in English and Spanish; the musicians will also lead a live music jam prior to and after the reading. Masami Fukuzumi of Osaka will read her poem in Japanese (with English translation) and present calligraphy of her poem. The reception will serve as a book launch for a volume bringing together the photos and poems.
The event was conceived as an experiment in “ekphrasis” - a Greek term for the collaborative juxtaposition of two art forms. Traditional ekphrasis was poetry or prose describing an artwork; modern ekphrastic works are often inspired by, allude to, re-envision or innovate from another work of art. Here, Ms. Onaga’s photographs inspired the poems, some of which then gave birth to song and calligraphy.
Cathy Dana, president of Alameda Island Poets, said, “The expression of every art - be it music, dance, poetry, visual art - touches our souls, brings our senses and imagination alive, and unites us through the power of the collective unconscious. This exhibit not only brings us grace and beauty through the marriage of photography and poetry, but jubilantly proclaims that works of art can ignite numerous creative sparks in those who experience it.”
Margaret Fago, board president and executive director of the Frank Bette Center for the Arts, said, "The Frank Bette Center for the Arts has always been a meeting point that brings together artists, writers, art lovers, and all members of the community, and we are thrilled to present this unique, multifaceted collaboration which reaches across so many boundaries, including those normally presented by artistic mediums, locality, language and nationality."
Ms. Onaga said: “I think art can reveal truths that are initially undiscoverable by the mind, and artists collaborating together can paint a more richly colored understanding of reality. We often forget that we each have different pieces of the truth, and only by appreciating and working with each other can we expand our field of vision and experience. This is an exciting show because independently and together, the works have a lot of wisdom and insight to offer, and many friendships and bonds were built in the process.”
All poems submitted during Art & Poetry Happening 2015 will be published on a website, and be available for viewing at the exhibition.
See web page for artist bios