Last Friday, about the time my Fraiku posting, I was reading two of my poems to over a hundred art lovers at the opening night of an exhibit in my town of Hillsborough, North Carolina.

Coalesce, A Collaboration of Poetry and Art, is sponsored by the Orange County Arts Commission. They paired ten poets with ten visual artists. Each poet offered a poem as inspiration for a new piece of visual art and each visual artist offered a piece as inspiration for a new poem thus creating twenty new objets d’art.

I was fortunate enough to have been paired with Theresa Arico, a mosaicist based in Chapel Hill who has done everything from stunning public art to gorgeous handheld trinkets.

Theresa asked me to write a poem based on her mosaic above, entitled “I Wanna Ride My Bicycle”. Click the pic to get a full resolution image for a better look at her craftsmanship and to read my response, “Freedom”.

I asked her to do her magic on my poem “Self Portrait”. (Long time readers may remember that it was recently published in Panoply.) Definitely click the pic below to get a close up view on what she created. Wow!

The opening party was crowded and noisy so, feeling overwhelmed, I left once the show was over to enjoy the winter night sky under a full moon.

I went back Saturday afternoon when I assumed it’d be less busy to relax and absorb the poetry, paintings and sculptures. If any of my dear readers live nearby, I strongly encourage a visit. It is a wonderful, immersive art experience which I’m having trouble articulating. And that’s my job as poet!

The exhibit is open Tuesdays through Saturdays 12pm to 5pm until January 28th.

Theresa Arico and I

About Bartholomew Barker

Bartholomew Barker is one of the organizers of Living Poetry, a collection of poets and poetry lovers in the Triangle region of North Carolina. Born and raised in Ohio, studied in Chicago, he worked in Connecticut for nearly twenty years before moving to Hillsborough where he makes money as a computer programmer to fund his poetry habit.
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20 Responses to Coalesce

  1. Would have loved to attend – sounds magical! ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love the collaboration. I love that the cabin is so tall that you can keep going down another level like the descending stanzas, starting from the top.

    Bravo to both of you!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. JeanMarie says:

    Congratulations! Your poem and her mosaic both capture the other’s work so beautifully. I am so proud of you.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. trE says:

    An exceptional pairing for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Cassa Bassa says:

    What a wonderful collaboration!!! Love both art forms. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ho lovely! What a lovely combination and honor to read. Lot the picture as well. ❣️

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Coalesce Broadsides! | Bartholomew Barker, Poet

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