Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Nature of Words: Paulann Petersen, Oregon Poet Laureate Collaborates with Artist Cristina Acosta

Snow Red I, by Cristina Acosta and Paulann Petersen
This past year I have been fortunate to collaborate with artists working in different mediums. I've written about working with the artists Tolley Marney and Cindy Williams Guiterezz. Here I'm sharing with you the work I've done with the poet Paulann Petersen, Oregon's Poet Laureate. 

The work is exhibited for sale at Atelier 6000 in Bend, Oregon and is conjunction with The Nature of Words, in Bend, Oregon.
Show Dates: NOVEMBER: First Friday, November 1, 5;30 – 8:30 pm “Broadsides” Hanging at the crossroads of art and literature, Atelier 6000 and Nature of Words present “Broadsides” artworks that include mixed media and two-dimensional works with emphasis on text and image. This juried show opens November 1 and continues through November 30, 2010.

How to Find Us

389 SW Scalehouse Ct.
Bend, Oregon 97702
(Off SW Wilson near the Old Mill District)

Artist Statement – Paulann Petersen, Oregon's Poet Laureate

On the page, poems assume lives of their own. They encounter readers and listeners. Once my poems are launched into this world, I realize I can no longer explain or defend or amend them. Separate from me, they unilaterally carry—in the arms of their lines—whatever music and meaning they can convey.

Snow Red II (ghost image)
I’ve known this—that a poem takes on a life of its own—for a long time. But in the process of collaborating with Cristina Acosta, I’ve recently learned that poetry can become part of a collaborative process in which the poem continues creating itself.

When Cristina gave me the monotype (and ghost image) she’d created in response to my poem “Snow Red,” she asked me to continue the artistic exchange by adding text or graphics to her work. Her striking, luminous images compelled me to write, in pencil onto the monotype’s surface, phrases I borrowed from my poem. And as I added those words to her images, I found them rearranging themselves into new combinations and permutations.  As my eye followed Cristina’s color and line and form, the phrases juxtaposed and re-sequenced themselves in startling ways.  My response to Cristina’s visual response to my poem gave that poem a new life.  The poem assumed a life that included—one that actually welcomed—continual change.

Artist Statement – Cristina Acosta

I came to this collaboration with poet Paulann Petersen through an invitation from her that has resulted in an artistic conversation unlike anything I’ve experienced. After meeting Paulann at an artist’s salon in Portland she sent me one of her poems, Bloodline. Reading that poem resulted in my first experience of a visceral response to a piece of poetry. In return, I sent her an image of a monotype painting I made reflecting that response and our collaborative conversation commenced.

Paulann then gave me her book, The Wild Awake and I dove into her poetry. The poems took shape for me like sculptures formed of flowing mass, hue and value. Experiences that existed for me outside of words now found shape and form within her poems. The monotypes in this exhibit are the result of working with the poems from The Wild Awake. I then gave those monotypes to Paulann so that she could choose to add additional work to the pieces (or not). Turning my pieces over to her for the next part of our conversation was a conscious surrender to the process of continual change. The result will take on new meaning to the viewer, continuing creation.

Paulann Petersen is Oregon’s sixth Poet Laureate, former Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, recipient of the 2006 Literary Arts Steward Holbrook Award for Outstanding Contributions to Oregon’s Literary Life. She is the author of four chapbooks, and two full-length collections of poems including, The Wild Awake and contributor to many publications.

Cristina Acosta is an artist, author and color and design expert. The author of Paint Happy, her art is in numerous collections nationwide. She is also a contributor to many art, design and home décor publications over the past two decades.

“Broadsides” is Atelier 6000’s November exhibition.  Artwork from Texas, Colorado, Washington, Iowa and Oregon are represented. Cristina Acosta's collaborative art with poets Paulann Petersen and Cindy Williams Gutierezz are exhibited in the Broadsides show.

First Place: “Meditation” by Joseph and Marquita Green (see left)
Second Place: “Sleep Awakens” by Kris Tolmie
Third Place: “Phoebe in the Watermelon Boat” by John Simpkins
Honorable Mention: “Lamentation” by Barbara Payne Ward and Boston Tea Party by Danuta Muszynska