Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore”

Fairplex’s assistant director of development Laura Smolka-Gallardo is our guest blogger this week:

Do you remember reading the beloved limericks in Shel Silverstein’s books as a child? (Do you know where the sidewalk ends?)

Or perhaps you remember watching the Halloween episode of “The Simpsons” when Homer, Marge, and Bart recreate Edgar Allen Poe’s famous poem, “The Raven?”

Experiencing poetry goes beyond memorizing and reciting meter in front of your sixth grade class (though I still remember all of the words to “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost!).

This weekend at Fairplex, poetry will come to life through 250 student artworks in the inaugural “ArtReach” regional art exhibition.  The call for submissions challenged students to create a dialogue between two different art forms, and the response has been greater than expected!

Held at the Millard Sheets Center for the Arts, the artworks featured in the exhibition were selected thorugh a juried process.  The show represents students of 27 art teachers from 17 public high schools representing 9 local districts.  Students from the Career & Technical Education Center (CTEC), a program of The Learning Centers at Fairplex, will also be participating, displaying works from their classes held on-site at the Fairplex grounds.

In addition to the words of Silverstein, Poe, and Frost, a variety of poetry served as the students’ inspiration to create their entries (20 pieces alone were inspired by Poe’s work, including seven about “The Raven”).  Some students used lyrics from their favorite song or even composed their own poetry for the competition.  Just as varied is the range of media and content submitted, from digital media to ceramics, from cement sculpture to portraiture.

Lugene Whitley, the exhibition’s manager/curator, noted the need for such an opportunity: “Teachers have shared with me that there are very few, if any, opportunities for students to display their artistic talents.  Most student artworks are exhibited at their schools or in small gallery spaces, so to have a space like the Sheets Gallery where hundreds of students can see their work professionally framed and presented to a large audience is really very special.  It has also allowed our CTEC students the hands-on opportunity to layout and install an exhibition.”

So if you see me at the door on Friday night during the ArtReach Opening Reception, be sure to start me off with “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood…”

EXHIBITION DETAILS
Friday, March 2
6 – 9 p.m.

Saturday & Sunday, March 3 & 4
noon – 5 p.m.

Parking and entrance at Gate One

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