Saturday, May 16, 2020

Artists and Poets Respond to the Pandemic (13)

My selections today from the online art exhibition "Artists and Poets Respond to the Pandemic," hosted by my parish, St. Michael's Episcopal Church, are artist Manal Deeb and poet Marc Harshman. The words associated with the image and poem are "Fear," "Solace," "Isolation," and "Love."

A fall of blossom in a sudden breeze /
and, like snow shaken from a limb, /
you shiver with what you've carried /
here from the headlines /
and bow your head. / [. . .]
~ from "Knowing in a Time of Fear"

Manal Deeb, "Flower of Love II", 2020
Digital Art
10" x 8"

Read Marc's poem.

Listen to Marc's video recording of his poem.


Manal Deeb is a Palestinian-American visual artist who was born in Ramallah, Palestine, and currently lives in Fairfax, Virginia.

Manal's work, comprising original paintings and digital and fine photographic art, presents many identities that are indistinguishable from one another. Each identity has the same apparent memories and perceives identical surroundings while believing, with evidence, to be representing the real self and the actual memories. Manal's principal subjects are humanity, global cultures, Arab women, women's issues globally, and identity. Her passion and mission are to create bridges among religions.

Manal, whose work has been exhibited in many cities in the United States, as well as in Europe and the Middle East, contributed to the exhibition images of three additional digital works: "Flower of Love," "Dawn," and "A Song's Echo." These images can be seen on the exhibition Website and on Instagram.

Marc Harshman, the seventh Poet Laureate of West Virginia, is a poet and children's book author. His collection Woman in Red Anorak , published jointly by Lynx House and University of Washington Press (2018), won the Blue Lynx Poetry Prize. His fourteenth children's book, co-authored with Anna Smucker, was Fallingwater, published by Roaring Brook/Macmillan (2017). Marc's poems have been anthologized by Kent State University, University of Iowa, University of Georgia, and University of West Virginia. Marc holds degrees from Bethany College, Yale Divinity School, and University of Pittsburgh.

St. Michael's Episcopal Church (Arlington, Va.), which supports the arts ministry I lead at the parish, is hosting the complete multi-part online exhibition. On the church's new Instagram page, you'll find images of the artwork; additions are made daily. Websites and additional information about all the participating artists and poets can be found at "Artists' Biographical Information" and "Poets Biographical Information," respectively. Some of the artwork, including all four of Manal's pieces, are available to purchase; see "Purchase List for Artworks."

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