Monday, May 18, 2020

Artists and Poets Respond to the Pandemic (15)

Images of artwork by 22 artists is included in the online exhibition "Artists and Poets Respond to the Pandemic." Since the exhibition went live, I have been highlighting daily one image and several lines of a poem by one of the 18 participating poets. Today's spotlight is on artist Amy Pleasant and poet Martha Silano, both of whose works are inspired by the word "Hope."

[. . .] Maybe it's all been sowed. And Look! A few tufts /
of bright yellow grass, a bush in the foreground aflame with— /
blossoms? An awfully dark red but flowers, nonetheless.
~ from "Van Gogh's 'Spring Garden'"

Amy Pleasant, "Garden of Hope"
Acrylic on Canvas
18" x 24"


Amy Pleasant is a figurative and abstract painter who explores in her work memory, the complexity of family relationships, and generational transition. Amy has participated in national exhibitions in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, and San Francisco, and has had solo exhibitions in Seattle, Washington, and Amsterdam. She was one of 12 artists featured nationally in 2012 by the Women's Caucus for the arts. Amy's work can be found in private and corporate collections in the Pacific Northwest. She lives and works in Seattle.

Martha Silano is the author of five poetry books, including, most recently, Gravity Assist and Reckless Lovely. She has published poems in Poetry, New England Review, American Poetry Review, and Paris Review, among many other well-known and prestigious periodicals, and in at least four dozen print anthologies. She is co-author, with Kelli Russell Agodon, of The Daily Poet: Day-by-Day Prompts for Your Writing Practice. Martha teaches at Bellevue College in Washington State.

St. Michael's Episcopal Church (Arlington, Va.), which supports the arts ministry I lead, is hosting the complete multi-part online exhibition. On the church's new Instagram page, you'll find images of the artworks, which are augmented daily. Websites and additional information about the exhibition participants can be found at "Artists' Biographical Information" and "Poets' Biographical Information." A few poets have contributed recordings of their poems. Some artworks are available to purchase; for information, see "Purchase Life of Artworks."


Note: Martha's poem is ekphrastic, that is, written in response to the van Gogh painting "Spring Garden," which is mentioned in the title. An image of the van Gogh painting is found at the end of the pdf with the poems.

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