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Poetry and sculpture collaboration installed for ArtPrize

Artist Sara Weimer has collaborated with GVSU professor Patricia Clark's poetry class and artist Sarah Koupal for ArtPrize.
The installation by Sara Weimer

The installation by Sara Weimer /Courtesy of Sara Weimer

Underwriting support from:

See the installation during ArtPrize

WHERE: Grand Valley State University Eberhard Center

301 Fulton St W, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

WHEN: During ArtPrize, September 18 - October 6. 

The short poems by GVSU students in Patricia Clark's class

The short poems by GVSU students in Patricia Clark's class /Courtesy of Sara Weimer

This year at ArtPrize one can expect to find a little haven from all the chase enusing art enthusiasm. Right in front of the main entrance of GVSU's Eberhard Center, near the Blue Bridge and at the heart of it all is a quiet place where visitors can find some solace. The space will be displaying creative work in sculpture and poetry. 

"ArtPrize is a noisy, chaotic atmosphere, and although it can be a fun time, it isn't necessarily the easiest environment to think in," says Sara Weimer, the artist collaborating with the poetry students. "By designing a space that the audience can physically enter it is my hope that they will be able to reflect on the poetry more intently. Natural elements such as tree limbs and stumps were used to create the structure, and reflect the themes within the poetry." Hand lettering was created by Sarah Koupal.

The installation is located on the lawn in front of Eberhard Center and on slight elevation which makes it stand out. 

"It will be just off one of the main crossing points to walk and view art," says Patricia Clark, the GVSU writing professor of the poetry class involved. "In that sense it is perfect and will provide a small contemplative quiet space where a person could sit for a moment. It’s a great spot and we’re happy to have it. It will add to our piece."

"The poems will most likely be displayed on pieces of cloth that are hung throughout the structure," says Weimer. "The size will vary, allowing larger poems to stand out while others are smaller and more surprising upon their discovery."

Clark says that most of the poems are in haiku form. 

"In my intermediate poetry class last winter at GVSU, several students indicated interest in being involved with an ArtPrize poetry and sculpture project," she shares. "Together we agreed on short poems – perhaps in the form of haiku (Japanese syllabic poem, 3 lines, syllables are 5/7/5 – but there could be other short non –haiku poems."

The contemplative nature of this work suits the blending of words and art. 

"There’s an ancient tradition of visual artists and poets working together that goes back to ancient China and landscape scrolls that included poems," says Clark. "The obvious reason to join two arts together is that each will enhance the other. Words will be enhanced by an installation, an artistic 'viewing place.' And the installation becomes intimate, secretive, meditative, and reflective by including words."

The collaboration was inspired by previous ArtPrize interdisciplinary works that garnered a lot of attention. 

Clark is excited to have an opportunity to display students' creative work. 

"The excitement is having an audience and a way to share work with the public," she says. "Usually art students, not to mention poetry students, don’t get the most exposure. This should be a change for us and will be fun."

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