Fourteen Borderland members participated in collaboration with the Marquette Poets Circle reacting to a theme of music. The challenge for the visual artist was to react to words and/or ideas. The medium for the exchange was made possible through the efforts of Janeen Pergrin Rastall who designed an interactive website. As the year progressed, the collaboration grew by increments. If we posted a visual to the website, a poet might write and post something in return. It was a virtual conversation. On reception night, after an hour of visual grazing in the gallery, all participants faced one another in a circle, introduced themselves and spoke briefly. As if removing masks, with identities revealed…poets and artists began a new round of conversation! Highlights for me included: 1. there were challenges to create along new avenues. 2. This was an open-opportunity to submit any number of pieces in any media, without size restrictions in a non-juried atmosphere. Time and effort were our only limits. 3. I feel the question was answered, “Does my work affect change outside of myself? “
There may be another opportunity to see this exhibit, hopefully using Bay College West in Iron Mountain as a venue. If it does occur, I hope the Borderland Artists and Marquette Poets Circle will experience a renewed energy and hopefully add new work to the exhibit…there is yet more to say!
I owe a huge thanks to the spirit and soul of Genean Granger who introduced us to the Marquette Poets Circle; to Stella Hansen local member of the Poets’ Circle; and, to the Peter White Library who provided the open space of the Huron Mountain Gallery from June 1 – July 26, 2019.
The exhibit’s website and its interactive display, the on-going communication between 31 individuals, as developed by poet Janeen Pergrin Rastall is still available for viewing at the following link. https://janeenpergrin.wixsite.com/borderlands
– Melisse Carr