WordView: The Art You See Meets the Art You Read

Anyone who’s opened a picture book of poems is already familiar with the concept behind LowellArts upcoming WordView exhibit. Subtitled ‘Art Inspiring Art,’ WordView is all about bringing together visual art with literary art.

“We’re hoping that the works of art will have some sort of textual component,” explains Phillip Sterling, a juror for the exhibit. Sterling is a poet and fellow juror Gary Eldridge is an illustrator

To inspire people to think about all the possibilities for this type of art, Sterling and Eldridge have arranged for a series of workshops and presentations in the weeks leading up to the deadline for WordView entries. Four events remain and then selected entries for the WordView exhibit will go on display at the LowellArts gallery in January 2022.

Melding Words into Images

On a Sunday afternoon, Haley Joseph was at LowellArts to discuss how she has taken words and turned them into art. As a member of the International Society of Experimental Artists, she showed her print Conversations II: Book of Hosea which creates a design using Hebrew words. In a separate piece of art, Joseph imprinted the words on silk.

Her presentation highlighted one of the more creative ways to incorporate words into visual art. It was also part of a series of discussions and workshops being hosted by LowellArts in the months leading up to the WordView exhibit.

Close-up of Conversations II: Book of Hosea by Haley Joseph

“We’re trying to get people to think about what’s possible,” Sterling says. “We’re trying to stir people up and see what we can get.”

While experimental art is one option, another may be more straight forward: a written reflection or poem to accompany a piece of art. Or perhaps an artist wants to create a piece of work based on a text. In fact, Sterling and Eldridge say collaboration is encouraged between writers and artists for these types of entries.

The idea of combining text and visual art will be explored in an even more literal sense during a future presentation about crafting hand-made books. Artist Chad Pastotnik of Deep Wood Press will be at the LowellArts Gallery to explain the process.

Sterling says the WordView events are specifically intended to cover a broad range of art styles and types to provide plenty of inspiration for would-be artists.

Upcoming WordView Events at LowellArts

The WordView events kicked off in August with a presentation about visual storytelling, and subsequent events covered exploring illustrations, writing poetry inspired by art and considering experimental art.

Upcoming events include the following:

  • October 3: The Art of Collaboration: A WordView Panel Discussion
  • October 10: The Nature of Book Art: A WordView Presentation
  • October 16: Poem or Picture? The Choice of Creative Express: A WordView Presentation
  • October 17: Creating Artful Text: A WordView Workshop

All events begin at 3pm and are held at the LowellArts Gallery at 223 W. Main Street. They are also free for everyone thanks to a grant from the Michigan Humanities, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Registration is required for the October 17 workshop.

Entries for the WordView exhibit must be submitted electronically by November 5 for review by jurors Sterling and Eldridge. Selected entries go on display on January 8, 2022 and a meet-the-artists reception will take place the next day. On January 23, 2022, jurors will lead a walk-through of the exhibit.

To learn more about WordView: Art Inspiring Art, visit the LowellArts website.

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