What meaning does a photo convey? Often the viewer has one idea and the photographer has a different idea. The Photo-Poetry Workshop has explored the artistic meaning of photography through the lens of poetry, a critical form called ekphrasis (a classical Greek practice of illuminating one art form through another).
Andrei Guruianu, Broome County’s poet laureate; Peg Johnston, a photographer and one of the founders of the Cooperative Gallery 213, and Gregory Bain, a theater designer, led a series of workshops earlier this year that culminated with participants writing original poetry to illuminate individual photographs. The resulting posters will become street art on State Street during April’s First Friday (April 2) and will be uploaded to the binghamtonbridge.org news site. The project is supported by a Decentralization Grant from the NYS Council on the Arts/ Chenango County Council of the Arts
“Many of the ‘Poster Poems’ are love letters to the Southern Tier,” said Johnston. “Our City” by Carolyn Gilligan reads, “Look at our city/ Cuddled by protecting golden hills/ Wrapped with a silver river ribbon.” One poem is about the “Skirmisher” statue, another is about the Square Deal Arch and another details the history of Drover’s Inn. Guruianu commented, “This is really an accomplishment: ordinary people making poetry and art.”
A poetry reading at 5 p.m. will begin the First Friday activities at the Cooperative Gallery 213. Light refreshments will be available. Celebrate the arts and meet some of the talented local artists that make up our vibrant arts community.
Cooperative Gallery 213 is located on Artist’s Row at 213 State St., downtown Binghamton. For more details, visit www.cooperativegallery.com.