Art & Poetry

Our local art museum held a recent contest called Words on Canvas asking students to submit poetry or prose pieces inspired by certain works in their collection. I used to write poetry as an undergraduate regularly so this was an amazing chance to flex those muscles again and to really reside in the art pieces in an unusual way. I chose to write about Bertram Hartam’s painting City Blocks. The resulting poem is below:

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City Blocks by Bertram Hartman c.1929

The Place Where We Dwell

The wall-ridden people in the city, they stir,
Their thoughts brazen and free like birds,
Their souls full and mottled
like the high-rise walls,
The insides of their skulls a place for
the graffiti of being
Signs of experience and civilization,
like an oil slick in a harbor, an
oil slick of humanness, beauty and noise
Castoffs and culture, scraps and silver splinters,
rage of steel-laced angles and corners
The thump-thump rise, itch of internal amorphous beat,
The breath of socketed despair
The breath of burning struggle
Of punch-drunk ambition
The breath of disquiet
Of zoetic love
Of thick-skinned passion
All trying to swell, to climb, to rise to heaven in one heaving breath
Visible
In a divine line of view
The place where we dwell

 

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Intersect (Art & Science) #1 – The Introduction

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I love art and every recondite and consuming idea it can encompass. But what really fascinates me is the porous little spaces where we examine or redefine the steady and concrete components of the world through an artistic lens. Also, the scientific world is surprisingly replete with individuals who are well tuned into their right-brain tendencies. The scientific process requires a surprising amount of creative thinking.

So with that introduction, I’d like to occasionally share ideas, art, and artists that strike me as passing back-and-forth through that veil.

One of my favorite places for finding inspiration is the Harn Art Museum at the University of Florida where I go to school. They even regularly host nights specifically to feature scientists who have an artistic bent.

To start off, the following photo was one I took from their 2014 exhibit: Repurposing the Wunderkammer, Building A New Space for Science and Art. As they explain here, the Wunderkammer were essentially collections of wonder, comparable to cabinets of curiosity. The specific piece represented below was titled the “Last Whole Earth Cabinet” and as constructed/curated by artist Sean Miller. 

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What a job to try and catalog the world, with only a few small shelves to fill with its treasures.