Early in the pandemic, several facebook friends posted that they were looking for poems to read at a funeral. Given the number of deaths around the world, this request was probably too common.
We often turn to poetry to mark big occasions, to help give these moments more meaning, to better convey the sentiments we feel but cannot express, or to help make sense of things we don’t fully understand.
In the middle of this pandemic, and all the other crises running alongside it, when so many moments are limited to words shared at a social distance, the need for poetry seems much greater.
In Artists and Poems we invited a group of 45 Los Angeles artists to choose a poem that has meaning for them given the current state of the world. The artists then created artwork inspired by these poems. The pair of works – poem and visual art – are presented together in this exhibition.
Artists and Poems creates a platform for contemplation, responding to the turmoil of this year through a lens of art and poetry. The juxtaposition of visual art and verse provides insight into both the artists’ work and the poems they have chosen. The show is offered in hope that it will benefit others in this time of anxiety and unrest.
--- Steven Wolkoff, October 2020