July 13, Art Thursday: An Ekphrastic Evening at CAM

Join us on Thursday, June 13, 2017 at 6 pm at CAM for An Ekphrastic Evening. Writers from USF Creative Writing in the Department of English will read ekphrastic works in response to pieces from Black Pulp! and Woke!, and Commune + Co. will be providing free pressure brewed ice coffee.

Here are three works among those you will experience at this Art Thursday event beneath the works to which they are responding.

Ellen Gallagher
Abu Simbel, 2005
photogravure, watercolor, colored pencil, varnish, pomade, plasticine, blue fur, gold leaf, and crystals
24-1/2 x 35-1/2 inches

We, Aliens
after Ellen Gallagher’s ​Abu Simbel​ and Gwendolyn Brooks’ We Real Cool
by Kara Pernicano

We heal people’s wounds. We
tell our sons and daughters. We

construct a ship to space. We
sing songs and tell fairy tales. We

won’t take the pyramids with us. We
made the news.

Robert Colescott
Lock and Key (State I), 1989
42 x 30 inches
edition of 20

Breaking Free
by Jaci Patrick

I let unworthy men touch me
Their fingers linger on my skin
As I search for love in the palms of their hands
They occupy this vacant body
Feeding me false promises

Their bodies are a temporary home when I feel lost
I seek safety in their words
Confuse sex with making love
How do I know the difference?
They both look the same

I show them parts of me, so dark
that even angels bow down to the monsters that live there.
I find beauty in beasts
Who call themselves men
They want to forcefully imprison me, chain me to their cages.

I must shake off these shackles
Break free from this imprisonment
Show them I can be strong
I have the strength of a woman

Lucia Hierro
However Meager from New Yorker Series, 2015
digital print on silk, felt
11-1/2 x 9-1/2 inches

by John Williams

The pair sat quietly in the waiting room. The small girl’s hair in tight braids, beginning at the temple, tracing along above her ears, and joining in the center of her head, right in the back. It was the first time her hair had been braided, as her mother typically insisted she wore it natural. Her grandmother sat at her side, clothed in her best dress which, however meagre, made her feel her most beautiful. It was old and tattered, stuttering with loose stitching, beckoning back to a time long ago; a time filled with joy and laughter, hope and optimism.

She looked around at the large open room flooded with light; the arched windows letting in the winter sun as it passed overhead. The air smelled clean and fresh, and when she looked down at the floor, as she felt inclined to do, she saw her reflection in the glassy marble floors. She sighed. She didn’t belong here, she thought. She didn’t belong in this place. The child, who had just turned seven, rose and crossed the hall. Adjacent to the bench was a large canvas painting of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The portrait consumed the wall, and engulfed the room. The old woman’s gaze followed her granddaughter up toward the painting. The painting, which she first noticed when they walked in, seemed from a distance smooth and blurred, but acute at this local level – the perfect pointillism evoking a remembered world in which detail itself seems precariously balanced between report and hallucination. She had been there when that photo was taken. She walked with Dr. King, held his hand as they marched, mourned when he died. His death left a hole in her, gaping and open, never to heal. She too had a dream, she thought, but her dream died with him. Her eyes swelled with the pain of that loss, blurring the painted image once again.

The grandmother’s attention returned to the small girl. The child, whose large brown eyes seemed filled with awe and wonder, held her own dream. Her plain outer appearance in the hall echoed the mediocrity waiting to be filled by eccentricity. The tiny child spun on her heels, her worn sneakers squeaked loud against the marble floors. The sound echoed through the chamber and the girl smiled. Intelligently, if not always profoundly, the old woman knew that the grandeur of this moment outweighed the dim reality of what laid before her. The stark contrast of her own sadness juxtaposed with the yet unchallenged hope of the innocent girl. Her own dreams of glory and greatness, once illusory, were now present and tangible in the eyes of her granddaughter.

A small window, which separated the hall from the adjacent offices, opened and a voice called out her name. The old woman rose, took the child by her delicate hand, and approached the window.

“We are here for the audition.” Her voice was low and calm; composed despite the fear in her heart.

The woman behind the desk looked up at the old woman over her glasses. Silently, and with no hurry, she rose and peered through the opening, first at the old woman, then down at the small child, then back at the old woman. She returned to her seat. There was a long pause.

“The position has been filled.” She closed the window.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s