DeSales to Host Collaborative Arts Exhibit and Performance

by Janelle Hill | Aug 08, 2017


Poetry transcends the page during a new collaborative arts exhibit and performance at DeSales University. Dozens of artists from the Lehigh Valley and beyond are joining forces for “Arts/graft: American Community in the Understory.” 

The exhibit opens in the DeSales University Center on Monday, August 28 and culminates there in a performance night of music, stories, and readings on Thursday, August 31 at 7:00 p.m.

Between 35 and 40 artists have a hand in the project, including current and former DeSales faculty, students, alumni, members of the Lehigh Valley community, and artists from across the country. Dr. Steve Myers, professor of English, sent them each five to 10 poems that he had written and asked what, if anything, they triggered in the various artists by way of their own creative instincts.  

“I'm really interested in the ability of artists who make art to generate more art from other artists in other media,” Myers says. “I'm interested in the impulse to create art, which I think is universal.”

The result is everything from photographs and paintings to quilting and even woodworking. At least eight fellow faculty members at DeSales are contributing to the project and a handful of DeSales students are designing lighting for poems. Myers also reached out to friends and family.

“I've got doctors, nurses, chemists, former pilots, all the different people from all the different realms of life that are involved in this project,” he says. “It's really quite wonderful. It's really something special.”

The idea is to break down barriers between the different art forms. Myers came up with the idea after visiting a similar exhibit at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery in New York back in 2011. “What the gallery was doing was mounting this very interesting exhibit in which these writers associated with the so-called New York School of poets and other New York artists exhibited work that had come from a cross fertilization of their own individual practices in the different and discrete art forms,” he says.

Both the exhibit and performance night are free and open to the public. After August 31, exhibited art will remain on display through the fall semester in Trexler Library. 

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Tom McNamara, Executive Director of Communications
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