Poets and Artists Pair for Poetry Month

         It’s not a simple thing to convince two works of art to begin a dialogue with one another. But two local events are doing just that.

         For Vision of Verses, 15 poets responded to 19 pieces of art created by the CalvART Gallery artists: paintings, ceramic sculpture, stained glass and photography.

         Poet Elisavietta Ritchie was inspired by a painting by Suzanne Shelden. “The painting is of a rocky mountainside with a cleft in the rocks; you have no idea what’s on the other side,” Ritchie says.

         She and Shelden are also collaborating on a book of poetry and art pairings they hope to release later this month. “It’s about Suzanne’s cat paintings and my cat poems,” says Ritchie. “Suzanne believes cats are natural insomniacs.”

         At the opening Saturday, April 13 (5-8pm), you’ll hear the poets while viewing the artists’ visions. For the rest of the show, which continues through May 5, you’ll have to use your eyes for both poems and art.

         “We will have books for sale that include all of the poems and art works,” says Carol Eberly, director of the Arts Council of Calvert County. 

         The exhibit is a collaboration of the Arts Council of Calvert County, the College of Southern Maryland and CalvART Gallery.

         The Poetry of Pictures is the Annapolis Arts Alliance’s nod to poetry month. A reception on Sunday, April 28 (1-4pm), includes a reading and exhibition of the paired works. As the date corresponds with Maritime Week in Annapolis, artists have been asked to use maritime themes. The exhibit runs April 22 to 30 at Wimsey Cove Framing & Fine Art Printing in Annapolis.

         For this celebration, poets and artists collaborated to create — or select — a poem and painting on a similar subject.

         “We imagined poets would do the new creation based on art they liked,” says Elizaabeth Ramirez, president of the Annapolis Arts Alliance. “But in the 17 matches, the choosing turned out to be about half and half.”