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Poetry inspires art at the Wickford Art Association’s Sixth Annual Poetry & Art Show

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With a unique blend of art and poetry and a mission to educate, encourage, and inspire, Wickford Art Association’s (WAA) sixth annual Poetry & Art Show is sure to captivate the eyes of its attendees.

This year, the show features an exciting reversal to the exhibit process. Forty-two entries were selected from a record combined 392 poetry and art submissions. The poems, chosen by Kim Baker, were then assigned to the artists, selected by Robin Beckwith, Cynthia DiDonato, and John Pitocco, who were instructed to create original works of art inspired by the poems, which were then assembled into a book.

Gallery Director Judy Salvadore shares that WAA is “thrilled [to announce] that the Poets House in New York City has accepted the Poetry & Art book into its library.” The library houses one of the most comprehensive collections of poetry in the United States, so the accomplishment, she says, “is very meaningful for our accepted poets.” The book will also be donated to local libraries for public viewing.

The show’s opening reception will be held on September 14, where the paired poets and artists will finally meet, alongside poetry readings and related events. The exhibit will run free and open to the public through October 14.

Though WAA is a nonprofit, Salvadore says that “donations and gifts-in-kind are always welcome and will be used to support [WAA’s] mission.” Each year, they offer more than 50 art classes, upwards of a dozen art exhibits, community events, the annual Wickford Arts Festival, and more. Any donations are used to keep these programs and services available to the community, Salvadore explains.

To WAA, the Poetry & Art Show isn’t just a challenge to the featured artists and poets. It’s a large undertaking requiring many volunteers. Salvadore notes, “We have a great committee that works all year long,” and she is grateful to all that help make the show possible: those overseeing the event, the art and poetry jurors, book designers and proofreaders, volunteer organizers, video producers and photographers, event administrators, and more. She also thanks the North Kingstown Arts Council for supporting the event with a grant for the second year.

According to Salvadore, WAA hopes “to offer a moving and inspiring experience to both the participating poets and artists, and to the public.” She recommends guests visit the exhibit more than once to fully absorb the show and its remarkable features.