Poet-Artist Collaboration returns to Crossings

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“The Power of Ideas,” watercolor on paper, Wendy Westlake of Zumbrota.

ZUMBROTA – Crossings’ 13th annual Poet-Artist Collaboration exhibit is on display now through May 15, celebrating a pairing of the two art forms that allows poetry to inspire visual art of all kinds. Fifty poets and visual artists took part in this years’ exhibit, which can be seen free of charge during regular business hours. A reception and poetry reading takes place Saturday, May 10, at 6:30 p.m. both at the gallery and next door at the State Theatre.

Some 110 poets and artists participated in this year’s event by entering up to three poems each, or submitting artistic work samples. Jurors winnowed nearly 210 poems down to just 26. Other jurors selected 26 artists from those who entered. For this exhibit, each selected artist chooses one selected poem from which to create an artwork. Poems and the work they inspired are displayed together.

Coleen Johnston of Mazeppa wrote a poem about Abraham Lincoln that reads in part,

He wasn’t perfect,

not a god,

not much for looks by all accounts,

but still he calls us

to write words so sopped with truth

that they can be wrung

into eternity…

“This poem grew out of my reflections on the kind of person who might have the insights Abraham Lincoln had,” Johnston said.

Zumbrota artist Wendy Westlake selected Johnston’s poem to inspire a watercolor portrait of Lincoln, with a color-divided map of the United States behind him.

“I tried to capture the enormous pressures Lincoln must have faced. The nation threatened to rupture, socially, politically and economically. Only a great man can lead under those circumstances and that’s how we remember him, a great man,” Westlake explained.

The 50 participating poets and artists come from around Minnesota, including three from Zumbrota and others from Rochester, Minneapolis, Faribault, Wabasha and elsewhere; two are from Iowa and one each from North Dakota and Wisconsin.

The exhibit can be viewed during regular open hours, at no charge. Crossings is open MTWF 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursdays 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call Crossings at 507-732-7616, stop in at 320 East Ave., Zumbrota, or go to www.crossingsatcarnegie. com.

News-Record area participants

Goodhue: Connie Ludwig

Mazeppa:  Coleen Johnston

Oronoco: Maggie Sutton, Susan Waughtal

Pine Island: Greg Finnegan

Zumbrota: Nick Sinclair, Sarah K Nygaard, Wendy Westlake.

Other Minnesota

Austin: Rich Campbell

Avon: Larry Schug

Bloomington: Chet Corey

Dodge Center: Gary Eddy

Faribault: Audrey Kletscher Helbling, Larry Gavin

Hampton: Aimee Radman

Kasson: Ingvild Herfindahl

Lake City: Kate Halverson

Minneapolis: Alison Morse, Holly Grimsrud, Kim Gordon, Linda Back McKay.

New Brighton: James C. Henderson

Plymouth: Franklin Knoll

Red Wing: Dan Wiemer, Marta Biittner

Rochester: C. Anthony Huber, Greg Wimmer, Gwen Lomberk, Ivete Castro Martinez, Jeanne Licari, Jeff Bell, Jody Brown, Justin Watkins, Kit Rohrbach, Raul Urrutia, Steven Vogel, Toni Stevens, Tony Pucci.

Sauk Rapids: Char Hopela

Shorewood: Becky Liestman

St. Cloud: Sandy Bot-Miller, Micki Blenkush

St. Paul: Cary Waterman, Karen Trudeau

St. Charles: Lisa Becker

Wabasha: Nicole Borg

Out of state

Cedar Falls, Iowa: Joanna Thompson Yezek

Osage, Iowa: Lori Biwer-Stewart

West Fargo, North Dakota: Travis Moore

Hagar City, Wisconsin:  Cathy P. White



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