The theme of virtual events continues in 2020 with this year’s Ars Poetica exhibit now being held online throughout the month of October on the Bainbridge Island Senior Community Center website.
The virtual exhibit is one of four displays for the ninth annual event, consisting of artists and poets from across Kitsap, Mason and Jefferson counties. This specific exhibit features the work of 11 Bainbridge Island Photo Club photographers and one guest with 11 Kitsap County poets, according to a news release. Currently on the website is a display of the photographer’s artistic interpretations of poems, along with the 13 printed poems that inspired the 11 West Sound poets.
Ars Poetica celebrates the fusion of poetry and art. Typically, the exhibits are held in the springtime from March through May, but this year the event was delayed and changed to a virtual platform due to COVID-19 restrictions. Regarding the process, regional poets submit their poems to be jury selected for local artists to choose and respond to artistically in any medium they desire.
“I feel it’s the celebration of poetry through art and then the celebration of art through poetry,” exhibit coordinator Sue Hylen said. “It just happens to work for this group because they are all photographers. Just the different approaches, that’s what makes it really fun.”
Since the event’s inception, Front Street Gallery in Poulsbo, the Poulsbohemian Coffeehouse, Bainbridge Island Photo Club and the Collective Visions Gallery in Bremerton have hosted Ars Poetica exhibits in honor of National Poetry Month in April. At these in-person galleries, poets and artists gather to celebrate with a reading of the poems, a display of the artworks and a slide show for the public to view, the release states.
Hylen has coordinated the exhibits for three years and helped alter the event to a virtual exhibit through the senior center. Hylen, who is a member of the Bainbridge Island Photo Club, said many members are also associated with the senior center. When this year’s exhibit at the Bainbridge Public Library was canceled, Hylen turned to a familiar organization.
“The senior center graciously said they would put a link (on) the website to have a virtual exhibit there,” she said. They host the photo club meetings, so “that just seemed like a natural place to go when the library didn’t work.”