Foothills Library will host art and poetry exhibit
The visual arts inspire creativity in verse in an exhibition to be unveiled to the public at the Foothills Library.
Paintings, ceramics, photographs, leather work and art in other media will be paired with poetry, all following a common theme, in the 7th annual Arts & Poetry Exhibition that will be on display beginning March 7 at the library at 13226 E. South Frontage Road.
The exhibit will feature the work of Yuma-area residents who typically create art and write poetry for their own enjoyment, says Eric Kahler, manager at the Foothills Library.
The pairs will be displayed in a library meeting room where it can be seen by library visitors who can then select the winners in three categories by vote.
For the exhibit, the library invited artists to create visual art in any medium. It then invited members of a poetry circle at the library and other writing groups to write poems interpreting pieces of their choosing from the collection.
“We have a number of paintings in acrylics,” Kahler said. “We’ve also had some ceramics, as well as leather work and even some found art.”
Found art is art created from objects that serve purposes other than as creative materials.
The exhibit, he added, includes photographs, poster art and even an image transposed onto glass.
In all, 35 visual art pieces were submitted for the exhibit by 23 artists of all skill levels. Most of those pieces are accompanied by poems, Kahler said, and those that aren’t will still be exhibited as standalone verses.
The purpose of pairing art and verse, he said, is to spur creative collaboration. “This is a way for these folks to meet with each other, share ideas, express themselves, build up (the arts) community and, hopefully, lead to more collaboration in the future.”
This year, the artists and poets were asked to adhere to a theme in the work they created for the exhibit. The theme, “Crossing Yuma,” highlights the area’s role over centuries as a either a destination or transit point for indigenous people, Spanish explorers, westward settler and, more recently, military families, migrant farm workers and winter visitors.
The exhibit was on hiatus during the initial years of pandemic when the library itself either closed its doors or limited visits by the public. The exhibit resumed in 2022, and the number of submission this year “are almost double what we had last year,” Kahler said.
“I believe we’re going to see (the exhibit) continue to grow as people come out of the pandemic and venture out. We see that in just our day-to-day operations.”
The exhibit will be unveiled to the public in a grand opening ceremony on March 7 at 11:30 a.m. It can then be seen by the public during regular library hours – 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. March 7 to March 9 and 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on March 10.
At any time during their visits to see the exhibit, library patrons can vote from their favorite submissions in the categories of favorite poem, favorite artwork and favorite collaboration.
Winning submissions will be announced on March 11 at a 1 p.m. award ceremony that is also open to the public.