Sunday, August 18, 2013

Bringing the Arts to Life

Here is what the Rijksmuseum's in Holland did to make art come alive and encourage people to visit their museum.
Their creative idea...let's bring the art to the people and then hopefully, they will come and see more. They took one painting of Rembrandt's from 1642, "Night Watch", and brought to life the characters in it, placed them in a busy mall and the rest see for yourself.!
Well, the Northwoods Art Council in Hackensack, Mn did not have to resort to that extreme of a measure to bring the arts to their area. With advance advertising in local newspapers, posters, flyers and word of mouth for their Art and Book Festival they were able to attract a crowd. It was a perfect weather day for people of all ages to browse the artists' booths and enjoy the street vendors offerings and meet local authors and poets selling their books. 

Lea is holding up a copy of her new book Autumn Drew Its Bedtime Bath
Copies are available at all Barnes & Noble stores, and at their web site, as well as the following web sites:, and

This is Lea's submitted poem 
Pearls in Your Soul
By Lea Johnstone
When angels searched for sapphires
            God made blue rivers flow

When angels asked for emeralds
            Fiddleheads began to grow

When angels wished for rubies
            Wild roses stole the show

When angels dreamed of diamonds
            A sunbeam splashed a row

Bur when angels looked for pearls
            They found them
                        in your soul. 

I was the poetry chair for the 6th Annual Poetry Recognition Event as part of Northwoods Art and Book Festival. Each Minnesota poet who entered the event had their poems on display. A committee selected six poems as winners for Works of Merit. During the day those who attended had an opportunity to vote for their favorite poems. Six poems were chosen as winners in the Popular Choice category.   
Candace Simar is a poet and author from Pequot Lake, MN. Her poem Lawyers Coming To Probate Court won in two categories Works of Merit  and Popular Choice. She is holding her newest book Farm Girls which is a collaborative effort with her sister Angela Foster. The book is a collection of memoir essays and poems. 
This is a link to her website for more information on her four Minnesota based historical novels and Farm Girls.
Lawyers Coming to Probate Court
by Candace Simar

Waddling like penguins
they stream in
from all directions
now and then a red tie
or bright scarf
to remind us that justice
is not always black and white. 

Audrey Kletscher Helbling is from Faribault, MN. She was another Works of Merit winner with her poem Lilacs.  Audrey's blog can be found at  
by Audrey Kletscher Helbling
Breathing in the heady scent of lilacs each May,
I remember my bachelor uncle and the gnarled bushes,
heavy with purple blooms, that embraced his front porch
and held the promises of sweet love never experienced.

He invited his sister-in-law, my mother, to clip lilacs,
to enfold great sweeps of flowers into her arms,
to set a still life painting upon the Formica kitchen table,
romance perfuming our cow-scented farmhouse.

Such memories linger as my own love, decades later,
pulls a jackknife from the pocket of his stained jeans,
balances on the tips of his soiled Red Wing work shoes,
clips and gathers great sweeps of lilacs into his arms.

Placing Another Stone
by Marlys Guimaraes
Scuffed, black-white shoes scrape at loose gravel,
the long walk home from school-too short.

I carry the new eyeglasses, as if carrying
a broken-winged bird, as if the pieces,
smashed at the nose, could mend themselves.

Last month, I did the same, heard sorrow
sucked in, saw worry taunt Mother,
as she calculated the cost.

There will be no anger directed when I present
her with yet another broken pair,
but the pain of poverty weighs heavy.

This is Marlys's story behind the poem
I took Camille Dungy's poetry workshop at the Northwoods Writers Conference at BSU in July.  One of her assignments was to take a line out of a poem that we had written previously and create a new poem.  I used a poem I had written about what
was found in Lincoln's pockets on the day he died.  One of the items was a pair of broken glasses held together by twine.  Using that line, I created the poem Placing Another Stone. 

Of course no matter how well planned an event is there is always the "unexpected" to contend with as...
a bat flew in the book arts section and caused quite a stir. I for one exited quickly :) 
Pictured are some of the winners present from Works of Merit and Popular Choice categories. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing my poem, Sue. I am honored to have had "Lilacs" chosen as a Work of Merit. Also, thank you to all who organized this event. As a poet, I appreciate this opportunity to share my work.