Culture » Visual Arts

Art Aloud celebrates ten years of poetic/artistic collaboration

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"Just Dreaming" - CAS FOSTE
  • Cas Foste
  • "Just Dreaming"

This year marks a special anniversary for an exciting annual exhibit: Art Aloud. For 10 years, various venues around town have collaborated to celebrate National Poetry Month with a joint exhibit of visual arts and the written word, and it has remained an eclectic way to celebrate collaboration in the arts.

The idea came into being thanks to Paul Dahlston and the Big Picture Discussion Group, a cadre of artists and thinkers who used to meet at the Business of Art Center (now the Manitou Art Center). Even after the group disbanded a few years ago, a few dedicated community members kept Art Aloud alive.

Cas Foste of Academy Art & Frame Company, who now organizes Art Aloud, says: “We get some really dynamic stuff, and we are totally all about collaborations, getting writers and artists to work together on pieces.”

Art Aloud began as a strict art-to-poetry collaboration, but over the years it has evolved to include all manner of written word, from quotes to short stories. Writing hangs alongside the artwork with which it’s connected (or, in some cases, is incorporated into the artwork) and weekly receptions throughout the month include a reading component similar to an open mic.

The exhibit’s locations, Foste says, rotate almost every year, and the choice of venue changes the tone of the reception. For instance, bookstores and libraries may provide a more educational atmosphere, while a busy downtown gallery may encourage more free-form sharing.
“Each venue is completely different with how they handle it,” she says, “the atmosphere, the people that get involved — that’s the biggest change that happens each year.”

This year’s venues include Academy Art & Frame Company (which has been involved since the beginning), Hooked on Books, Sand Creek Library and the Blank Canvas Café at Dreamcatchers, which is new to the exhibit this year and will host the first reception on First Friday.

The other three venues will each take a Friday in April — second Friday at Hooked on Books (12 E. Bijou St.), third Friday at Academy Art & Frame Company (7560 N. Academy Blvd.) and fourth Friday at Sand Creek Library (1821 S. Academy Blvd.) — to present a unique reception that showcases the work at each location.

The artwork was juried from an all-ages, all-mediums call for entries, and includes a variety of works to inspire reflection on the connection between art and writing. Whether you attend one reception or all four, it’s worth hopping around town to see what local artists and writers have put together with each other.

Friday, April 7, 5-8 p.m., Blank Canvas Café, 103 S. Wahsatch Ave., #106, free, dreamcatcherscos.com.

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