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Art in the library

Post #1356 • May 28, 2009, 12:37 PM

I recently received word that my proposal was accepted by the committee that selects exhibitions for the Miami-Dade Public Library System.

I propose to create a series of images, drawn in ink on paper, that together will create a loosely linked set of narratives that relate to specific excerpts of great poetry. I work in webcomics, in a manner that finds inspiration in the poet-painter tradition of Japan and China, but taking my cues from contemporary American life. I have already executed a comic with the above theme:

For the library I propose similar directional, even multi-directional narratives that tie lines of poetry to ordinary human stories, set up on the wall sequentially, that will seek to elicit new interpretations of the verses. I will draw excerpts from diverse sources, ancient, contemporary, and in between, from cultures the world over. In a sense this will create an installation-scale collection of short stories, told with both pictures and words, which requires the movement of the viewer to read. An accompanying website (which I will design, build, and host) will document the installation and allow viewers off-site to go through the exhibition virtually, view source texts, and see background information behind the installation.

The idea is to depict stories that hook into the poetry without illustrating the poems literally. I'm excited about the project, as it's going to translate the comics work I've been doing to the wall, and should make for an interesting creative, literary, and intellectual adventure.

Details are forthcoming. The library has yet to pick a date (sometime between January 2010 and January 2011) and a venue (somewhere in the MDPLS exhibition spaces). My Miami gallery is amenable to the idea of a concurrent exhibition (although whether it will happen is subject to many factors). I plan to approach the library system here in Boston, which also has some fine exhibtion spaces, once we have a date set. Funding has yet to be determined. I have a lot of reading to do. At any rate, expect progress reports here at

I'm taking suggestions on which poems to include, so you enthusiasts out there (I'm looking at you, JL, among several others) should send them in. Also, the project is as yet untitled. I'm considering something, but I'm a bit eh about it. Maybe you have an idea you wouldn't mind contributing. E-mail me at the usual joint.




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