The worlds of visual art and poetry merge in Artspace at [Untitled]'s A Hiding Place

The worlds of visual art and poetry merge in Artspace at [Untitled]'s A Hiding Place
mixed media panels by Cynthia Adler, inspired by “Room of Hidden Things” by Anita Skeen | Photo provided
The worlds of visual art and poetry merge in Artspace at [Untitled]'s A Hiding Place
installation by Sarah Clough, also inspired by Skeen’s poem | Photo provided

Though art and poetry walk different avenues, they subscribe to a similar goal to express thought and emotion and inspire audiences. But what happens when one is used as a catalyst to create the other? [Artspace] at Untitled, 1 NE Third St., explores that premise with its current exhibit, A Hiding Place.

“I think a lot of people think of poetry as a kind of a very private business. It’s created in solitude usually,” said Jane Vincent Taylor, a poet and an exhibit curator. “But then to see how it goes out into the world and makes something else happen, something gets borne from that.”

A Hiding Place is a collaborative effort between eight poets and 24 visual artists. Each poet submitted work written specifically for the exhibit, which was then shared with the artists for inspiration. Three artists created individual works in response to each poem.

“We told the artists, ‘We don’t expect you to illustrate the poem,’” Taylor said. “‘We want you to read the poem, spend some time with the poem and then create art of your own that you feel like is sparked by the poem.’”

The works encompass a wide array of mediums including paint, sculpture, installations and video. Taylor said the theme was chosen because it gave the artists room to play.

The worlds of visual art and poetry merge in Artspace at [Untitled]'s A Hiding Place
mixed media by Laura Kent, inspired by Chad Reynold’s “An America” | Photo provided

“They all reflect some aspect of hiddenness,” she said. “The bridge between the art and the poem is not necessarily real obvious.”

The poets involved include Taylor, Oklahoma State Poet Laureate Benjamin Myers, Julia McConnell, Anita Skeen, Daniel Simon, Chad Reynolds, Jeanine Hathaway and Quraysh Ali Lansana. Each has roots or connections to Oklahoma except Skeen, who is a professor at Michigan State University, and Hathaway, a professor at Wichita State University. Many of the participating artists, including Claudia Wylie, George Wilson and Sarah Clough, hail from Oklahoma.

“The most inspiring thing about working on this project is just to see out of eight small poems, how much creativity got generated out of that and how clearly these artists work long and hard on what they wanted to do,” Taylor said. “Some people said, ‘It took me a couple of reads, but then I thought, “I know what I am going to do.”’ Other people said, ‘It led me to do something not like anything I’ve ever done.’”

The worlds of visual art and poetry merge in Artspace at [Untitled]'s A Hiding Place
ceramic by Liz Wilson, inspired by “Ascent” by Daniel Simon | Photo provided

A Hiding Place is on display through Sept. 24. [Artspace] at Untitled is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays. Admission is free. Visit

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Visual art becomes audible at Poems Out of Hiding. The free, poetry-filled event brings poets to [Artspace] at Untitled 6:30-8:30 p.m. Sept. 10 to read the works that inspired A Hiding Place.

The exhibit embodies collaboration in the work it presents and in the process that created it.

At Poems Out of Hiding, poets will speak about their writing process and lead participants in brief writing exercises. The discussion will be facilitated by Jane Vincent Taylor, Ben Myers and Chad Reynolds.

“We will talk about some approach that we find interesting and effective for writing a poem,” Taylor told Oklahoma Gazette. “I might talk about the letter poem, then we will give little prompts to write that are tied into the collection in some way,” Taylor said. “The idea is that we will talk about poetry, give people an opportunity to play with an assignment.”

The exercises aim to help the audience see the art from new perspectives.

“Scribblers and non-scribblers will enjoy this, as there will be no pressure to write a work of genius, simply to respond to the art with the written word,” Taylor said. “[Poets may find themselves inspired to new paths, and] artists may discover the sentence which drives them back to work in the studio.”

Taylor’s dedication to bringing people together and inspiring art can be found in every aspect of A Hiding Place.

“This kind of exhibit is important in that it brings a more diverse audience together. It helps folks think about creativity as a vital force available to all,” she said. “I know we can count on the creative crew of [Artspace] at Untitled to make things happen in new and inclusive and astounding ways.”

The theme for A Hiding Place came to fruition over meetings at Elemental Coffee Roasters. Myers and Taylor were inspired by childhood games of hide and seek.

“As children, we all played hide and seek,” Taylor said in her artist statement. “We learned through that game the stillness of hiding and the necessity of being found. Both are essential to living the communal life. This collaborative project explores these themes through poetry and art.”

Taylor said poets and artists share a moment of artistic spark and creative impulse in their work.

“Each of us, in various ways, must confront the hidden and finally illuminate what we have found in solitude,” Taylor wrote.

By Adam Holt and Lauren Dow 

A Hiding Place

10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays through Sept. 24

Poems Out of Hiding

6:30-8:30 p.m. Sept. 10

Artspace at [Untitled]

1 NE Third St.



Print headline: Hiding themes, An exhibit mixes the creative processes  of visual art and poetry in A Hiding Place at Artspace at [Untitled].

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