A new exhibit “Worth a Thousand Words” opened at the Bankhead Gallery on Oct. 30, featuring works that explore the intersection between the visual arts and the written word. Throughout history, visual art and works of poetry or literature have been tied together to build on both mediums’ powerful ability to communicate — from the use of detailed illustrations in books, to the creation of imaginative stage sets for the theater.
“Worth a Thousand Words,” curated by Visual Arts Manager Anne Giancola in collaboration with the Poet Laureate of Livermore Cynthia Patton, features artwork paired with poetry. Some works align artwork with poetry by the same artist, while others are works of poetry offered with artistic flair. Art journals on display present a visual record of an artist’s thoughts and ideas, demonstrating how the creative process can, and often does, evolve in both visual and written ways.
Three-dimensional works are also exhibited, such as artist Rae Trujillo’s handbags made from real book covers and spines, and a child’s dress by artist Lorraine Crowder who used pages from a book to create an expressive and thoughtful statement on current events.
According to Giancola, the exhibit has a textural, physical quality that is designed to spark new ideas and new ways of thinking. “Visitors should look for shadow boxes that convey depth of meaning and for three-dimensional works that connect art with words,” she said. “The poetry they read and visuals they see have been designed to cause people to stop and think.”
One unique exhibit by Xiaojie Zheng is an interactive experience that incorporates audio, visual and tactile components, and visitors will be encouraged to participate in the creation of a new work of art.
Located off the lobby, the Founders Room in the Bankhead Theater offers the opportunity to place a special focus on poetry. Curated by Patton, this special exhibit displays poetry written by the winners of the city’s Teen Poet of the Month competition.
The connection between the visual arts and the written word will extend into the community in other ways as well. During the run of the exhibit, the new Towne Center Books store, located on Railroad Ave. next to the Bankhead Theater, will have a shelf devoted to art books and related topics.
The opening reception for “Worth a Thousand Words” will be held on Saturday, Nov. 16, from 1 to 3 p.m., and provides an opportunity for attendees to meet the artists. The event is free and open to the public and will include live music by the Tropical Takeout Ukulele Band, as well as light refreshments.
“Worth a Thousand Words” runs through January 6, and most works in the exhibit are available for purchase. The Bankhead is located at 2400 First St. in downtown Livermore. The exhibition is free and open to the public Monday through Friday from noon to 4 p.m.