Ekphrasis IX 2020 Virtual Exhibition
Ekphrasis is a Greek word meaning "Art Describing Other Art." Ekphrasis IX continues the tradition of an annual collaboration between the Artists' Co-op of Mendocino and the Writers of the Mendocino Coast.
Special Ekphrasis Events
Accommodating advisories for CoVid19, this year’s public events do not include large group gatherings. Instead we are celebrating with the folllowing events:
1. This Ekphrasis IX Virtual Exhibition featuring all participants, installed Oct. 1st and accessible indefinitely on the Co-op website. Bookmark this link www.artcoopmendocino.com/ekphrasis or go to the Co-op website and click on the "Exhibitions" pull down menu.
2. An October display by Co-op members of representative Ekphrasis Art, Oct 7 through Nov 2, at the Artists’ Co-op Gallery. Writings are not displayed due to distancing restrictions within the gallery -- a good reason to visit the Virtual Exhibition; QR codes will take you there.
3. Public readings in a Writers of the Mendocino Coast Zoom meeting October 18 (3PM third Sunday). The readings by the Ekphrasis authors will be accompanied by a slide show of the associated art. The public is invited.
Go to WritersMendocinoCoast.org for information on registering for this Zoom meeting.
ARTISTS' CO-OP OF MENDOCINO home page
On the home page, view a slide show, connect to a monthly gallery sampler, and link to other features, including other exhibits, calendar of events, newsletter, social media and Artists' individual pages with artist contact capability.
WRITERS OF THE MENDOCINO COAST home page
Find out about the many activities sponsored by the club and how to become a member. Meetings are open to the public. Benefits of membership, include fellowship with other coast writers, leadership opportunities, monthly meetings with featured presentations, participation through public readings, member updates, classes and workshops, access to writer resources, the annual anthology, archived documents, publishing opportunities, and special events, such as the SmatchUp and, of course, Ekphrasis!
In Spring 2012 Karen Reynolds (Artists' Co-op member) had an idea about a collaboration between artists and writers. Through a conversation with Doug Fortier (then President, Mendocino Writers) a proposal emerged.. Enthusiastic approval by the respective Boards, and we had a plan for action. Writer Susan Bono's suggestion of "Ekphrasis" gave it a name. Ekphrasis I, Art Describing Other Art, involved 16 pairs of artists and writers, and culminated in October with an exhibition, grand reception, and readings. The annual event soon grew to 20 participant pairs, and format details have evolved over time. This year Ekphrasis IX 2020 has CoViD19-adapted to avoid large groups by introducing a Virtual Exhibition on the Co-op website and presenting readings with the slide show in the Writers' Club Zoom meeting. However, Ekphrasis continues as "Art Describing Other Art" and maintains its local spirit and character.
Participating writers (20) are members of the Writers of the Mendocino Coast. Participating visual artists (20) are members of the Artists' Co-op of Mendocino with additional artists invited from the local community.
The two coordinators, one for writers and one for artists, call for participants within their organizations and gather signups for initiators and responders. Artist initiators and writer initiators are tasked with preparing and submitting works for responders by July.
July: The Great Exchange. Writers and artists are paired randomly and anonymously so that writer responders receive art from artist initiators and art responders receive writings from writer initiators. Identifications are not disclosed in order to prevent interactions between members of a pair. Facilitation of the process is by the coordinators.
September: All work by responding writers and responding artists is due and submitted to the respective coordinators.
October: Culminating events are organized and carried out. Traditionally: a gallery exhibition, opening reception, public readings. This year: a virtual exhibition featuring all works accessible indefinitely, a small representative exhibit of art in the coo-op gallery in October (distancing prevents display of writings), public readings in Writers Zoom meeting (registration required).
Insight: The 2020 Rise of the Virtual Art Exhibition
In the annals of art gallery trends, 2020 will be known for the Rise of Virtual Exhibitions. The reduction of traditional gallery activities and closures of brick and mortar sites, resulting from CoViD19 advisements and restrictions, have spawned a plethora of online adaptations and solutions. The use of websites and email practices have been around for some time, so the basic skills and formats for an enhanced online presence were primed for action. Just this year Virtual Exhibitions have grown from “a good idea” to “must have” status, in both sales galleries and museum contexts.
There are many benefits related to the Virtual Exhibition online phenom: (1) access 24/7 to virtual displays; (2) dynamic elements that allow ongoing changes and upgrades, (3) no real estate required to install, nor to make way for a new exhibit; (4) you are already here! no driving or walking or taking the bus; (5) the “return value” means that viewers can and will return frequently, and for flexible periods of time; and (6) the virtual exhibit is accessible to an ever growing population of visitors, potentially worldwide , simultaneously, anytime, in sickness and in health. Of course, the benefits are only as good as the weakest links, content excellence, underlying design, and user-friendly features. And nothing will replace being in the presence of the original art. Nevertheless, this virtual exhibition trend is here to stay, and promises to evolve over time. KR
Appreciation and Acknowledgements
Ekphrasis IX involved commitments by many individuals over the course of eight months, from March through October 2020. The primary set of “Thank You’s,” of course, goes to all the participating writers and visual artists for their inspired works, both initiating and responding. The entirety of your talents is awesome and lives on in this virtual exhibition.
In addition, key individuals were critical to the success of this year’s Ekphrasis. We acknowledge these specific contributions:
Katherine Heinemann Brown, coordinator for writer signups and submissions (March, July, September), and facilitator for the Writers Club public readings in October.
Doug Fortier, newsletter information releases (March and more), producer of the slideshow accompanying the public readings (October), follow-up posting of Ekphrasis works on the Writers’ Club website, and maintenance of the archives.
Lynne Zickerman Olson, curator of the ACM Gallery display of representative art (October) and coordinator for Ekphrasis PR in the public media (September, October). Distribution of posters in Mendocino and vicinity..
Sharon Garner, October poster design, contributor to social media.
David Cross: distribution of posters in Ft. Bragg.
Debra Lennox: Art Notes editor, social media coordinator.
Laura Corben: Instagram.
Karen E. Reynolds: coordinator for artist signups and submissions, curator of this Ekphrasis Virtual Exhibition posted on the Artists’ Co-op of Mendocino website and accessible 24/7 indefinitely beginning October 1, 2020.
Shanti Benoit, Mary Anderson, and others: ongoing reviews, critiques, formal and informal recommendations.
Boards of the respective organizations, Artists’ Co-op of Mendocino and Writers of the Mendocino Coast: appreciated for active ongoing input and support.