Ekphrasis X 2021 Online Exhibition
Ekphrasis is a Greek word meaning "Art Describing Other Art." Ekphrasis X 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 and its variants, options for this year’s public events Ekphrasis X 2021 will not include a traditional large group reception. However, we are celebrating with the folllowing events:
1. This Ekphrasis X Online Exhibition featuring all participants, revealed Oct. 1st and accessible indefinitely on the Co-op website. Bookmark this link www.artcoopmendocino.com/ekphrasisX or go to the Co-op website and click on the "Exhibitions" pull down menu. Look for Ekphrasis X. You will notice that last year's Ekphrasis IX is still available in case you want to revisit yesteryear.
2. An October Gallery Exhibition, just like the old days, is installed to enjoy first hand Oct 6 through Nov 1, at the Artists’ Co-op Gallery. Writings are framed and paired with their respective art. QR codes provide quick connections to online pages.
3. Readings on ZOOM by the Ekphrasis authors with a simultaneous projection of the respective art. This is scheduled for Sunday October 17th at 3PM on ZOOM. Find out how to join on the Writers' Club website WritersMendocinoCoast.org
Post meeting note: A record number attended. The recorded session is available on the Writers website, thanks to Doug Fortier.
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 on ZOOM are open to the public: the third Sunday each month at 3PM (see below of this year's Ekphrasis readings). 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!
Zoom Link for Readings by the Authors of this year's Ekphrasis Writings, Sunday October 17, 2021 at 3PM.
Go to WritersMendocinoCoast.org for the link, which will be posted at specific times.
Three Ways to Enjoy Ekphrasis (gallery exhibition, online exhibition, and live readings by authors with slide show) seems to be a winning combo.
Artist and online visitor, Pat Scott: “Just finished reading all the works on line. The whole show is best on line in my opinion. Much easier to see and digest. Writing was especially good this year.”
A gallery visitor, Myra Beal: “I look forward to this event every year. I’m glad I can see the original work up close and I’m lucky to live locally. It’s such a good idea.”
From writer Doug Fortier about the Zoom audience experience: “Hearing writers read their works while the artwork is on screen draws us closer to both.”
An artist, Larry Wagner, and similarly from artist Lynne Whiting: “Ekphrasis has made me try new techniques. I think responding is the most interesting, and the most challenging.”
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 (21 this year) are members of the Writers of the Mendocino Coast. Participating visual artists (21 this year) 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. The online exhibition can be accessed on the Co-op website from Oct. 1 onward. The gallery exhibition is installed and ready for visitors Thursday Oct. 5 through Monday Nov. 1. Public readings with an associated slide show are presented at the Writers' Club meeting on Sunday Oct. 17, 3PM on Zoom. Get information on the Writers' website. In addition a small display representative of last year's Ekphrasis art is mounted on the wall behind the desk. Links to the readings can be made using QuickResponseCodes next to the art.
This year's new wrinkle: Use of QRcodes.
We are now taking advantage of the QRreader capacity in smartphones (an embedded camera feature or available as a third party app). Each artist in the gallery exhibition now has a unique QRcode mounted next to their art. Visitors can use their smartphones to scan the code and access the artist's website or custom webpage for additional art by that artist. The site can be saved to browse later or deleted. It's a nice "take home" feature, and an option we plan to make available next year for Ekphrasis writers, as well.
Insight: The 2020-21 Rise of the Virtual Art Exhibition
In the annals of art gallery trends, 2020-21 will be known for the Rise of Online 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. 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. Your participation, at whatever level, is appreciated. 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,we acknowledge specific contributions made by key individuals who were critical to the success of this year’s Ekphrasis:
Katherine Heinemann Brown, coordinator for writer signups and submissions (March, July, September), and facilitator for the Writers Club public readings in October, as well as a preliminary "warmup" sampler of last year's readings in the Spring prior to this year's preparations.
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, ongoing poster design and 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 Online Exhibition, which is posted here on the Artists’ Co-op of Mendocino website and accessible 24/7 indefinitely beginning October 1, 2021.
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.