Ekphrasis X 2021 Online Exhibition
SET 1. Writer Initiators and Visual Artist Responders
A. LYNN KIESEVETTER, My Friend Nina. Response by artist SHANTI BENOIT: What Lurks Below, collage.
B. NONA SMITH, The Blue Sedan. Response by artist MARY-ELLEN CAMPBELL: Starbucks Saga, mixed media sculpture.
C. NATY OSA, Picture Perfect. Response by artist JOSEPH DUVIVIER: Point of View, oil on canvas.
My Friend Nina Said by initiator Lynn Kiesevetter
Once upon a time, when I was sinking in despair,
obsessively brooding an imagined outcome still in the future,
my friend Nina said:
“… better to live in denial at times like this.”
So, I heard her advice and took it to heart ~
I looked in old National Geographics to find photos of
to hang on the walls surrounding me,
to remind me that I didn’t have to
And better yet, I don’t even really have to
about how dangerous or deep the waters might be,
no matter what swims below me in the murky depths.
Sharks, anacondas, sting rays...
I cannot see them:
So I’ll just pay them no nevermind.
But if it’s mermaids?
Response by artist Shanti Benoit: What Lurks Below, collage, 8" x 10".
The Blue Sedan by initiating author NONA SMITH
MaryBeth had been sitting in her car for three full minutes, the motor purring, her hands tight around the steering wheel. She wasn’t going any place. She couldn’t. Once again, she glanced in her rearview mirror and saw the blue sedan idling inches from her back bumper. The driver wanted her space. Parking was at a premium in this Starbuck’s lot: she’d circled it twice herself before she’d found a spot. “This is stupid,” she said. “One minute more and I’m going out there.”
She began to count. When she reached thirty, she checked the mirror again. Four cars––now five––idled behind the sedan. One of them honked a long, impatient blast, but the sedan stayed stubbornly put. Was the driver unbalanced? Crazy as a loon? Or just plain pigheaded? By the time MaryBeth counted to sixty, she’d worked out a plan. Two plans, in fact.
Briefly, she worried about executing Plan A. There were lots of stories lately about road rage and shootings. Still, what was the likelihood of being shot over a parking spot at Starbucks? She turned off the ignition, unfastened her seatbelt, and slipped out of the car.
As she approached the blue sedan, the driver’s window slid down, and MaryBeth saw a young-ish woman with hair gathered into a messy ponytail. She felt a modicum of relief no guns were in sight.
“You’re waiting for this parking spot?” she said to the messy-haired woman, who
pinched her lips together and nodded curtly.
“I’m afraid you’re not going to get it,” MaryBeth said in a voice usually used to calm a young child having a tantrum. “I can’t leave because you’re blocking my car, and there are four cars behind you who won’t all back up so you can claim this space.”
“Well, I’m not moving,” the woman said, and eased her window up.
For a moment, MaryBeth stood in stunned silence. The situation was insane. Then she remembered: she had a Plan B. She walked back to her car in measured steps, grabbed her purse, and locked the car door. She nodded as she walked past the blue sedan, gave a hands-out shrug to the drivers in line behind it, and headed back to Starbucks. This situation would sort itself out while she was drinking her low fat, decaf, shade-grown latte.
Response by artist MARY-ELLEN CAMPBELL: Starbucks Saga
Picture Perfect by initiating author NATY OSA
You scan the view
frame the morning:
dot the hostas
like diurnal fireflies,
fade in the grass.
At the bottom of the slope,
an array of trees,
a clump of purple iris
arrests the eye.
Whose hand, here, is the master
A stroke of red ‘cross the canvas;
the bird in the picture
then stride into the frame
with a child
by your side. Grip his hand
take the next step.
Response by artist JOSEPH DUVIVIER: Point of View, oil on circular canvas (diameter 20").