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Spotlight: Poet-Artist Collaboration

Alison McClocklin’s “Leaning True” inspired by Lee Kisling’s poem “Crooked.” See both the art and the poem at Crossings in Zumbrota now through April 27. Submitted photo

Crossings' annual Poet-Artist Collaboration exhibit is on display through April 27, celebrating a pairing of two art forms.

Fifty-one poets and visual artists took part in this years' exhibit, which can be seen free of charge during regular business hours. A reception and poetry reading takes place 6:30 p.m. Saturday, April 8, both at the gallery and next door at Zumbrota's State Theatre.

About 120 poets and artists participated in this year's event by entering up to three poems each or submitting artistic work samples. Jurors winnowed more than 230 poems down to just 26. Other jurors selected 26 artists from those who entered. For this exhibit, each artist chooses one poem from which to create an artwork. Poems and the work they inspired are displayed together.

The poems share many familiar life experiences, from moving across country to losing a purse at Starbucks, as well as experiencing nightmares and shadows and partings from loved ones. The artists turned their vision of the poem into works using a variety of mediums, including oil and watercolor, mixed media, water-colored linocut, encaustic and more.

Leslie Schultz, of Northfield, wrote, "Nomad's Daughter," which begins:

I dream I see my father, once

the deluge is old news,

wandering in the street.

He has on his black,

zipped-up half boots and white socks.

Inspired by a different poem, Alison McClocklin of Rochester created "leaning true," a work with "bits of cardboard from the recycle bin, paints, inks, scraps of papers and cloth, and most importantly, the poem's gentle images..." McClocklin said "To honor the quiet, honest beauty of the poem 'Crooked,' I began with my first honest response. I built a crooked little corn crib."

The 49 participating poets and artists come from around Minnesota and Wisconsin. Local participants include:

Cannon Falls — Becky Jokela

Goodhue — Connie Ludwig

Lake City — Kate Halverson and Pat Swanson

Pine Island — Jennifer Jesseph

Red Wing — Art Kenyon, Dan Dietrich and Dawn Zero Erickson

Zumbrota — Sarah K Nygaard

Crossings is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and is located at 320 East Ave., Zumbrota.