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Victoria Arts Council presents a city-wide project  investigating the overlap of literary and visual arts

Community Partners and Presenters:

  • Micah Lexier @ Empty Gallery (833 Fisgard St), 1-30 September
  • jg Muir @ The Ministry of Casual Living (Oden Alley): 1-30 September
  • concrete is porous @ VAC (1800 Store St): 4 September-24 October
  • ekphrasis poets respond to visual artists @ arc-hive artist-run centre (online project with publication)
  • conTEXT @ errant artSpace (970 Alston St): 12-27 September; weekends only from 12-5PM
  • errant artSpace Ekphrastic Poetry Event:12 September @ 3pm 
  • “The Speaking Surface: Text and Embodiment in Painting”, a lecture by John Luna (offered remotely via Vancouver Island School of Art): 19 September, 7:30-9:00PM
  • A Reading from the Ether by bill bissett @ VAC, Thursday 22 October, 4:30PM [remote presentation]
  • LINE/break: a curatorial roundtable @ VAC 3PM, 24 October

    Full program available as PDF download.

In literature, a stanza refers to the paragraphs in a poem. The Victoria Arts Council has assembled STANZAS — a groundswell of activity taking place in various venues throughout the Capital Regional District to investigate the overlap of literary and visual arts. 

The anchor exhibition, concrete is porous, takes place at the VAC’s main gallery (1800 Store Street) and features work by twenty-eight preeminent Canadian poets such as bpNicholbill bissett, and Paul Dutton, along with sections of work by Griffin Poetry Prize Winner Jordan Abel’s latest collection, NISHGA. Also on view at the VAC is project by local poet-librarian Christine Walde using lyrics from the popular band Joy Division, a folio of concrete poetry by Internationally-recognized Vancouver Island artist Michael Morris, as well as the most expensive poem ever published: Aram Saroyan’s “lighght”.

“To bring together fifty artists experimenting with writing, language, literature, and form has been a dream of mine” says VAC executive director and STANZAS architect, Kegan McFadden. “As an experimental genre, concrete poetry and the artists who embraced and pushed this form over the past sixty years in Canada, asks us to look again at how we see and interpret the world around us; how we understand something as fundamental as communication.”

A half-dozen partnering organizations round out the activities associated with STANZAS, including an online project with arc-hive gallery where poets responded to visual artists; a group show at errant artSpace that promotes the incorporation of literature in visual art; and two window displays at Empty Gallery and The Ministry of Casual Living. 

From group art exhibits to individual presentations, there are visual artists as well as poets, scholars and autodidacts alike coming together to take part in STANZAS.