Art and Poetry exhibition Open at the Figge PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Susan Horan   
Wednesday, 13 June 2012 07:57

Davenport, IOWA (June 2012) This Thursday, June 14, the Figge Art Museum will be hosting a public reception celebrating the exhibition “Waxing Poetic: Exploring Expression in Art.” The reception begins at 5 pm in the Figge Café with a brief introduction by guest curator Pat Villeneuve, PhD, Florida State University, and Ryan Collins, Midwest Writing Center board member.  At 7 pm, there will be a poetry reading by eight poets who wrote poems in response to this exhibition. The reading will take place in the Mary Waterman Gildehaus Community Gallery. The reception is free with museum membership or paid admission.

“Waxing Poetic” is the first exhibition of its’ kind at the Figge.  The exhibition challenges museum visitors to do more than view art and process through private thought. Instead, visitors are invited to respond to the art through poetry and add their poem to the walls of the gallery to be shared with other viewers.  Through the use of poetry and intuitive writing, visitors are encouraged to engage with the artworks that intrigue them. Poetry serves as a gateway for conversation between viewers who experience the exhibition at different times, as well as a gateway between the viewer and the artwork.

The interactive elements of Waxing Poetic extend beyond the gallery walls; visitors are also invited to Tweet poems about the art that inspires them. Each artwork has a unique Twitter #hashtag and the Figge will retweet and post on Facebook the poems that visitors write, making the museum experience a virtual one.

Additional exhibition programs will be offered through the summer:


·         At 7pm on Thursday, June 21, Ryan Collins will lead the writing workshop, “An Intuitive Conversation with Art: Trusting Your First Thought.” In this workshop, participants will practice an intuitive kind of writing toward art, starting with their first thoughts and letting their creative responses grow from there.  Mr. Collins is the author of a chapbook, Complicated Weather (Rock Town Press) & an e-chapbook, Handshake Trouble (Gold Wake Press).

·         WVIK “Art Talks” host Bruce Carter will lead a lively discussion about artistic inspiration and expression during a panel discussion with Leslie Bell, E. Marie Bertram, Ryan Collins, and David Murray on Thursday, June 28 at 7pm.

·         The writing workshop, “So Moved: Responding to Art via Gut, Heart, and Mind,” will be held on Thursday, September 20 at 7pm.  E. Marie Bertram will lead participants through the process of writing toward the art that moves them, trusting their initial responses to take shape from there. Participants will be encouraged to harness the energy the work of art has generated within them and send it outward, allowing their gut reactions, feelings, and thoughts to guide their writing.

The Figge education staff worked with the curatorial staff, the Midwest Writing Center, and Dr. Pat Villeneuve, professor from Florida State University, to develop this unique exhibition. This exhibition’s approach is based on a model that Dr. Villeneuve has developed for visitor-centered exhibitions. In her model, Dr. Villeneuve looks for ways to connect art and museum visitors in a meaningful way.

About the Figge Art Museum

The Figge Art Museum is located on the riverfront in downtown Davenport at 225 West Second Street. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday and Sundays 12-5 p.m.  Thursdays the museum is open until 9pm. Admission to the museum and tour is $7. Admission is free to Figge members and institutional members. To contact the museum, please call 563.326.7804, or visit our website,

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