Visual Artists and Poets respond to the news in a creative collaboration of new works under the direction of Benicia Poet Laureate Ronna Leon.

See the result of fourteen pairs of Bay Area and Central Coast poets and artists responding to the news. Articles about impacts on the environment, the local scene, human rights, domestic policy, world events and more are reflected in poems and paintings, photographs and mixed media.

OPENING RECEPTION: Thursday, June 30, 7-9 pm
SYMPOSIUM: July 16, Saturday 2-4 pm, Arts Relation to the News
POETRY READING: Thurs., July 28, 7-9pm, Exhibit Poems and Poets

Quotes gleaned from the poets and artist participants at a Group Gathering May 22: Joe Martino, poet: I feel as though I’m following something that John Lennon started, 40-plus years ago by making an artistic comment about something in the paper.

Carol Dalton, Vernal Sweet SpotJan Cook, artist: We all know the issues (of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire of 1930) are continuing to this day. What struck me most in reading the article was all the patterns hanging up, waiting to be made into clothes that these women would never get to wear. That is where I began…”

Barbara Mossberg, poet: One of the most wonderful aspects of this project has been the communication back and forth with my artist-partner. I have found myself as a poet, writing to her about the inside of the poem… about my aspirations for this poem, my vision, in a way I’ve never talked with anyone else.

Nikki Basch-Davis, artist: As a plein aire painter who thinks of her subject as painting joy, the subject of repressed rage and its effects when released was a challenge. It was a very hard subject to imagine painting… a revolution … [but as a painter] you stretch, you try, you work hard, you do it. It was an honor."

Participating pairs of poets (listed first) and visual artists: 

Nils Peterson, Santa Clara – Rebecca Palmer, Los Altos
Valerie Ibarra, S.F. – Rebecca Martinez, S.F.
Jannie Dresser, Crockett – Freddy Camargo, Benicia
Barbara Mossberg, Pacific Grove- Stephanie Martin, Santa Cruz
David Starkey, Rome – Mehrdad Khataei, Iran
Mary Rudge, Alameda – Jan Cook, Vallejo
Lois Requist, Benicia- A Gaul Gulley, S.F.
Maria Rosales, Martinez – Debra Stuckgold, Oakland
Sandra Lee Stillwell, Benicia – Katya Madrid, Benicia
Dan Cooper, Concord – Jose-Luis Segura, Jr., Vallejo
Donna Rudolph, Benicia- Carol Dalton, Benicia
Ken McKeon, Berkeley – Thomas Stanton, Benicia
Joel Fallon, Benicia – Nikki Basch-Davis, Benicia
Joseph Martino, Benicia -Mike Kendall, Benicia

Benicia Public Library, Marilyn O’Rourke Gallery
150 L St., Benicia CA
Sponsored by Friends of the Benicia Public Library in collaboration with Arts Benicia

Above artwork: Carol Dalton, Vernal Sweet Spot