Art in Common Places, an artist and poet collaboration.

I had the honor of being asked to participate in a special project with non-for-profit, Art in Common Places, an artist and poet collaboration created by three forward thinkers in Sarasota, Florida; Leslie Butterfield, Teresa Carson and Cynthia Burnell. The concept is really simple. Bring artwork and poetry together via a collaboration, present it in an easy format to display and place it in common places where you would not expect it.

“We’re on a mission to put art in public places so you can encounter it in your daily life.” -ACP

ACP Broadside
Art in Common Places Broadside (18″ x 12″) with artwork by Kate Hendrickson and poetry by Mary Ladany.

The process in matching an artist and poet.

The search begins with finding local and national talent who believe in gifting their work to the community. At least one participant lives and/or works in Sarasota, Florida in order to highlight the diversity and depth of the artistic community. 

Leslie and Teresa paired me with New Jersey poet, Mary Ladany. After an initial zoom meeting to see how we would relate to one another, we found common interests and immediately agreed to create together. Then, we had six weeks to come up with a concept and bring it to completion. I would be creating the image and Mary would be creating the poetry. Importantly, the image and the poetry had to relate to one another. After numerous Zoom conversations throughout the six weeks, we arrived at a completed project of which we are both proud. 

A photograph of my drawing and Mary’s poetry were forwarded to a graphic designer who presents them together on a 18”h x 12”w broadside. Since there are numerous artists and poets who have participated thus far, our collaboration would join the group. After the broadsides are placed in one of many locations, such as a laundromats, car washes, senior living communities, condo associations, public housing, medical offices, etc., volunteers switch them out every four to six weeks with a new artwork and poetry collaboration. Furthermore, the broadsides rotate throughout the locations.

The collaboration.

Compass (mahts-PEHN) 14″ x 17″, pastel-graphite.

Directions by Mary Ladany 

There,  There. There.

Each one temporary

and in motion,

still enough

 to keep us looking.

In the state of becoming 

no one destination

only a possibility of many.

Here is what we had to say about our work.

Mary’s statement: My poem serves as the underpinnings or support for Kate’s image. It also holds out some information about how one might approach or read the image.

Kate’s statement: The imagery of the pastel and graphite drawing is based on our conversations, which finally focused on the words compass and direction. Discussion about the meanings of those words brought about a visualization for the composition. The Hebrew word for compass (mahts-PEHN) מצפן became the underlying structure from which the drawing began. From a straightforward perspective, the composition moves the viewer from West to North to East to South with wanderings to and from as well as in and out. The journey then becomes more important than any final destination.

Kate in Studio
Kate in her Sarasota studio working on the project for Art in Common Places.

Ways you can help.

Become a volunteer to work with location hosts…Sponsor a broadside project for only $200…Introduce ACP or host ACP at a new location…Spread the word about Art in Common Places…Ask artists or poets to apply to be considered for an upcoming project.

This project couldn’t happen without the artists, poets, volunteers and sponsors. Spread the word and click, Art in Common Places to find out more and see all the projects to date. Support ACP.

Projects recently completed.

When you check out the collaborative projects that have been completed thus far. You will see the diversity in the collaborative approach of each artist and poet pairing. For a young non-profit founded in early 2020, Art in Common Places has garnered support from the community and won a highly competitive Fellowship Award from Halo Arts Project in early 2021.

Example of projects completed recently.

Monthly featured project.

Each month they feature a new project on the home page of the Art in Common Places website. Here is mine. What a delight to see it there and know that the broadside will be circulating in Sarasota for people to see as they carry on their daily routines. My hope is that the artwork combined with poetry will cause them to stop, ponder for a moment and derive enjoyment in this unusual encounter.

Featured on the Art in Common Places website.
Featured on the Art in Common Places website.


SUPPORT Art in Common Places

Contact Kate Hendrickson

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