Whether on the canvas or the page, artistic creativity abounds in McKinney at the third annual Art Meets Poetry event. A collaboration between the Art Club of McKinney and the Mockingbird Poetry Society, the event sees up to 40 pairs of poets and artists working together to create single, harmonious displays of art.
“I think when you get a lot of creatives together, you really create this energy that is unparalleled within the community,” Art Club of McKinney President Kathryn Iklé said, highlighting how the event helps the club in its efforts to spark community collaboration and inspiration.
“From the poets’ perspective, I think the collaboration is amazing. I think you see some of the poets’ best work occur when they are inspired by a piece of art,” Barry Rynk, the creator of Art Meets Poetry who helps co-chair the event, said. “I’ve seen the poets so emotional about being able to base their poem on a great piece of art. It’s a great collaboration.”
The event, an artistic exhibit accompanied by live poetry readings, has steadily grown over the years. It’s now moving to a new space at The Cove in McKinney from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Feb. 3.
Art Meets Poetry will also include light refreshments and a raffle of the original promotional work for the event, “Forest Poetry: Warm Moon” by artist Daniele Jones, as well as several prints. Proceeds from the raffle will go to three area charities: Community Lifeline Center, the Community Garden Kitchen and the Community Food Pantry of McKinney.
The Cove, an Arts and Music Guild initiative, provides a dynamic space to stage this year’s Art Meets Poetry. Art Club of McKinney Co-Chair for Art Meets Poetry Celeste Seitz plans to fully utilize its design elements when displaying the art exhibition.
“When I’m hanging art for this exhibit, there will be a couple of different things to take into consideration. One is the size of the artwork and, of course, two is the mood of both the artwork and the poem,” Seitz said.
She plans to take advantage of The Cove’s movable walls and table space to design an exhibition spotlighting the common themes that have emerged between the submitted artworks.
“Interestingly enough, there’s a lot of the moon in this body of work this year,” Rynk said, pointing to the event’s promotional art as an example. He suspects that inspiration may come from poets who recently attended Waco Cultural Arts Festival’s WordFest, which featured a moon theme in 2023.
Another commonality in the event comes not from any one theme, but from the element of surprise. As in years past, many of the poets and artists won’t see each other’s final products until the event itself.
“I’ll liken it to the lyrics of music. If you look at both of those separate, you would not think that they are as powerful as they are together. So, to me, it’s almost like long lost family members coming together when you see the artists and poets meet for the first time,” Barry Rynk said.
It’s a twist that helps make Art Meets Poetry such an emotional experience for all involved.
“There was a lot of emotion, so people were very touched. It was just very inspiring,” Iklé said, recalling how Rynk told her about the great reactions from the artists and poets involved in last year’s event when she first began working with him on this year’s Art Meets Poetry as the new president of The Art Club of McKinney.
“There is something that happens in putting together two perspectives that couldn’t happen otherwise,” Mockingbird Poetry Society President Susan Mardele said.
Overall, it’s an event that Iklé feels captures a unique, collaborative energy between people.
“It always reminds me of that kind of concept that we can do things on our own, but when we come together, we just create this amazing energy,” Iklé said.
Art Meets Poetry runs from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Feb. 3 at The Cove in McKinney. For more information, visit https://www.thecovemckinney.org/. These interviews have been edited for clarity.
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