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Bethany Moran-Handzlik coping a Rubens at the National Gallery in Scotland.

Bethany Moran-Handzlik coping a Rubens at the National Gallery in Scotland.

The Ekphrastic and the Copied, an interdisciplinary exhibit in Roberta’s Art Gallery April 24 – May 13, 2017. The exhibit features the           poetry of Professor Patrick Moran and the artwork of Bethann Moran-Handzlik; a pairing of paintings and poems; with the poems de scribing the artwork’s meaning as imagined by the poet. An opening reception takes place on April 24 from noon-2pm. Everyone is invited to come and enjoy some art, poems and mandolin playing with light refreshments.

Ekphrastic means “description” in Greek. An ekphrastic poem is a vivid description of a scene or, more commonly, a work of art. Through the imaginative act of narrating and reflecting on the “action” of a painting or sculpture, the poet may amplify and expand its meaning. A notable example is “Ode on a Grecian Urn,” in which the poet John Keats speculates on the identity of the lovers who appear to dance and play music, simultaneously frozen in time and in perpetual motion.”

Pat Moran and Bethann Moran-Handzlik have created an interdisciplinary exhibit of ephrastic poems and painted copied studies they created while directly observing a select group of works of art.   Current students, alumni, invited faculty and staff are also presenting work. Work is either poems or two dimensional drawings or paintings.  All work is considered “study” both poetic and painted “sketches”.

Copying works of art is a classical method of gaining skills.  Bethann gained permission from varied museums in Europe to paint many of the studies on-sight. Drawings were also made to assist in the development of the work. Pat stood in front of each work and composed an ekphrastic sketch of the work.

The paired ekphrastic and copied sketches provide an audience with a tangible experience of looking at a work in a museum through the lens of a painter and a poet.  This secondary presentation of work is a kind of translation, calling the audience into a new relationship with these works of art.

Pat, the author of 5 books of poetry, including the 2016 Grayson book prize for his book “There Are Things We Live Among”, is able to present a ‘stop and drop’ poetry reading.  Bethann would set up her pochade box that she used when painting in the museums, while informally fielding questions about the work.   Pat is going to read a poem and maybe a student will read one, while Bethann will talk about her museum work, in addition Pat will play his mandolin at the reception. The reception free and is open to the public.