Poetry Meets Artwork in Hartford

Bernard Duffy’s “Navajo Missionary”, which won first place, was the inspiration for an Ekphrasis poem performed during the event.

Hartford Coordinator Nancy Shapiro explained that an Ekphrasis poem is one that is written about and inspired by a visual theme; usually a painting, a drawing, a photograph, or a sculpture. This year’s NAP show once again included readings of Ekphrasis poems written by the Free Poets Collective about each of the first place winners and the Best of Show. The poems made for a wonderful blend of visual and verbal imagery at the Hartford NAP this year.

The awards reception audience included over 450 people who were truly inspired by the combination and really enjoyed it. The participants were also treated to booklets that included copies of the poems paired with photos of the winning artworks.

Nancy and the Community Renewal Team (CRT) hosted this, the 23rd Hartford National Arts Program® Exhibition, for the residents and showcased 171 artists and 300 paintings! Nancy and her CRT team continually try to engage the artist community by finding new ways to keep them involved in the arts. We applaud Nancy for her dedication to the National Arts Program® in Hartford, Connecticut.

Below is an excerpt from the poem “The Traveler” written by Swantina Monet to accompany the Intermediate winning artwork pictured “The Navajo Missionary”.

“Count your steps as you travel along your path Do not look back to ponder on your mistakes, lessons have been learned, take forth, move on, continue your journey, I am the Traveler, this message is for you. On my face you see my journey, I came out of the desert to be with you”