Sunday, January 31, 2010

Synaesthetic Joy

“Musings” for January 28, 2010

Synaesthetic Joy

Can you smell art? I don’t mean the smell of paint, wood, or graphite. That’s the smell of materials, but the materials are not exactly the art. Art is something else, something almost intangible, an image that inspires, that creates an experience in the viewer, that prompts catharsis. Surely that doesn’t have a scent. Unless, of course, you’re at Taste Full Beans Coffeehouse in downtown Hickory during the month of February. Because it is then and there that the annual Aroma of Art benefit auction takes place, causing art to smell perhaps like kindness, or warmth, or at least really good coffee.

Aroma of Art is a month long auction of paintings, photography, jewelry, sculpture, etc. all created by over 100 local artists to benefit ALFA (AIDS Leadership Foothills Alliance) and the Catawba County Humane Society. Aroma of Art is also an opportunity for local poets to participate in an exercise known as Ekphrastic Poetry, which is simply the creation of a poem from the viewing of a work of art in a different discipline.

Writers are invited to submit poems based on the works on display in the Aroma of Art to me, Scott Owens, by noon on February 15. A jury of local poets will select as many as 20 poems to display with the pieces in the auction and to be presented to the winners of the corresponding art work during Aroma of Art’s Grand Finale on March 4 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM. Three poems will also be chosen to be read at the Grand Finale.

Poems should include the author’s name and the title and creator of the “inspiring” work of art. The phone number, and email address of the author should be on the back or on an attached sheet. Poems may be submitted at Taste Full Beans or by email to Selections will be made by the end of the day February 16.

More information on Aroma of Art can be found at or by calling 828-325-0108. Here is a poem based on Joe Young’s photograph “Time Goes By” (included in the auction) to serve as an example of ekphrastic poetry.


by Scott Owens
after Joe Young’s photograph Time Goes By

Time does go by
not to mention around,
through, in,
and eventually over.
Tortoise-like it plods on,
patiently waiting
for the moment we stop,
stand still too long.

Even masters of space,
speed, and distance
know of this inevitable
reclamation but remain
unprepared, unbelieving,
just the sort of thing
we think happens
only to other people.

Who, possessing
even a shred of such
power, could be anything
but incredulous,
each thing its own
Ozymandias, pride
half sunk, only
passion surviving.

1 comment:

  1. oh love how you brought Ozymandias in :) Look forward to seeing the art that inspired this!