Ceramic artist Ruth Weston and poet Jeanne Simonoff met at ViVO Contemporary in February to talk about their pairing in the gallery’s exhibit “Giving Voice to Image 6,” an annual show that opens on March 14 and showcases 2D and 3D work by gallery artists and original poems by local poets that have been inspired by these artworks.
“Jeanne looked at my work and chose Dreamer 2, which is part of a series of winged figures representing the illegal immigrants living in New Mexico,” explains Weston.
“To me, the wings represent the hope and dreams of the young immigrants to find a life in the United Sates away from the terrors of their first country.”
While Simonoff enjoyed Dreamer 2’s feminine form, she also identified with the plight of immigrants. Simonoff’s grandfather experienced harsh treatment in Russia and emigrated with his wife and four small children to the U.S.
“Our first conversation was inspirational, walking and talking as we walked through the gallery, the main floor and the downstairs where I saw Dreamer 2,” Simonoff recalls of her first time looking at Weston’s work. “I came away with many notes, and yet I wanted to spend an hour or two with Ruth in her studio.”
All 11 of ViVO’s visual artists and 11 local poets worked closely together to create work especially for the show.
Landscape painter Gary Oakley was paired with Santa Fe Poet Laureate Valerie Martinez. Figurative painter Warren Keating collaborated with Miriam Sagan, who directs the creative writing program at Santa Fe Community College. The work of abstract photographer Siddho inspired a poem by Basia Miller, who was a faculty member at St. John’s College from 1988 through 2008.
Two poetry readings are scheduled during the duration of the show. The first takes place on March 30, while the second one is set for April 20.