With a theme of “Portals,” the artistic event features an interdisciplinary collaboration between photographers with a developmental disability and 10 nationally acclaimed Michigan poets. Through this project, renowned poets chose a photo taken by a MORC artist that inspired him or her and wrote a poem based on the photo, in effect giving a voice to the work. The resulting exhibition consists of 30 combined pieces featuring a photograph alongside the poem it inspired, creating an innovative artistic experience.
“The combined works are amazing,” says Patty Sunisloe, Project Development Director at MORC. “To be able to collaborate with professional poets and have the general public be able to see and appreciate this work on a large scale is a dream come true for many of the individuals in our program.”
“My experience was extremely positive,” says S. Kay Young, a local photographer MORC hired to teach the photography classes. “We need to find ways to continue to not only support artists with disabilities, but to integrate their work into the formal art world. This first of its kind exhibition is a great step towards that goal.”
Suzanne Scarfone, a well published, local poet who serves as a creative writing professor with the Afghan Women’s Writing Project as well as a writer-in-residence with InsideOut Literary Arts Project in Detroit, coordinated the poetry aspect of the project.
“As Poetry Editor, I chose poets who were keenly attuned to the nuances of sensory images," she says. "Each poet worked to give exquisite voice to the beauties of the MORC photographers’ visions and to do justice to their artistic sensibilities. This experience has deepened the creative perspectives of all involved,” said Scarfone.
Other Michigan poets participating include: Alise Alousi, Scott Beal, Norene Cashen, Robert Fanning, Rachel Harkai, Zilka Joseph, Peter Markus, John Rybicki, Kristine Uyeda and Anca Vlasopolos.
The event is open to the public. Cost is $10 per person, payable at the door. Proceeds will benefit art programs for individuals with developmental disabilities. For more information, call 586-265-4627.