|Photo by Stephen Whitehouse - www.starrwhitehouse.com|
The show featured works by Ross Bonfanti and Phil Shaw. Bonfanti's pieces were all "cuddly toys" made out of cement, realistic and tempting-to-touch, but solid and harsh in reality. Shaw's works are similarly hyper-real and surprising: digital prints of books lined up in meaningful ways on shelves. Really fantastic stuff and definitely worth a visit if you're in the area.
Because it was an opening reception, it was no normal reading. On top of the great poetry we heard, Ben Holmes and The And Group played some incredible music to open up both parts of the two-part reading, and Phil Shaw was on hand to discuss his work and his experiences as an artist, which was fascinating. To keep things lively, Works & Days also arranged for two amazing cocktails by Ashley Suzan Beck and Eric Wines.
The readings themselves were also fantastic. Elvis Alves, Anne Whitehouse, Jim Warner and Eric Bland all brought down the house with their verse. I, unfortunately, was suffering from a really rough sore throat, and after a week of back-to-back holiday parties, had completely lost my voice. Luckily, my partner, Roger, was able to sub in for me, and it was an incredible experience to hear my work read aloud to an audience by someone who wasn't me. (I'm doing much better now, but I was surprised that it took almost another week for my voice to get back to normal.) The pieces by Elvis, Anne, Jim, and Eric were really wide-ranging, but all of them had an incredibly strong voice in common. I was honored to be a part of their group.
Overall, it was a wonderful evening, even if I wasn't 100% able to participate as I'd hoped. Thanks so much to Luke, Cara, and Sarah for putting the event together and for inviting me to be a part of it!