Hi all! This past Saturday (Sept. 26th), my dad and I ventured out to Fort Worth to attend the opening of Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam’s Art & Words Show. It was the fourth annual show and the third year that I have attended, so I decided that I wanted to share my experience with all of you.
I met Bonnie at Stonecoast. She graduated in July 2013, so we didn’t have much time to get to know each other very well, but she was the first fellow Texan I found in the program. When I learned about her Art & Words Show, I had to check it out. What is an Art & Words Show, you ask? Well, Bonnie takes submissions from both writers and visual artists (submissions usually open around March if you’re interested), then she chooses roughly 10 written pieces and an equal number of artworks. At that point, there’s a selection process where the writers choose a piece of art and the artists choose a story or poem, which they then have to interpret (authors write a story/poem based on the art and vice versa for the artists).
Where is the show held, you might be wondering. It’s held at Art on the Boulevard in Fort Worth on Camp Bowie Blvd (check the website for the full address). The show runs for about a week, so if you’re in the area and have some free time between now and Saturday (Oct. 3rd), check it out!
As someone who loves ekphrastic writing, this whole project intrigued me from the beginning. I haven’t had a piece featured yet, but I have submitted in the past and plan to submit next year. It’s like any other project writers submit to, there’s a good chance of rejection, but you have to try. I actually didn’t have anything to submit this past year, so I volunteered to work behind the scenes (yes, I was a slush reader). It actually gave me a little perspective on the whole rejection thing. Narrowing down the submissions (most of which were really good), not to mention picking just 10, is quite a task. If you ever get the chance to be a slush reader for anything, do it. It gives you a new appreciation for rejection.
Anyway, on opening night, Bonnie holds a small reception where she invites the writers to read. A lot of the local artists tend to show up as well. It’s a lovely experience. My only complaint is the lack of accessibility (there are no curb cuts or ramps near the place and there are steps between the nearest ramp and the shop), which I fully blame the city of Fort Worth for. For a place that’s commonly on top 10 lists for accommodations and accessibility, I expected more. Step up your game, Fort Worth! Aside from my issues with the location, the show itself is wonderful and I fully encourage both writers and visual artists to submit next year.
Until next time (which will finally be a food review)!