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Poet’s writing gets painted tribute

Sometimes a poet creates a piece she thinks is no larger than a pebble until it picks up momentum and gains a life of its own.

Local poet Sandra Mooney-Ellerbeck was caught off guard when her poem Imprints won tickets to An Evening With Dr. Maya Angelou last October at the Winspear.

“I wrote while walking by Lacombe Park before the developments were built. It was about being connected with nature and realizing the imprint the Earth leaves on us just as we leave an imprint on it,” says Mooney-Ellerbeck.

But her joy jumped a few notches when Peg McPherson, past president of the St. Albert Painters Guild was prompted to create a painting honouring the poem.

“It’s really magical. We call it magic realism,” explains Mooney-Ellerbeck. “That’s what happens when poetry and visual art mix. Peg said that images were very strong. The judges said it too, and they resonate with other people.”

McPherson encouraged other visual artists to pick up the challenge of painting a canvas using Imprints as the inspiration. Several artists hopped on board including Pat Trudeau, Samantha Williams-Chapelsky, Father Douglas and Barbara Mitchell.

“I’m interested in how each artist takes the poem and comes out with a different interpretation. It’s exciting. It’s art that continues to grow and express. It’s amazing how one creation from a poet becomes a multi-creation and the viewer comes in and continues to be inspired.”

The visual artistry will displayed during StArts Fest during Poetry on Perron, a poetry and art collaboration on Saturday, Sept. 28 at The Art Gallery of St. Albert.

Other visual artists interesting in creating a new work from Imprints are invited to submit. Art pieces should be dropped off at The Art Gallery of St. Albert by Wednesday, Sept. 25.

To view Imprints go online to the VASA blog at www.vasa.ca/blog. For additional information email s_mooney_ellerbeck@hotmail.com.

Organizers also searching for more poets to enlist their spoken word talents for this event. All styles are welcome from haiku, traditional rhyming and free verse to lyrical, ballad and limerick. Sign up at www.StArtsfest.ca.

A second StArts Fest spoken word event that continues to eclipse itself each year is Prose on Perron – Story Slam St. Albert Style. It’s part of the worldwide story slam craze and St. Albert hosts its own form.

“It’s exciting to hear somebody read a story out loud. It brings the story alive. There’s energy and the audience picks their favourite, and it’s generally a lot of fun.”

Competitors usually read and act out a fast-paced story under five minutes.

“You want to be expressive. You want to have good timing. The big thing is to engage the audience, and a good story always finds a place in the hearts of people.”

To sign up as a storyteller visit www.StArtsfest.ca.

Anna Borowiecki: Anna Borowiecki joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2000. She reports on local people and events in the arts, entertainment and food industry. She also writes general news and features.