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Poetic images

A blending of photos and poetry is on display at MAFAC

November 3, 2012
By Cindy Votruba , Marshall Independent


Bringing together the work of poet Florence Chard Dacey and photographer Bill Van der Hagen was a good match for MAFAC.

Images in Photography and Poetry will be on display through Dec. 7 at the Marshall Area Fine Arts Council's arts center. A reception for Chard Dacey and Van der Hagen will be from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11.

Chard Dacey has published four collections of poems and has received Southwest Minnesota Arts and Humanities Council's Career and Legacy Artist grants and a Loft-McKnight award. Her work has also been in several literary journals and 15 anthologies.

Van der Hagen seriously started doing photography five years ago, with his specialty being in wildlife. Marshall has used some of Van der Hagen's work for different areas, and he has been part of various arts shows around the state. He recently teamed up with LifeWall in Marshall to offer his images online for canvas prints and wall murals.

"We were matched up by Becky (Wyffels, MAFAC exhibits coordinator)," Van der Hagen said.

The two met during the summer for a preliminary discussion about the exhibit. Chard Dacey said she knew a little about Van der Hagen's work through an exhibit at the Daily Grind and one put on by the Granite Falls Arts Council.

"I particularly like the ones from nature," she said, adding that the poetry she's written for the last decade has been about nature.

"The photos were actually driving it (the exhibit)," Chard Dacey added.

To bring the exhibit together, the two figured out what images and poetry would go together.

"A lot of it (the photos) was the natural world, so that fit really well," Chard Dacey said. So she would do a word search of her poetry to see what poem would work with a particular image of Van der Hagen's.

As the exhibit developed, Chard Dacey said it's been an interesting walk-through. She's come across poems about her mother and father, and most of the poems that are being used in the exhibit are not published yet.

"I hope the poems add another layer of imagery and emotion," she said.

Chard Dacey said she'd like the viewers to wonder about her connection to the imagery and also what they might write in working with Van der Hagen's images.

"It was interesting to see where I made these connectionsbecause imagery is a party of poetry," she said.

One such image is of a piano. Chard Dacey had written a poem about her mother. She had recalled how her mother encouraged her to play the piano, and that the memory poem was about how they used to play duets.

Van der Hagen said he's looking forward to seeing the exhibit.

"It was a shot in the dark, but I think it worked," he said.



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