Debra Wuliger’s art opening last night offered something for everyone: art, music, and poetry—enough of each but not so much as to wear one out.
The event took place in the fabulous entry hall at the Durham Arts Council, where Deb’s work will be on display through December. Though the footprint isn’t huge, the many windows and very high ceiling create a spacious feeling. Deb had six Coffee Talk 2013 paintings on easels, four on the main floor and two on the landing of the stairway that wraps the perimeter.
Throughout the evening Deb’s son Abram Wuliger played beatbox flute and Emily Smith played cello from the second floor—music floating down from the sky. Six poets read poems they had written especially for Deb’s art (Alice Osborn, Cherryl T. Cooley, Arthur Powers, A. Kat Reece, me, and Bianca Diaz). In between poems, the musicians played a short interlude. The audience appeared to enjoy the smooth, short, engaging performance (not to mention the nibbles). All in all, a fine evening!
The evening’s artists: Emily, Alice, Cherryl, Bianca, Debra, Abram, me, Kat, Arthur
Me, reading from the landing
As promised, here’s my poem that goes with Deb’s “When Peace Came I Showered Under Streaming Light.”
PEACE CAME | Karin S. Wiberg
She stands, body hitched to one side
as though her t-shirt covers a muscle pulled
from too many hours cutting in the ceiling
or feathering wet edges, rather than an incision stitched
too tight. The smears on her shirt do not remind her
of yellowing bruises or iodine stains.
Nor are they reminiscent of the indigo tattoos
saying Aim here, burn here, or of the blistered
crimson target. Her hands relax as though
they never gripped a handle for steadiness
during showers of streaming light, as though they
only ever held a paint brush or roller.
She nods as though her scarf hides nothing.
She smiles as though her eyes do not reflect
her covert journey, the dove sent out three times.
She remembers reading that, unlike most birds,
doves secrete a sort of milk to feed their young, and,
unlike humans, they don’t require breasts to do it.
Me, with Debra Wuliger’s “When Peace Came I Showered Under Streaming Light”
P.S. Do you see the dove? Deb didn’t even realize she had painted it!