Grand Impromptu Gallery launches juried poetry contest

This month Grand Impromptu Gallery is adding a new twist to the usual art show. In conjunction with the Oct. 2 opening of its new exhibit based on the theme "Around the Corner," the co-op gallery's artist/owners are sponsoring a poetry contest where anyone is invited to craft a poem of 50 lines or less in response to any work of art showing in the gallery throughout October.

Trinda Love is the featured artist in the new exhibit that includes paintings, photographs, drawing and prints, mixed media pieces and sculpture by gallery members Betty Ragan, Dorothy McCuistion, LeeAnn Seaburg Perry, Faith Hagenhofer, Becky Frehse, Bill Colby, Peter Serko and Bea Geller. An opening night party to which the public is invited will be held 5-8 p.m. Oct. 3 to unveil the new exhibit.

Love came up with the idea for a poetry contest as a way to bring in a different form of art to the gallery by giving art lovers the opportunity to respond to the artists' response to life as they have done in "Around the Corner."

"'Around the Corner' is such a huge metaphor for life," Love said. "It has all these nuances, and that's why I wanted poetry. I wanted the stories to be told, and poetry inspired by art is to me so powerful."

She noted Modest Mussorgsky's classic piano suite "Pictures At An Exhibition" as an example of art inspiring art. The composer was motivated by the works of artist and architect Viktor Hartmann.

Titled "An Ekphrastic Poetry Juried Contest," the poetry competition will be juried by award-winning author Philip Heldrich, an associate professor at University of Washington-Tacoma. Multiple cash awards will be given, with a guaranteed minimum first prize award of $100.

Even though the contest officially begins Oct. 2, one entry has already been submitted: "Gravel," by Robert Geller (see sidebar).

Grand Impromptu Gallery's normal operating hours are Thursdays and Fridays 4-9 p.m., Saturdays 2-9 p.m. and Sundays 2-6 p.m. Special open hours have been added to allow additional access to the artwork, Oct. 2 and 10 from noon-4 p.m.

The top 15 finalists will be asked to read their work at a gallery reception Oct. 25, 4-5:30 p.m., which will be videotaped for web streaming and to produce a DVD that will be for sale at the gallery. Selected poems may be chosen for a publication commemorating the event.

After Oct. 20, the finalists' poems and the artists' works that inspired them will be posted on the gallery's website at

Anytime between Oct. 2 and 12, those who wish to enter the poetry contest can pick up the prospectus, pay the $5 entry fee (additional poems $1 each with a limit of three poems total), and register at the gallery (608 S. Fawcett Ave.) or online at the gallery's website. All entries must be submitted to the gallery by midnight Oct. 12 either through drop-off (use mail slot if gallery closed) or e-mailed in Word document format to

For more information, visit the gallery's website or contact Love at (253) 539-1551 or e-mail her at


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