Smoketown Poetry Opera Installation

The Steam Exchange and visiting NYC artist Patrick Rowe, engaged the local community in an art project related to the Smoketown Poetry Opera that was unveiled the night of the show. The piece was facilitated by Patrick and the Steam Exchange and designed and created by the Smoketown community.

Participants of the poetry opera were asked to select passages from their poems that they felt were especially meaningful and powerful. The Steam Exchange then asked over 50 community members (predominantly youth) to draw or write responses to these lines of poetry. Their drawings were then condensed and assembled into 6 simplified posters composed of text and image.

These posters were screen printed on large (22″x26″) pieces of felt which were strung up on a clothesline and displayed at the Poetry Opera. Smaller versions of the posters were available at the poetry opera for anyone to screen print! This way anyone who wanted could take a copy home with them.

The Steam Exchange is excited towork collaboratively with the Smoketown community to create public worksof art that facilitate sharing, storytelling, and community building. Throughthe process of creating, we aim to support dialogue, empower youth inleadership roles, provide opportunities for people to both learn new skills andput existing skills to action.

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