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Art and poetry

Artists of every stripe enjoy creative outlets at Linden Ponds

Created date

November 30th, 2015

Linden Ponds poet Renée Summers reads a poem

Linden Ponds is home to many talented artists, from painters and sculptors to jewelry makers and poets. The Erickson Living community in Hingham, Mass., even has a dedicated gallery space where residents and outside artists display their work. The resident-run Linden Ponds Artist Council organizes shows in the gallery that rotate about once a month.

Over the summer, a subcommittee of the Artist Council headed by resident Jan Conover put together a unique show that paired artists with residents who wrote poems to accompany each piece of artwork. Jan, along with neighbors Renée Summers and Ann Marcus, commissioned artwork from their neighbors. Jan says 52 artists displayed nearly 100 pieces in the show.

“We invited anyone on campus, both residents and staff, to show art in the summer show, and they could do two pieces each,” Jan says. “We had sculpture, watercolor, wood carving, and jewelry.”

Adding a new twist

The idea to add a poetry component to the show came from Renée, who writes poetry and had participated in a similar style of show at the Plymouth Center for the Arts.

“We asked people to sign up, and they would come and see the art and choose a piece and write a poem to go with it,” Jan says. “We got 18 people to do that, and some people wrote a poem to go with their own art. There are some people who do poetry all the time, and some people who hadn’t done it before and decided to try it.”

With the help of the Linden Ponds staff, the Artist Council hosted a wine and cheese reception at which the resident poets read the poems they had written to accompany their neighbors’ art. Jan says about 100 people attended, making it the biggest reception the Artist Council has ever had. 

“I was so familiar with these poems because I typed them out and hung them on the wall in the gallery,” Jan says. “I had half-memorized a lot of poems, but it was so touching to hear each poet read it themselves.”

The poems and the artwork complemented one another, Jan says. At the reception, each piece of art was displayed on a screen while the poem about it was being read. It was a gratifying experience for the artists to hear the poems that had been written about their works of art.

“When you read the poem, it was nice, but when you saw it with art, it was even better,” Jan says. “Some of the artists and poets met for the first time at the reading.”

Opportunities for all skill levels

Even novice artists find opportunities to explore a variety of mediums at