Arts Council to hold first ever ekphrastic exhibit in Owego

Arts Council to hold first ever ekphrastic exhibit in Owego

What the Wind Taught Me: An Exhibit of Visual Art and Poetry in Conversation will open on Friday, March 4, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Tioga Arts Council’s (TAC) Gallery, located at 179 Front St. in Owego.

Ekphrastic poetry describes visual art; it’s a practice in Western culture at least as old as Homer’s description of Achilles’ shield in the Iliad. The dialogue between visual artists and poets has led to some of our greatest art.

In the tradition of ekphrasis, TAC assembled artwork created in and around Tioga County, and paired it with poetic responses to that work for its first ekphrastic exhibit in March 2021. 

In a press release, the Arts Council Director, Christina Di Stefano wrote, “This year we did the reverse. Participating artists were provided a poem and asked to create an original artwork based on that poem.”

The artists represented are from the southern tier of New York. Several poets are local – from Owego, Binghamton, and Ithaca. Others come from across the nation including Washington D.C., Virginia, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Maine. 

Richard Blanco, who President Barack Obama selected in 2012 to serve as the fifth presidential inaugural poet in U.S. history, generously granted TAC permission to include his poem, “Cloud Anthem,” in this show. 

“Each artist approached the poem they engaged from a different angle. There are 16 artists and 16 poets featured in this exhibition,” wrote Di Stefano, in the release. 

In the youth gallery, artwork inspired by lines of poetry from the show and created by children from The Discovery Center of the Southern Tier will be on display.

The exhibition will open during Owego’s First Friday event, which runs on March 4 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. All visitors are required to wear masks and observe social distancing while in the gallery. 

After the opening, the exhibition will run from March 5 – 26, 2022, Wednesday through Saturday, from noon to 4 p.m. in Owego. More information is also available at and on social media. A Panel Discussion of Participants is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, March 16, at 6:00 p.m.

This is the first exhibition to kick off TAC’s 50th Anniversary Year. All are invited to stop in and support them during their “golden year”.

For more information, you can email to Christina Di Stefano, executive director, at

The Poetry Foundation, as well as an anonymous donor, sponsored the March 2022 exhibition.

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