POAC: What is art in the digital age?

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(Courtesy photo) Three pairs of artists participated in a unique digital conversation that will leave you speechless. “Talking Pictures” reception will be held at Evans Brothers Coffee Roasters on Friday, Sept. 14 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and is brought to the community by Pend Oreille Arts Council. Participating artists are pictured here. In the back row from left, Barry Burgess, Susan Kirkpatrick, Bala Bishop; front row from left, Suzanne Jewell and Eli Sevenich. Lisa Turner not pictured.

“What is actual art?” This question comes up as the proliferation of images on cellphones and other digital media envelops us in an ever-expanding and mind-numbing swirl of visuals. Exchanging images has become a mundane part of our everyday world, something we do just to stay in touch with family and friends. Can these exchanges also serve artistic creation, producing striking and meaningful interactions among images? What would happen if two artists used cellphone photos to engage in a visual dialogue?

Last summer the Metropolitan Museum of Art decided to convey just such a visual dialog in an exhibit titled “Talking Pictures: Camera-Phone Conversations Between Artists.” Pend Oreille Arts Council mirrored that project by pairing six local artists and now invites the public to view the outcome on Friday, Sept. 14 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Evans Brothers Coffee Roasters.

POAC asked three local artists to invite another artist to communicate through cellphone images. The resulting three pairs of artists, working in photography, painting, illustration or multimedia, sent images via cellphone to each other, one image responding to another, thus creating a dialogue. These visual dialogues offer insights about how the kind of digital exchange we engage in every day can stimulate artistic creativity. Each dialogue has been turned into a wall display, using visuals instead of words. The only verbal hints about the exchanges are provided by the titles of image pairs.

Evans Brothers is honoring POAC as the non-profit of the month for all of September. On the day of the reception, 10 percent of Evans Brothers sales will be donated to POAC. Please come see this unique exhibit. The display will continue through October 15.

For more information about POAC and upcoming events go to artinsandpoint.org, stop by the office on the second floor of the Cedar Street Bridge or call the office at 208-263-6139.

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