In 2007, representatives from the Denton Poets Assembly (DPA) and VAST met and formed a committee to create a collaboration of the works of Poets and Artists. The idea was to combine an artist’s reaction to a specific poem with strong visual imagery, or a poet’s reaction to a strong visual image with writing a poem. The result would be a pairing of art and poem displayed together in an exhibit of pairings. The initial exhibit was held in 2007 within the Denton Public Libraries, who sponsored the event along with DPA and VAST.
Over the years the exhibit grew in both size and popularity, and in 2019 was held for three months over the summer at the Patterson Appleton Arts Center of Greater Denton Arts Council; the council became an additional sponsor of the exhibit. In 2014, a “People’s Choice Award” was set up for the PAAC-GDAC to choose their favorite pairings, and the winners were announced at the end of the exhibit.
Since works of poetry “seen in public” are considered the same as “published poetry,” the Merging Visions Committee applied for and received grants from Denton Benefit League and donations from other sponsors to publish a catalog of the paired art and poetry for the first time in 2011. Thereafter catalogs were published each year up to 2020.
Due to the pandemic in 2020, Merging Visions, was hung in early August for limited exhibition at the PAAC-GDAC. The exhibit also for the first time went “virtual.” Links to view this 2020 exhibit are below. The year 2020 marks the end of the formal committee collaboration between DPA and VAST as co-sponsors of Merging Visions; DPA will take the exhibit forward into the future on its own. Over the years the exhibit created many interesting combinations of art and poetry, and many friendships between artists and poets as well.