New and Selected Works at Kranzberg Gallery, St. Louis, MO
July 31 - September 1, 2019
This is an exhibition catalog of a collaborative print exhibit with visual artist, Byron Sletten and Pulitzer Prize winning US Poet Laureate, Ted Kooser.
About the Exhibit:
This multi-media exhibition catalog documents a collection of print and poem “pairings” – incorporating Sletten’s print works paired with new and selected Ted Kooser poems. The catalog also includes several poems that have never been published.
It includes Harlan Rector (former voice of the History Channel) reading Kooser's poems as well as video discussions and audio observations about the work.
This collaboration reflects some common ideas about using familiar references to address human truths. It's accessible, approachable and yet as C. G. Jung would say, archetypal. Ted Kooser is known for his conversational style of poetry. Critic Dana Gioia, in his book Can Poetry Matter?, describes Kooser’s style as “drawn from common speech, with subject matter common to the Midwest.” Kooser’s early and contemporary work involves both troubles for Mid-westerners, and observations from everyday life.
This approach could describe Sletten's approach as well. His work also incorporates objects that are lifted out of everyday experience – they are part of a story that connects to larger issues in life and relationships.
A Little Background:
Byron Sletten has exhibited in over 40 national and international shows over the last 30 years. This work is created using 3D imaging software to create realistic renderings – duplicating the physics of light with computer calculations.
In 2005 Ted Kooser received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his book "Delights and Shadows.” He was named Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry by the Librarian of Congress to serve a term from October 2004 through May 2005. Then in 2005 was appointed to serve a second term as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry.
Both Sletten and Kooser lived in Lincoln Nebraska and graduated from the U of NE, and coincidentally also grew up in Ames, Iowa. Although they never crossed paths then, in 2018 they connected and found common creative interests.
(All works in exhibit are archival digital prints on paper, approximately 32” x 54”)