Art Gallery of Hamilton teams up with local poets for truly unique exhibition


Published June 4, 2021 at 10:15 am

The Art Gallery of Hamilton has announced the opening this weekend of an exciting and truly original virtual exhibit that features some of the city’s brightest young poets.

‘Breaking the Vault: Art and Poetic Liberty’ opens on Saturday (June 5) and is “an exploration and dynamic response to the AGH permanent collection by nine young, highly creative and energized Hamilton-based poets,” an AGH press release said.

The exhibition is offered virtually through various channels including a virtual tour, a zoom talk with the poets, and a series of social media engagements.

The poets are part of Hamilton Youth Poets (HYP), a community-based arts organization that annually hosts a spoken word festival, Poetic License, which inspired the new exhibition.

“These nine young minds blew us away. From day one they were on fire,” said Tobi Bruce, Director, Exhibitions, and Collections & Senior Curator at the AGH, in the release.

“We honestly couldn’t have imagined a more fulfilling experience from our side of the project – it has energized and refocused the AGH in foundational ways. We are profoundly grateful to our poet friends for this gift of an exhibition.”

According to the release, when Poetic License moved online for its 2020 event, AGH collaborated with the group and ultimately HYP members created a short film that featured a tour of the gallery’s vault.

“The experience proved the huge potential and importance in offering deeper sustained access to the AGH permanent collection,” the release said.

“This unique exhibition project started with each poet choosing works to spark a personal and creative response, and together, they built an exhibition that allows both art and word to share space equally.”

‘Breaking the Vault: Art and Poetic Liberty’ runs until August 8. Tickets and more information can be found on the AGH website.

A free live online chat with some of the poets is also being hosted next Thursday (June 10) from 7 to 8 p.m. Participants are asked to register ahead of time.

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