Voice and Vision, 2020

Up for a challenge? Pick any work of art and, in 250 words or fewer, write a story inspired by the artwork.

Or, if you’re an artist, pick a short story and paint/sculpt/sew something inspired by the story.

This is the premise of Voice and Vision, an annual challenge to artists and writers in the Airdrie area. Here’s how it works.

In May, an equal number of artists and writers meet, each having brought an original piece (writers are limited to 250 words, the art work to 24″ x 24″ although it can be any medium). Writer and artist are randomly paired and then the fun begins. The writer must create a story in response to the artist’s work, and the artist must create a work of art in response to the writer’s story.

Voice and Vision is challenging – artist and writer are forced to venture outside their normal “boxes.” It creates new friendships and strengthens existing bonds. We laugh a lot, sometimes cry, and always stand in awe of what our sister/fellow artists and writers draw out of one another’s work.

This year, I was paired with Verone Solilo. We challenged, surprised and inspired each other with our creations. I will post our collective works in early October.

The public reveal of writing and artwork occurs on September 26 as part of Artember. This year, due to COVID, the Voice and Vision Gala will be live-streamed on the Airdrie Public Library’s Facebook page beginning at 7:00 pm MDT (1:00 am GMT). You’re welcome to tune in to hear and see the work of all the writers and artists. I hope you’ll join us that evening (or whatever time it is where you live).

My thanks to Airdrie Public Library, especially Pam Medland, Director of APL, for both encouraging and participating in this project, and Chantal Patton and Eric Pottie for setting up Zoom so this could happen in spite of COVID. Alberta Culture Days provided financial support of the V&V Gala.

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