Sunday, August 1, 2010

Cincinnati's Full Art Spectrum Jazz Collaborative

An Ohio artist named Roy Jones has been running the Full Art Spectrum for some time, but I was only recently able to finally make it.  Essentially, FAS is a meeting of artists of all disciplines: visual, written, and performance.  I've never been to anything quite like it.

The artists stand in front of the crowd, present their work, whatever that entails, and give an extremely brief explanation if they feel that the piece needs it.  So a photographer has their photo on an easel, or I will stand in front of everyone and read.  Then, rather than critique, or just clap, the audience asks questions or make comments on the work.  It becomes a discussion, something like an interactive gallery.

Yesterday was a special event for Full Art Spectrum: a show of collaborative works based on the sort of dialogue and interplay that jazz is so well known for.  Pieces hung which were the work of groups of three different artists who traded partially completed canvases and spun it their own way (a visual riff, I suppose).  It was kind of awesome, especially to someone with little to no visual artistry in his blood.

 The second sort of art that was on display was interdisciplinary.  Poets worked with visual artists in some way.  In my case, I worked with a painter named Anna Willoughby; I wrote a poem based in some small part on a discussion we had beforehand, and she painted it.

Here is the poem and Anna's fantastic painting, which frankly, I did a shitty job capturing with my point-and-shoot camera:

-based on a true story

I lost my place in conversation,
but nobody seemed to sense
the loss.  Their crowded chests
were encroached with belief.
I lifted hot and light as a balloon,
bit my tongue desperately, tried to
save face, but I watched my-
self drift away into the upward
sea, and I held my friends, my-
self mute, righted my family.

I actually performed the piece as well, and recorded it, but it's not the greatest sound quality, so instead, I will upload the only marginally better second poem that I read.  I was accompanied by the jazz band that played throughout the night (the only member of the band whose name I recall is Liz Wu).   And while I'm thinking about it, why are poetry readings done in any place that has something that needs to grind in order to operate?


  1. wow! this event seems awesome! you seem to be good at coming up with pieces on the spot like that.

  2. I am so glad you had a good time. Our next public event will be announced soon (probably Monday) as we're hammering out the details but our next regular meeting is Sat, Aug 21st at the Speckled Bird.

    I included the link to the Facebook group. We're also on\The-Full-Art-Spectrum .

    Sorry, had to turn this into an advertisement sorta. : )

  3. I wonder if they have something like this in DC. Nice.

  4. JayTee thanks!

    Evelyn, they must!

  5. "Who are you fooling Jimi/
    you're playing with yourself/
    not the band"

    What a dynamic opening. I laughed b/c it so fits Jimi's personality.

    You rolled right along with the bass and xylophone that kicked in.

    You three had a sort of synergy.

    You rock!

    I wish I could do that so well.

    By the way my fave is Band of Gypsys. I also want to pick up Neptune Valley. What's your favorite album?