Poetry sought for public art sculptures 

Words will inspire on themes of togetherness and listening

click to enlarge Fine chime rhymes Poet Mary McDonald, sculptor and creator of the concept Joan Baron, and poet Pam Barnsley at the Poet’s Pause chimes on Alta Lake.
  • Fine chime rhymes Poet Mary McDonald, sculptor and creator of the concept Joan Baron, and poet Pam Barnsley at the Poet’s Pause chimes on Alta Lake.

Write words to win the hearts and minds

And they may appear beside the chimes.

But don’t delay. You must not wait.

You have only until Jan. 28.

That will be the last day submissions will be accepted for the poems that appear at the site of two public art exhibits collectively known as Poet’s Pause.

This will be second year poems will appear at the Alta Lake Park site of the sculptures: one a giant-sized set of Adirondack chairs and the other a set of colossal chimes.

Both were created by long-time local artist Joan Baron, whose hope is that they will draw in all visitors to the park and give them a reason to stop and wonder at their surroundings.

And while the art may have done that alone, said Baron, the idea of adding a poem captures the busy visitor, creating a moment of stillness in a hectic life.

“…The poetry makes it that much more insightful so then people know that it is not just a toy,” said Baron.

“There is emotion that the artist, myself, is trying to emote by having you pause just a moment longer to really enjoy the space that we have here. It makes that complete circle.”

Baron, who is part of the Public Art Committee, won the contest in 2007 to place three-dimensional art in the valley as part of the Neighbourhood Valley Trail Public Art Series.

Her art is carried at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler’s Mountain Galleries.

Two sites with spectacular surroundings were chosen in the Lakeside area. But as part of her art Baron also wanted a poem to be displayed, likely on an annual basis to celebrate writers and provoke thought.

The poems at the giant chair site are themed “togetherness” while those at the chimes must have a “listening” theme.

Everyone is invited to enter the contest, which is usually judged by three residents with a literary history.

Poems are given to the judges anonymously at first.

“It is not a judgment call on whether or not it is pure traditional poetry,” said Baron.

“I think it is just the creativity and how much it moves the jury. You don’t have to be a professional writer to participate in this. Anyone can participate.

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