• zach houston: poemstore

Bloch Building, Project Space L8

June 25, 2011— July 31, 2011



On Friday, July 1, Zach took his poemstore on the road to the Blue Gallery in the Crossroads for First Friday, where he took inspiration from visitors to write poems on his manual typewriter.






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Artist/poet Zach Houston’s free verse poetry is spontaneous and immediate. His fingers rapidly peck out typewritten words. Once impressed upon the paper, there is no going back. No deleting. No starting over. Typos and misspelled words become game changers, taking the poem in unforeseen directions. In a matter of minutes, the person who provided the single word of inspiration holds a finished poem.

Houston’s art/poetry/performance work also addresses the relationship between art and commerce. It takes place outside supermarkets, on street corners, at art fairs, farmer’s markets and commercial galleries.

At the Nelson-Atkins, Houston will work in the Project Space and in other galleries throughout the Museum. In each setting, there is an assumption: he will create a poem in exchange for a donation. By not establishing a fixed price, he asks the customer/viewer/reader to consider the value of an original work of art. Each must decide: How much is a poem worth?

This same improvisational spirit guides Houston’s drawings. Lines meander and intersect. Images appear. Words and diagrammatic marks map the artist’s mind, offering insight, wonder and cultural critique. During the course of this exhibition, the Project Space will become a dynamic collage of words and images.


This exhibition is supported by the Campbell-Calvin Fund and Elizabeth C. Bonner Charitable Trust for exhibitions and the Rheta A. Sosland Fund.



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