Poetry Mobile keeps Museum on a roll
Sentinel & Enterprise Staff
A few of the local students that helped with The Revolving Museum ‘Poetry Mobile’ are: (from left) Joshua Vasquez, Samara Babineau-Patel, Alisha Bate, Sarah Peterson, Lynn Noguera, Ashton Laforce, Sonia Sanchez, Jamal Laracuente, and Krisztina Murphy. (Submitted Photo)
FITCHBURG — Conceived by city artist and Revolving Museum Founder Jerry Beck, the Poetry Mobile is a collaborative public art project featuring poetry created by well-known and local poets, artists, and over 150 students from the high school, Sizer School and the Longsjo Middle School.
The innovative Poetry Mobile will feature a creatively transformed 1952 Ford pick-up truck and an 18-foot trailer outfitted with interactive components, video projection units, sound equipment, solar lighting, and a museum shop-cart of merchandise.
“The Poetry Mobile is an inspiring way to celebrate our 35 years of making space for art and the community. This project will be super fun and thought provoking,” said Beck.”
The project will travel throughout New England from June to November making planned and spontaneous stops at festivals, parks, museums, shopping malls, downtown Main Streets, and many under-utilized public spaces.
“We even have some basketball hoops with poems about shooting for higher goals. In addition, several high school students will be serve as Poetry Mobile Ambassadors taking the public on tours, leading poetry-making workshops, and organizing poetry readings and performances,” said Beck.
The Public Art Poetry Mobile & Gallery is another example of Beck’s artistic outreach that has motivated tremendous inspirational input from a diverse population,” the mayor said.
Its first public artwork, “The Little Train That Could…Show,” transformed 12 abandoned railroad cars in Boston’s Fort Point Channel.
“Genius sees in the everyday what most of us don’t. Genius perceives relationship and potential in unexpected fresh combination to birth great art, science, and humor. The Revolving Museum’s “Poetry Mobile,” will inspire everyone to sit, to smile, laugh, and think,” said Rebecca Hoffberger, founder/director of the American Visionary Art Museum.
“Poetry is a kind of active meditation, a way of looking at the inner and outer worlds (almost) simultaneously. It is an alternative to a life of constant distraction. This project will wake people up to the power of poetry and offer them an opportunity to write their own,” said participating poet and Pulitzer Prize winner Rae Armantrout.
Since then, the nomadic collaborative public art has revitalized dozens of unusual, unused and abandoned urban spaces with community-building public art. To expand its outreach into many neighborhoods and under-served communities, the museum began renovating vehicles of travel including six airline baggage cars, vintage ice cream truck, housekeeping pushcarts, bookmobile, boats, school buses, and bikes.
“Poetry speaks in individual voices to universal human experience, and never has there been a time when we have more clearly needed to hear and feel what this artful and heartfelt language can carry for us. Beck’s Poetry Mobile is an ambitious and fun way to bring a wide variety of poetry to just as wide a variety of people. Its like the Good Humor truck for our millennium,” said New Hampshire Poet Laureate Alice B. Fogel who contributed several poems to the project.
Last year, The Revolving Museum go worldwide attention for building the World’s Largest Paper Airplane involving the participation of over 5,000 people.
This project also celebrates Revolving Museum’s 35th birthday.
“This poetry project brings the powerful voice of high school and middle school students to the public. Our poetry speaks from the heart. We tell the truth about our political opinions, the need for equality, social justice, healing, and love. We believe we can change the world for the better,” said High School senior Anahi Cordero, and a Revolving Museum board member.