Savannah knows Jerome Meadows best as proprietor of Indigo Sky Community Art Gallery on Waters Avenue, and as a prodigous artist in his own right.
This year Meadows collaborates with the Telfair Museums’ PULSE Festival on “Blank Page Poetry,” closing out the festival at the Jepson Center and including a bevy of local artists/showpeople/raconteurs, including Connect’s own Jessica Leigh Lebos.
We caught up with Meadows last week to ask him about the show.
1. What can people expect to experience at the Blank Page show?
The idea of the blank page is literally a large sheet of paper suspended in the air. You’re looking at that rather than at a poet sitting or standing. You’re looking at the projected shadow of the poet standing behind the sheet of paper. So the shadow becomes a visual instigator — you’re able to dismiss the individual and deal more with that person’s energy. Simultaneously, key phrases are projected onto the sheet of paper. It’s a kinetic kind of thing. The final element is the electronic music, all done with a computer or keyboard, all electronically induced. Each poet determines whether the music will be ambient or be equal to their own volume level.
2. Where did you come up with this idea in the first place?
It’s an idea I’ve been percolating in my brain for a couple of years. I got interested in spoken word, but frankly sitting through them again and again, they all run together. I thought it might be time for something to be done that would bring a new twist to it, a new way of engaging. Being a visual artist myself, the idea was to come up with something more visually engaging to connect with.
3. How did the collaboration with PULSE come about?
For PULSE I typically try to collaborate with Harry (DeLorme, Telfair education director) to have something going on at Indigo Sky as part of PULSE, for community outreach. But since we launched the Blank Page series, we thought maybe if we do that as part of PULSE we could accommodate a crowd larger than I can accommodate at the gallery.
4. The Blank Page concept doesn’t seem very technologically oriented, though. What’s the tie–in to PULSE’s mission?
We did raise the question of high technology and how does this tie in. We came to the decision that it would be the last day of the festival, and our charge to the poets was to present work that speaks to the interplay between technological advancement and the human condition. It’s somewhat of a commentary on all the art/technology that people have been hopefully dazzled by! (Laughs)
5. PULSE usually relies on guest artists, but you’re using all local folks, is that right?
Yes, these are all local folks, and quite a range of local folks. We sort of bracket everyone with KidSyc on one end and Jane Fishman on the other. With a wide range in between! cs
PULSE: Blank Page Poetry
When: At 6 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 3
Where: Jepson Auditorium, 2 W. York St.