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About Visions Verses Voices


An immersive exhibition of oil paintings and audio installation 
Visions Verses Voices  was on view at the The Delaplaine Arts Center in Frederick, Maryland from
December 7 – 29, 2019 


Visions Verses Voices 
is an immersive exhibition of paintings accompanied by the reading of verses softly projected from continuous loop speakers.
The immersive experience encourages an internalization of the poem while viewing the painting.
The readings and their introductory soundscapes
allows the percipient to experience the voices of the readers, their unique tempos, cadences, rhythms, which can challenge the participant to see relationships and dissonance between the visual and the verse.

This website is modified from the Delaplaine exhibition, now including, “Leda and the Angry Swan” and its responsive poem by Maj Ragain.

Below is Jessica Damen’s original introduction to the exhibition.





Jessica Damen’s introduction to Visions Verses Voices


Welcome, to this room filled with oil paintings and the many voices reciting verses.  Hello, I am Jessica Damen, the painter, whose artworks you see around you. Most of the paintings you see here were inspired by verses penned by Tim Joyce, Janet Lewis, Wilfred Owen, and my long time poet collaborator and friend, Maj Ragain.  There are a few Maj Ragain poems written responsively, that is, after he saw my artwork. I consider all of these paintings and poems to be like companions strolling along a path, each is distinct in their built and personality, sometimes they share sights and insights and at other times, they diverge and re-interpret a thought, a mood, a story and a vision.  I bring my personal life into my emotive, expressionistic, and color filled responses. The artworks never illustrate but do illuminate an idiosyncratic vision. I encourage you not to be concerned about hearing every word. Instead stand a few feet away from the paintings and listen. Experience the different voices of the many readers, who brought to their recitations, their own uniqueness.  Poetry read and recited comes alive with an individual’s phrasing and pitch. And so, even though the words are the same, the individuality of the reader comes into play. Paintings seen and studied can open a world of intellectual and emotional possibilities. The interplay of verses and visions makes for fertile ground enriching and renewing the sister arts of poetry and painting. At some point open and read the poems on the exhibition’s website. Then look again at the paintings. What more do you see and feel?










© Jessica Damen, all rights reserved