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Verbal vision: Interactive exhibit features poetry that reflects spirit of Taos area

Marshall James Kavanaugh wanted to create a space that was inclusive to all through the poetry art form.

What he created is “A Poem Is Where the Heart Is” exhibit. The interactive exhibit will have its final event at Parse Seco in Arroyo Seco on Saturday, May 12.

During the month, Kavanaugh says, there were several poetry readings featuring some tremendous voices that reflect the region, collaborations with the Dreamtree Project, a shelter for disenfranchised youths, and the fourth- and fifth-grade poetry team at Taos Integrated School for the Arts.

He says the center of it all is an army of typewriters available for anyone to use to type poems to add to the exquisite corpse.

“My favorite piece is the dueling typewriters set up at the center of the room that feed off an endless scroll with the instruction ‘Type Your Favorite Poem,’ which is then typed on both sides of the page,” he says. “It took about a month for all of the program to come together. Most of the installation was in the form of typewriters. I was the facilitator on that.”

Kavanaugh’s move to New Mexico happened by accident. He was exploring the Southwest on a trip and fell in love with New Mexico – especially the Taos area.

“It is like being on a different planet,” he says of the scenery. “From the pueblos to the sky, it all enchanted me. I’ve been here for a few years, and it’s my home and community. The exhibit is a way of expanding on that.”

Kavanaugh says that on Saturday, May 12, the gallery will open with an installation that showcases the diverse range of voices found in the Taos area.

He says that through spoken word, music, movement and film, audience members will find themselves connected to a community so elevated in its heart.

There will also be new additions to the installation, including a 4-D soundscape made of the typewritten orchestra that already exists in analog.

“The space will come to life with all new modes of poetic vision,” he says. “It’s been a dream to see everything come together for this exhibit.”

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