Photos, Poetry, Jazz Will Make Beautiful Music Together

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Photos, Poetry, Jazz Will Make Beautiful Music Together

The Tampa Tribune

Published: October 15, 2008

TAMPA - A poet, a photographer and two musicians have partnered for an exhibit that gives creative nuance to Florida's vegetative beauties.

Called "In Late Day Sun," the project features an exhibit of mixed-media and photographic works by nationally known artist Lori Ballard and readings of original poems by Gianna Russo. Jazz musicians Sam Koppleman and Pamela Hill Epps will perform music composed for the event.

It's a circle of celebration: the poems emphasize the photographs and the music calls attention to both.

What were the seeds for the collaboration? Ballard and Russo's friendship and a day spent in Russo's backyard.

"She loves plants and herbs and nature," Ballard said. "She has this incredible garden. Her whole backyard is not a yard; it's like this winding herb and flower garden."

Ballard shot a photo to go with Russo's poem "Hibiscus," and Russo wrote poems to go with Ballard's images.

"That's called ekphrasic poetry," Ballard said. It's a rhetorical device in which the art inspires the poem and the poem highlights the art.

All the photos were taken locally, she said, in "Lowry Park, my neighbor's yard, Bok Tower. It's all Florida plant life. Some of them are weeds, honestly, but lovely weeds."

The pair also self-published a book of the photographs and poems; copies can be purchased from the artists.

More collaborative shows are planned.

"Once we get through these events, hopefully we'll do some presentations for garden venues or parks," Ballard said.

The exhibit opens with a reception from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday at Tre Amici @ the Bunker, 1907 N. 19th St. Admission is free; food and drinks will be available for purchase. The exhibit continues through Nov. 28.

At 6 p.m. Oct. 23, Ballard will give a slide presentation of her works and Russo will read poems at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, 200 N. Tampa St., Suite 130. The event is free for museum members and $4 for nonmembers.

For information, contact Ballard at Lori@LoriB or Tre Amici at (813) 247-6964, or go to

Old Cigar Factory Hosts Fundraisers

The West Tampa Center for the Arts will host a gala social and art event from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday.

Called Art-Oberfest, it's a fundraiser for the center and the West Tampa Council on Art, Culture and History. Several local and regional artists will display their talents in a diversity of media and styles.

There will be a band, food, wine and beer, all with a German flavor, organizer Maida Millan said.

The event will take place on the second and third floors of the center, which is housed in the former Santaella Cigar Factory, 1906 N. Armenia Ave. Call Millan at (813) 453-4381 for information.

Also at the cigar factory, two galleries that rent space in the building will host a Nov. 7 fundraiser for building repairs. The galleries, 5art and three04, are seeking artists who work in two-dimensional formats to be included in the exhibit.

The deadline for entries is 3 p.m. Oct. 24. For information or to download an application, go to or

Correspondent Esther Hammer can be reached at (813) 259-7662 or



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