Just as the opening of the multidisciplinary arts initiative, “Marked by the Water,” commemorated the first anniversary of last October’s 1,000 year flood, the exhibition’s closing reception at Tapp’s Art Center Oct. 26 paralleled the days later, plus about a year, when the rain waters receded. By late October last year, residents in affected neighborhoods were facing up to grim realities regarding their homes.
Abstract and representational visual art was still on view at Tapp’s Wednesday evening when authors, writers and poets read lines from their personal and poignant verbal retorts to the rains’ effects. Their written responses to the flood were bound, along with images of the corresponding art, into a collectible hard-cover book. The project was supported by a Connected Communities grant from Central Carolina Community Foundation.
Among the wordsmiths who read: Worthy Evans recalled “that morning and that the Chinook cut into the bleached blue sky with its blades that beat down a firm thump…”
Tim Conroy penned: “When flood waters recede, the flesh of homes sullied and sick, we focus lenses to memories, cross thresholds as shadow and light.”
Nicole Seitz described a time of collective grieving. “The nearby creek had left fish in their living room, warped furniture, and soggy memories of their daughters’ childhoods in the only home they’d ever known.”
Eric Morris … “watched my storage house float away with the cat sitting in his chair looking out the window of it… the cat without any worry on his face, just maybe an expression of curiosity at why everything was moving so, and he just lying still. I haven’t seen the house or the cat again…”
“I had no inclination to look back, “wrote Len Lawson, who at the time of the flood had been working at Title Max on Garner’s Ferry Road,” for I was mindful of what happened to Lot’s wife.”
The comprehensive effort, a Jasper project, was led by Cynthia Boiter, editor; Ed Madden, poetry editor; and Mary Bentz Gilkerson, art editor.