Reflections on the 7th Annual Art & Poetry Exhibition

From March 7-11, 2023, the Foothills Library hosted the 7th Annual Art & Poetry Exhibition, where artists and poets inspire each other!

I would like to thank all of the contributors to this year's Art and Poetry event. Though we had more artworks submitted than were paired, we appreciate the time, effort, and creativity performed by all, and every submission will be included in the exhibition.

We tried some new changes to the program this year. Artists submitted their works first to be selected later by poets. In a larger departure, this year the Library provided a theme to spur creativity.

This year's theme was “Crossing Yuma”, a theme chosen to reflect the past, present, and future of Yuma County. Whether discussing the first fordings of the Colorado, the passage of the railroad, or modern human migrations at the border, Yuma rests as a port that many travelers return to again and again. It starts as a thoroughfare, becomes a destination, and finishes a home. I myself am one of these transplants, having come from Florida in the midst of the upheaval of the pandemic to work at the Library. I had never been to Yuma and anxieties abound. Could I make it there? Would I like it? I was fortunate, as many visitors can attest, to finding a welcoming and supportive community. It is native Yumans who have formed the unique creative culture that we hope this exhibit honors. Many more folks will pass through Yuma in the years to come and learn, as I have learned, it is not a place to miss.

- Eric Kahler, Foothills Library Manager

Previously, I had participated in the Foothills Art & Poetry Exhibition as an artist. But this year, I had the opportunity to help coordinate the event and become familiar with our local artists and poets. It’s been an honor working with our community and to witness the endless possibilities that can occur when different mediums and art styles merge in a collaborative piece that combines both talents.

In this way, we also give tribute to this year’s theme “Crossing Yuma”. Over time, Yuma has welcomed people from the North seeking refuge from the cold climates to find solace in our warmer days, migrant and immigrant families from Mexico, and other travelers whether they’re stationed here temporarily or to settle permanently in our Southwest desert. Each with their own histories and backgrounds. And just like them, our local artists and poets come together in a mixing and crossing of paintings, sculptures, and words to share their stories.
We welcome you to experience them together and see the world through their eyes.

-Jennichelle Robles, Library Assistant I, Foothills Library

Explore the virtual gallery of the 2023 submissions.