September 7th – 30th, 2017

Why do you paint? For exactly the same reason I breathe.”

A selection of sketches, drawings, and paintings by E.E. Cummings (1894-1962).

It is not generally well-known that the poet E.E. Cummings was also a visual artist, who experimented with art as he did with words. He devoted as much time to drawing and painting as he did to poetry, and considered himself equally an artist and a poet. Cummings said art was his “twin obsession“; painting and writing were daily routine, both necessary means of expression. He published sketches and drawings and exhibited paintings early in his career, but ultimately withdrew from the New York art scene in the early 1930s. Art became a private pursuit as his writing increased in popularity and his reputation as a poet was firmly established. His art reflects some of the more modern and boundary-pushing art trends of the time, especially post-impressionism and fauvism, and the influence of artists like Cézanne and Matisse can be clearly seen in much of his work.

This exhibit is a selection of Cummings’ artworks curated to show a range of his artistic experiments. Most have not been shown publicly; most were probably not intended to be seen by the public.

The pieces in this show are from the collection of Ken Lopez of Hadley, MA. All works are for sale. A portion of the proceeds from sales at this show will benefit Reader to Reader, Inc., a nonprofit literacy organization.

An opening reception will be held Thursday, September 7th, 5-8pm, during Amherst Arts Night Plus.

Saturday, September 16th, 5:30-7:30pm:Flash Poetry, Spoken Word, and EE Cummings” – a special event in conjunction with the Amherst Poetry Festival, featuring readings of Cummings’ poems, poems inspired by Cummings artworks, and poetry mad-libs! Readers will include local poets Dara Wier, Lori Desrosiers, Paul Richmond, and more! Organized and emcee’d by Alison Murchie, local writer and creator of the popular monthly “Unbuttoned” spoken word evenings in Easthampton. Event starts at 5:30pm, readings begin at 6pm.