Notes before starting:
1. There are brief mentions of child abuse, rape/murder, and alcohol. Nothing graphic or prolonged.
2. The word "gypsy" is used as "free spirit' and not as a slur. Often, the name is shortened to its abbreviation as not to offend.
3. I belong to the Facebook group, but I rarely post my own work. I'm more of an audience member.
4. I may misinterpret meanings of certain pieces. I apologize in advance.
G.A.S. which stands for Gypsy Art Show has had many forms over the years and is the creation of poet/artist Belinda Subraman. It currently exists as a presentation showcase and Facebook group for creative folks. The presentations, though a newer project, are packed with content; the current video is no exception—the transitions are seamless, the audio balancing is great, and the selection is as eclectic as ever.
The first thing we're treated to is a short interview between Belinda and actress/artist Leslie Silva. Silva is a graduate of Juilliard and speaks passionately about her art as a celebration of Black women, aging, and internal divinity. Near the end of the interview, it switches to her art until the interview concludes. Her images are vibrant and powerful.
David Trudel reads two poems afterward. The first poem is called "Sepia Toned" and takes on wildfires caused by climate change. It is image-rich and held my attention throughout. His second poem, "Backseat Windows" takes a look at child abuse through the eyes of an adult with a safe childhood; it was an interesting piece, but it didn't grab me as much as his first poem. The recitation was smooth.
Mel Clarkston and James Clarkston take the viewers through a musical and artistic journey as Mel provides the artwork over James' two instrumental numbers. The music reminds me of Flamenco with the first song being longer and brighter than the second. The visual art adds (instead of distracts) from the music, and the second song has a music video experience attached. It was a lovely segment that felt utterly harmonious.
Donna Snyder's poem is a gut punch... a wake-up call. It takes on climate change, the police state, ICE, and more. It asks you to see what is actively happening and not just passively move through this current age. It's well-constructed, even beautiful, but the poem is a roaring beast.
Darlina Marie treats us to a hypnotic, contemporary belly dance. The music is a good accompaniment. The performance is grace.
Henry Stanton's poems are recited with his charcoal drawings on screen. His work is about connections, who we are to the world and each other, and how beauty comes into those connections. Both his visual art and poems portray the same message. The works are chosen well.
Paul Brookes takes us through COVID-19 in his poem: The ways we try to keep safe, what is taken in our safety, how people react to the change and loss. It's depicted with accuracy and acute attention. Note: I'm American, so I had to go back and listen more than once because I'm not accustomed to his accent.
Tac TheMac does a walk-dance to a piece of music that reminds me of trance-mix. It's a brief segment that is joyful and fun.
Bart Solarczyk shares five short poems on gratefulness, loss, and friendship. I could feel every emotion he wrote about, and I almost cried when he talked about losing his wife (a fresh loss). It ended up being one of the most memorable parts of the show for me. One poem hits especially hard (quite a feat in brevity).
The Twisted Hams' rock song, "What Makes You Think" is a fun, catchy tune with a chorus I can't erase from my mind. There were points where I felt the lead singer was drowned out by the instruments, but it doesn't take away from the fact that it's really cool. Instead of having visual art to the song, we're treated to the group's low-budget music video that helps viewers see their personality.
Lawrence Barrett (an Army veteran) reads a poem I didn't understand the meaning of when I heard it. At first, I almost thought it was fetishistic. Then, I listened once more. The piece (from what I interpret) is about longing for a land you miss, yet never want to see again... like an ex-lover. There is a layer of sensuality to this piece even I didn't miss the first time through. Note: I'm probably incorrect.
The show's finale is a segment that takes everything good about G.A.S. and combines it. I won't spoil it for you, but music, poetry, and art come together to form a lovely conclusion.