When the shelter in place came to Pittsburgh on March 23, staci already had the first Haiku Happiness Zoom Party scheduled with local news source, The Incline for the 26th. Little did she know where it would lead. That first event allowed 20 people to talk about their concerns and fears surrounding the pandemic. You can read the resulting Haiku here.
The next event, two weeks later, was in celebration of National Poetry Month. The group drew inspiration from a painting by local artist Frank Harris and created a collaborative multi-stanza Haiku known as a Ku-Ren. (you can see it below in the photo slide show of all the art we've done).
By the middle of April, it became clear to staci that it would be beneficial to talk about what everyone was going through with the enormous changes and adjustments brought on by COVID.
Each week, the group would start with a discussion about the pandemic, create a Ku-Ren, and then get inspired by pieces from incredible artists like James Simon, Jacob Lawrence, Mary Cassat, Harper Henry and Ashley Longshore. Then staci took the words and found a way to apply them in or around the painting.
Over six months later, the Collective is still going strong, meeting 2-3 times per month, documenting the emotions and experiences due to the virus and honoring artists by focusing on their work with words.
Haiku is the ancient Japanese form of poetry that consists of three lines in a 5/7/5 syllable structure. These poetic nuggets capture the essence of an experience or emotion like nothing else because of its brevity. There is no room for fluff. Only the most essential words make the cut.
What’s better than group of super cool people who listen to each other vent, kvetch and share about all the chaos caused by the Rona? When that group turns all of that confusion and frustration into art!
Currently, there are over 150 collaborative Haiku created by a core of ten intrepid word warriors, with an additional dozen who drop in when they can. The unique piece is that each line is written by a different person so every Haiku has three authors! Each week, we write a multi-stanza Haiku called a Ku-Ren.
Some of these poetic nuggets are funny, others thoughtful, and all reflect how collectively we’re experiencing and processing these very strange times. It’s awesome how such a small group of words can be bring such comfort.
First displayed at the Corona Crafted Art Show, look for more Haiku on billboards and screens around Pittsburgh. Check out the photos below.
A vivid description of a work of art, The Haiku Ninja Collective has taken ekphrastic poetry to a whole new level. Honoring art of all kinds, the Collective has thoughtfully shared their observations and feelings about each piece and then collaboratively shared them in a Ku-Ren. We've invited sculptors, painters and photographers to take part and the results are amazing! See for yourself below in the Ekphrastic Poetry slide show.
If you'd like to become part of our effort to comfort, connect and unite people through the enormous changes caused by the Rona and celebrate art in a new way, email - HaikuNinjaCollective@stacib.com.
In July 2020, the call went out for art for the Corona Crafted Art Show. Hung in the windows of businesses along Liberty and Potomac Avenues in Dormont, the show's only requirement was that the art was created during or inspired by the pandemic. It provided a safe way for people to enjoy art from August 20-September 19, 2020.
staci b created an Indiegogo campaign and gathered the funds to create four paintings and apply the first month of collaborative Haiku. The art was installed and connected its viewers to each other through the common ground of emotion and experience.
"Y'all inspire me!!" ~ Ashley Longshore
Haiku Happiness parties enabled everyone to draw inspiration from a fabulous piece of art and discuss their observations and thoughts. Those words were used as a jumping off point to create a Ku-Ren - a multi-stanza Haiku where each line is written by a different person. One Haiku - Three Authors! staci then took the Ku-Ren and designed a new piece of art using both the original work and the poetry. Below are some examples of what was created!
"So beautiful!" ~ Harper Henry
Receive a digital Haiku as my gift when you sign up for The Haiku Connecton - great for desktop or iPad/Tablet or phone HomeScreens! Stay connected regarding live and virtual events, art shows and other super cool news!