★ Your Friday night at the Taubman – Poetry and Art

Enjoy First Fridays downtown on Friday, 9/6 ,with an opening at the Taubman Museum of Art.

The museum will be opening a new site-specific exhibition by Italian artist, Giuseppina GiordanoPlease, Teach Me the Language of a Rose featuring poetry, sign language, translations, art history, painting, sculpture, and the concept of Zen. An artist’s talk will be followed by a tour through the galleries led by the artist and including poetry in response to works by Roanoke poet Ashley Rhame. The exhibition is presented by The Secular Society.


Hear what Ashley’s all about in this week’s episode of the podcast, and learn more about the exhibit in the additional conversation below:

BOOK CITY ★ Roanoke: Art that describes another work of art is a bit of a conversation, and ekphrasis seems to be a theme for you this year. Your work “Granny’s Garden” was interpreted through dance at the launch of Artemis. Now you’ve written poems around Italian artist Giuseppina Giordano’s work at the Taubman Museum of Art exhibit, “Please, Teach Me the Language of a Rose“.

BCR: For this effort, did you work with the artist or write the poems independently?

Ashley Rhame: I have spoken to Giuseppina Giordano through email and social media. Giuseppina was very helpful in providing links to what inspired her. I must say when I heard the title of the exhibit, I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of.

BCR: What’s the most challenging aspect of a project like this?

AR: The most challenging would be the blind collaboration. However, email and social media serve as great forms of communications. They also allow you to get to know one another.

The exhibit title “Please, Teach Me the Language of a Rose” took my breath away.

BCR: What inspired you about the work?

AR: The exhibit title “Please, Teach Me the Language of a Rose” took my breath away. Immediately, I went to buy roses to keep around throughout my writing process. My partner and I made rose water to clear negative spaces. I knew I would love writing about the essence, healing, and other benefits of a rose.

BCR: What’s the first work of art that you can remember being inspired by?

AR: All art inspires me. It’s something about walking through a museum or gallery that truly calms me and helps me refocus. The first piece to inspire me was most likely Jean-Michel Basquiat. His works are raw, full of expression, and colorful. Basquiat reminds me I am alive.

BCR: What can visitors expect on Friday night?

AR: Visitors can expect new poetry inspired by Artist Giuseppina Giordano. Also, how the language of a rose in my perspective on the spoken and unspoken power of this flower.  Also, poetry inspired by artist E. Antoinette Hale’s “The Curtsey” and Colette Fu’s “Tao Hua Yuan Ji” at the Taubman Museum. Poems will be read in front of each exhibit and serve as small tour between galleries.

BCR: What are the next collaborations or creative partnerships on the horizon for you?

AR: Collaborations are my thing, I hope to continue to work alongside amazing artists, especially in the Roanoke Valley. I believe more events, readings, and exhibits which support art, as well literature, are needed. It is an artist’s duty to reflect the times. Through my own work I hope to do just that. In collaboration with other artists, you grow. It’s an advantage.

Register for the talk and gallery walk here.



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