NVTA / Oxbow School Book of Visual Poems for Napa

The book of "Visual Poems for Napa" was inspired by the Poetry in Motions® series, which displays poetry and artwork in major transit systems across the country. In the spirit of this series, students in the fall 2021 Oxbow School cohort were tasked with creating their own visual poems that were informed by living and learning at art school in Napa.

Oxbow students created these pieces in the combined humanities and new media course that they enroll in as part of the school's semester-long, visual arts curriculum. This project sought to combine poetry from the humanities portion of the class with work in Adope Photoshop from new media. For the first stage of this process, students completed a photography assignment, where they spent time using digital cameras in the neighborhoods adjacent to the Oxbow campus. They then wrote poems that were inspired by their documentation of the landscape. Finally, whether by digital or handmade means, they all designed posters to display their poems.

These posters are displayed on the NVTA bus system, which the students often use on the weekends to explore the area. This project attempts to show first how the environment can spark creativity and then to situate the arts in the context of the everyday. While some of the book's poems work directly from the students' original photographs, many of them took a turn to address different topics. Regardless of content, students were encouraged to harness their own poetic voice and artmaking styles for the creation of their pieces.

Click below to view the book online.