Photos by Sister72 (Jackie Fritsche), with permission
In 2005, in celebration of the autumnal equinox, the Belmar Arts Council of Belmar, New Jersey, sponsored a Poem Henge on the beach. Part of the official announcement read: “Three dozen discarded refrigerator doors will be erected in the shape of Stonehenge, the ancient ruins in England. Local artists and art students will paint words onto magnets from poems created by members of the Blue Collective.”
Well, we have to say that this is an interesting idea. We like seeing the Atlantic Ocean out behind the henge. You have to wonder who thought of it. And where did the refrigerator doors come from? Summer rentals abandoned for the winter? You can see a few more of the poems here. We chose these pictures for the views of the structure.
Is this weird or brilliant? You decide. We have to like the idea of Stonehenge replicas as a base for other kinds of creation. You could have an art-henge, or a fashion-show henge. We’ve seen Surf Henge (there’s more than one!) and BoatHenge. The possibilities are endless! Score: 6 druids for this equinox henge. How many times do we have to tell you not to poetry-slam the refrigerator door!?
We have now heard from one of the originators of the project. Please read the first comment for more information. Thank you, Kevin!
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Thanks Nancy. Glad you liked it. I had a lot of fun with it and it brought a diverse community together. Not only were there artists and poets (not to put them in a different catagory than artists) but the folks from the local junk yard who provided the doors were full partners in the project. They set aside doors every day for us to pick thru and use. The local Lumber Yard (warning plug follows: Jaeger Lumber !!!! great guys) gave us the material we used to laminate the doors and brace the monoliths. The idea was to bring art and poetry to a broader community and in doing so bring the community into art, demistify it and help them realize that everyone is an artist. I think it worked pretty well
Thank you for all the information, Kevin! I’ll add a note to the post telling people to read your comment for more info. Great project! Well done.
Sorry…. I designed the Poem Henge project and assembled most of the materials to develope it. It consisted of 78 recycled refrigerator doors, laminated into 28 monolithic structures. A call was put out to poets from around the state and with the members of the Blue Collective were juried and passed on to local artists and students from the local schools to paint individual words from the poems on strips of magnetic sign material. They chose colour, font and any decorations. The monoliths were erected between the 9th and 10 Ave beaches in Belmar on an axis of sunrise so they worked as a solar clock. The installation occured shortly after Christo wrapped the gate in NYC’s Central Park so in homage to him I rolled a saffron nylon fabric down the center of the Henge for the sun to travel on its rising. The installation went up early on a Saturday morning and was taken down the next evening. There was a bonfire Saturday night to celebrate it’s completion with music and poetry. Photographers were invited to join us at sunrise on Sunday to photograph the event. There is a short documentary available about the event as well. The Belmar Arts Council website is in the process of restructuring but there should be more stills available again soon