"The Vernacular Bestiary" Exhibition at Santa Paula Agriculture Museum 3/1 to 6/15

The Premiere Exhibition of “The Vernacular Bestiary” and a Call for Poetry

From March 1 through June 15, 2014, the Museum of Ventura Countys Agriculture Museum in Santa Paula will present the first exhibition of “The Vernacular Bestiary: Animal Snapshots from A to Z.” This collection of anonymous amateur photographs has been collected by photographer and gallerist John Nichols over the past two decades and has never been publicly exhibited.

Dog, from The Vernacular Bestiary, John Nichols Collection

The abecedarian display of creatures is comprised of photographs taken over the past 120 years.   An adjacent kidsreading and exhibit area will encourage children and their families to read and write poems, as well as draw and display their own responses to the animal-themed exhibition. Animal poems by published poets will also be shared, in binders that can be carried around the exhibition area. 

Fish, from The Vernacular Bestiary, John Nichols Collection

Call for Poetry: Writers are invited to preview selections from The Vernacular Bestiary online immediately at http://flic.kr/s/aHsj5133kr or see the original snapshots at the Agriculture Museum, beginning on March 1.  They may submit up to three original poems of up to 25 lines each inspired by any of the snapshots. Submission implies that the poems can be used by the Agriculture Museum non-commercially to publicize the exhibit (credit will be given) and copyright reverts back to author. Poems must be submitted to VBpoem@gmail.com by March 29. A panel of judges will select poems to be shared at the “An Afternoon of Animal Verse” to take place in April. Poets will be contacted and asked to read their selected poems at the event; poet Jackson Wheeler will read the poems of any who cannot attend.

Related Events:

Thursday, March 13 at 2:00 p.m., John Nichols will give a Gallery Talk entitled, “Whats Special About Vernacular Photography?”

Saturday, March 22, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.,  free opening reception for “The Vernacular Bestiary

The Museum of Ventura County Agriculture Museum is located at 926 Railroad Avenue, Santa Paula. Information about the museum can be found at www.venturamuseum.org or call 805.525.3100.  Museum hours: TuesdaySunday, 10 – 4.  For more information about the exhibition and the call for poetry, contact John Nichols at sespenichols@gmail.com or at (805) 525-7804. 

Colt, from The Vernacular Bestiary, John Nichols Collection