Walt Whitman (1819–1892) is a colossal figure in American literature and art. Whether this will be your first time exploring Whitman's writings, or you are already inspired by Whitman's work, we believe that exploring his writings will prove valuable. Recognized internationally as the first major exponent of free verse, he has been called America's "poet of democracy.” The 200th anniversary of his birth this year provides an important opportunity to reassess his estimable contributions to American life at a time when our country is so polarized. The Clay Studio Graduate Student Biennial will offer young artists from around the country an opportunity to reflect on his legacy. Whitman's writings were incredibly wide ranging, addressing issues of nature, environmentalism, sexual orientation, beauty, travel, democracy, transcendentalism, and much more. He pioneered the new type of poetry called free verse, and self published his writings. He was born in New York, lived for many years in Brooklyn, lived the end of his life in Camden, and spent great amounts of time in Philadelphia. There is something for everyone. We encourage you to take this opportunity to learn about this important American artist, and find a reflection of your own artistic vision to share through the Graduate Student Biennial. The show will be juried by Judith Tannenbaum, Artistic Director of Whitman at 200. (see their website https://www.whitmanat200.org/)
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