Past Exhibitions

Delight and Disruption 

A virtual exhibition of photographs and collective poetry

May 14 - August 1, 2021

About the exhibition

Eight photographs from international artists were selected to spark conversation, inspiration, and creativity. Poetry was collectively written by groups of people who mindfully explored individual and paired photographs. The poems, like the photographs, reflect personal points of view and expressions. Brought together, each visual and verbal voice is woven into an entirely new composition.

Exhibition poetry was written by groups of people in Open to Being™ Sparkshops™, which weave together art, play, movement, and mindfulness. Participants were guided through playful, reflective, and collaborative activities, including mindful looking at an individual photograph or a pair chosen by the exhibition curator; mindful movement; word play; and conversation. Poetry exercises included variations on exquisite corpse, haiku, diamanté, and “tapestry poetry.”

Featured artists:
Guilherme Bergamini (Brazil)
Teresa Letizia Bontà (Italy)
Mpumelelo Buthelezi (South Africa)
Nancy Clifford (United States)
Maria Coletsis (Canada)
Luigi Ulisse Iovane (Italy)
Laura A. Socia (United States)
June Varkoly (United States)


Curatorial statement

What delights you? How does disruption affect you? Can you recognize when delight and disruption exist in the same time and space? How does it feel to experience both simultaneously? What does that look like?

Art is both a portal and a mirror. It shows us ways into, through, and beyond each other’s worlds as well as our own.

Experiencing art is a conversation and dance between artist and viewer, but there is also an internal dialogue that can emerge as we spend time with a work of art. A photograph can invite you to look more closely - at the image itself, at something or someone outside of the frame, or at your own ideas and beliefs. A poem might elicit an emotional reaction, bring out an opinion, prompt or challenge an idea.

When you pay attention to your reaction to a work of art, you can open to a connection with yourself as well as to others. That opening might be just a crack or a sliver, or it could be a wide and expansive.


Theresa Esterlund is the Founder of Open to Being. Prior to 2020, Esterlund’s professional career spanned 30 years as an educator and leader at the Smithsonian Institution, private museums, art centers, and both public and private schools. In her collage artwork, Esterlund presents mystical scenes and imaginary worlds as well as introspective images that reflect what’s inside, under, and between the layers of the Self, life journeys, and metamorphoses. 

learn more about Theresa Esterlund