Art, Art & Archives, J. Paul Getty Museum

The Power of Poetry: 6 Questions for Amber Tamblyn

You may know actress Amber Tamblyn based on her work in TV and film, but she has a few more talents up her sleeve. Tamblyn is also a poet, author, and co-founder of Write Now Poetry Society with poet Mindy Nettifee. Write Now is dedicated to finding ways to connect audiences and readers with great poets, and promotes “heart-breaking, soul-easing, mind-blowingly good poetry that knows a jugular when it sees one.”

This Saturday the Getty welcomes Write Now for a second time—the first was in 2011, captured in the video above—as it presents performances by poetry luminaries in a program called Six Impossible Things. Poets Beau Sia, Corrina Bain, Jack Hirschman, Jennifer L. Knox, Joshua Marie Wilkinson, Sonya Renee, and Narcissiter will perform alongside Amber in an evening of poetry inspired by the photographs of Abelardo Morell, now on view at the Getty Center.

I asked Amber to talk a little bit about her love of poetry and its impact on the world.

I was first drawn to poetry when: I heard poet Jack Hirschman read in my parents’ living room. I understood the power instantly, of its sound, rhythm, and story.

Poetry has the power to: Make you feel every human emotion all at once.

I’ll never forget seeing an audience: So quiet during a poem you could hear a pin drop. It was during a poem by a poet named Patricia Smith. She had everyone’s hearts on her tongue. Good poetry can make your blood move. Good poetry and a good performance can transform your entire body.

Art changes lives when: People see what they want to see in it. When everyone gets a completely different meaning out of it.

I give my time to the arts because: It’s what I live for, and I love seeing other people live for it too. The voyeurism of watching others affected by good art is part of what makes us all tick. The giving and receiving.

Without art the world would be: Numb.

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      Color for Healing

      This sanitorium (tuberculosis hospital) in Paimio, Finland, was designed by architect Alvar Aalto in the 1920s. Unlike many hospitals, it was full of bright colors—including welcoming yellow on the main stairs and calming green for ceilings above bedridden patients. Aalto even created special chairs to open the chest and speed healing.

      The building’s colors were mostly whitewashed later in the 20th century, but now—due to a grant from the Getty Foundation as part of its Keeping It Modern initiative—its colors are being reconstructed and the building preserved for the future.

      More of the story: Saving Alvar Aalto’s Paimio Sanitorium

      Pictured: Paimio Sanatorium, patients’ wing and solarium terraces. Photo: Maija Holma, Alvar Aalto Museum. A color model for Paimio Sanatorium interiors by decorative artist Eino Kauria. Photo: Maija Holma, Alvar Aalto Museum, 2016.Paimio chairs (Artek no 41) in the Paimio Sanatorium lecture room, 1930s. Photo: Gustaf Welin, Alvar Aalto Museum. Aino Aalto resting in a chair on the solarium terrace. Photo: Alvar Aalto, Alvar Aalto Museum, 1930s. Main stairs of Paimio Sanatorium. Photo: Maija Holma, Alvar Aalto Museum.

      04/30/16

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