Teen BMA is the Museum’s leadership and volunteer program for teens in grades 9-12. Members, who come from a variety of different schools in the Birmingham metro area, learn more about the Museum and careers in the arts, and go behind-the-scenes with curators and visiting artists. They learn about objects in the Museum’s collection and share that information by interacting with visitors in our family gallery, Bart’s ArtVenture, on the weekends.
Most of the students in the program specialize in fine art, but not all. Some, like Lucy Jones, a creative writing major at the Alabama School of Fine Arts, are interested in art and museums but express their creativity through other outlets. Lucy learned about Teen BMA from her older sister Abby, who participated in the program for all four years of high school and is now a freshman in college. A writing assignment on ekphrasis (poetry inspired by art) at school prompted Lucy to select and write about an artwork in the Museum that Teen BMA had not studied together: a portrait of King George III by English painter William Buchy. Lucy’s poem, below, was awarded the Electra Award from The Birmingham Arts Journal, where it was first published.
Mr. George the Third I’d Like to Ask
Can I build trenches in the folds
of your undergarments?
can I wage war across your skin
and spend my after-battle feasts
in the dark red of your cloak,
as thick wine drips like potions
in your belly?
King, there is no ocean in your eyes,
not like the one you’d like to rule,
because you are the sky before midnight
when everything is waiting,
you are the pounce of a flickering candle flame
onto a curtain,
listen to the screams of the people under your boots
and tell me
did the painter do justice to your crimson cloak
or did he water down the color
to try and cover up all the blood you’ve shed?