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Spirit Catcher

/ Exhibitions

Spirit Catcher. Frank Fleming, 1982. Unglazed porcelain. Museum purchase with funds from the Members of the Birmingham Museum of Art, 1982.204a-b.


What’s your story?

The art of Frank Fleming has been described as whimsical and intriguing. His fantastical sculptures have endless stories to tell – stories that are only limited by an individual’s imagination. For Between Fantasy and Reality, we invited you to tell us the stories of these artworks! Read on to see stories submitted by the BMA community near and far, click on a thumbnail to see larger images, and submit your own story below.

In the gallery:

They will try to tell you that
unicorns are extinct
and don’t wear button-down vests.

They will try to tell you feathers
are the best you can hope to find
in your own rib cage,

but little child, you know better
than to believe in keys
that slip like frogs into water

there where bones fail to meet.
You’ve heard yourself barking
and winging when the church bells climb

the playground slide at night, wave,
slide so rigidly down,
a butterfly net of porcelain
refusing, as love does, to break.


—Gabrielle (age 23), Seattle, Washington