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Poetry, art and music bind together for Fairfield University exhibition

Scott Gargan, Connecticut Post
Published 7:30 pm, Tuesday, October 4, 2011
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Daniel DeLoma hosts the Black Box Poetic Exhibition -- an evening of poetry, music and visual art -- at the Wien Experimental Theatre at Fairfield University's Quick Center for the Arts.Photo: Contributed Photo

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Even college has its cliques -- from writers and poets to artists and musicians, students with the same interests tend to flock together.

But Fairfield University junior Daniel DeLoma hopes to blur the lines of those social boundaries, and bring those disparate groups together under one roof for a celebration of poetry, art and music.

"They all tie in together," he said of the various media.

Taking place on Wednesday, Oct. 12, the Black Box Poetic Exhibition will feature five poets reading their original work; a performance by Fairfield University's a cappella group, the Bensonians; and drawings, sketches and paintings by university students. The student-run exhibition continues on Thursday, Nov. 10; Wednesday, Feb. 8; and Thursday, March 29.

DeLoma, of Bridgeport, was motivated to launch Blackbox after he saw that there was no on-campus poetry night at Fairfield University, nor was there any event that combined so many different forms of art. What's more, he observed, students weren't engaging in arts and music.

"Art, unfortunately, has been put on the back burner with the way the economy is and because of academic concerns," said Deloma, who published a book of poems, "A Certain Amount of Nothing," in high school in 2008. With Blackbox, "you can get a real one-stop shop for a full experience of art."

After the poetry reading, attendees will hear a performance by the Bensonians, Fairfield University's 12-member all-male a cappella group.

The ensemble plans to perform classic soul numbers like Sam Cooke's "Bring It on Home to Me"; doo-wop hits such as Don and Juan's "What's Your Name"; and new pop songs by Canadian singer Michael Buble.

Robert Preli, the director of Bensonians and a junior at the university, said Blackbox is "a fun opportunity to get a different crowd we don't usually sing for.

"It's an interesting experience for those people who attend," said Preli, of Orange. "Fairfield University is a liberal arts school. We should have more people coming to these types of things."

More people are indeed coming, as the event has grown from attracting a mere handful of people on its first day to more than 50 by the end of the semester last year. Students, as well as residents from throughout Fairfield County, are welcome to attend.

A lifelong poet who plans to graduate from Fairfield University in May, DeLoma hopes to leave behind a cohesive group of artists -- including individuals from the larger community -- and a heightened appreciation for art, whatever shape or sound it might take.

"(Blackbox) lets you walk away with something to remember," he said. "There's such a need for art in people's lives now."

Wien Experimental Theatre at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts, 1073 North Benson Road, Fairfield. Wednesday, Oct. 12; Thursday, Nov. 10; Wednesday, Feb. 8; and Thursday, March 29, 7:30 p.m. $5; free for University staff and students. 203-254-4010, 877-278-7396, www.quickcenter.com.

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