Slice of Life

Syracuse Poster Project puts up invisible haikus throughout city

Courtesy of Syracuse Poster Project

"Splash Poetry" uses a biodegradable spray material. The art project will have a lifespan between two and four months, based on weather conditions.

The Syracuse Poster Project, a nonprofit civic arts organization, aims to inspire on even the rainiest of days. The project will do this through its new creative venture: stenciled haikus on downtown sidewalks that are only visible when wet.

Entitled “Splash Poetry,” the project has sprinkled different haikus around Syracuse which, when wet, appear as a light gray due to their water resistance.

For 16 years, the Poster Project has teamed up with local poets and Syracuse University illustration students to produce an annual series of poster art, which is displayed around the city of Syracuse and traditionally hung in the kiosks along Salina and Warren streets downtown. The organization has recently unveiled its 2017 poster lineup, alongside its “Splash Poetry” public art display.

Through the use of a biodegradable spray material, the interactive art will have a limited lifespan of about two to four months, depending on the intensity of the weather, according to a release from the Poster Project.

The meaning and intent of haiku, according to the release, is “to evoke a deep or profound realization about a topic as read in a specific environment.”

The Poster Project aims to avoid desensitization to text and create artwork that will capture the attention of people in the city and cause them to stop and think. The project also aims to “help brighten the bleak feelings that arise from our unseasonable weather,” according to the release.

The haikus on display were curated and stenciled onto sidewalks at the end of May by Poster Project board members Joe Murphy and Jason Evans. The 10 poets chosen include Pearl Baldwin, Ralph Long Jr., Claire Bobrycki, Molly English, Ross Getman, Kali Huff, Thea St. Omer, Tom Huff, Sara Parrott and Bryan Wilbur.

Download a map here to find all 10 poems in “Splash Poetry” throughout the city of Syracuse.

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