Arts Council awards prizes to winning slam poets and abstract artists

Frankie Marchi of Maricopa is 2023 All-Arizona Poetry Slam champion. [submitted]

Frankie Marchi of Maricopa took top honors in the All-Arizona Poetry Slam Championship and Cortney Gayer was first-place recipient in the 2023 Abstract Art Contest ‘Anything Goes’ during a festive doubleheader presentation March 11, sponsored by Maricopa Arts Council.

Cortney Gayer was first-place recipient in the 2023 Abstract Art Contest “Anything Goes” with this untitled work.

The Arts Council awarded $1,500 to winners in the competitions.

The evening’s main event, the poetry slam, drew 15 regional winners from across the state.

Poets performed their work under national slam rules in front of five judges and a live audience. Over three rounds the competitors were reduced from 15 to 9 to 3 finalists.

In the end, only 0.2 points separated Marchi from runner-up Ashanti Files, who also was named a Poet Laureate Fellow by The Academy of American Poets and an honorable mention by Writers Digest in its 91st annual writing competition in the category of Rhyming Poetry.

Third place in the slam went to Seth Walker.

Ashanti Files

Gayer’s winning was untitled. Second place went to Janna Blackburn for “Chasing the Storm,” and third place to Rosa Stoll for “Dreaming in Purple.” A certificate of honor was awarded to abstract-realist artist Edith Castro.

This was the third year MAC has sponsored this competition, which is open to Maricopa-resident artists. Twenty-nine pieces were entered and online 641 votes tabulated.

Prizes were presented by MAC Co-Director Kaui Wilson, and the competition was administered by MAC Co-Director Chantelle Fulce. This year’s competition was supported in part by a seed-money grant from Maricopa Friends of the Arts.

Maricopa ARTS Council is a non-profit corporation whose mission is empowering the arts in Maricopa.