News & Events
Her words provoke and inspire. Her highly acclaimed paintings express in symbolic imagery the passions of the heart and a reverence for the wilderness. It’s this quest for creative experimentation and spiritual knowledge that has made Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld an award-winning poet, writer, visual artist, and now benefactor to the University Art Museum and College of the Arts at Cal State Long Beach.
Common Ground magazine recently did a review and an entire spread on the just-released book Women of Visionary Art, published by Inner Traditions, and chose my painting, “Priestess of Dawn,” included in the book, for the cover.
Women of Visionary Art is an exploration of the role that dreaming, psychedelic experiences, and mystical visions play in visionary art and includes discussions with 18 well-known female artists, including, in addition to me, Josephine Wall, Allyson Grey, Amanda Sage, Martina Hoffmann, and Penny Slinger. The discussions reveal how the artists have all been inspired by deep inner experiences and seek to express non-ordinary visions of reality, reminiscent of spiritually transcendent experiences. Women shows how visionary art often contains an abundance of feminine energy, helping us to heal ourselves and see that we are all connected. Fifteen of my images appear in the book.
The Divine Kiss by Big Sur artist and poet Carolyn Mary Kleefeld is an intimate book of paintings and poetry inspired by her beloved, David Campagna. It was published in 2014 to commemorate Carolyn’s exhibits of art and poetry at the Karpeles Manuscript Museum and Library in Santa Barbara, CA in 2013 and Shreveport, Louisiana in 2014.
The original edition was co-published by The Seventh Quarry Press and Cross-Cultural Communications. Since then, it has been translated into several languages, including Japanese by Coal Sack Publishing Co in Japan in conjunction with Cross Cultural Publications who published a bilingual English/Japanese edition in 2017.
A trilingual Sicilian/English/Italian edition of The Divine Kiss was published by Legas Publishing in association with Cross-Cultural Communications in 2018.
Also in 2018 an English/Greek edition was published by Libros Libertad in Canada and Cross-Cultural Communications.
In 2019 an English/Persian edition from Mehri Publication of London will be co-published with Cross-Cultural Communications. It is translated by Sepideh Zamani.
Such is the power of their love story, expressed through poetry and images–sensual, rich, and universal.
David Campagna, Carolyn’s beloved who inspired these poems and works of art, was of Italian ancestry, and Japan was a favorite country of his. Greece was a country of precious memories for both Carolyn and David, so these translations carry a special significance.
Endorsements and Accolades from around the World:
She seeks to transcend her peculiar time and place to become one with all the creatures of the earth and to synchronize her emotions with the rhythm of the stars. . . . (Her) images seem to emerge out of unfathomable depths (and) convey through a combination of colors and shapes deep emotions that can be understood in their raw power at a visceral, semiconscious level, which is basically what great art does: it connects with the unspoken and unspeakable in the secret language of the species.
– Professor Emeritus, editor and publisher Gatena Cipolla who wrote the foreword for the trilingual Sicilian/English/Italian edition of The Divine Kiss.
It is on steady ground that one stands when approaching Carolyn’s poems . . . At other times, one is elevated higher and into the stratosphere by her diaphanous stanzas enriched with her unrelenting clarity and diamond-like sparkles. . . . Carolyn’s powerful poetry (and) imagery (have) touched this reviewer-translator in an unprecedented way, and for this I’ve approached these poems with a certain awe and subdued reverence. . . .
– Cretan-Canadian poet, publisher, and author Manolis Aligizakis (from his Introduction for the English/Greek edition of The Divine Kiss).
. . . Acts of “love” are expressed in these poems on a cosmic scale, and when the acts of love are sung in the sublimated condition where nothing but “We” exist, we think of the poems of the mystic poet of the 16th century Spain, San Juan de la Cruz who sang of the divine love, and of some of the love poems by Rabindranath Tagore.
– Shigeru Shimizu, poet and professor Emeritus at Waseda University in Japan, who wrote the foreword for the English/Japanese edition of The Divine Kiss.
My Sicilian translator of the trilingual Sicilian/English/Italian edition of The Divine Kiss, Marco Scalabrino, submitted the book to Dialectal Voices, a nationally distributed magazine in Italy, who gave an entire page to this edition, as you see here. The text in Italian is translated as “I am pleased to announce the publication, in New York, of the trilingual edition by Carolyn Mary Kleefeld’s The Divine Kiss, with Italian translation by Gaetano Cipolla and in the Sicilian language by Marco Scalabrino. I sincerely thank the author Carolyn Mary Kleefeld, the curator of the work Patricia Holt, as well as the two US co-publishers Gaetano Cipolla for LEGAS and Stanley H. Barkan for Cross-Cultural Communications, for getting me involved in this prestigious international project.”
“The Fire in the Wood” An exhibit of sculptures by Edmund Kara & poems and drawings by Carolyn Mary Kleefeld, which are included in the drama, “The Fire in the Wood” by Peter Thabit Jones.
Friday, May 18 was a festive opening at the Carl Cherry Center for the Arts, with my reading of two poems and excerpts from a prose piece, all inspired by Edmund. David Wayne Dunn, cherished friend, and artist, photographer, poet, and musician, accompanied me. The exhibit is in conjunction with the drama, “The Fire in the Wood,” which is about the life and inspiration of the late and iconic sculptor, Edmund Kara, with his life also as archetype for the creative process. The exhibit runs through June 16, 2018. The drama had its west coast premier at the Henry Miller Library on May 19 and will show at the Carl Cherry Center the first 2 weekends in June. I encourage you to attend both the exhibit and the drama!
Please join me for a creative, multi-media evening and opening of the art exhibit of 10 Big Sur artists, on Saturday, July 22 from 7—10PM at Move Studios, 600 Franklin Street in Monterey. Three of my paintings, including “Tree Mantra” are included in the show. The evening will include a dynamic spectrum of world dance choreography, feature-artist talk, live music, performance art, poetry, and the art exhibition.
Carolyn was one of three featured poets at the grand opening of the Henry Miller Library at the Barnyard in Carmel. She read a selection of her poetry accompanied by musician and songwriter, Martin Shears, her longtime accompanist. Three of Carolyn’s paintings are exhibited in the Library and her books are available. The opening of the Carmel branch of the Library is due to the road closure of Highway 1 and the resulting inaccessibility of the Big Sur Henry Miller Library. Please enjoy the vibrant art, literature, and history at this new location.
An excerpt from the Curator’s Statement: The Art of the Story brings together four artists who have taken on the role of narrator in telling stories through their artwork . . . The artwork tells stories of their family histories, stories of other cultures, about art and healing, love, life and nature . . . Carolyn Mary Kleefeld’s work is about the spiritual meaning of life and through a combination of art and poetry she weaves her stories. Each of her works of art is paired with one of her poems. Carolyn is as comfortable in front of an easel which she sets up overlooking the Pacific Ocean from her home in Big Sur, as she is writing and publishing poems. She comes by way of telling stories naturally as a poet, writer and artist. For the exhibition, works were selected from her Lovers and Nature series.
– Georgia Freedman-Harvey, Curator, Platt/Borstein Galleries
World Poetry Canada is hosting another International Peace and Human Rights Exhibition at the Irving K Barber Learning Centre at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver from Feb 3–March 30. I will be giving you more information on this inspired event organized by my friend and colleague Ariadne Sawyer, President of World Poetry Reading Series Society, as the time draws closer. But for now, Ariadne has posted this link of some of the video feed which will be part of the exhibit. This feed includes my reading my poem, “Bursting With Secrets,” as well as including many other readings and videos relating to peace from poets and artists around the world, and many from troubled regions such as the Middle East. Bravo to Ariadne and World Poetry Canada for giving voice to many oppressed people and for doing so much to promote peace in our deeply troubled world.
Carolyn’s art and poetry are included in a new Bilingual Broadside Series created by Stanley Barkan of Cross-Cultural Communications. Four of Carolyn’s poems and paintings appear together in each of four of the Broadsides and her art is paired with the poetry of Isaac Gutemberg and William Heyen in two other Broadsides. These Broadsides make a lovely gift and can be purchased framed for $20 each. Carolyn will sign them if requested.
To order, please call Patricia: 831-667-2433
or click here to Email Patricia.
Museum Archive – Museum of Modern Art, New York
The Museum of Modern Art in New York has expanded their archive of Carolyn’s work, accepting her books which include her artwork, and book reviews, press releases, newspaper and magazine articles, etc from 1991 with her solo exhibit at Gallerie Illuminati in Santa Monica, California up through the present. Students and other patrons will have continuing access to Carolyn’s work for their research and studies.
Library Archive – Monterey Public Library, Monterey, California
The Monterey Public Library has accepted the archive of Carolyn’s work in the California History Room of the Monterey Public Library at 625 Pacific Street in Monterey. All Carolyn’s books are catalogued there, as well as book reviews, press releases, newspaper and magazine articles, etc from 1979 when her first book, “Climates of the Mind” was published, up through the present. Students and other patrons will have access to Carolyn’s work for their research and studies.
You’re Cordially Invited to the Ventana Artists Showcase!
Book signing by Carolyn Kleefeld.
Saturday, June 13th, 2015 – 11am-6pm
Place: Ventana Gallery, Sculpture Garden and Ventana Restaurant
48123 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA Ventana Gallery
A one-day Art exhibition featuring 20 of the most important California Central Coast Artists. Join us for a day in Big Sur full of Art, nature, music, delicious food and wine. On Saturday June 13th, twenty of our Artists will reveal and make available for the first time a new compilation of their most recent artworks.
The Ventana Artist Showcase day will exhibit more than two hundred works of Art by some of the most important California Central Coast Artists that will also be on site to meet, greet and talk with all our guests. Artist Erin Gafill will give a live-painting demonstration; Carolyn Kleefeld will do a book signing and more! We’ll also have the presence of Scheid Vineyards offering tastings from 12pm-3pm.
The exhibition areas will be the Sculpture Garden outside the Gallery and the Gallery Annex. This is also a free event open to the public.
Whispers of Spring Solo Exhibition
The Crossroads 241 Crossroads Blvd, Carmel, California
December 15, 2014—May 31, 2015
This exhibit features 20 pieces of Carolyn’s art, ranging from her earlier cosmic abstracts to her figurative and later landscape abstracts.
Award-winning artist, poet, & writer Carolyn Mary Kleefeld celebrates her life’s work & rarely-exhibited paintings with a Retrospective Show in Big Sur. Read Article on Awaken.com | Read Article on RealitySandwich.com | Read Article on WorldPulse.com
Oscar winning cinematographer Vilmos Zigmond features Carolyn Mary Kleefed in his documentary about the natural wonder and creative residents of Big Sur, California. Read Article on Indiewire.com
Opening reception December 5, 2014, 5–8 PM
Show runs from December 5, 2014–January 31, 2015
The Gallery at the Ventana Inn and Spa / 48123 Highway One / Big Sur, California
On December 5, 2014 from 5pm–8pm the Art Gallery at Ventana will feature 20 pieces from Carolyn’s Private Collection for the first time in over 20 years. Most of these artworks are just now becoming available for acquisition.
This is a retrospective show of abstract paintings that will also be a celebration for Carolyn’s life-long career and achievements.
As part of the opening event, Carolyn will read from her latest book, The Divine Kiss, sign books from among her many publications, and share her creative passion and vision with the guests.
Display of painting The Evocation of Dylan Thomas
Autumn 2014 into 2015
National Waterfront Museum / Swansea, Wales
Carolyn’s painting The Evocation of Dylan Thomas will be displayed in a glass cabinet at the museum. This presentation is part of the Dylan Thomas Centenary and will include other Dylan Thomas materials, such as the Dylan Thomas Trail of Quotations arranged by Welsh poet and publisher Peter Thabit Jones.
The Divine Kiss publication
Karpeles Manuscript Museum and Library / 21 W. Anapamu St / Santa Barbara, CA
This exhibit catalog of the show at the Santa Barbara and the Shreveport Karpeles Manuscript Museum and Library contains the 15 paintings and 15 poems that were exhibited. It is a full-color hardbound edition and is in honor of David Campagna.
The Divine Kiss Solo Exhibition
May 18–June 28, 2014
Karpeles Manuscript Museum and Library / 3201 Centenary Blvd / Shreveport, LA 71104
Carolyn’s 2013 exhibit at the Karpeles in Santa Barbara of fifteen paintings and corresponding poems in honor of David Campagna travels to the museum in Shreveport.
Expo 33 Exhibition
April 1–26, 2014
BJ Spoke Gallery / 299 Main St / Huntington, NY 11743
Carolyn’s paintings The Divine Kiss, Erotic Rendezvous, and Pagan Lovers are part of this prestigious Long Island gallery exhibit.
27th Annual Women’s Works Show
March 3–April 27, 2014
Old Court House Arts Center / 101 N. Johnson Street / Woodstock, Il
Carolyn’s painting, Molecular Mystery was exhibited at this juried show.
Online Oracle launched based on The Alchemy of Possibility
January 3, 2014
Go to alchemyoracle.com
As so many people have mentioned the insights they have gained using The Alchemy of Possibility as an oracle by asking a question and opening the book randomly to receive guidance, we decided to translate this experience to the cyber world. Simply go to alchemyoracle.com, ask a question, and have the Oracle respond. Carolyn thinks of this as a “soul oracle,” speaking from and to the soul.
In addition to the Oracle, you will find suggestions for its use, an instructive article on the Science of Divination by the site designer and Eastern philosophy devotee, Rasa, and links to related sites, as well as some of the introductory words from “Alchemy.” May you have many inspiring and insightful moments with the Alchemy Oracle!
The Divine Kiss Solo Exhibition
October 3 through November 30, 2013
Karpeles Library and Museum / 21 W. Anapamu St / Santa Barbara, CA
This exhibit of fifteen paintings and poetry of love is in honor of Carolyn’s muse, David Campagna.
The Karpeles Library and Museum is the world’s largest private holding of original documents and manuscripts, encompassing literature, science, history, music, and art. The museum also exhibits art as part of its mission to create an aesthetic, educational environment.
Radio Interview, World Poetry Cafe
Tuesday, October 1, 2013 from 9:10–10pm
In the archive at www.worldpoetry.ca
The World Poetry Cafe poetry association is based in Canada and built upon respect, honor, support, peace and love for all through the power of the arts and education.
Publication of Romanian Edition of Vagabond Dawns
Carolyn’s 10th book, Vagabond Dawns has been published in a bi-lingual Romanian/English edition by renowned Romanian publisher and poet Mircea Petean of Editura Limes in Cluj, Romania. Translation is by heralded Romanian translator, Dr. Olimpia Iacob. The book is being distributed to the National Library of Bucharest, and to professors, poets, university libraries and other literary outlets.
Featured Author at Book Gala
Saturday, April 20, 2013, 7:30pm
The Last Bookstore / 453 Spring Street / Los Angeles, CA
Carolyn was one of the featured authors at this gala affair as part of the LA Times Festival of Books. The party was sponsored by Rare Bird Literary Group, and literary magazines Granta, Book Forum, ZYZZYVA, Slake, and LA Review of Books.
Book Signing for Psyche of Mirrors: A Promenade of Portraits
Saturday, April 20, 2013, 4:00pm
University of Southern California / Los Angeles, CA
LA Times Festival of Books Booth for Rare Bird Literary Group. Carolyn signed copies of her books and conversed with all attendees in an informal question and answer session.