Monday, October 6, 2008

2009 Festival now Accepting Submissions

The Roanoke Marginal Arts Festival is now accepting submissions for 2009.  Selected works will be screened/exhibited during the festival (from February 19 through 24th) at locations around the city of Roanoke, Virginia.  We are looking for work that explores the social, economic and artistic interpretations of the word "Marginal." We differ from "Fringe" festivals in that the work featured in the festival is vetted for curatorial cohesion, but we encourage off-beat interpretations and approaches. 

Film Submissions: Films should be submitted on DVD, accompanied by a completed submission form, and should not exceed 15  minutes in length. Deadline to receive DVD is December 15, 2008

Project Proposals: This festival is interested in providing exhibition possibilities and performance/installation venues for artists who may not have access to these sort of resources ordinarily. Curators with specific projects in mind are invited to submit specific proposals or to assist with projects in hand. Deadline for 2009 project proposals by email is November 16, but submissions for future festivals is open.

Power-Tool Drag Racing: If you are interested in participating in a workshop that will help you build your own power-tool drag racer, we will have a workshop on Sunday November 16th  at Wilson Hughes Gallery, 117 Campbell Avenue, SW Roanoke, VA 24011 at 1 p.m. If this time or date does not suit please contact us and we will try to provide another time. If you have a power-tool completed that you would like to exhibit and race please fill in a registration form and deliver it to Wilson Hughes Gallery, or contact us at 
Deliver power-tools for exhibition on Wednesday February 11 between noon and 5 p.m.

Mailing Address: Marginal Arts Festival
c/o Community High
P.O. Box 2104
Roanoke, VA 24009-2104

2009 Festival receives VCA grant

Community High is the recipient of a 2008/2009 Project Grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts, supporting its annual Marginal Arts Festival. The Festival, which brings to the stage, dance floor, silver screen, exhibition space and street art forms and artists not usually heard and seen in mainstream formats, is slated to run February 19-23, 2009. The Festival concludes with the school's annual fund raising event- "Fat Tuesday" on February 24.

"We are thrilled to receive the support and validation of the Virginia Commission for the Arts," said Festival Organizer and Community High faculty member, Brian Counihan. "This grant gives the Festival an opportunity to grow, include more art forms and artists and to reach Roanoke Valley communities," added Counihan.

Last season's Marginal Arts Festival featured mail art from around the world, Power-tool drag racing, a photo and video installation, a screening of video art and film, sculptural installations around town and a a window gallery at the Art Museum of Western Virginia called "The Liminal gallery." "I want this Festival to be about the 'other people' of this city and region," explained Counihan. "Those not seen in galleries, performance halls and ivory towers of the mainstream. There are vital stories not being told and important gestures not being seen that could teach us all something about who we are: that is what this festival is about."  An anonymous donor has pledged to match the $3,000 grant. For further information, contact Community High at 540-345-1688

2008 Festival Posters

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Post-Festival Press and Wrap-Up

Roanoke's first ever Marginal Arts Festival was a huge success. Festival events had great attendance, some receptions boasted as many as 200 attendees. Thanks to everyone who attended, participated, and helped to make this year's festival a success!

You can see an image from Monday night's Power Tool Drag Racing on the front page of the Virginia section in today's Roanoke Times. Click here for the online version of the article.

Stay tuned to this blog for more post-festival wrap-up, including photos, web video of the Power Tool Drag Race, and other musings!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Visual Art: Today in Downtown Roanoke

The Marginal Arts Festival celebrates the start of the work week with three wine and cheese art show receptions and what might be Roanoke's first ever "Power Tool Drag Race."

Here's the line-up for Monday's events:
Click on the name of any location above to see a Google Map.

*All the above events are free and open to the public. Donations are welcome.*

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Meet the Artists: Only Strangers Use the Front Door

Only Strangers Use the Front Door: Works by Angela Singer with Ashley Maynor is a photo and video installation. This exhibit is viewable only during the artist reception on Monday, February 4th at 6pm. The exhibit will take place in the H. L. Lawon Warehouse, a brick building located on the 700 block of Campbell Ave. SE, just past the railroad tracks.

Meet the Artists behind this exhibit:

ANGELA SINGER: Angela Singer has lived her entire life between two towns: Joelton, Tennessee (pop. 7,000), a rural suburb outside Nashville and neighboring Ashland City (pop. 3,000).

She grew up on a family farm with nine siblings and soon after marrying in the 1960s, gave birth to the first of her own nine children.

Though Angela has spent the majority of her days as a homemaker, she took to image-making early on and filmed 8mm and Super-8 home movies of her daily experiences in the 1960s and 70s.

During these early years, Angie shifted to photography and began snapping pictures of everything around her: old barns, sunsets, piles of folded laundry, her kitchen sink. Some of these photos have been entered into the annual Cheatham County Fair and have won her a steady stream of blue and red ribbons (not to mention a reputation in her community as “shutterbug” and “the camera lady”). Her camera never leaves her side -- not even when she goes to the mailbox.

While Angie started out taking one or two rolls of film each week, her habit grew steadily over the years. In 1990, she began working outside the home to support the costs of processing her photos at Wal-Mart. By then, she was taking at least a dozen photos a day every day. After switching to digital cameras in 2004, her picture-taking has grown exponentially. She now takes anywhere from 30 to 500 photos in a given 24-hour period.

At age 66, Angie is a great-grandmother, retired from her job at the Nashville Zoo, and her collection now totals well over 150,000 photographs. This collection, spanning four decades, chronicles the details of her daily life, family and church gatherings over the years, and the changing landscapes and ways of life within the 20-mile radius Angie calls home.

ASHLEY MAYNOR: Ashley Maynor was born and raised in Joelton, Tennessee, and is the granddaughter of Angela Singer.

Ashley received her BA in French Literature and Cultural Studies from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in 2004. In December of 2005, she began the process of preserving her grandmother’s home movie collection, which soon grew into a documentary film about her extraordinary grandmother. She is currently completing her MFA from Temple University's Film and Media Arts program.

Ashley has taught a variety of filmmaking classes and workshops and has served as writer/director, producer, and production designer on a host of short films. Her interests as a filmmaker and new media artist range from regional filmmaking to essay-films and home movies.

Ashley currently resides in Roanoke, Virginia, where she serves as Oral History Archivist for the Roanoke Public Libraries and teaches video as part of the Art Council of the Blue Ridge’s Artists in the Schools Program.

Film: Today at the Dumas

Today's Marginal Arts Festival activities include narrative and documentary film screenings at the Dumas Center from 3PM-6PM.

Highlights include a screening of the award-winning mystery-thriller, The Vanished, by Roanoke native Nathan Ross. A full schedule of films to be screened is available at the Dumas.

You can also check out any of the ongoing exhibitions listed in this quick, printable schedule guide.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

DADA: Today at the Dumas

The second day of the festival begins today at Noon with a 7 hour screening of assorted Video Art, Performance art, and Soundworks culminating in a combined reading and performance of Performance Poetry and punk or DADA Texts at 7:30pm--all taking place at the Dumas Center.

Guest artists include Hollins Professor T. J. Anderson, Ohio State University Curator of Avant Writing John M. Bennett, and New Jersey based Post-Neo-DADA Performance Artist Olchar E. Lindsann.

If Dada's not your thing, you can also check out the ongoing exhibition of work titled Respiratory Space at Speakeasy or a selection of Community High School student oil paintings at Mojo Cafe.

Meet the Artists: Ralph Eaton

If you have past by Community High School's display window on Campbell Ave. or made an appearance lately at the Dumas Center, you've probably seen strange things: a yellow-ish green formation that seems to have come alive from the pages of Dr. Seuss or a gray blob of stitched cloth that seems to become ever more deformed and mutated each time you pass.

These changing sculptures are the work of installation and performance artist Ralph Eaton, and are titled, Endless Suture Project (in the CHS window) and Gray Matter (in the Dumas lobby).

In addition to their eye-candy-like qualities, these works are backed by artistic intention. Eaton explains of his neon yellow structure,
"The project title, endless suture, refers to the process of trying to fill the void of unfulfilled desire. A suture heals a wound ... the wound is our separation from the real. We are forever trying to heal that wound by consuming anything and everything that might make us feel better. [...] The sculpture attempts to put in front of the eyes what is happening behind the eyes, to make the invisible a visible object."
While similar in their construction and their ability to be molded and morphed into new shapes, Eaton has different intentions behind each of his works:
"I think of endless suture as being about desire and consumption/production, and gray matter as being about memory and mental processes ..."
To read more of Eaton's musings on Gray Matter, click here. You can also read a blurb about Endless Suture Project here.

These structures will remain up for the rest of the month, so keep watching!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Music Kicks Off Fest: Tonight at Dumas!

Don't miss these great acts tonight at the Dumas Center:
Music starts at 8PM and continues into the wee hours. Admission is free!

Marginal Arts Manifesto: A Message from the Fest Director

Brian Counihan, the brains behind Roanoke's Marginal Arts Festival, has penned a brief essay on the ideas behind this year's fest. His manifesto begins with the stigma of the word marginal:
"The very word [...] smacks of trivial and unrefined activities, and seems to comically suggest that the festival is likely to bomb even before it has begun."
A few paragraphs later, however, Counihan defines the word, and the festival, using very different language. To sum up: Marginal Arts are for anyone who's
"ready for something different to happen in Roanoke, something with a lot of exuberance and energy that blurs the edges of indie, punk, fringe, and alternative art."
If that sounds like you, please join us for one of the many festival events. Admission if FREE.

If you'd like to read about Counihan's vision, you can find the the full-text here.

Marginal Arts On TV

The Marginal Arts Festival was featured in WSLS Channel 10's "Round Town on Thursday night. Check it out!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Festival Documentation: Screening Schedules

Here are schedules for screenings that took place at the 2008 Marginal Arts Festival:

Video and Performance Screening Schedule
February 2, 2008

Scud Missle Song by Ralph Eaton 10 min 15 sec

The Un-Crucifixion by Ralph Eaton 10: 30

The End of Holyland by Ralph Eaton 27:16

Blocks by devon james Langston 3:05

VAAST BIN by Michael Peters 20:00

(untitled video performance) by Anon 50:00

(excerpts from the video paintings of Walter Wright
Monadnoch 2:00
` Philly & Lowell 2:00
Snow 2:00
Woheboro 2:00

Morphemic Clamor by Olchar E. Lindsann 45:10

Repeats from beginning till 7:00 pm

Film and Documentary Screening Schedule
February 3, 2008

Yorktown by Ashley Maynor 12 min 15 sec

The Vanished by Nathan Ross 15: 30

Twelve Movies by Suzun Hughes 35:26

Alternative Spring Break by devon james Langston 17:05

The Holyland Show by Ralph Eaton 22:00

Reality Check produced by Michael Nesmith 10:00

Waiting by Jason Abete 5:17

Soap Opera Sounds by Megan Scott 5:17

Men, In Uniform by Ashley Maynor 4:04

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

John M. Bennett and DADA this Saturday at the Dumas Center

John M. Bennett, poet and curator of Avant Garde writing at Ohio State University, has penned a fascinating essay, titled, "The Blank Generation: An American Avant Garde."

Among other points, in this essay Bennett argues that, "new poetries and new fiction represent not just “games with language”, [...] but, gamy though they often are, these works are genuine explorations of alternative communication forms that are as linguistically meaningful as literature has always been."

If you'd like to read the full text, click here to download a PDF.

You also see Bennett in person at the DADA poetry performances and readings this Saturday, February 2nd, at Dumas Center for African American Culture, at 7:30pm.

There will a number of other artists as well, including T. J. Anderson, Olchar E. Lindsann, and Les Epstein. It's an event not to be missed!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Marginal Arts in the News

An article about the Marginal Arts Festival is in today's Roanoke Times. Check it out!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Marginal Arts in the Window

Window displays for the Liminal Gallery at the Center in the Square went up on Friday. Be sure to stop by and take a closer look!

This display, titled Threat Space features work by Scott MacLeod, curated by Jim Leftwich and Brian Counihan.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Meet the Artists: Respiratory Space

In the next week, we'll be posting about the artists taking part in this year's festival. For this first post, we'll introduce you to the artists behind the Respiratory Space exhibit.

Respiratory Space features work by four Roanokers who are employed as respiratory therapists. You can see their work in person at Speakeasy (108 Campbell Ave. SW) from January 26-Feb. 5. An artists' reception will take place on February 4th at 5pm.

(Photo of bear made by Denise Valente.)

TIM CARROLL: Tim graduated in 2005 from VCU’s Painting and Printmaking department with an emphasis in Lithography. Due to a lack of resources, such as a press, Tim switched mediums to work in oil paint.

Post-degree, Tim did not want to teach art so he researched a career change. Tim’s father was a paramedic at REMS for many years. (His father was also a failed ceramicist by the name of Chuck Carroll.) Tim discovered the career alternative of Respiratory Therapy while working at a print shop. In short, Tim said, “Hell, yeah!” to respiratory and enrolled in The Jefferson College of Health Sciences.

Tim works as a Respiratory Care Assistant and will graduate from the Jefferson College of Health Sciences in Spring 2008 with an AAS in Respiratory Therapy.

Tim has shown his art at the Anderson Gallery at VCU, the VCU Commons and several Bars, Salons and Coffee shops. He has also shown at the Studios on the Square in Roanoke.

JEFF SHEPPARD: Jeff grew up in Southwest Virginia and became a Journeyman Brickman out of high school. In his mid-20s, Jeff went to college to become a Respiratory Therapist.

Jeff has been a RRT for almost 26 years. He now works on the Transport Team, transporting neonates and children to and from the Medical Clinic here in Roanoke. As part of this work, he has traveled up and down the East coast from Maine to Florida.

Jeff started drawing 15 years ago and this hobby has continued to take up more and more of his time. In the fall of 2007, Jeff went back to college at Virginia Western Community College beginning his pursuit of a Master of Fine Arts. Jeff also plans on to transferring to VCU to complete a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art.

DENISE VALENTE: Denise was born in 1975 in Malone, NY the daughter of a Psychologist and a Social worker and the sister of one older brother. She grew up in Niskayuna, NY a left handed child of divorce and remarriage.

Denise pursued a BFA at University of Buffalo, SUNY and transferred to Alfred University, School of Art and Design because Denise felt that UB was huge and ugly and cold and she just didn’t want to spend four years there.

Denise earned a BFA from Alfred in 1998 with a concentration in Painting and Ceramics. That fall, Denise accepted an Artist in Residence position at the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works in Bucks County, PA. The following two summers Denise spent in Martha’s Vineyard making ceramic tile for functional installations with a friend. During this endeavor, Denise met her then future husband, Jesse Laplante, and began making the Muslin dolls that are being shown as part of Respiratory Space.

The winter and spring of 2000 Denise and Jesse lived briefly in Roanoke, VA before moving to Berkeley for almost four years. While in California, Denise maintained an artist studio where she lived. She also worked at Trax Gallery. The Sebastian Ward gallery later moved into the space and Denise showed her dolls and stuffed animals there. Denise’s stuffed animals were received warmly and Denise began selling them. While living in Berkeley, Denise was in two group shows in the 8th Street Gallery in Berkeley. Denise worked as the Manager of CafĂ© Fanny Granola until she decided to move back to NY and become a Respiratory Therapist.

Denise earned her AAS in Respiratory Care from Hudson Valley Community College, accepted a position in Roanoke as an RT and moved to Roanoke with Jesse in 2005. Denise maintains a studio in her home and sells her stuffed animals at the Roanoke Print Works in downtown Roanoke.

RANDY BAYNTON: Randy was born in Port Jervis, New York or New Jersey--he’s never been able to remember which. He has a degree in Philosophy from the College of William and Mary and also served in the Marine Corps as a Field Radio Operator in the Second Reconnaissance Battalion.

Randy has been a Respiratory Therapist for twenty-five years and currently works on the Neo-Peds Transport Team.

He has been married twenty-two years to a wonderful woman whose only fault is her questionable choice of husband. They have a twenty-year-old son who is attending JMU and is intelligent and good looking.

Randy has always loved art and has taken classes, public and private, in drawing and painting.

(Photo of bear made by Denise Valente.)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Quick Guide to When & Where for Festival Events

With so many events, it might be hard to keep track of all the Marginal Arts festivities. Enter Marginal Arts Fest Quick Guide and Google Map:

Click here to download a printable, one-page PDF with essential info for all the big festival events.

Click here to view a customized Google Map with all event locations, dates, and times.

Still have questions? Email Brian Counihan or leave a comment on this blog.

View Larger Map

Monday, January 21, 2008

Print-Your-Own Festival Posters

You might have seen some of these around town. If you'd like to print your own or view them in detail, check out our Flickr link on the blog sidebar or click on one of the images below:

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Let the DADA begin

The Marginal Arts Festival is a grass-roots, bottom-up festival of art, sculpture, painting, photography, installations, film/video, performance, and music conceived of by Brian Counihan and inspired by the countless artists of the avant-garde who have consistently pushed the boundaries of what can/should be deemed "art."

With the support of Community High School and other local artists, the underground and marginalized arts will take over Roanoke from February 1st to 5th, 2008.

Stay tuned to this blog for event details, contributing artist posts, and documentation of the Star City's first fringe-style arts festival.