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!