Thursday, October 13, 2005

Storytelling Festival

This past weekend I went to Jonesborough, Tennessee for a Storytelling Festival. I went with my friend Martha and we visited with her sister Nancy, who lives in Jonesborough. Anyhow, I had never been to or even heard of a Storytelling Festival, but apparently the one in Jonesborough is the epitome. If you're asked to be a storyteller there, you are at the top of the heap.

So what is storytelling? The tellers stand in front of the group and tell stories (well, duh). But it's more than that - the stories range from Big Lies to folk tales to stories from the tellers' lives (perhaps embellished a bit). The reactions can range from side splitting laughter to tears. To find out more visit the Storytelling Center

There were five or six huge tents set up around the town and each telling would last an hour, with half an hour inbetween to move to the next tent. Except most people picked their tent and stayed put so it was difficult to find a place to sit. Several tellers are so popular that we never did find a seat and stood for the whole hour.

The little town of Jonesborough is quite charming. Lots of old buildings with interesting little doodads on them.

Look at this huge ad painted on the side of the building. Wish I could have gotten an unobstructed view!

Everybody in town gets into the spirit of the event. I loved this stone wall and gate with the pots all along the top.

Martha's sister Nancy has the most wonderful house. She is always finding something to paint, mosaic, bead, stamp, or decorate in some manner. This is a glass mosaic that she did on the back door entrance to her house. It's a pineapple, but I had a bit of trouble seeing that until it was pointed out.

The leaves on the top of the pineapple are sort of underneath the white chair. But check out the planter on the left - legs from the knees down dressed in blue jeans and shoes. Everywhere I looked there was something cool that she had done. Made it difficult to come home to my unembellished house!

So what have I been doing fiber-wise? I'm in a Washington, DC based group called New Image and we're opening our latest show called Hardware at the Target Gallery of The Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, VA in 2 weeks. We each started with the theme of hardware and the requirement that each piece be exactly 15" tall, but as wide as desired. Each of us interpreted hardware in a different way, ranging from quite literal (that would be me) to plays on words to off the wall interpretations. I did a triptych a while back but then made an additional piece just recently. The background is a piece of sun printed cotton onto which I laid actual tools from my husband's toolbox. I also painted some silk a pale yellow/green and cut it into small squares. Next I visited all the drawers in the house to find those little things you toss in there "just in case" you need them someday. However, by the time you need them, you have either forgotten you have some or you can't find them, and end up going out to buy some more anyhow.

I took all those little doodads and arranged them in a grid fashion under the squares of silk, and stitched around the squares. There are fuses, S-hooks, screw eyes, washers, and other things that I cannot identify. The piece is called "What's In Your Junk Drawer?" The show runs from October 26 through December 4 at The Target Gallery The opening reception is Sunday, November 6, from 2-5pm. We also created a postcard packet with 12 images, in a very cool little folded black box with the word Hardware embossed in silver. The images on the postcards on the ones that are on the web page, along with each artist's statement.


starbender said...

Your pictures are great. I didn't know there was a "story-telling" festival. We will have 2 keep an eye out 4 next yrs!
Enjoy! :)

Gerrie said...

I just love the junk drawer quilt. Where have you been!

Rayna said...

great exhibit, Cathy! What fun.