A Native Art Market in NYC & Washington, DC

Arts & Crafts, Design & Designers

Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian will run a Native Art Market this coming weekend, Saturday & Sunday, December 6 & 7, 2014, in New York City and Washington, D.C.

Smithsonian art-market-header

Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of the American Indian.

I had a look at some of the artists’ websites, and their skills just take my breath away. It’s humbling. The colors, shapes and techniques clearly speak of traditions so longstanding that they make my creative efforts seem meager and fleeting like a butterfly.

More info at the Native Art Market website.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

 

 

Discoveries: The Jane Austen Festival, Bath, UK

Bits in Spaaace!, Geek out!

Bath is currently celebrating the Jane Austen Festival (JAF). The ten-day commemoration includes various events of interest to Jane Austen fans: lectures, tours, workshops, a concert, a costumed promenade (a kind of parade) and a Regency Ball. Fortunately for those of us who can’t be there in person, the JAF provides photos. Here are just a few examples:

Jane-Austen-Festival-2013-7090

The Jane Austen Festival 2013.

1812-dance-6121

The Jane Austen Festival.

Jane-Austen-Festival-2013-8493

The Jane Austen Festival 2013.

There are few places more apt to function as backdrop for Austen’s work as Bath, and the photographers capture the people and the environments beautifully. Check the JAF site and the website of the JAF photographer, Owen Benson Visuals, for even more photos.

What interests me most in the photos is the costuming, though. Such a collection of intriguing and skillfully made garb! The pictures make me want to attempt making an empire gown. I’ve done a little historical or historically inspired sewing, but nothing of the English Regency era. As a textile history geek and an Austenite, I really should mend that gap, don’t you think?

Looks like a lot of fun! I may have to add the Jane Austen Festival to my bucket list.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

George R. R. Martin Archives at Texas A&M University Libraries

Books & Mags, Movies & TV

Twenty years ago, author George R. R. Martin donated his archives to the Texas A&M University Libraries. Martin’s archives are housed in the library’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection and consist of manuscripts, editions of his works, correspondence and other materials. Martin has continued to donate materials to the collection; it now includes almost 1,000 volumes of first editions and translated works, plus 200+ boxes of manuscripts and memorabilia.

Texas AM Uni Libr Martin Exhibit

Texas A&M University Libraries.

From March 2013 to February 2014, the library ran a large-scale exhibit, Deeper Than Swords, together with events including a book signing and a lecture / Q&A with the author.

Texas AM Uni Libr Martin Booksign

Texas A&M University Libraries.

Apart from A Song of Ice and Fire cycle / HBO’s Game of Thrones series, the exhibit highlighted Martin’s earlier work (including juvenalia) and various accompanying artifacts and visuals.

Texas AM Uni Libr Martin Case1

Texas A&M University Libraries.

Texas AM Uni Libr Martin Case2

Texas A&M University Libraries.

Although the exhibit is no longer open, the Texas A&M library has kept some Deeper Than Swords materials online. Apart from several photosets, the hour-long talk with Martin is available on YouTube.

In his talk, Martin discusses among other things his childhood and the importance of comics, books and libraries to his career.

(Additional details of the exhibition are available in the article How we brought 3,000 people to the library … With the help of Mr. George R. R. Martin by Todd Samuelson and Cait Coker, published in College & Research Libraries News July/August 2013, and Allen Reed’s article ‘Game of Thrones’ author George R.R. Martin returns to A&M published in The Eagle on February 10, 2013.)

I’m impressed at the amount of work that Texas A&M librarians and administrators invested in this Martin exhibition and in their Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection. They’ve even built a Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Database with close to 90,000 items of SF/F history and criticism. I’m sure their special collections will continue to be an invaluable resource for scholars and enthusiasts alike.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing. Because librarians rock! 🙂

Authors Dress Up: 26 Characters Exhibition

Books & Mags, Thumbs Up

If you’re going to Loncon 3 in August, this might warrant a detour: The Story Museum in Oxford is running an exhibition celebrating childhood story heroes (now until November 2nd). The exhibition is called 26 Characters, and the big draw is 26 authors portraying their favorite literary characters.

With costumes from the Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre, the 26 writers portray a collection of “rogues, rascals, witches and wild things” (as a BBC article puts it). My favorite is perhaps Neil Gaiman’s Badger (from Wind in the Willows):

Neil Gaiman as Badger from Wind in the Willows. Photo by Cambridge Jones; found via BBC.

Neil Gaiman as Badger from Wind in the Willows. Photo by Cambridge Jones; found via BBC.

Or possibly Anthony Horowitz as Jekyll and Hyde:

Anthony Horowitz as Jekyll and Hyde. Photo by Cambridge Jones; found via BBC.

Anthony Horowitz as Jekyll and Hyde. Photo by Cambridge Jones; found via BBC.

Wow! Amazing portrayals of the characters, and superb photography! This reinforces my belief on how important imagination is for us and for our our well being, no matter our age. Just think of all of the stories, plays, poems and myths we’ve imagined over millenia, not to mention tools, toys, gadgets and paraphernalia. I wouldn’t even be writing this if someone hadn’t thought of machines, which eventually lead to computers, which eventually lead to the Internet – and that, of course, wouldn’t even have been possible had someone not thought of scratching marks on a surface to record their thoughts all those years ago.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.