From now until near the end of June we will post at least once a day with details on what you can experience at home during this pandemic year for Charleston’s annual festival of all arts. For 2020, FestivALL is when The Internet Becomes A Work Of Art. Every day we will bring you up to date on this year’s VirtuALL FestivALL, plus we will flash back to some of our video coverage from previous years, and I will dig into the archives for one post in the Monday Morning Art Exhibit, collecting some of my favorite pieces from the nearly fifteen years that I’ve been posting my original work here in PopCult.
Today’s big events include:
Poems While You Wait–A very popular feature for FestivALL the past several years has been Poems While You Wait. Poet Laureate, Marc Harshman, was joined by one or two other colleagues in poetry and then, on old-fashioned, that is, real typewriters, produced on demand a poem for festival goers. This year for virtual simplicity the old typewriters will be gone, as will the tense, sweaty faces of the poets at work but… poems produced for our poetry-hungry, virtual readers will be on offer in real time. And for free — really! Simply follow the rules at the website they’ll see that an original poem by either Marc Harshman or Ron Houchin finds its way to you within forty-eight hours of your request. But hurry – they’re only taking the first 30 who registerstarting at 4 PM.
Mountain Stage Special Broadcast; FestivALL Favorites–A specially curated two-hour episode of Mountain Stage with Larry Groce, featuring favorite performances from FestivALL’s past. Performances from: Wood Brothers, Todd Snider, Lucius, and more. This show will be aired statewide on WVPB radio networks at 8 M.
A Wrinkle in Time–The Alban plans to stream this live theatre version of A Wrinkle in Time. A play about one of literature’s most enduring young heroines, Meg Murry. Once again, she’s joining forces with Mrs. Whatsit, Charles Wallace, Calvin O’Keefe and more to battle the forces of evil so she can rescue her father, save humanity and find herself. Tickets are available at albanartscenter.com and on their Facebook page. When you buy a “ticket” you will get a digital link the day of the show that will allow you to watch the final product that day only. So make sure you buy a ticket for a day that you will be able to watch the performance as the link for each day will expire at midnight.
Other FestivALL events for today include being able to vote on The Artbus, check out the Art-for-ALL Kids’ Juried Art Exhibition look into the “Faces of First Responders” Tribute Mural and teens can participate in Life: Unedited. FestivALL is off to a strong VirtuALL start. You can also participate in the CAMC “Run For Your Life” virtual run/walk. The Virtual Art Fair will open on June 14th on the FestivALL website – check it regularly for the gallery and links to shop your favorite WV artisans this summer.
The FestivALL Flashback
We had a bit of video left over from our 2014 coverage, so we bundled it up for a Sunday Evening Video that brings you just under fourteen minutes of dance from Capitol Street. In this video we are treated to Cabaret Bellydance by Jenna Brooke Swanson and Susan Angela Hughart, and “Pachuca,” a Latin Swing Dance by Lacy Hughes.
The Monday Morning Art Exhibit
From April of 2019 we go back to two pieces that were done in advance to cover a trip out of town. Above you see “The Dancer” and below you see “The Dancers.” This is all in keeping with our flashback dance theme for today.
These are charcoal pencil drawings done on regular copy paper, enhanced with wax pencil “inking” techniques. It was around this time that I finally became comfortable with my drawing ability after regaining the use of my fingers. Both of these pieces were further enhanced digitally, to get the sharp contrast that I wanted, and to darken the blacks. The whole idea was to play with lighting and exagerrating what was in the original photos on which these were based.
Click the images to see them bigger.