This Week’s Various

The International Biscuit Festival in Knoxville was this past weekend; we’ve got to make it next year.  Who doesn’t love biscuits?!  What we missed musically: The Cleverlys, a Bluegrass cover band that covers songs like this:

and the Black Lillies performed, too:

Nancy Lou Webster, who grew up in Indianola and went to college at the W and Ole Miss, makes ‘treen’, the art of making utensils out of wood.  There’s a gallery of her work here and her website is here.

Last week I mentioned that the Phillis Wheatley school (that Modernist beauty) in Treme being up for demolition later this summer — there’s a petition to save it here (thanks for letting me know, Maggy!).

My friend Larry Harris who is very involved with the Orange Show in Houston has this great set of pics from this month’s Art Car parade.  Rex Rabbit!!

The Bham News ran an article with online gallery about the sixteen murals going in the new federal building in Tuscaloosa:

Federal government regulations require one-half of 1 percent of construction costs be spent on art for the building, Coogler said. In the case of the Tuscaloosa federal building, that came to just less than $250,000.

A committee, which included him, “came up with an idea of putting paintings in our building to tell the history of this area, our country, the struggles of the people, the victories of the people through art,” Coogler said.

One mural depicts the librarian at the University of Alabama trying to persuade a Union officer to allow him to get books out of the library before it is burned in the Civil War.

O’Connor said he plans to add a copy of the Koran to the painting, which he learned through his research was the only book retrieved before the library burned.

One of three Civil War murals was scrapped after O’Connor asked, instead, to paint a mural representing the April 27 tornadoes, one of which destroyed an area near the University of Alabama campus. He, his young son and two assistants were in his studio on campus the afternoon the tornado came through.

Darren Samuelson is touring the South right now doing photography using 14″x36″ X-ray film.

I used to be a vegetarian and could probably go back to it without much regret, and this is probably the film that could make me do it today.

Sacred Harp Singing School, Tannehill State Park, Cane Creek School, Alabama Folklife Association
On Sunday, I attended the Sacred Harp Singing School at the 1923 Cane Creek School at Tannehill.  And yes, I was probably the only little Jewish girl there.  But I had the biggest time!  If you can sing — or even if you can’t — *and* you have an interest in helping keep a traditional way of music alive, this is good, good, good.

The singing school was put on by the Alabama Folklife Association, directed by Jonathon Smith, and funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.  It was completely free.  Buell Cobb spoke on Sacred Harp’s history, and we learned how to sing from David Ivey, the director of Camp Fasola (if you wanted to put on a program about Sacred Harp, you could not do any better than to have these two gentlemen there).

We also had a talk between singings about dinner on the grounds, one of my favorite-favorite things, complete with a handout of recipes.

In 2008, I made a recording of Sacred Harp singing at the state archives in Montgomery, and put it on YouTube.  It’s had over 27k views (it begins with FaSoLa and the words to ‘Nearer My God To Thee’ begins right about the one minute mark):
I can’t sing in the first place (really.) and my having laryngitis must’ve made anyone within earshot of me terribly uncomfortable.  For that, I apologize.  See you at the National Convention in B’ham next month, though!  There’s a very nice listing of singings at this Ole Miss site too. — The Mississippi Heritage Trust’s 2011 list of 10 Most Endangered Places is out. — At Grow Local Colorado, they are working with the city of Denver to convert existing flower plots in Denver parks to “edible demonstration gardens” which would “inspire citizens to grow more of their own food” and “donate food to local food banks and communities in need.”  Smart! —

Critz Campbell's Eudora Chair at Mississippi Museum of Art

I remember when Critz Campbell’s ‘Eudora’ chair came out in 2005, but was so tickled to see it at the Mississippi Museum of Art!  Critz is an Assistant Professor at MSU and has a gallery of work here. — UAB archaeologist’s team “…by analyzing high-resolution satellite imagery covering all of Egypt…reportedly discovered up to 17 lost pyramids, nearly 3000 ancient settlements, and 1000 tombs.” — Alabama will mean bamboo the way “Florida means oranges, Idaho means potatoes and Maine means lobsters” if a new initiative is a hit.  Marsha Folsom wants to have bamboo (one of the “most efficient carbon-sequestering plants in the world”) grown domestically here in Alabama.  To publicize the effort, a team of four cyclists will ride bikes made of bamboo from Greensboro to California starting this month.  They’re calling it Alabamboo.

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