Apr–May 2013 Fluent Magazine

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Apr – May 2013 | Vol 1 No 5

Makers & Shakers The Art of Making Things Happen Making Art Work Flowers The Photography of Mary-Jo Bennett Less is More Cut To The Chase Film Festival Showing Up Shepherd Senior Show Ears, Eyes & Soul The Roots Continue... Agri:Culture The Poetry of Commerce Screenplay Jack & The Scarecrow Fiction Exit Door, Walls Poetry Sonja James Ed:Cetera The Annals of Rap Coda The Toilet Caper

“Bela Lagosi Daylily” by Mary-Jo Bennett

CONTENTS Makers & Shakers The Art of Making Things Happen

Making Art Work

Flowers The Photography of Mary-Jo Bennett

Less is More Cut To The Chase Film Festival

Showing Up Shepherd Senior Show


Apr–May 2013

Letter From the Editor Making Connections

Ears, Eyes & Soul The Roots Continue...

Agri:Culture The Poetry of Commerce

Screenplay Jack & The Scarecrow

Fiction Exit Door Walls

Poetry Sonja James

Ed:Cetera The Annals of Rap

Coda The Toilet Caper


C O N T R I B U T O R S Todd Coyle is a journeyman musician who has performed in and around the Eastern Panhandle of WVa and around the country for over 30 years. He has worked in folk, blues, pop, jazz and country bands as a guitarist, bassist, singer, producer and sound man. Ginny Fite has won national, regional and state journalism awards for her writing. She was the editor of the Gazette Newspapers in Frederick, the Lifestyle editor at the Herald-Mail, and Executive Editor at Phillips Publishing before retiring to Harpers Ferry. Shepherd Ogden lives in Bakerton, WVa. He is the author of five nonfiction books, one novel–memoir and a book of poetry. His photos and collected poems are at justsopress.typepad.com/facing.

Hannah Swindoll, a senior at Shepherd University, plans on graduating in May with a BFA with a concentration in photography/computer imagery. As a student, Hannah has focused on the use of lighting and perspective. Sheila Vertino is returning to her roots as a freelance writer and journalist, after a career as a magazine editor-in-chief and book and research publisher. Based in Shepherdstown, she describes herself as a culturally curious word nerd. Ed Zahniser’s poems have appeared in over 100 literary magazines, 7 anthologies, 3 books and 3 chapbooks in the U.S. and the U.K. He is co-editor of In Good Company, an anthology of area poets celebrating Shepherdstown’s 250th anniversary.

F LU E N T W E B S I T E Please visit the Fluent website (www.fluent-magazine.com), which complements the magazine with additional content, updated daily:

Gallery Happenings lists current and future exhibits in the region. Events Calendar gives detailed information on arts and cultural events. Newsworthy brings you stories of the arts, artists and happenings in the region.

Calls for Artists informs the arts community of opportuities. Classes lists organizations offering arts instruction for children and adults. Back Issues is the Fluent Magazine archive.


Arts & Humanities Alliance The Old Opera House

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Throwing Caution The Bridge Gallery

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Apr–May 2013 | Vol 1 No 5 Nancy McKeithen Editor & Publisher Ginny Fite Managing Editor Sheila Vertino Associate Editor Kathryn Burns Visual Arts Editor Zachary Davis Fiction Editor Tom Donlon Poetry Editor Contributing Editors Shepherd Ogden, Bill Tchakirides, Ed Zahniser Advertising Cynthia Fraula-Hahn Carolyn Litwack Submissions For information on submitting unsolicited fiction, nonfiction and poetry, please see www.fluent-magazine.com/submissions. Please submit events and arts news to submissions@fluent-magazine.com. Fluent Magazine is published bimonthly and distributed via email. It is available online at www.fluent-magazine.com. To subscribe www.fluent-magazine.com/subscribe All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be duplicated or reprinted without permission from the publisher. © 2013 Fluent Magazine

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Fluent Magazine is grateful for the support of the Jefferson County Arts and Humanities Alliance (AHA!) through its Community Grants program. Jefferson County, WVa is a Certified Arts Community.

Making Connections Making art and making art are two sides of the same passion: the space between doing and producing; the difference in perspective from easel to gallery wall, from rehearsal to performance, from writing to publication. The connection of art, audience and commerce is crucial to the success of artists and the vitality of art in our culture. In putting together this issue of Fluent, we realized that it has a theme: how art works. That magical moment when the viewer grasps the intent of the artist is the goal, but there are many steps in that seemingly seamless process. In “Makers & Shakers,” Ginny Fite shares her conversation with four people who make art work — some working center stage, some behind the curtain and some on both sides. In “Making Art Work,” Sheila Vertino introduces you to artist David Heatwole and his nontraditional methods of marketing his art. “Less is More” tells the story of two event marketers — shakers — bringing a new art event to the region: a shortfilm festival. “Showing Up” introduces you to twelve up-and-coming artists — graduating art majors at Shepherd University — who share their art, and their plans still in the making. In “Ears, Eyes & Soul,” Todd Coyle interviews working musician and songwriter Chelsea McBee. And Shepherd Ogden in “The Poetry of Commerce” considers the more philosophical aspects of the relationship between creative impulse and the demands of the market. It’s the business of art.

Ceramic artist Joan Bontempo in her studio—making art.

Nancy McKeithen, Editor & Publisher

PHOTO ABOVE Hannah Swindoll



The Roots Continue... BY TODD COYLE

Chelsea McBee has been touring and recording for the last 6 years and is quickly gaining popularity. Todd Coyle puts her on the FLUENT stage this issue to learn more about what influences her style of playing and songwriting. FLUENT Your are a master at roots Appalachian music. Where did you grow up and what influence did that have on your music? CM I grew up in Shepherdstown, WV, not really the kind of place that you think of when you think of Appalachian banjo music! The Eastern Panhandle is becoming more and more a suburb of DC. However, it is the kind of place that supports the arts. I was really first introduced to the old-time style of banjo during my senior year at Shepherd University. Ben Townsend (of The Fox Hunt and The Hackensaw Boys) taught me my first tunes on his old Fender banjo and I got hooked. Next I learned that there was a local group of folks that played roots music and so I got in with them. Now I use all that old-time influence when writing new songs and we still use my favorites of the old tunes during our shows. FLUENT Your new release, “Put This In Your Jar (and sip it),” tell us about it: When did it come out? Where can you get it? What’s in your jar? CM “Put This In Your Jar (and sip it)” is actually two albums. I wanted to release a 7-inch vinyl and this one has four songs. Three of them are traditional tunes and the fourth is an original fiddle tune written and performed by Lilly Noel, an 11-year-old fiddler friend of mine. My favorite tune that is on there is an Irishtune called “The Wind and Rain.” It’s about two


sisters from County Claire that fight over a man. My mom and sister sang with me, and I love the way we sound doing depressing a capella pieces! This album also comes with a digital download card that has the same songs as the vinyl as well as three more original songs of mine. It was released in October of 2011 and is available at any of my live performances, of course, as well as iTunes, FGEDE\ FRP and $PD]RQ. “Jar” is what I call my banjo since the original instruments were called banjars, but it’s not unusual to see me drinking my whiskey from a mason jar. Bulleit Rye whiskey is the #1 choice! FLUENT You’re known for playing the banjo. Do you play any other instruments? What musical training have you had? CM Other than being exposed to instruments in middle school band and working with Ben in the beginning, I haven’t had any formal training. I was always involved in school choirs but my major in high school was theater and I studied photography in college. I know a few chords on the guitar, and I am just now getting comfortable enough with the upright bass that I play a few songs on bass during our shows. It’s really fun to instrument swap, and I am liking the bass more and more! FLUENT What are the top three songs that influenced you the most and why? CM It was Gillian Welch’s song “My First Lover” that made me want to learn the banjo. I was on my way home from work and that song came on and there is a strange banjo line that really caught my ear. When I got home, I called Ben and said, “I need you to teach me how to do this.”

“Car Wheels on a Gravel Road” by Lucinda Williams is another big influence. I love her songwriting and gritty voice, but I also am really drawn to the production of her recorded material. That song in particular is great. The entire Nitty Gritty Dirt Band album “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” continues to be a reference point for me. I love the songs and all those voices on there. FLUENT What’s your favorite non-musical thing to do? CM There are so many things that I love to do! If I had to choose one though, it would probably be sewing. I have made a lot of the dresses I wear for shows. I knit as well, which is a little easier to do on those long car trips.

FLUENT I’ve seen you sing with your mom and sister. Did you come from a musical family? CM Yes! My mom has a lovely voice and would always make us (all five kids) sing harmonies in the car on long trips. My step-father is also quite musical and would have band practices and things like that at the house. It has been a blessing to have them perform with me. Our voices blend together easily and we all get along pretty well! FLUENT The Random Assortment, tell us about the band. Who are they? CM The Random Assortment began when I ran into Ben Witman (mandolin) about 2 years ago. I roomed with his sister in college so I knew him a little bit but


neither of us played instruments back then. When we reconnected, we joked about “starting a band,” but then we kept getting together to jam, brought on a bass player and now here we are—a band. Jeremy Rodgers plays upright bass with me but also plays in a northern Virginia-based band called The Dreamscapes Project. Both Ben and Jeremy live in Virginia. My mom, Teresa McBee, and sister, Melody Massimino, join us whenever they can, and they always add so much to the show! FLUENT I heard you snuck into Prince’s recording compound. What’s the story? CM Hahahaha! While most of the details of that excursion remain top secret, I can tell you this much: In July of 2012 we traveled to Minneapolis to perform at a wedding. As it turns out, Prince has a recording studio there. There were several beds of purple flowers out front and it looked lovely. No one got arrested. FLUENT I hate this question, but I’ll ask it anyway. What’s your songwriting process? CM My process has recently evolved a little bit. I used to write all my songs while driving. I’d get a hint

of a melody in my head or a catchy line of lyrics and I would sing it to myself over and over until I had a whole song worked out. I’m sure I looked super cool to all those other drivers. Then once I got home, I’d pull out the banjo and figure out how to play it. Now I’m able to sit down and work out a line on the banjo and build from that or immediately put chords to what ever lyrics are running in my mind and create the song. I think it has opened up the door to what I can come up with by having my instrument in my hands while writing. And now I can leave those long car trips to daydream about other things. FLUENT Describe your perfect morning. CM Hmmmmm, my perfect morning.... It would certainly start by waking up on my own instead of to an alarm. I would have breakfast in front of the woodstove with my dog curled up on my feet. I’d put on a Linda Ronstadt or Fleetwood Mac record and I might read a little to ease into the day. Someone else would do the dishes and then I would get outside before having to pack up and head to that big theater where we would headline a sold-out show. That doesn’t seem like too much to ask. fluent

Join us!

at the AHA! May Exhibit

“Jefferson County Photography Project” Benita Keller Photography Opening Reception Saturday, May 4 5:30–7:30 pm Exhibition Dates May 4–29, 2013 AHA! Fire Hall Gallery 108 North George St Charles Town, WV

Become a member today! www.ahajc.org




The Poetry of Commerce BY SHEPHERD OGDEN

It’s spring at last. The crocuses are peaking from beneath the detritus of another winter, the lawns are showing some green-shine amongst the scruff left from short days and long chill nights. In the garden, garlic and chives are emerging and the cool weather weeds are rushing to seed. In the cold frame, a lot of crop plants that used to be considered weeds are still supplying salads six months after we planted them last October. It is a truism that the flow of everyday life in its fullness is uninteresting, and that the various arts distill life, as for example, musical notes distill the silences before them to between. Our gardens, and the crops in them, are similarly called out from the background of the landscape, refined and shaped to our needs and pleasures though we can no more exclude or replace that nature than the musician can excise the silences that give meaning to the notes. It’s partly about timing and partly about attention, just as in the garden and the landscape. I have spent the last 30 seasons in the garden, but I was 10 years a poet before that. In fact, I came to gardening first because it fed me, but my passion for it deepened when I began to realize how it focused my perception, my observation of the sensual and seasonal flow within which we all live, whether we pay attention to it or not. It was in the garden I first learned to read the landscape. I’ve just spent a month of spare moments cruising the seed catalogs that arrived over the course of winter with the jaded eye of a former catalog copywriter, and last week I dug into my collection of older catalogs from The Cook’s Garden which I produced during the ’80s and ’90s. It was during that time that mainstream America rediscovered a number of plants they had ignored over the last hundred years or so. What interests me here is the oft discussed tensions between capital-A Art and capital-M Mammon, and the willing, delusional participation 10 |

in art called “the willing suspension of disbelief ” that happens between writers and readers of seed catalogs. The first is the more common and less interesting. Many, if not most, artists have had to take non-artistic work at some point; some have even held the two apart with great success and little apparent conflict (I think here of the poets Wallace Stevens and William Carlos Williams). But this bifurcation is different than the photographers or the videographers who spend the majority of their productive (and creative) lives whoring to products and politicians so as to make their art with the same (now compromised?) tools. As one who began gardening out of a love of poetry and ended up a more or less willing whore of commerce, this is a particularly slippery slope of reminiscence. The production of artifacts, whether sonnets or squashes, is a holy, absorbing task. But the selling of those excreta of the creative process is where artifice comes to the fore, and especially where the shared narrative of fulfillment between creator and consumer is clinched. And the seduction of gardeners by seed catalogs is only barely less than pornographic. You see, the funny thing about transactions between a seed company and gardeners is that the product bought and the product sold are not at all the same thing. Dreaming of future pleasures and swayed by an open-ended dream — the same one that causes most mail order gardeners to order three times the seed they can actually use — the gardener sees a picture-perfect picture of a tomato or a melon, or a brimming salad bowl, and ticks off their order form (or clicks on the “add to cart” button) to have it. But the mail order bride that arrives a week or two later is hardly the thing desired at the moment of commitment. Instead, what arrives is an envelope or small box, and within that, a rubber-banded sachet of seed packets, each containing the individual, winter-lit dream of summer. No actual tomatoes, no real melons.

No, what was bought was the story, a dream; the gardener’s well-founded knowledge of frost, drought, insects and disease was once again relinquished at the moment the relationship was consummated. At its peak, The Cook’s Garden catalog had nearly 750 items packed into 108 pages, which also had to include introductory text for the whole catalog, explanatory text for each different crop (like tomatoes, melons and peppers), plus an index and ordering information. These parts of a catalog are like a magazine’s letter from the editor, the TOC descriptions of the various columns and articles, or what book publishers call the front matter, before the actual text. In the direct response business (“mail order” is now so old fashioned), this is where the company brand is defined, and demand for the products offered is created; it is there that the tone is set, and the overall narrative for what is to follow is developed. But what that means for each actual item in the catalog is that it gets about 25–30 words, a sort of extended Haiku. As the copywriter, one has the reader’s attention for at most 10 seconds, and this only if you have set a proper tone and narrative. I can tell you that this is less sure a deal than even with a novel or short story. Afterall, the reader may have entered your narrative looking for some specific product. So, what can one say in 25–30 words, to distinguish each among 50 different lettuces for example, without disparaging any of them?

Craquerelle du Midi — An open-hearted French cos-type lettuce that is especially suited for the warm climates du midi. We have good reports from Florida growers who can harvest firm heads into early June! So, the question is: Does the poet copywriter benefit from their “bread work” in the same way that a pianist might benefit from playing in a piano bar? Does the sheer practice — and occasional improvisation — hone the ear or quill? Does the forced residency of voice in things eventually improve the power of the ideas that drive the poet forward, and strengthen the voice without turning it into a normalized voice of the multitudes? And finally, does the wooing of audience, the spinning of the dream, build the poet’s strength of metaphor, the confidence of elision or simply McKuenize or Mammonize? Ask a poet. To the gardener-reader, a more likely question is: “Can I trust what I read in a seed catalog?” My answer is yes, if you read it as closely as you do a poem, because the necessary poetry of commerce has its own rigor. You can count on that, and nothing more. fluent

Reine des Glaces — One of the most beautiful of lettuces, with deeply notched leaves and a convoluted head of frosty green. We get our best results from spring plantings. Bionda Liscia — This tender, small-leafed lettuce can be cut several times beginning only a month after planting. Best suited for spring and fall crops.

Mary Azarian, illustration, The Cook’s Garden seed catalog

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THE ART OF MAKING THINGS HAPPEN Cynthia Gayton — Lawyer, owner of Steam at Harper’s Ferry gallery, founder of the Bolivar-Harpers Ferry Community Art Walk

by Ginny Fite

Pam Parziale — Potter, owner (with Ren) of Sycamore Pottery, founder of Arts & Humanities Alliance of Jefferson County and Over the Mountain Studio Tour

What is it that propels you to step into a void and create a new organization or program or opportunity for artists? I’ve worked with artists for decades, and it is interesting to me how artists perceive themselves. I’ve given business advice to artists all during that time and noticed a profound difference between my artist clients and my other small business clients. Only a small percentage of the artists I work with consider themselves as businesspeople, which has an impact on whether or not they get paid adequately for their work. I’ve talked the talk for a long time. I wanted more recently to walk the talk. Right, Pam and Ren Parziale, potters, in their studio. Far right, a postcard illustration of Jeanne Mozier multitasking at her beloved Star Theater. (photos throughout provided by the person interviewed where not otherwise indicated.) Columns continued on page 14

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I love collaboration with others, to hear about new ways of doing something. It is easier when one is young — full of enthusiasm, energy and confidence.

BEHIND MANY SUCCESSFUL ARTISTS is an impresario, not a puppet master but the person who invents the opportunities where the artist can shine. n The person who changes the tune of a chorus of naysayers, who literally creates space for the artist to perform, who makes something happen that has never happened before, is just as much an artist as those on stage. n It’s just that the medium is a bit different. They work in the air, often without a net. n FLUENT interviewed several of these Makers & Shakers, people who make things happen in our region, to get a sense of what is the same and what’s different about them. n Some clues: They don’t hear the word “no”; they are persistent; they solve problems. They have abundant enthusiasm, and a gift for finding ways to bring people together to share their passion. n The reward for them is that the thing they’re passionate about, whatever it is, gets done. n Their answers to our questions are in their own words. Part I of two.

Jeanne Mozier — Writer, astrologer, owner of Star Theater in Berkeley Springs, founder of Morgan Arts Council, International Water Tasting, Apple Butter Festival

Jennifer Finley — Owner of Angles Framing and TheArtistAngle, a marketing resource service for artists, cofounder of Artomatic@Frederick

What is it that propels you to step into a void and create a new organization or program or opportunity for artists? I’m an Aries. I start things. Better that I start organizations and projects than fights.

Passion is the driving force for me. I have a passion for art and a desire to share that passion with others... to create environments that actively engage artists... enable them to interact with the public. In reality there is never really a complete “void.” Energy, talent and passion exist in the community. For me it’s about focusing that energy and transforming it into something bigger than the individual artists. Put simply, I love what I do. I am involved with many different levels of networking. My network includes artists, businesses, art patrons and local organizations. There is magic that happens for everyone when the right connections are made. I spend a great deal of effort making those positive connections both in my business and in the community. Columns continued on page 15

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What’s your response when people say “no” or express resistance to your idea or program? Cynthia Get in line. I’ve heard “no” so many times for so many reasons, I don’t pay attention anymore. The word “no” is just noise. Poster for “Big Top” exhibit at Steam gallery.

Pam This calls for a reassessment of the idea or the project. Is it worth the extra effort? Who are the allies? Who else can help propel the project forward? Sometimes it helps to be involved in politics since so many funding decisions are made on the political level. An individual member of the County Commission was responsible for obtaining the needed support for the funding of the AHA Community Grants program. Depending on the project, it may help to involve other artists, enlarging the field. Dancers working with poets, now that’s a way to visualize poetic thoughts! Sometimes unlikely organizations may benefit from the project. The Potomac Valley Audubon now has a vital arts program that is embedded into their summer programs for children. There are so many possibilities, so much potential.

Thinking back on the creation of your gallery, event, organization or program, were there times when you just wished you stayed in the office or at home? Cynthia Definitely. From a business perspective, practicing law is a lot easier. I get paid for a service and because of the degree and bar admissions, I can just point to those things as support for my expertise. The gallery’s challenge isn’t the gallery itself, but it is a huge challenge to have a retail business. It isn’t just providing a service, but managing inventory, artists, events, etc. The increased paperwork, tax requirements, bank fees, etc. take so much away from running the business! The Art Walk is an interesting project because I’ve attended gallery openings and participated in artrelated events for many years, an Art Walk isn’t a new thing to me. But I found that explaining it to other people was another challenge. But I really love Bolivar and Harper’s Ferry and anything I can do to draw more attention to these towns is worth the extra hassle.

Pam Of course there has been frustration with an organization like AHA that relies on insecure funding sources and depends on volunteers to manage its many projects and programs. Raising money for others takes a generous spirit and strong intestinal fortitude because one is dependent on others. The Studio Tour is a different animal. The tour relies on the artists themselves. The need to make a living, to make money, is a great motivator. Artists need to support one another, because the support for the arts is not easy to achieve.

“Working with other artists is a relief, a comfort, as the exchange of ideas can lead to new ways of making things.” Pam Parziale 14 |

Columns continued on page 16

photo Mary Lehman

What’s your response when people say “no” or express resistance to your idea or program? Jeanne Resistance is futile.

Jennifer It is important to realize that you will never have 100% consensus. The goal is to bring in as many people as possible, but I realize that my visions will not be accepted by everyone. You have to be prepared to handle some rejection. Persistence is a key attribute to building a program of any type. If resistance is met, it is critically important to understand why there is resistance and attempt to address those issues — sometimes by adapting my product. I have found that by being positive and putting out positive energy, people are much more likely to be attracted to, or at least consider, my ventures.

Left, the Morgan Arts Council (MAC) Ice House gallery (photo provided by Jeanne Mozier)

Thinking back on the creation of your gallery, event, organization or program, were there times when you just wished you stayed in the office or at home? Jeanne I’ve never stopped loving the Star. Making a living making people happy — what’s not to love? Most of the other organizations and projects occasionally seem like a life sentence and I’d like to wish myself out of them, but then I don’t see anyone else ready to step up — especially not for free. What would life in Berkeley Springs be like without Travel Berkeley Springs or MAC? I do occasionally get to reduce my tasks so now my involvement with Apple Butter Festival is being “the Voice” and taking photos. Then there are projects that need to be revived, like the Museum of the Berkeley Springs. I started it. Left. Then had to come back nearly 20 years later to keep it alive. No matter what, I wouldn’t be playing solitaire — I’d be working on my Berkeley Springs History book. Someday. Someday.

Jennifer Many times! There are many days that I wake up with my heart racing, questions: Did I forget something? How am I going to make everything happen and come together? Did I take on too much? And maybe most importantly, are things being done well and professionally? But success is about discipline and a strong belief in your efforts and mission. As a leader, I feel a sense of tremendous responsibility to everyone who depends on me.... my drive to succeed far outweighs any thoughts of giving up or slowing down. Every time I achieve a small success, I gain more confidence and a renewed energy. Small wins are critical to building positive momentum.

Right, Jennifer Finley adjusts a painting at Artomatic@ Frederick 2011. (photo provided by Jennifer Finley) Columns continued on page 17

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How do you convince yourself and others to keep going when you are creating something new? Cynthia (left) That is the thing about creating — one is always creating something new.

Pam The ceramic artist Betty Woodman said it very well, “The problems of a middle-aged artist are different. You finally reach a point where you feel you have something to say and you have the skill to say it, but the challenge of how to do it isn’t there.” Many artists just stop. They become tired of being poor. The energy flags. Working in order to receive recognition is not a reason to make art. Working with other artists is a relief, a comfort, as the exchange of ideas can lead to new ways of making things.

When the notion to create something new comes to you, do you evaluate it in any particular way or do you just go with the impulse? Cynthia I don’t consider new ideas as impulse thinking — it is more problem-solving. How can I draw attention to something? What needs to be done in order for that to happen? It may at first seem to be an impulse, but it usually is a result of allowing the problem to organize itself in a productive way in my mind.

Pam Since I work with my husband, Ren, and have for more than 40 years, we often discuss our work. This may be the result of commissions we receive, the desire for new glazes, or having to respond to changes in the marketplace, like the price of fuel for the kiln, which is much more expensive than in the past. Our travels in Sicily and in Italy have been transforming. What we have seen has provoked a lot of discussion and experimentation. Our pottery is quite different now, new shapes, different glazes, and the results are ongoing.

Is there a special kind of satisfaction in creating something that supports other people’s artistic endeavors? What’s the reward for all the work? Cynthia I had a professor who turned my way of thinking upside down. Lawyers are in many ways skill hoarders, because you get paid for knowledge. If you tell everyone, why would anyone pay you? The fact is, few people actually want to do what is necessary to be a lawyer. It isn’t because they aren’t smart enough — they just have other things they think are more important to do with their lives. His approach was to share knowledge. The ability to create ideas is an infinite skill, limited only by imagination and follow-through. The knowledge he shared with others encouraged most of his associates to reciprocate. That was a profound thing to me. The reward is that it gets done, despite all the obstacles. Art Walk. (photos above/below Don Burgess)

Pam Working as we do in our studio is a solitary endeavor. The opportunity to engage with others, to be a mentor or a colleague, expands our narrow little world in unexpected ways. For example, for 3 years I was in charge of the Artists in Residence program for AHA: writing grants, selecting artists and working with community folks to find ways to collaborate to bring artistic experiences to more people. The artists represented the fields of pottery, music and photography. The research that was required to write the grants gave me a deeper understanding of the art form. The results are tangible. Children make things out of clay, people sing new melodies, and photographers grow in their imagination, exhibit new work and photo Sycamore Pottery get feedback from fellow artists. Columns continued on page 18

How do you convince yourself and others to keep going when you are creating something new? Jeanne I wish I had an answer. I just start doing something and all of a sudden, there are a bunch of other folks (photo 2011 Apple Festival t-shirts).

Jennifer It is all about the vision and maintaining energy. Achieving visions takes a great deal of energy and resources. And visions evolve! There are several things that I do to keep my team motivated. One is to establish intermediate milestones so that 1) goals appear more achievable and 2) provide opportunities for positive wins. Nothing instills positive energy and momentum like earning success. This success becomes very relevant when people take ownership and become active participants.

When the notion to create something new comes to you, do you evaluate it in any particular way or do you just go with the impulse? Jeanne It all happens almost instantly but I have learned over the years that if it’s the right thing, it shouldn’t be hard. If it’s too hard then I’ll just wait an hour or so for the next great idea. I have to admit though that waiting 22 years to get my novel published is stretching it a bit.

Jennifer Jump and the bridge will appear! For instance, TheArtistAngle vision has evolved over the past two years and taken on energy of its own as more people have become involved. The members influence the direction the company takes, and I expect that it may be something very different in two more years as membership continues to grow. Although the path may change, the mission statement has always remained the same — get artists involved in the community! Sometimes you just need to go with the vision and worry about the details as you go.

Is there a special kind of satisfaction in creating something that supports other people’s artistic endeavors? What’s the reward for all the work? Jeanne Hmmm...another hard question. It isn’t money. I guess living in one of the top 10 art destinations in America and having a bunch of weird — and interesting — friends who create one-of-a-kind items featuring stars is a worthwhile pay-off.

Jennifer On a personal level, I can tell you that there was never a more exciting night for me than the opening night of Artomatic@Frederick. The energy of art, music and community coming together to celebrate was truly magical. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing a vision come true! There is a wonderful sense of giving and satisfaction when I see artists getting such positive feedback from the community. Although individual art can be extremely personal, the value that art as a whole brings to a community is incredible. When I realize that I am part of mission that has elevated the stature of art, I feel a tremendous amount of civic pride. Left, Jeanne Mozier poses with bottled water entered in the 23rd occasion of the festival she founded, the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting.

Columns continued on page 19

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Can your belief in and enthusiasm for the arts be transmitted to others? Cynthia I think so. Just like negativity, enthusiasm and joy are contagious. My goal is to stay away from the negativity and try to concentrate on the joy and enthusiasm. Above, Steam at Harpers Ferry gallery logo.

Pam Yes, I know that enthusiasm can be transferred to others. Anne Rule Thompson said, “Working in clay makes you a rock star!” And she is right. Not only children, but adults get so focused when they have a ball of clay in their hands. I have seen remarkable changes take place. People with disabilities, with emotional problems, or people who are just plain happy, when given the opportunity to push, pound and poke a ball of clay, respond in the most enthusiastic ways.

What do you think is your legacy? Cynthia I hope that my legacy will be helping to revive not only the arts in my little corner of the world, but that I supported economic resilience. Living and working in such a historic area, I realized that what I am doing right now can become part of this town’s history, as well as part of my own legacy.

Pam Legacy?! Maybe persistence!

Does anything else occur to you about making something out of nothing?

Cynthia If you look hard enough, the “something” you can create will be revealed. (photo Children’s art at Art Walk)

Pam Ren and I were helping the brickyard in Martinsburg. We were firing their test bricks in our propane kiln. The manager of the brickyard said we were creating wealth, making something out of nothing! Well, not exactly nothing, as clay is something indeed.

Do you think of yourself as an artist, as a “creative” or is doing your work simply an extension of your own interests? Cynthia I consider myself a creative in the very broad sense of the word. What I am doing now is a culmination of everything I have ever done, applied in a very specific way in the form of a gallery.

Right, posters for the exhibits “Steampunk Leisure” and “Gadgets, Guns and Gears” at Steam gallery in Harpers Ferry. Owner Cynthia Gayton presents new exhibits at Steam throughout the year.

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Can your belief in and enthusiasm for the arts be transmitted to others? Jeanne The trick to engaging other folks in various projects, including arts, is to figure out how to put it in their language. Tourism folks understand arts brings people to town. Economic development folks understand arts means business. Educators understand arts means smarter kids. Artists understand that having a noted art town sells their work. Funders understand that arts can help achieve their cause du jour.

Jennifer Absolutely! It already has—through positive energy. When people see that you are excited about a vision, the energy can be contagious. When people see entire groups excited and involved, the contagiousness grows stronger! I think people in general want to be involved with activities and events that are positive. My experience is that if I radiate positive energy and show passion, people will be attracted to it and follow.

What do you think is your legacy? Jeanne My books. And, if the Ice House is finished in my lifetime (please angels), it will be having a great art and community center that would never have been there otherwise. Of course, that’s a legacy I would share with a whole host of people—and that’s a good thing.

Jennifer Currently—passionate, positive, energetic. My future is in leadership within the art community. I am currently researching a fairly new business model under which TheArtistAngle will be built. My vision and mission for the company is to align my business with a model based on a Social Enterprise company. This model uses business to solve social and economic issues.

Does anything else occur to you about making something out of nothing? Jeanne I never really understood making something from nothing until I got involved with artists. The creative force is so powerful. An idea, a vision, a phrase, a snippet of sound or turn of the head can become a profound experience that can impact countless other people. Something from nothing, although it’s nothing only in the material sense.

Jennifer To create something out of nothing means that there are no boundaries. It’s about personal growth and vision as well as reinventing yourself. It can be anything and everything you envision.

Do you think of yourself as an artist, as a “creative” or is doing your work simply an extension of your own interests? Jeanne Absolutely. In addition to being an Aries with endless new ideas and enthusiasm, I have a Virgo moon which means I need to be useful and am able to be organized and focused.

Jennifer For me it’s both creativity and an extension of my work. One of my missions when I opened my framing company was to use my business to serve the community in some way. I found that one of the ways that I could touch a lot of people was to work with artists. They have the greatest need. I feel that my creativity is displayed in two ways, one in my own design work and two in actually creating a company that serves and encourages artists to build their own business. fluent Left, one of the many rooms filled with art at Artomatic@ Frederick, co-founded by Jennifer Finley.

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MakingArtWork THE OLD JOKE used to be that you had to be dead to be a famous artist. It’s practically still true. Only able to afford a loaf of bread or a surface to paint on while they were alive, Paul Cezanne and Vincent Van Gogh never could have imagined that their paintings would sell for $259 million or $82.5 million, respectively. Even today, if artists are not supported by family or a generous patron or are very good at writing grants and fellowship applications, it’s very difficult for them to make a living selling their art. Enter marketing, a new arena in which the artist can exploit his own creativity to represent his work and make direct sales to art-loving customers. 20 |

Pulsating with energy, the colors and shapes twist, swirl and tantalize in David Heatwole’s art vision — and reflect his personal imperative: to increase. Heatwole explains. “Everything is created to further a cause. A seed planted in the earth will continue to grow, produce more seeds and then plant and grow again and again.” Similarly, when art and beauty are created and enter the universe, they will continue to create beautiful things. Which leads us to marketing art…. In his quest to increase and connect with prospective buyers for his art, Heatwole has seemingly left no stone unturned. “When I first started, I did galleries, but word of mouth and friendships, that’s how you make the sales. I’ve got a handful of really great collectors, but it’s not enough.” Ironically, a stint in real estate exposed Heatwole to the basics of marketing and how to think like a businessperson. He’s embraced social media marketing and shares with Fluent his insights on what’s working for him, and what’s not, in marketing a financially successful arts business. Heatwole’s “Enlightened Perception I” was listed for 5 days on eBay and sold for $25, low for Heatwole’s work when sold traditionally through a gallery. His advice: “Get the work out of your possession, and move it at whatever cost, unless you just want to make art for your own enjoyment, and that is great, too.”

By Sheila Vertino Market every day. On a typical day, Heatwole starts marketing around 9 am, first with phone calls and responding to emails, then marketing selected pieces on various social media sites like eBay and Etsy, and finally some Twitter action. “I use Twitter to either tweet a thought or just to re-post tweets by those I follow. This retweeting is very good for finding followers. I have a number of Twitter accounts and use TweetDeck to make tweeting easier and less time consuming.” Although he tries to keep his marketing outreach to an hour each day, “Sometimes it’s a struggle to put it down and walk away from it!”

Be organized. Heatwole, a self-described “multi-tasker in a bad way,” imposes structure on the thousands of details for his multiple visionary plans by using project management apps like ActionMethod; different email addresses for various ventures; Evernote for lists, tasks and reminders; and a Box.com app for organizing and sharing files. A time recorder helps him put value on his art pieces, by documenting how long they took to complete. However, Heatwole allows that “Sometimes I price on how much I want to get rid of inventory, to get it into collections around the country.”

Stay in touch. Maintain a database, says Heatwole, and include “all key people, investors, relationships on a business or personal level. Having months go by without communicating with somebody, stinks!” Communicate with key people regularly with phone calls and emails, he advises, and remember their birthdays. Facebook is great for keeping track of this.)

Husband, father, artist, entrepreneur, marketer David Heatwole stands beside his mural on the side of the Red Brick Gallery in Martinsburg, WV, that depicts in plastic bottlecaps Van Gogh’s famous self-portrait. Heatwole took down the mural after two years, concerned about it weathering another winter, but it’s in the process of re-installation at a private collector’s residence. As he says on his Twittter page, Heatwole is “dedicated to the idea of Changing The Way... ART Works!”

Embrace technology and social media. “You can’t be afraid of the computer and technology! So many people are weirded out by Facebook and privacy concerns. Why not be an open book?” Heatwole asks. “What are you hiding?” Heatwole tries to post something every day. “I keep it to art, not issues that are affecting society.” Heatwole manages a personal page and a variety of Facebook Fan pages, each focused on a specific artistic venture. “On a daily basis I | 21

Heatwole, whose most productive time to paint is between 3 and 7 am, markets his work under his own name and two others: “David Johnson” (John’s Son) in honor of his late father, John Heatwole, a sculptor; and D.J. Priest, reserved for his energy and synergy art creations. His symbolic, surreal and fantasy work bears his own name. Giclée prints of “Water Lilies” (below), the first of his 3-D paintings to be printed, is sold under his D.J. Priest name and includes with each print a collection of 3-D polarizing glasses he designed with a fellow artist. Heatwole’s more expensive work is found in galleries, but “until my name is more widely known and I have really good representation in the gallery market, I will have to keep selling via the Internet and festivals,” he says.

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reach over 300 people with my posts. When I’ve advertised on Facebook, I’ve averaged approximately 1200 people a day, and it’s cheap marketing.”

Move inventory, build client lists through eBay. Using an eBay for Dummies book — he’d had it for years and never used it — Heatwole taught himself in two weeks how to sell his art through online auctions. He decided to try posting items with a starting bid of 99 cents, and no reserve — which means if there’s only one bidder, “You have to be ready to let go of it for 99 cents.” “I have seen it work for some other artists who already have people collecting their work. For example, aboriginal art. The bidding starts out low but usually goes much higher.” To date, Heatwole has 86 sold listings, ranging from $225 to $.99, average $35. About those 99 cent sales, Heatwole says, “You have to be ready to lose your shirt. I created an entire sketchbook of drawings for this purpose.” These pieces are not as detailed as his symmetry paintings, and he can produce 2–3 a day. “I now have a really good, current list of buyers. I needed to build a new list and built it quickly. People are now waiting for new stuff to be posted.”

Evaluate a site’s effectiveness. Besides Facebook and eBay, Heatwole also has his art on Etsy (ArtfullyYoursDavid) and Pinterest (David Heatwole’s Art), but these sites haven’t been as good a match. “As a fine artist, trying to sell art for a

higher price, Etsy seems [to me] to be designed for people selling crafts or lower-priced items.” Over on Pinterest, Heatwole’s art hasn’t taken off yet (just 4 Followers, 5 Pins, 3 Likes and 1 Repin for his “Water Lilies” 3D painting), but he wants to learn more about how to use Pinterest for marketing. He hasn’t ruled it out yet as a viable option.

Stay stimulated. Heatwole is quick to give credit for some of his ideas to Jack White, an author and successful artist who produced a series of books, including the Mystery of Making It. “I highly recommend it to every artist who is not yet at the top. Get that book and have a highlighter. It’s all stuff I already knew, but he says it in a coaching way, and that makes you want to do it.” Heatwole learned the 99¢ advice from another book by White: The Art of Making It. He also reads Fast Company and Inc. magazines regularly “to stay up on technology trends and to pick up valuable resources for marketing myself.”

Be involved in your community. “If you want to succeed as an artist business-wise, you can’t be stuck in your house and hoping that someone will discover you.” Heatwole is passionate about promoting the arts. “I do this through traditional marketing means as well as more creative Community Collaborative projects dedicated to bringing as many varieties of people together through the art making process.” Visit TheArtsCollaborative.org to view some of this community work.

Expand your exhibit venues. Hunt where the ducks are! Heatwole’s typical buyers are women who live healthy lifestyles and are interested in energy issues. To reach them, Heatwole plans to contact yoga studios and acupuncture centers to exhibit his energy and synergy paintings. He also exhibits at the North Mountain Arts Festival in Hedgesville. If you decide to exhibit, you need to be ready to take payments. Heatwole uses a Square cell phone credit card reader for processing credit cards, but is also exploring new options like Paypal’s cell phone card reader.

Get in the paper! Heatwole’s latest public art installation — the Toilet Monument on a pedestal in downtown Martinsburg (see “Coda,” p 56) — only stayed in place for 20 minutes and resulted in a court summons and a $202 fine. Calling it an “art stunt” meant to stimulate discussion, Heatwole was puzzled and surprised by the response. “Not everybody appreciated what I did. I didn’t mean to offend people, but rather make them laugh!” While the publicity might cost him money, it resulted in abundant “free” coverage in local, regional and international media. Heatwole’s approach to marketing is as multifaceted as his synergisticstyle paintings. “All of it works together.... Use your mind power, and envision what you want to happen. Then you have to be ready to walk the walk. Keep throwing that stone in the water and watch the ripples, hoping you are on the right path.” fluent

Among his latest work, “Art Angel on the Move” above, sold under his David Heatwole label, has a Heatwole painting within a painting.

current exhibit

Museum of the Shenandoah Valley 901 Amherst St, Winchester, VA Jun 18–Sep 15, 2013 hours Mon Closed Tue–Sun 10 am–4 pm phone 540-662-1473 shenandoahmuseum.org artist

contact 304-283-1902

website davidheatwoleart.com

twitter https://twitter.com/david


facebook facebook.com/pages/


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flowers The Photography of Mary-Jo Bennett

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Crazy Clematis

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Right, Pink Mum #2 Below, Cream Delight Daylily Far Right, Bela Lagosi Daylily

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Pink Tulip Petals

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Right, Orange Gerber Below, Pink Tulip Center Far Right, Tulip Abstract #2

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Current Exhibit April 1–30 The Devonshire Arms Café & Pub, 107 S Princess St, Shepherdstown, WV Mon–Sun 11 am–2 am Mary Jo Bennett’s Website mjbennettphotography.com Bennett is a member of the Washington Street Artists Co-op, 108 N George St, Charles Town, WV washingtonstreetartists cooperative.org Wed–Sun Noon–5 pm

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Less is More

cut to the chase film festival By Nancy McKeithen

They had been looking for a project, something that would bring people to Shepherdstown in the summer, something that coud be an annual event, something with the possibility to grow and “spawn” other events. Bill Veldran and Natoma Reed-Vargason are “event people.” They make things happen. Sometimes serendipity plays a part. Reed-Vargason explains: “We thought of the CATF — Contemporary American Theater Festival — audience in July, gaps in the performance schedule and people searching for things to do.” A film festival seemed like a good fit. The date was set for the middle of July. Then, they did the numbers: 8, 100. Eight minutes or less in length, including titles and credits; “100,” a key element, somewhere in the film. “It can be spoken, it can be in the background, it can be represented in any fashion, embedded somewhere in the film,” says Reed-Vargason. The key element of 100 is a tribute to CATF’s reaching its 100th production during this year’s festival. So in a word, CATF has spawned Cut To The Chase (C2C). It’s a word Veldran uses often in talking about the film festival. He tells of Tropfest, which got its start 20 years ago when actor–director John Polson informally screened one of his own short films at the Tropicana Cafe in Sydney, Australia, and has grown into — spawned — eight festivals with multiple categories of films worldwide. “We’ve taken a page from their playbook in a way, and we’re using some of the elements,” Veldran says, like showing the top films at the end of the festival and using a key element (Tropfest calls it a Signature Item). “We’re limiting C2C to one category, though, so people can get involved without a big investment,” he notes. “It’s not really about production values per se,” 32 |

Veldran continues, “but your message, your idea, your passion for the art of filmmaking.” Prizes, too, are a part of C2C: $500 for first, $250 for People’s Choice, which will be voted on both days of the festival with the winner announced on the last day. The judges who will select the winning films were announced during the recent unveiling of the festival at The Bridge Gallery in Shepherdstown with the question: What do a retired spy, a globetrotting photo journalist, an award-winning executive producer and “100” have in

common? Anwser: Cut To The Chase film festival. The three clues refer, respectively, to judges Tony Mendez, retired CIA agent/writer of “Argo” and artist; Benita Keller, world-traveler, photojournalist, award-winning photographer and Shepherdstown resident; and Lawrence Cumbo, Emmy-nominated, award-winning producer/writer/director and owner of the Shepherdstown Opera House. Their selection speaks to both the international reach of the festival and its hometown roots. “We’re so interconnected media-wise now, there’s no reason to set geographical limits,” says Veldran. He notes that they’re “reaching out to schools across the country... to the top film schools around the world... to anyone who wants to make a short film and has something to say.” With a steady focus on the C2C launch event this summer, Veldran and Reed-Vargason allow themselves a few moments to speculate on C2C’s future — maybe a partnership with Shepherd University, where the communications program includes filmmaking, and sponsorship to grow the prize money as an incentive to participation, Reed-Vargason suggests. “Going to the next tier,” says Veldran, thrusting his arms into the air, as if reaching for the globe. fluent

Festival Premiere Friday, July 12, 7:00–10:00 pm, $20, at Bellevue, a Colonial Revival Mansion on a bluff overlooking the Potomac River Movies on the Wall Shepherdstown Public Library, Kids Entries 8:00–9:30 pm, free Film Screenings Saturday, July 13, Shepherdstown Opera House Screening I — 1:00, $8 Screening II — 4:00 pm, $8 Screening III — Finals/Judging/Award Ceremonies, 7 pm, $10 Rewind Sunday Sunday, July 14, Shepherdstown Opera House Screening I — 12:00 pm, $8 Screening II — 3 pm, $8.00 People’s Choice Award to be announced To learn how to enter your film and to purchase tickets www.c2cfilmfestival.com, C2CFilmFestival@gmail.com 304.283.8353 Facebook www.facebook.com/CutToTheChaseFilmFestival

Bill Veldran and Natoma Reed-Vargason, founders of the Cut To The Chase Film Festival, on the B&O tracks.

PHOTO Benita Keller

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Shepherd Senior Show By Nancy McKeithen

It’s a right of passage for art students in the Department of Contemporary Art and Theater at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. They can’t graduate without it. The show is permission to move forward, and documentation they were there. The bridge between entrance and emergence... as an artist, photographer, teacher, designer. The Shepherd Senior Show is their ticket, their launchpad, their bragging rights, their opportunity. It’s their story — making art, writing and talking about art... living art.

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Ryan Franklin, photography major and automotive enthusiast, likes to shoot cars and motorcycles and dirt bikes. Currently, he’s shooting a series on people and their cars — to show how people express themselves through their modes of transportation — and using studio lighting on location. About Shepherd, Franklin says, “This school allows you to make your own path at the end. They set you up with all this great knowledge... and skills needed.” His dream is to be the lead photographer for a major car or motorcycle company.

Jeff Baker, a graphic design major and a drummer, likes doing design where he’s involved in more than one aspect — like shirt and poster design, for example, where he does the production (screen-printing) as well. “It just makes for a better understanding of what I’m doing and the purpose of what I’m designing,” he says. Working for himself is his goal. “I loved drawing cartoons and playing video games as a kid, so I think graphic design just ended up being a mash of the technology and the art from cartoons combined.” [http://jefferyxbaker.com]

Senior Show Opening Incubator Gallery, 60 W Washington St, Hagerstown, MD, Saturday, April 20, 5–8 pm

Senior Show Opening Shepherdstown Community Club, 102 E German St, Shepherdstown, WV, Friday, April 19, 5–9 pm | 35

A musician during high school, Kristian DelaCruz’s passion switched to graphic design when he studied at a community college. Then “everything exploded” when he got to Shepherd, he says, smiling broadly. “The program is amazing, inspiring.” He’s now passionate about motivating younger designers, and wants to do talks and conferences, tracing the steps of a designer he admires. Born in the Philippines, DelaCruz says his heritage and culture “find their way into my art.” His goal is to work for a company where he can mentor with other individuals and gain experience. Music remains a part of his life: He plays trombone, baritone, tuba and flute. [http://delacruzdynamics.com] Senior Show Opening Shepherdstown Community Club, 102 E German St, Shepherdstown, WV, Friday, April 19, 5–9 pm

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Painting major Sarah Loy wants to bring art into the world — as a professional artist or by curating or running her own gallery. “Art is an all-encompassing subject, and I feel like I’m learning and teaching and exploring a number of different things, different passions and different aspects of life with art,” says Loy, who credits her mother, an artist and teacher, with teaching her about art. [sarahloysqsp.com] Senior Show Opening The Bridge Gallery, 8566 Shepherdstown Pk, Shepherdstown, WV, Thursday, April 18, 5–7 pm

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Painting and drawing major Ashli Cheshire has been making art as long as she can remember. “Growing up in a dysfunctional household as I did, it was the only thing that kept me composed, and it became my passion,” she confides. “When my work is going well, I’m filled with a sense of magic.” Always interested in experimenting with new media, Cheshire recently competed her first chidren’s book — creating narrative illustrations and then plugging in the writing. It’s about a character named Q who, after the ability to create was taken from the world, goes on a journey to rediscover and restore it. The story reflects her passion: She doesn’t want the arts to be lost from education. Cheshire is working to publish her book now. “I’ve never done anything like it before, and I think it’s definitely something I’m going to continue doing after I graduate.” [ashlicheshire.4ormat.com] Senior Show Opening Entler Hotel, 129 E German St, Shepherdstown, WV, Thursday, April 18, 5–8 pm (artist talk at 6 pm)

Elinor “Ellie” Pretsch, a photography major, wants to connect her culture to other cultures through her artwork. Her series “Connected,” shot in Ghana, gives a perspective of Ghanian culture through photographs of everyday moments — like the photo below, of Ghanian students in their school uniforms. Using an 8x10 Polaroid, Pretsch created a portfolio of nudes to illustrate that “the insides all work the same.” She was surprised to discover, while uploading images to her website recently, that all of her work has the same theme: connecting people through her photography, to make a difference in people’s lives. Pretsch has opportunities to intern in NYC after graduation. Long term she would like to pursue photojournalism, writing and shooting for a magazine. [www.elinorpretschphotography.com] Senior Show Opening Shepherdstown Community Club, 102 E German St, Shepherdstown, WV, Thursday, April 18, 5–8 pm

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Kara Hardy likes art and computers, but she never thought to combine them until her mother suggested graphic design. And now she likes that — ”because it’s so versatile,” she says. “There’s so many different things you can do with it; you’re not limited to just one thing.” Hardy is leaning toward doing web and magazine layouts for a company where she can work with other designers, and to traveling and experiencing other cultures. Asked what she likes, she named “the color pink, playing with color and type, incorporating different things, learning new things at Shepherd.” Spoken like a graphic designer. [http://karahardy.com] Senior Show Opening Shepherdstown Community Club, 102 E German St, Shepherdstown, WV, Friday, April 19, 5–9 pm

Miranda Wilfong likes the versatility of graphic design. “Not only is it on the web, it’s on billboards, it’s in your refrigerator... it’s everywhere!” she exclaims. “It can take any shape and form. It can be subtle and just hint at your message, or it can be in your face and bold.” Wilfong is the designer of the 36th and 37th volumes of Sans Merci, Shepherd’s undergraduate literary and arts journal, and also is doing environmental graphics with a collaborative team for the Robert C Byrd Committee’s Legacy Project. “I don’t want to make design that is just pretty,” she says. “I want to make design that has a purpose.” Her dream job is to work in a design firm in the DC area, and to focus on nonprofit organizations — exactly what she did for her Capstone project. She redesigned the manuals for Energy Express, a nonprofit she worked for through Americorps, to make them more readable. “I love taking information, finding out what that information is about, and how I can take that information and best display it,” she explains. [http://www.mirandawilfong.com] Senior Show Opening Shepherdstown Community Club, 102 E German St, Shepherdstown, WV, Friday, April 19, 5–9 pm

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Michael Haynes, a graphic design major, prefers print design to web design. “Even though the same factors play into the web as far as composition and color, print just feels more natural, more creative” he says. “I love the tangible quality, the finish process, the gratification of a print piece compared to a web design.” Haynes wants to work for a large design firm in NYC, and knows he needs top-notch skills to get a job in print. “I think it’s important before anything else that my work communicates, and has a concept and a function, especially with print materials,” he explains. “Looking cool is great, but if you’re not delivering a message and a concept to the viewer, you’re wasting your time.” [http://mhaynesdesigner.com]

“I was originally an elementary ed major,” says Hannah Swindoll, “but I realized that I love photography more.” So she changed her major. “I wasn’t too sure where I was going with it to begin with,” she recalls, but the two semesters of B&W required for transfer students taught her composition, timing, that every shot counts, and good discipline when shooting. The theme for the B&W final was “what we found beautiful in life.” Swindoll chose “family life,” but with a twist. Instead of a literal treatment, so personal that others couldn’t relate, she photographed inside her family’s homes, concentrating on their rooms while they weren’t in them — the evidence they leave behind and how it speaks to their personalities and likes and passions. She now has a series, which she’s submitting to “Domestic Landscapes,” a show for Shepherd students at the Delaplaine, in Frederick, MD. Swindoll plans to do commercial work and wants to travel, but will continue to make work to submit to galleries. And she’s looking forward to graduating and applying what she has learned, without having to do homework. [http://claimed01.tumblr.com/]

Senior Show Opening Shepherdstown Community Club, 102 E German St, Shepherdstown, WV, Friday, April 19, 5–9 pm

Senior Show Opening Hagerstown Co-op Gallery, 36 N Potomac St, Hagerstown, MD, Saturday, April 20, 5–9 pm

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The 2013 Capstone Exhibitions — the student senior shows —are Thursday, April 18, Friday, Katelyn Stoneberger, whose major is photography, shares her passion with her grandfather, also a photographer. Over the past two years, she has focused on doing a photographic investigation of her grandmother’s roots in Harpers Ferry and Jefferson County, WV. Her work surrounds family — the memories and relationships that form. “Everyone has a unique life story,” she says, adding that after graduation she wants to document other people’s culture, their stories and how they live, perhaps in video. Stoneberger’s travel to South America and Europe influences her future plans. They are unspecific as yet, but she knows they will involve helping people, “maybe working for a nonprofit or cross-cultural organization, maybe overseas.” Senior Show Opening The Slant Factory Art Space, 202 E Liberty St, Charles Town, WV, Friday, April 19, 5–9 pm

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April 19, and Saturday, April 20 in various venues throughout Shepherdstown, Charles Town and Hagerstown. The Hagerstown exhibitions are sponsored by the City of Hagerstown. For more information on these and all the Capstone Exhibitions, please visit www.bfacapstone.com.

Paige Albert, a photography major, describes herself as having “an artsy side and also a logical, organized, slightly OCD side.” That seems to speak to her recent series, which is formulaic in composition yet bold, fun and colorful. “They stand out, they’re not boring,” she says. “I was the kid who didn’t want to color in the lines, but even when I went outside the lines, I still made it look nice, and I never left any part of it white.” Albert’s part-time work at The Vitamin Shoppe in Hagerstown has influenced her future plans: She wants to use her photography skills in doing marketing, merchandising, posters, advertisements and more. Senior Show Opening Anderson Photographs, 2 S Potomac St, Hagerstown, MD, Saturday, April 20, 5–8 pm

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Jack & The Scarecrow an excerpt BY EILEEN  WAGGONER


INTERIOR: JACK’S APARTMENT—Spring 1969, during the fragile, lonely hours before sunrise. A single, bare bulb illuminates a shirtless Jack, sitting on a box-spring mattress, slumping against a wall. A military issue duffle bag and a few cardboard boxes are scattered around him, half unpacked. There is a window to his right, door to his left. Jack is smoking the latter half of a cigarette. It burns to the filter; he flicks it away, turns off the bulb and seems to doze. Blackout. A moment passes. Jarring sounds of firecrackers — some sort of loud, rapid-fire popping noise — punctuates the darkness and stirs Jack to stand upright. He pulls the chain of his low-hanging bulb. He surveys the room for the source of sound, kicking through stacks of books — artifacts of a dreamer. The sound continues, and Jack opens his door on his left to peer into a narrow hall. The violent popping comes and goes, an undulating current of sound. JACK — …Hello? (There is no one in the hall. Jack steps back into his small room. The sound continues.) JACK — (goes to window, throws it open, listens) What the hell…? (He is not alarmed really, but rather, curious. He steps one foot onto his fire escape and looks up. The sound is clearly coming from above. Jack climbs up his wrought iron fire escape to the next window. He discovers it ajar. He also discovers the source of sound.) JACK — (hesitating, shouting into window) What the hell is going on up there? (Silence. One balloon bursts. Jack hesitates. Decides confrontation with the sound is worthwhile. He tumbles into upstairs apartment.) INTERIOR: THE SCARECROW’S APARTMENT — (Here we meet THE SCARECROW, with his back turned away from the window and JACK. Scarecrow is in his late 40’s, oddly dressed, scruffy, aloof; an eccentric. Hanging about before him are dozens of colored balloons. The balloons once filled the room but now rubber fragments lay scattered everywhere. Darts litter the floor. ’40s records play softly in the background, like strange, happy party music.) THE SCARECROW — (still with back turned) I was wondering when I’d meet my neighbor. (He throws his last handful of darts, aimlessly striking a balloon or two. He’s exhausted this venture but still lingers, staring ahead.) JACK — Do you always pop balloons at 4 am? THE SCARECROW — (finally turning) I was throwing darts.

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JACK — Right. (Silence except for the soft music. A moment passes. The Scarecrow turns back to his balloons.) JACK — I just moved in. Today. Downstairs. I live underneath you. I heard, the... balloon symphony and followed it here. JACK — I’m Jack, by the way. (More silence.) THE SCARECROW — Only helium. Only helium balloons will take you anywhere. It would take more than 3,235 helium filled balloons to lift a 100-pound person off the ground. One liter of helium can lift only one gram. 453 grams in one pound. A hundred pounds. A hundred pounds would require 45,300 liters of helium. Those amusement park balloons? They hold about 14 liters of helium. Each. 45,300 liters of helium divided by 14 liters per balloon is 3,235 balloons. SCARECROW — These are only party balloons. See how they hang limply? Drift? They won’t take you anywhere. JACK — I never did like balloons. THE SCARECROW — I never liked neighbors. fluent

Eileen Waggoner is a second-year English major at Shepherd University, with a focus on Modernism, poetry, and writing for the stage and screen. In her free time she can be found on stage or daydreaming over a latte in the Lost Dog.

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On the day that Emily turned fifteen, she and her parents flew to the U.S. Virgin Islands. In honor of her birthday (and because her father’s legs were so long) her mother had purchased them seats in the exit row of the plane. Emily had always been fascinated by exit rows, probably because they held potential for grand heroics, but since safety laws state that you must be at least fifteen years of age to be entrusted with the sort of responsibility that an exit row entails, she had never gotten to sit in one. Today was a big day for her. When their tickets were checked for the final time, the woman in the Delta uniform smiled down at her and asked if she thought she could handle sitting in an exit row. “Yes ma’am,” she had said. She was more than capable. Now they were finally on the plane, and Emily was sitting in the window seat, right next to the exit door over the left wing. Her parents had let her sit there because they knew how much she loved to watch as the plane ascended, to see the cities shrink until the cars and buildings and roads looked like toys that a toddler plays with before naptime, maybe taking one of the cars with him as he sleeps. During the safety briefing before takeoff her father had leaned over from the aisle seat and said, “Don’t worry honey; if there’s an emergency I’ll open the exit door for you.” After they reached cruising altitude and the seatbelt sign had been turned off, Emily continued to stare out the window and think. The clouds they were flying through were boring. All she could see was a solid sheet of white, and her thoughts returned to the exit door. She imagined the plane falling from the sky into the ocean, and saw herself open the exit door before her father even had time to reach across her, valiantly leading her family and the other passengers to safety. Suddenly Emily had a strange thought: What would happen if she opened the exit door right now? She didn’t have a clear enough grasp of physics to 48 |

know for sure, but she sensed that the answer was something very bad. And all she had to do was put her hands on the handles and pull. To have that kind of destructive power so easily accessible scared and fascinated her. She wasn’t comfortable with either feeling and suddenly wished that she were sitting in the aisle seat. She looked at her mother next to her for comfort and saw that she was sleeping. That’s a good idea, Emily thought, I’ll go to sleep and forget all about the exit door. She drifted into one of those exceptionally realistic dreams that she hadn’t had since she was little. Again and again in her dream, she saw her hands find the exit door, her right hand curl around the hard plastic handle at the top and her left slide down toward the edge of her seat, looking for the other handle. She stopped herself each time, until finally it hit her that she was only dreaming. Oh thank goodness, she dream-thought as her father stood up to go to the bathroom. If this is a dream I won’t do any real damage when I open the exit door. I think I better just get it over with so that I can stop thinking about it so much. Her right hand was already gripping the top handle so tightly that her knuckles were white. She reached out with her left hand until her fingertips touched the cool glass of the window and then slid them down the textured, oatmeal-colored door until she found the bottom handle. She hesitated for a second, then closed her hand and pulled inward. She was immediately sucked out of the plane, still clutching the exit door. fluent PHOTO Shepherd Ogden

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Dripping like the wall is melting. Lava, hot wax, scalding oil running down the drywall. Mixing. Everything is mixing. Blood with paint. Ink and egg yolks. I don’t want to be burned. I can’t stop my hand from moving. Crawling on my face like a spider, stepping into my eyes, tripping in my hair. I restrain it. Stop! The boiling is almost upon me. Not tea. God save the Queen, anyway. I jump onto the blue bubble. My foot’s caught between the cushions. The purple lava turns into a green rhino, charging the blue bubble. Pull. My leg’s free and so am I. For a split second. Weightless, floating, for an instant. Smash onto the floor. Crash. Rash. From the heat? Where’s the melted wall? Stand up. Metal in my mouth. A spoon? Bullets? Change? Metal. Metal. Drink the floor. Stop the taste. Burn my mouth. The floor is dry. Where did it go? The rhino. He drank it all, turned himself into a blue elephant. Grew. Peanuts. I need peanuts so the elephant will give me a drink. Shower me with cold water from his trunk. Bathroom shower. Shells in the drain. Water flooding. Not yet. Peanuts. Where are the peanuts? “Butler. Bring the elephant peanuts!” Silence. “Butler! Peanuts!” I’m alone. Just my elephant and me. The walls dried up. The floor is parched. Cracks. Opening. Metal in my mouth. Coins. I’ll pay the butler, but I have no butler. Sink. I can find a sink. I’ll open a hole in the wall. Its forcefield will open out like a book cover. James Joyce. Edgar Allan Poe. They’d be my friends. Jane Austen is gross. Pull. The hole opens. It has spots. Purple spots. Red spots. Dots. Dots of yellow. Yellow and red join. I hide my eyes. Pop! They’re orange. Dots are darting around. Spots are spilling down the stairs. I need a mop.

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“Butler! Mop up the spots.” The wall is shedding. Skin falling off. Blue skin. Blue blood. Aristocrat. I run to save the wall. Footsteps. Sound, mini-earthquakes. Sound waves. Discs. Records. Blue skin. Ice cold. Too cold. Burning cold. The elephant. He’s blue. Frozen? Pluto. Run to save him. The hole’s corked. Help! Sewn closed. How can I save him? Pull. Pull. Push? Fall forward. Down. Over. He’s gone. Missing. 5. 4. 8. 3. No phone. S.O.S. Alone. The walls are spreading. The room is huge. Football field. Library of Congress. Giant. Universe. No walls. No elephant. I trip over an asteroid trying to get to the other side. Running. Rushing. Something’s stopping me. Up. I have to run up. Wait. It’s a wall. Run up the wall. Through the wall. Move the wall. Find the elephant. Stop. What’s that sound? Glass. I’m knocking on the window. There’s someone out there. They can help. Elevate the window. “Sir? Or Madam? Would you help me save my elephant?” Zombies. Or maybe just crazy. They won’t help. Why won’t they help? Perhaps I can sound the alarm and someone will come to my aid. “Missing elephant!” Those trees are alive. They’ll help. Moving toward me. Angry. Dark. They’ll hurt me, not help me. Sharp ends. Stab. Stab. No eyes. I have eyes. “Stop tree! Or I shall prune you.” Close the window. Safety. “Get away! Get away!” Slam. Shiny everywhere. Cool. Clear. Shiny. Water. Sharp water. All of it. I have to drink all of it. Cold. Sharp. Quiet. fluent

Making a poem is like exhaling, and love is the inspiration for breath in this new book of poems by Ginny Fite. Anyone who has ever loved, or lost, will find themselves in the poems in THROWING CAUTION. Somewhere in this book is your experience of love. THROWING CAUTION is available on Amazon.com and also at the Washington Street Artists’ Cooperative in Charles Town, WV.

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8566 Shepherdstown Pike, Shepherdstown WV 25443 • 304.876.2300 Fine Art, Ceramics, Photography & Custom Framing | 51


Sonja James is the author of three collections of poetry: Baiting the Hook (The Bunny & the Crocodile Press, 1999), Children of the Moon (Argonne House Press, 2004) and Calling Old Ghosts to Supper (Finishing Line Press, 2013). Her poetry has appeared in various periodicals, including The Iowa Review, 32 Poems, The South Carolina Review, Verse Daily and Poet Lore, among others. For 3 years, she served as an associate editor of Antietam Review. Among her honors are two Pushcart Prize nominations. In 2007, she was co-winner of the Sotto Voce Award. She has two sons and resides in Martinsburg, West Virginia. Flowers

Age Catches Up

These flowers matter. Please stop to admire them.

A cherished tart all voluptuous with sin:

Delicate, and yet, “robust.”

the concupiscent one, living life like a queen oblivious of her duties to her kingdom.

So electric, so orderly: hosting dew. Glory hounds— one and all. Glorious as well. Countenance Beneath the still canopy of a tree, I long for a breeze. The day is hot. I sweat, perfuming the air with my humanity. I have always been human, never divine, yet I seek knowledge of the face of God, the awesome visage of the white, hot sun. 52 |

Don’t tattle on her. Don’t tell the tale of the volatile girl who outlived her youth only to clamor for the milk of human kindness without knowing how to be kind. The War on Wisdom Sinister, isn’t it? All the apples in the cart condemn the water in the well. All the butterflies in the garden… well, you know the rest. If you believe in an afterlife, show some sign of living in the now. Speak of the changing seasons, the DNA of mother swans as they regurgitate fish into the gaping mouths of their young. Speak quietly, quickly, and courageously. Say nothing bothers you, or say nothing at all.

Donor After giving blood, we walked through the city before it rained. Other pedestrians nodded to us as if we were friends of old & not just anonymous donors testing our dizziness against the sky. The setting sun burst like a flare; in the distance we heard the rumor of a thousand sparrows. I touched the bandage on your freshly stuck arm & compared you to a saint when you said you’d also like to donate your organs during the initial hours of your death. I stared into the eyes you’d like to give away & wondered if in their next life they might behold the splashing fountain where I threw a burnished penny with a prayer for your longevity.



Spinal Touch

How often I dreamed beyond the still mirror of illness and knew that I drank from a dry cup. The parching thirst deadened my throat so that poetry was a whisper. The faint breeze tickled my hair, and I dreamed of words that would shout the clouds into rain.

In your dream I am the fragrance of musk. I always visit as scent. Whenever I arrive, you are overjoyed.

One outstanding day your fingers touched me in just the right place, along my spine which I was sure bent crooked.

Guessing Last night the flashlight went dead, and we relied on moonlight. The memory exhilarates like all correct guesses. How on earth did you know there were 579 marbles in the jar?

When I talk, my breath encircles you and, like a tonic, fills the crevices of your body. You are renewed. You hate awakening.

You whispered to me, spoke my name so gently that my spine tingled beneath your fingertips, vibrated like a harmonica. And play me you did, rubbing my back with such insouciant ease that I straightened my posture and would bend for no one, not even you.

Passing Storm at Woods Hole

Light illumines light says the crying gull who cannot spell water though she tries. Your clairvoyance touches the future Rough water, churned by the necessity of the moment. like the Fortune Cookie nesting in my purse, The ocean without conscience, the ecstatic waves tumbling to rise again as aqueous thunder. the one we didn’t open, didn’t read. Light illumines light: plucky motto of the self-assured gull who perforates mere shadow with a slice of her wings. Beating wings that condemn rain and sea glare alike. An immensity like fever floods her body as the Sun rides the air to undo tempest and clash. “Donor” appeared in The Bluestone Review, “Guessing” in The Good News Paper and “Scent” in WordWrights. All three appear in the poet’s second book of poetry, Calling Old Ghosts to Supper, as does “Passing Storm at Woods Hole,” which received a Pushcart Prize nomination and was first published in 10x3 Plus. “Coutenance,” “Illness” and “Spinal Touch” were published in the poet’s first book, Baiting The Hook, as was “Scent.”

Now a day as bright as the bedroom of God arrives without sword or memory of conquest. The bird buries her face in the bluest of songs. Today she’ll triumph without the test of vocabulary as she gobbles bread from the hand of a child.

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The Annals of Rap BY ED ZAHNISER

“Here,” I said, “I’ll sing you a few measures of the first rap song ever”:

Johnny’s in the basement Mixing up the medicine I’m on the pavement Thinking about the government The man in the trench coat Badge out, laid off Says he’s got a bad cough Wants to get it paid off Look out kid It’s something you did God knows when But you’re doin’ it again. . .

Well, that was enough for me a capella, certainly. I get a lot of requests, but sometimes I sing anyway. “Yeah,” my colleague said, “the Red Hot Chili Peppers.” “The what?,” I said. “That’s a Red Hot Chili Peppers song.” “No, that was ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’ I was singing. Bob Dylan wrote that about 1965 or 66.” The generation gap, they say, is when you realize that your children and your clothes are the same age. You know you’re getting old when you want to know what time the party ends, not when it starts. The Red Hot Chili Peppers are a Caucasian rap group from — where else? — California, I’m told. That checks out: Their fan club is at P.O. Box 98, 11020 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, CA 91604. (But kids, don’t join up your grandparents. Those lyrics that sting your years might give grandma and grandpa a coronary.) Indeed, Dylan’s ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’ appears on their CD “The Uplift Mofo Party Plan” —  “Explicit lyrics; parental advisory.” It’s even on what used to be called the liner notes, but the liner notes don’t indicate the words and music are by Bob Dylan. 54 |

Turnabout is fair ploy: African-American poet LeRoi Jones wrote a book called Blues People that shows to what significant extent genres of Caucasian music rip off African-American music. Jones wrote this way back in the 1960s, before he changed his name to Amiri Baraka. Dylan certainly dipped into Blues music for much of his early inspiration and outright lifting on his way from folk to folk rock to whatever else Dylan has become. The best characterization of Dylan came in 1965 from his close friend the late poet Allen Ginsberg, who said that one has to understand that Dylan has no fixed persona. Musically, the lack of a fixed persona manifested in Dylan’s being a sponge for influences. So here is Dylan being done by Hollywood honky rappers. Was LeRoi Jones right, or what? Or is it poetic justice for Dylan? (No. He gets royalties....) As a baby boomer wrote in a regional daily newspaper that used to get off on slamming West Virginia, there’s some history buried in ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues.’ It’s not that Dylan warns against over-the-counter drugs, which he does:

Walk on your tip toes Don’t try ‘No Doz’ Better stay away from those That carry around a fire hose Keep a clean nose Watch the plain clothes You don’t need a weather man To know which way the wind blows.

It’s from those last two lines that the Weather Underground, the radical group that bombed for peace consciousness, or whatever, took its name. We used to sing it in the Viet Nam-era U.S. Army, too:

Get sick, get well Hang around a ink well Ring bell, hard to tell If anything is goin’ to sell Try hard, get barred Get back, write braille Get jailed, jump bail Join the army, if you fail

Most of us, actually, were drafted: “Years of training and experience brought me to my present level of competence, sir!” And Dylan summarized a 60’s attitude:

Don’t follow leaders Watch the parkin’ meters

In which he was still torn between thinking of himself as a folk protest singer and actually now being a wealthy rock and roll star. Even that wasn’t all that easy. “Subterranean Homesick Blues” was hot in England, not in America. Jimi Hendrix also would have to go to England to establish his career. And the song includes those lines, “Ring bell, hard to tell / If anything is goin’ to sell.” Not that the first-ever rap song doesn’t make its own protest:

Get dressed, get blessed Try to be a success Please her, please him, buy gifts Don’t steal, don’t lift Twenty years of schoolin’ And they put you on the day shift

The best way to experience this song — apart from the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ rendition, perhaps — is

in its appearance in the documentary movie of Bob Dylan’s first big British tour, “Don’t Look Back.” The movie opens with what was also the first rock video, although there was no video then for the home market. It’s a scene filmed to promote the first-ever rap song. There’s Dylan in a London alleyway with big flash cards for the lyrics to “Subterranean Homesick Blues.” As the song jumps along, he tosses off the lyrics on the cards. Behind him, farther up the alley, are poet Ginsberg and novelist William Burroughs. Ginsberg wears his American flag stovepipe hat. One song lyric is altered slightly on the flashcards:

Try to be a suck-cess

And, Dylan only knew too well, as the song’s concluding two lines have it:

The pump don’t work ’Cause the vandals took the handles

The message, even as the Red Hot Chili Peppers render it rhythmically closer to the rap idiom it helped initiate, remains the same if not constant:

Look out kid It’s somethin’ you did God knows when But you’re doin’ it again. fluent


The Toilet Caper

Artist David Heatwole put the toilet — with an invoice for the “crappy piece of art” for $50,000 dangling from the bowl — on what was an empty pedestal in downtown Martinsburg, WV, at 8:30 in the morning on Wednesday, April 18, 2012, only to have it taken down by city workers about 20 minutes later. Heatwole, a local resident, said he was trying to show “how the arts can make Martinsburg a greater place to live, work and visit.” The pedestal had been built for a sculpture of Martinsburg’s founder, but city officials had tabled the project, citing cost and other concerns. Still in court a year later over what he calls the “toilet caper,” Heatwole is charged with violating the city ordinance titled “Littering and Deposit of Garbage, Rubbish, Junk, Etc.” He lost in the local civil court, but with his attorney he’s appealing the ruling in Magistrate court as a freedom of speech issue.

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