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author photography Suit up alysia gray painter exhibition with talks writing, somewhere in fashion, & sparkle Seersucker Live the south

July 2013 / Issue 2

Table of contents

The basics


Letter from the Co-editors



See how the co-editors re-imagine their favorite literary characters in 2013



The Paprika Belle & Beau As inspired by the Fourth of July

The Gallery

Literary-inspired artwork submitted by our readers

Paprika Southern

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The features Canines, Classics,and Cocktails A photo story on an iconic Asheville bookstore



Suit Up

Somewhere in the South

With Seersucker Live




A Q&A with literary-minded small business owner Tori Tissell



Fourth Al Fresco

Sparkle, Anticipation, and Happiness


An interview with author Alysia Gray Painter

Sight Unseen One couple blends two decorating styles in a rented home

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Letter from the co-editors Welcome to the literary issue of Paprika Southern! For July we wanted a major focus to be on literature and people who are doing interesting things inspired by it. Since we both love reading and are heavily influenced by what we read, it was a natural fit for our second issue. We hope you will enjoy the features we’ve chosen to include, both literature-related and otherwise. In addition to the generous reader responses we’ve received, having the opportunity to share the ideas, products, art, and other things we love has been the most rewarding aspect of working on this publication. We encourage you, in these hottest summer days, to read this issue accompanied with a cool glass of lemonade (or better yet, a Tequila Mockingbird).

The Team Bevin valentine Co-editor

siobhan egan Co-editor

Krystal Pittman Baker Advertising


Bess Bieluczyk is an Administrative Coordinator at Johns Hopkins University by day and an artist by night. She is originally from the Connecticut suburbs and experienced Southern living Georgia and Louisiana for several years. Bess is happy to have found a North-South balance in Baltimore.

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Jay Gould is an artist and a member of the faculty at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Gould received his B.F.A. in photography from the University of Wisconsin and his M.F.A. from SCAD. His work integrates scientific topics into photographic projects.

Josh Jalbert is a professor of photography at SCAD. He received a B.F.A. in photography from the Art Institute of Boston and an M.F.A. from the University of Oregon. He is currently pursing a Ph.D. at the European Graduate School.

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Behind the scenes in June

Shooting at the Book Exchange in Asheville and for our Fourth Al Fresco Feature

Behind the scenes at Seersucker Live

At Somewhere in the South at Rebekah Jacob Gallery in Charleston

This cat (we call him Papi) does not belong to Bevin, but enjoys hanging out on her porch. We gave him a trial run as our photo intern, but he hit the tequila too hard and had to be let go.

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Currently... Our favorite literary characters in 2013

Emma Bovary


The title character in Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary is grasping, manipulative, and selfish. While these qualities do not make her the most likeable literary character, they do make her one of the more complex and interesting characters I have encountered. Were she alive today, I have a strong suspicion she would be a cast member of The Real Housewives.

Emma was an avid reader and she might (just might) have an unhealthy interest in ladies who met tragic ends. The glamour and romance of this biography of Sylvia Plath would doubtless appeal to her, though she woulnd’t learn anything from it.

I see Emma’s taste in home decor as veering to the romantic and Baroque. She would read her romance novels and Plath poems while reclining on this couch from Anthropologie.

Part of Emma’s tragic flaw was her reliance on a romance novel view of the world and the belief that her life should reflect the high drama found in these books. Once she had exhausted 19th century romance, Emma would move on to the gothic novels of iconic 20th century writers like Mary Stewart. Paprika Southern

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Emma would be painfully aware of all the latest fashion trends and crave designer clothing. At the same time, her style was classic. This simple black Jenny Kayne dress would tastefully go with her signature chignon hairstyle.

Emma would select her night-time attire with same precision she dresses for day and would have a taste for fine lingerie.

This Clare Vivier clutch would be one of Emma’s status symbols of choice. The perfect blend of au courant and classic, the bag is also an elegant nod to Emma’s French background.

Like many of us, Emma wanted things she couldn’t afford. Sites like Bauble Bar would satisfy her acquisitive instincts in a somewhat more wallet-friendly way.

If any woman can pull off a red shoe, it’s Madame Bovary.

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Currently... Our favorite literary characters in 2013

Mick Kelly Mick (from The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers) is a total tomboy. She is tall and skinny and often feels awkward and out of place. She dreams of being a musician and of traveling. She lives during a complicated time, but seeks escape through music and is intrigued by the thought of travel.


Mick would probably listen mostly to classical music. Mozart and Beethoven are her favorites, but she also appreciates Alicia Keys’ pop piano playing style, the haunting dreamy songs of Heather Nova, and the passionate music of Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova She would probably watch American Idol and other music related shows. She would enjoy dreamy movies and watch a lot of music documentaries on Netflix.

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Mick loves the idea of travel and enjoys drinks that transport her to another place. Her favorite would be a frozen margarita.

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Mick may be a tomboy, but it cannot be denied that she loved how she looked in the dress she borrowed for the party she threw at her house. It was a long blue Chiffon gown accompanied by white pumps that were incredibly uncomfortable and too small. Today, as an accomplished concert pianist, she would probably like this Elegance with Ease Dress from ModCloth. Its stretchy fabric would provide comfort and its length would complement her height. The lace back makes for an elegant detail to complement her piano concerts. This music notes necklace from VisitingCinderella on Etsy would complement the outfit nicely.

Mick would wear a flat espadrille sandal with this dress because it is more sensible and she really doesn’t need or want to wear heels. This BCBGeneration sandal is perfect. Sensible with a little sparkle.

When not playing the piano Mick would be pretty casual wearing jean shorts and t-shirs like these 1969 Bermuda Shorts from the Gap and this no nonsense embroidered gauze top from Old Navy.

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Currently... Our favorite literary characters in 2013

Anne of Green Gables First of all, L.M. Montgomery’s beloved heroine would be astounded by the popularity of red hair - for a character who was continually disappointed by and mocked for her ginger locks, the fact that many women (this author amongst them) will pay a hairdresser for the privilege of being called ‘carrots’ would be baffling.

Bess Guest Editor

It would be impossible to make a fashion list for Anne (with an E) that did not include her coveted puffed sleeves. This Puff sleeve top from Forever 21 fits the bill and the pinky coral would look lovely on a fair girl. Whoever said that redheads can’t wear pink?

This Carrot Charm necklace commemorates Anne’s least favorite nickname. Maybe if Gilbert had given her this charm instead of insulting her, they could have avoided years of animosity - not to mention a broken slate.

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Reminiscent of the old carpet bag that she brought to Green Gables, this Indigo Paisley Weekender adds a touch of playfulness and color to the mundane task of packing. I’m sure it would inspire some Eastern-influenced daydreams for Anne--and hopefully not distract her from her chores too much. page 10

Bon Iver is introspective, lush and folk-inspired. And they’re from Wisconsin, that’s practically Canada, right?

Moonrise Kingdom ‘s charm, idiosyncratic humor and island setting would appeal to Anne and the protagonist, Sam’s, life as a orphan shuffled from one unloving foster home to another until he finds a happy ending would certainly strike home.

Her drama loving side would cry, swoon and follow the fates of the inhabitants of Downton Abbey with bated breath. As an aspiring writer with a vivid imagination, I would not be surprised if she even tried her hand at some Matthew/Mary fanfiction.

The Cloverlace dress from Anthropologie with its lace details and fresh green color is simple and subtly romantic. One glance at her in this paired with Betwixt Booties from Bhldn and a flower in her hair - Gilbert Blythe wouldn’t stand chance.

As for what Anne would drink, the Ginger Sour packs a bit more of a punch than raspberry cordial. It’s a little sweet, a little spicy, definitely ginger and always refreshing--just like our heroine.

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The Paprika Belle & Beau for the belle...

Madewell Silk Cami, $82 / Gap Ombre Floppy Hat, $20.96 / Frosted Willow Seahorse Bangle, $16.95 / Pier One Red Spiral Stemware, $4.99 / J. Crew Factory Seersucker Mini, $29.50 / Seychelles Time After Time Sandals, $60 Paprika Southern

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...and the beau

Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist, $11.82 / J. Crew Factory Short Sleeve Chambray Work Shirt, $28 / J. Crew 9� Stanton Shorts, $64.50 / J. Crew Anchors Aweigh iPhone Case, $19.50 / Sperry Topsider Woven Thong Sandals, $70 page 13

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canines, classics, and cocktails photography by bevin valentine

& josh jalbert

text by bevin valentine

The Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar is located in the heart of downtown Asheville, North Carolina. With a bustling southern community, a rich food and cultural scene, and the backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this bookstore/bar/morning meeting place is a favorite among both locals and tourists. The Book Exchange stocks both used and rare books with a special eye towards southern studies, the Civil War, and Carolina history. The store itself is a labrynth of shelves boasting thousands of books, and around every corner one finds another reading cozy nook, ideal for curling up with a rare find, or relaxing over coffee and wine with friends. On a rainy Saturday morning like the one on which we visited, the Book Exchange is the ideal weekend retreat. page 15

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Southern Charm Part of the charm of the Book Exchange lies in its ecelctic decor. Every space and surface is utilized, with inviting leather-upholstered couches and chairs found in the corners, and portraits and taxidermied animals festooning the walls. A canine motif is prevalent as well, owing the owner’s fondness for dogs, particularly the original canine mascot of the store.

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As well as the traditional coffee and latte offerings, the Book Exchange also serves an array of wines and cocktails. Each cocktail and espresso drink is named after a dog or a writer. In the image to the left, Tess, one of the baristas, prepares the delicious Zelda Fitzgerald (above)--a sweet drink named for a decidely spicy lady. I think Zelda would approve. Like many Asheville businesses, the Book Exchange is dog-friendly. I met Oliver (right) out for his Saturday morning socializing.

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visit Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar online Paprika Southern

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Somewhere in the South A Photographic Exploration of Land, History, and Nostalgia by Bevin Valentine


will come as no

surprise to anyone who has spent a significant amount of time in the South that southerners are, generally, obsessed by nostalgia. Peeling paint, decrepit tobacco sheds, ancient Texaco signs—these signs all speak to a shared past, one we cling to in our collective memory, one that both haunts and unites us. It is to this nostalgia that Somewhere in the South, a photography exhibition presented by Rebekah Jacob Gallery in Charleston, South Carolina, speaks. The show, which pairs contemporary southern photographers with photographic legends William Eggleston and William Christenberry, appeals to a desire for the continuation of tradition, for an extension of our shared history, and for a reassurance that we, as southerners, are still unique in this adherence to the past. It is the Eggleston—that photographer’s iconic “red room” photograph (actually untitled, Greenwod, Mississppi, 1973)— that is the centerpiece of this show. Though the red room picture eschews narrative, the photograph comes with its own mythology. In the BBC Imagine documentary series in 2009, Eggleston describes lying on a bed in a room in his friend’s Comdemned, Eliot Dudik, coutesty of Rebekah Jacob Gallery

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Untitled, Greenwood, Mississippi, 1973, William Eggleston, courtesy of Rebekah Joacob Gallery

house looking up at the ceiling, getting up to take the photograph, and lying back down. Later, his friend was murdered in the house. The red ceiling both memorializes Eggleston’s friend, and seems to eerily prefigure his death. Known as a pioneer of color photography, Eggleston’s work in the 1960s and 70s flouted the convention that fine art photography be black and white and color processes reserved for commercial photography. By photographing banal and vernacular subject matter with a surprising attention to formalism and a true photographer’s eye, Eggleston’s work acknowledges the potential for the quotidian as subject matter for fine art. It is upon this method of working that the other photographers in the show draw.

are small prints, photographs made with a vintage Brownie camera, and featuring archetypal southern scenes—Coca-Cola and Sunbeam signs, old barns and general stores. These structures, often run-down, are rendered in softly faded color, as a sigh to their own history, signifiers of a nostalgic lost version of the South for which we pine. A delicacy exists in their size—much smaller than the work of the other photographers displayed—an invitation to the viewer to step closer and initiate a personal, one-to-one relationship. The small scale demands this intimacy.

At counterpoint is the work of contemporary photographers Jerry Siegel, Eliot Dudik, Richard Sexton, Kathleen Robbins, Keliy Anderson-Staley, and Anne Rowland. If a sense of place naThe work of Christenberry speaks eloquently to tive to the South has its naissance in the work of a nostalgia for decades past. The works displayed Eggleston and Christenberry, these photograPaprika Southern page 30

Canal in Fog, Eliot Dudik, courtesy of Rebekah Jacob Gallery

phers are its heirs. A strong connection to place, to land, and to history exists in the contemporary works included in the show, one that is often specific to the lowcountry of coastal Georgia and South Carolina. Those of us (including myself) who have traveled Highway 17 between Savannah and Charleston frequently over the past decade have likely commented on the never-ending construction that exists on that road, a growing change and disruption to the natural landscape and existing culture that becomes central in the work of Eliot Dudik. If Christenberry’s work inspires us to wonder what might have become of those old filling stations and general stores, Dudik’s work responds. Documenting the land, the people, and their way of life in this area, his landscapes evoke a culture disappearing before our eyes. page 31

Also focusing on the southern landscape are the photographic creations of Anne Rowland. Her lush landscapes are intentionally distorted by a digital composting technique that does not always match up precisely, creating a subtle collage effect. According to her artist statement, Rowland composites exposures made at different times, resulting in atmospheric shifts within the photograph, thereby laying bare the craft through which she fashions them. In Rowland’s Cabbage Palm, September 2011 the palm tree seems barely contained by the frame, almost bursting from the photograph in a riot of wildlife. Another photograph, Little Tree, April 2012, includes a verdant tangle of branches and Spanish moss that is further obscured by the digital patchwork at the top of the frame, a sort of automated way of echoing discrepancy in memory in the photographic work. Issue 2 / July, 2013

Kathleen Robbins’ photographs take a third approach to the landscape, one which seems ever so unsettling. In three of the four images on display Robbins almost overwhelms the frame with the foreground, perhaps emphasizing the vitality of the land, or the loss of our relationship with it. The compositions are slightly off-kilter, just enough to cause a feeling of uneasiness in the viewer. In Commissary, for example, the building is dead center, but the foreground, full of gravel, and the slight of the of the railroad tracks, are at play with the otherwise symmetrical composition. The tension created is illustrative of what Robbins describes in her artist statement as “our conflicted relationship with ‘home.’” These embattled associations—with land, with culture, with home—unite the work in Somewhere in the South while also honoring a richness of diversity that does not allow for only one homogenous “South.” As stated by Eliot Dudik, “The photography coming out of the American South I find to be some of the most exciting work being made today. . . there is undoubtedly a striking rawness to the work being made here, and yet a great deal of respect and love to the people and land. . . [The] dedication to the people and the land is what I am most drawn to, and I think that is at the root of most of what is coming out of the South today.” It is the personal relationship of the photographer to place that becomes subject matter in much of this work. This work conflates history with the contemporary and the two marry seamlessly. While what’s past and faded to memory is ever-present in this show, these artists are not trammeled by it. We explore the past, we revel in it, but ultimately, we move on. Somewhere in the South runs until July 31 at Rebekah Jacob Gallery, 502 King Street, Charleston, SC 29403.

For more information: Rebekah Jacob Gallery Eliot Dudik Kathleen Robbins Anne Rowland Paprika Southern

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Commissary, Kathleen Robbins, courtesy of Rebekah Jacob Gallery

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Suit Up with seersucker live

Text by Bevin Valentine Photography by Siobhan Egan Paprika Southern

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sun at m y back Co-hosts Zach Powers and event. Attendees are encour-

streaming in through the high windows in the event space above Savannah bar The Sparetime provides a more than pleasant heat on my back on a hot Savannah evening in May. Musician Brian Dean plays a lively tune on keyboard as a boisterous crowd assembles, with attendees sipping drinks, chatting, and perusing ubiquitous blue and white striped programs. At The Sparetime, which has a hint of the speakeasy vibe, libations are plentiful, and something about Brian’s music momentarily transports me to an 1870s saloon. I quickly return to reality and acknowledge that is 2013 and I am attending Seersucker Live: The Earth Tones Episode.

Chris Barinato join Brian on-stage, where Zach tells the crowd to “shut up,” calling the audience disrespectful, and gets the show off to a lively start calling for volunteers to play a game of “Trivial Pur-Seersucker-Suit.” It is this sort of irreverence (along with beginning each performer’s reading by asking “Who the hell are you?”) that distinguishes Seersucker Live from the stereotypical (dreaded) dry, stuffy literary reading.

As the show continues the three invited performers (in this edition, Amelia Gray, Nate Brown, and Thea Brown, their surnames thus earning the moniker “The Earth Tones Episode”) give readings, with Brian continuing to provide atmospheric musical accompaniment. A high moment occurs when Thea Brown begins her X-Files poems, prompting Brian to chime in with the X-Files theme music, much to the delight of the audience. Nate Brown’s reading of an intense tale of a disaffected veteran captures the rowdy crowd’s attention, and Amelia Gray endears herself to me for life by reading the story of a penguin named Ray who drinks gin and “fights the darkness.”

Seersucker Live is a Savannah-based non-profit organization dedicated to hosting literary performances that bring local and national authors together. It is a gathering of people who love and appreciate literature in a multitude of forms and its organizers are dedicated to making literature fun and accessible. Since 2010 Seersucker Live has been bringing its unique brand of event— part literary reading, part talk show, and part cocktail party—to bars around Savannah and enjoys and dedicated and Seersucker Live goes beyond literary reading to interactive enthusiastic audience. page 35

age to visit the bar to refresh their drinks and audience reaction is lively, to say the least. It is an event that is unique, truly enjoyable, and utterly Savannahian, and we at Paprika Southern are pleased to be able to share co-founders Chris Berinato’s, Brian Dean’s, and Zach Powers’ answers to our questions. To take a page from Seersucker’s own book (if you will)…who the hell are you? Zach: I’m one of the co-founders of Seersucker Live, a native Savannahian, and a writer. I’ve been back in Savannah for about a decade, and we started Seersucker Live about 3 years ago. Brian: Brian Dean—a.k.a The Seersucker Live Orchestra. I’m an analyst by day, musician by night. I’ve worked in musical theatre as well as music publishing, but currently enjoy playing monthly with Seersucker. The live, off-the-cuff playing is fun for me, I get to react live with a song or joke, making commentary on what people are saying or reading. Chris: I’m the guy who’s been working at the same coffee shop (Gallery Espresso) for 14 years whom you probIssue 2 / July, 2013

ably never imagined did anything with his life besides make white chocolate cappuccinos. Surprise! I have a beautiful wife, an angelic two year old son, a suburban home with a large back yard, and a degree in English from a reputable university. I am also a writer and the co-founder of a successful non-profit literary performance series. I’ve won an award. Man, I never realized until now how insecure and defensive that question must make our guest authors feel. You describe Seersucker Live as “part literary reading, part talk show, part cocktail party.” How did the idea for this event evolve? Chris: Zach and I hosted an automotive themed reading called Motor Mouth at RPM on Chatham Parkway several years ago. You could say it was a trial run for Seersucker Live except there was no music, no marquee names on the bill, and no gimmicks. It went really well, but we wanted to aim higher. There were certain elements we wanted to add to the typical reading that we thought would make the experience more engaging. First, we wanted to book a variety of authors, both local and national, and keep the pace of the show brisk. Paprika Southern

We decided on a talk show format because it’s entertaining and allows the audience to get to know the authors. Finally, the cocktail party atmosphere relaxes both the audience and our guest authors, so that they can have fun mingling after the show.

ing chairs at events. I handle a lot of the marketing activities, both to reach our local audience and to garner interest from potential guest readers from around the country. Chris: I’m vice-president, but our Board of Directors keeps getting bigger and bigger. We spend most of our time figuring out ways to raise money, so that we can keep Seersucker Live going. From an administrative stand point, my role is to make Zach feel like he isn’t doing most of the work himself, even though he is doing most of the work himself.

Zach: There are literary readings all over the country, but sadly, they’re most often attended by a small audience of writers and dedicated readers. We wanted to make literature more accessible to the general public, so we chose the format of a performance, and the other elements evolved from there. Our main goal is What is your background to treat literature with respect with writing and literawithout taking ourselves too ture? seriously. Brian: Besides being a libThe three of you are the eral arts major in college, I’ve co-founders of Seersuck- always been an avid reader Live. What are your er—growing up in the Chicacurrent roles in the orga- go suburbs, I would take the nization? train 40 minutes either way for summer jobs, internships, Brian: I am the Seersucker etc. That 80 minutes a day Live Orchestra as well as the allowed me to mow down littreasurer. Everyone is hands- erature as a teen, Melville, on in every aspect of the group. Fitzgerald, Dostoyevsky. My writing is limited to limericks Zach: I’m currently the Presi- on current events—my famdent of the Board of Directors, ily has email chains trying and I serve as co-host for Seer- to top each other every few sucker’s main quarterly events. months - this year it’s been In addition to the formal titles, Manti Te’o and Notre Dame, we all have a bunch of periph- the Patraeus scandal, and the eral duties, from PR to haul- new pope! page 36

Zach: I actually just finished writing my first novel the morning before Seersucker Live—The Earth Tones Episode. It took 2 and a half years, so I guess that makes me a “writer.” For me, part of being a writer is being a reader, so I’m always in the middle of a book. As soon as I finish one I start the next. Chris: I’ve only had three works published, so far. I had one short story published in Armstrong Atlantic State University’s literary journal, Calliope, for which I received the Lillian Spencer Award for fiction. I’ve been coasting on that ever since. page 37

Why did you choose the is integrated into the show. name “Seersucker”? Brian: It all begins from a Zach: Chris and I spent more premise that we are a show, not time on the name than any- just a normal book reading. As thing else. I think it took us the one-man “Seersucker Live about five months to finally Orchestra,” I always play 30 settle on Seersucker Live. We minutes prior to showtime, tryliked the Southern connota- ing give us that “piano player tion, the playful sound of the in the corner” cocktail party word, and the hint of mischief feel. I wrote a Tonight Show-esin “sucker.” When we went que theme to open our show— to incorporate the nonprofit, standard up-tempo jazz, with “Seersucker” was already tak- a B section that is a take-off en, so we added the “Live,” of bended thirds (major/minor) in a Southern Jazz Shuffle and a name was born. style, keeping with our SouthAn important aspect of the ern roots. I bring that same performance is Brian’s theme back at the end of the musical accompaniment. show, but played in a slower Tell us a little about how it form, akin to the closing muIssue 2 / July, 2013

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sic of Saturday Night Live. Finally, interstitial music is key to our success—move performers up and back to their seats, cover up awkward pauses. Listen closely at the next show—I’m always trying to reference something happening in a story, or make a musical joke. Zach: I attribute 95% of our success to Brian. His ability to interact musically with Chris and I, with our performers, and with the audience is uncanny. It adds a level of energy that’s absent in other readings. Chris: Brian’s improvisational skills are uncanny. I wrote and performed a song for one of our recent episodes. Twenty minutes before show time I approached Brian and said, “Here are the chords and lyrics. Can you provide piano, back-up vocals, and a solo in the middle?” After one rehearsal he had it down. And at the moment in my song where I mentioned Judas Priest, Brian unleashed an ear-bleeding Rob Halford scream. Brian makes everything better.

great conversationalist. I’ve never hung on anyone’s words like Patricia Lockwood. I thought that Keith Lee Morris really was a story-teller—he had everyone leaning forward.

Austen (bet she has some stories). Alive I’d get Amy Bender, Karen Russell, maybe Nicholson Baker. Zach: Miranda July would be my first choice of anyone to be on the show. She’s an author, filmmaker, and performance artist, and sometimes I think I was designing Seersucker’s format with her in mind. Also, Haruki Murakami, because that would just be amazing, even though he hates public appearances. And I’d summon the desiccated corpse of Herman Melville, for sure.

Chris: My favorite readers have been Patricia Lockwood, Amelia Gray, and Daniel Handler. They all have a kooky charm that causes me to smile uncontrollably at every word they say. The most fun I’ve personally had doing a show was when we formed the Seersucker Live Orchestra for our music episode and performed “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots” by the Chris: Alive: Karen Russell, Flaming Lips. Haruki Murakami, and Salman Zach: We send our authors an Rushdie, because he’s a parillustration as a writing prompt ty animal. Dead: Edgar Allan about a month before each event. Poe, Italo Calvino, and Dorothy Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Parker, because she is the perfect Snicket), a guy who’s sold over personality for our show. 60 million books worldwide, performed a prompt response Since Seersucker Live is althat involved him barking like ways held in a bar, what is a dog. What says “you’ve made your libation of choice? it” more than having an international literary star bark on your Brian: A Manhattan in a heavy glass. Two cherries. stage?

What would your dream Zach: My usual order is whiskey line-up of performers in a glass. Any type of whiskey, cheap to the finest of Scotches. (alive or otherwise!) be? The heavier the glass, the better. Brian: Good performance is Whiskey, bourbon, as important as good writing-- Chris: Brian: Daniel Handler (aka If we’re exhuming, let’s get wry scotch, furniture polish. Any Lemony Snickett) was our most Mark Twain, macho Ernest strong brown liquid will do. famous author to-date; he’s a Hemmingway, and witty Jane page 39 Issue 2 / July, 2013 You’ve had an impressive line-up of writers over the past few years. What stands out to you as particularly memorable?

What is your vision for the specifically to write a book after future of Seersucker Live? discovering the city through one of our events. Zach: The big goal is to promote the literary community in We like to describe our Savannah. To that end, we defi- readers as sweet or spicy— nitely want to maintain what which are you? we already have going, and to expand our outreach to new na- Brian: Sweet, though I do like a tional authors. In addition, we little cayenne in my hot chocolate. plan to start a week-long writers workshop here in Savannah, Chris: If spicy is synonymous which will feature prominent with sensual, sexy, and dangerwriters as workshop leaders and ously attractive then I’m defihopefully draw attendees from nitely sweet. Remember “The Red Shoe Diaries”? I’m more all over the country. “Everybody Loves Raymond.” My secret (now not-so-secret) hope is that one day some fa- Zach: Spicy, with a hint of mous author comes to Savannah cinnamon. I love cinnamon.

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Buy tickets to Seersucker Live’s next event: The read, write, & new episode Friday, July 5 at The Pirates’ House in Savannah

Visit Seersucker Live online

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a brief history of seersucker The word “seersucker” is a corruption of the Persian phrase “shir o shakar,” meaning “milk and sugar,” as a play on the rough and crinkly texture of seersucker fabric. Because seersucker is inexpensive to manufacture it was originally worn by the working class, but was quickly adopted by southern gentlemen for whom the lightweight fabric was the ideal solution to the dilemma of needing to wear a suit even in sweltering summer heat. The light cotton material remains cool in the summer and its already rumpled texture is forgiving of creases.

In the early part of the twentieth century, seersucker suits were popular among members of the United States Congress to survive the humid months of summer in Washington. With the advent of air-conditioning, the suits fell out of favor, but in the late 1990s Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi revived the tradition with the implementation of “Seersucker Thursday,” a yearly day on which senators are encouraged to don the fabric.

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sTORIarts with Tori Tissell by Bevin Valentine scribes as both “beautiful and utilitarian.” Tori chooses her favorite pieces of literature to work with, but also accepts custom orders wherein she works closely with a client to create a unique piece. In addition to her popular Etsy shop, Tori’s pieces are also sold in the Library of Congress as well as boutiques in the United States and Canada, and she hopes to expand her offerings to bookstores both here and abroad. We at Paprika Southern adore Tori’s products and were thrilled when she agreed to answer a few questions for us. What is your background with literature? It’s always been one of my biggest interests and passions right behind drawing. My parents supported it from a very early age while I was home-schooled and rewarded me for the books I finished. I remember laughing and thinking to myself at the age of seven that their system was seriously flawed since I needed no such Image courtesy of Tori Tissell encouragement. That passion has stuck with me ever since. Books were my closest friends S toriarts is the P ortland , during times when I felt alone, they’ve inspire Oregon-based creation of artist and creative Tori my drawings, and at times I’ve certainly worTissell, who makes scarves, gloves, and pillow cov- ried if I read too much. ers printed with the text from classic pieces of literature. Originally from Savannah, and raised in What is the process of creating a design South Carolina, Tori completed a degree in fash- for a Storiarts product? ion at Pratt Institute in New York City. She came The text is often chosen from my favorite literup with the idea for Storiarts one Christmas sea- ary excerpts but we also get a lot of customer son when, unable to afford to purchase gifts for her input and some pieces have been the product friends and family, she came across some fabric of back and forth interaction. I use Photoshop that reminded her of old books and paper. Com- to create my designs and layouts, and prodbined with own love of art, literature, and fashion ucts are then executed through the process of she conceived of the notion to print excerpts from silk-screening, which is a very physical art methliterature on the blog to create a product she de- od and it means I get to work with photosensiPaprika Southern

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Above: Storiarts pillow covers; below, Tori at work in her studio / images courtesy of Tori Tissell

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tive chemicals, gallons of ink, a pressure washer, and, in my case, textiles. Who is the Storiarts customer? Men, women, readers and writers of all ages! I’ve found my most enthusiastic customers to be middle school and high school girls because they’re usually very willing to talk and their curriculum includes a lot of the same books which make up my pieces. Other notable customers are librarians, English grads, editors, book bloggers, and the best selling Jodi Picoult has a couple of my scarves! You mention in your Etsy profile that you regularly donate profits from your shop. Would you be willing to share what causes you support and why they’re important to you? I know what it’s like to live from paycheck to paycheck and to hardly survive on that so one of the organizations our donations go to is a local street ministry call Father’s Heart, which assists homeless and low-income families and individuals in and around our county. By giving to our local church they further disperse aid to a number of community programs for the poor. What are some of your favorite books or literary characters and why? Jane Eyre will always be at the top of this list because of how she strives to do what is right, not what feels good, and she doesn’t sacrifice her morals for the sake of convenience. Of course Elizabeth Bennet is a favorite because of her humor, wit, and ability to so articulately say what is on her mind. Some other beloved characters are animals such as Jack London’s White Fang and Peter Beagle’s Last Unicorn. There’s just something innately innocent and vulnerable about them that make them so likable. Paprika Southern

Image courtesy of Tori Tissell

Visit Storiarts on Etsy

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your ad here contact for ad rates

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fourth al fresco photography siobhan egan styling bevin valentine

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red, white, and berries

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Grilled Asparagus with Basil Walnut Pesto Pesto

- 1 cup basil - 1 cup arugula - 1/4 cup toasted walnuts - 1/4 - 1/2 cup grated Parmesan - juice of 1 lemon - 2-3 garlic cloves, smashed - salt and pepper to taste - 1/4 cup olive oil Combine all the ingredients except olive oil in a food processor and blend. Slowly stream in olive oil while processor is running until mixture achieves desired consistency.


- 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed - olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste Heat grill or grill pan to medium heat. Once heated place asparagus on the grill and drizzle olive oil lightly over it. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat using tongs. Cook covered with aluminum foil 4-8 minutes, depending on thickness, stirring occasionally. Serve asparagus topped with presto. The pesto also makes a great spread on crusty bread for hors d’oeuvres.. Paprika Southern

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Paprika Spiced Sweet Potato Fries

Artichoke Spinach White Bean Hummus

Slice sweet potatoes into pieces 1/2 inch thick. Soak in ice water for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat 1/2 inch neutral oil (such as grapeseed) over medium high heat. Fry sweet potatoes until browned and cooked through, then season with salt, pepper, and paprika.

- 1 can cannellini beans - 1 clove garlic - 2 tablespoons tahini paste - juice of 1/2 lemon - 1 tablespoon smoked paprika - salt and pepper to taste - 1/4 cup olive oil - 2 tablespoons water - 5 ounces (1/2 package) chopped frozen spinach, thawed - 7 ounces (1/2 can) artichoke hearts, chopped

Rest on paper towel-lined plate to absorb oil.

Lemon Cilantro Dip Combine 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (or sour cream), 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, and the juice and zest of 1/2 lemon. page 53

Combine beans, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper in food process and blend. Stream in olive oil and add water to thin. Remove from processor and fold in spinach and artichokes. Issue 2 / July, 2013

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Tequila Mockingbird In honor of our literary issue, we created our own twist on the Tequila Mockingbird cocktail. Light and refeshing, we think it’s the perfect literary-inspired cocktail for your summer celebrations.

Watermelon Ice Cubes Puree seeded watermelon in blender or food processor and pour into an ice cube tray to freeze.

Cocktail Combine 1 part tequila, 2-3 parts tonic water, and the juice of 1/2 lime. Garnish with watermelon ice cubes and enjoy. Paprika Southern

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Sparkle, Anticipation, and Happiness An Interview with Alysia Gray Painter by Siobhan Egan

parents would explore historic sites, restaurants and attractions, feeding their love of history. It was during that time that she discovered The Grove Park Inn in Asheville, N.C. This hotel holds the distinction of having one of Painter’s favorite lobbies, sporting two 14-foot stone fireplaces that eventually inspired some of the fireplaces in the Wilfair books. Based out of Los Angeles, Painter writes about LA culture, food and art for NBC LA. If you are not sure what to do on any given day or night in Los Angeles, Painter will tell you. It’s what she does. “I always have an opinion… I have a touch of bossiness,” she said.

That’s how she ended up as a writer for NBC LA. She took her love of L.A. and her love of helping people and turned it into a job. “I’m a big believer in ‘time is precious and let’s do the Author photo courtesy of Alysia Gray Painter best with it we can,’ and I turned that into a career,” said Painter, who attended University of New Mexico where she majored in English hen you combine over - and minored in Art History and Film/Televithe-top themed hotels, vintage fashion, 19th and sion. 20th century literature and throw in a dash of sci-fi you get Alysia Gray Painter and her WilThe Wilfair books tell the story of hotel heirfair book series. ess, Fair Finley, who has grown up in hotels and is, at the age of 19, tasked with running Painter is inspired by the hospitality industhe family’s hotel, The Wilfair, and with stealtry. Specifically hotels. She refers to hotels ing the pool from the motel next door—the as “little cities.” To Painter hotels are, “city one run by a pair of cute cousins, the Overcastles, large and elegant and full of stories.” boves. Painter has first-hand knowledge of what it is like to live in what is largely considered Her family owns several theme hotels, intemporary lodging, having lived in hotels for cluding The Wilfair, The Redwoodian close to five years as a child. When in college, (the title of book 2), The Funeral Inn, and she spent two summers at the hotel her faLodge Under Ocean. Throughout the sether ran in Winston Salem, North Carolina. ries Fair struggles to balance the responsibilities of running the hotel, meeting her While living in North Carolina, she and her parents’ expectations of stealing the motel Paprika Southern page 62


Illustration by Claudia Varosio / Courtesy of Alysia Gray Painter

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Painter says she was a little like Fair when she was twenty. “When I was twenty, I wanted the whole world to be just and fair and to be sweet. I definitely was Fair when I was younger,” she said. Painter loves a good friendship story, especially when the characters “work together for a common cause.” She is inspired by classic books of the 19th and 20th century, such as the Trixie Belden books, Jane Austen, and Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. Her favorite books build up a lot of anticipation and the influence is evident in her writing. The anticipation makes the Wilfair books impossible to put down. on her favorite literary character, anne of green gables: “She goes her own path and wants the best for people. She’s spunky. She definitely was saying what the future of womanIllustration by Claudia Varosio / Courtesy of Alysia Gray Painter hood would be. She’s kind of wacky too. She gets in a lot of scrapes. It’s got a pool and the feelings she has developed for sweet romance. the cousins. To top it all off, weird things happen. Fur- Today--She would be a leader. She would be niture gets transported magically to different enacting change. Funky, vintage fan, puffy places without warning and gravity-defying sleeves. She would wear things with puffy situations occur, such as a cousin planted on sleeves with jeans and a mans tie as a belt. Maybe a jacket with puffy sleeves. An advena ceiling. turer. I think she would love documentaFair is named after Fairfax Avenue in Los Ange- ries becauseshe is curious about the world. les, but her name also describes her as a person. I definitely would want to be friends with her.” She has definite misgivings about stealing the motel pool, but does not want to let her parents -Alysia gray painter down. “She doesn’t want to hurt anyone and she Building up to whatever you want to do wants everyone to play nice and win,” Painter is so worth thinking about,” Painter said. said. “And so worth building that skill where we Paprika Southern

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get excited about the things we’re going to do.” Painter says of the series, “ I wanted to do something that was a little offbeat but full of sparkle, anticipation, and happiness.”

An Element of Romance

Fashion plays a big part of the Fair Finley character. She dresses in a vintage style meant to emulate great Hollywood actresses of the past and wears a snood. A lot. Painter has a love of vintage, romantic, Hollywood movie style fashion mixed with modern elements. “I love historic fashion, but I love modern time. . . So I wanted that element of romance and being dressy and being a little high style set in a modern magic realism setting.” She wanted to create a story with a 1940s style in a modern setting, and the way she did that was to create an old-Hollywood theme to the hotel setting where much of the story takes place. “I wanted a modern setting with vintage flair and a hotel in Hollywood can give you both of those things,” Painter said. The series seems to have an almost cult-like following—fans send her pictures of themselves on the corner of Fairfax and Wilshire where the Wilfair Hotel is supposed to be, and fans will be delighted to know that book 4 of the series, Fairwil, is scheduled to come out in March 2014. Painter won’t give much away, but said, “There’s going to be a few twists, but I hope they will be satisfying to readers and I hope you don’t see them coming… I think it’s going to be very romantic.” page 65

Illustration by Claudia Varosio / Courtesy of Alysia Gray Painter

The series is available only for e-readers read alysia gray painter’s books: wilfair redwoodian stay awhile

Issue 2 / July, 2013

sight unseen one couple’s journey from country to city by bess bieluczyk & Jay gould

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A year year ago, Bess and Jay moved from North Louisiana to Baltimore. They rented a brick row house, sight unseen, in the old mill neighborhood of Hampden. Adapting to city life and a tall, narrow house after living in a sprawling ranch-style house in a rural area has been a fun challenge--as has figuring out how to transform a rented house into something that captures their styles and personalities.

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What was your style like before moving Bess: My style was a little retro and kind of in with each other and how is reflected shabby chic with an emphasis on shabby. I can be a bit of a magpie and I tend to collect things in the current decoration? so I accumulate some clutter. I use a lot of obJay: I would have described it as “utilitarian,” jects and props in my artwork and they are all because I have always sought to keep the items things that I love so I like to live with them out I need the most close at hand and not hide any- in the open. I still do this but with more of a thing away so well that I forget that I own it. As selective eye. Books are important to me but a result, I had typically kept things minimal in my I never had enough shelving for them so they living areas. The furniture was quality and the would just wind up in precarious stacks all over books expensive, but beyond that it was a bit bor- my bedroom. Our huge bookshelf is wonderful ing. However, my studio, which has always been because we’ve got them all right at our fingerat home, is an explosion of collected props, tools, tips and somewhat organized. tests and miscellaneous all displayed to help me remember everything I might be able to make use How are your styles blended? of. In the current decoration, I have maintained the utilitarian function through compartmental- Jay: I’d say that I set the structure of the design ization. The living area displays the books, the and leave the embellishment to Bess. She lets music can move on a cart to where we need it, my me decide where I want the massive bookcase, office lets me hide away and focus on the comput- or where I want to have my large, orange print safe, and then she adds touches of humor, coler and my studio remains an explosion. Paprika Southern page 68

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or and fun all over those items. I would never have been so playful in the decoration on my own, but now that we have it setup, I do see the utility of her style as well. She puts memories out where we can enjoy them, but with a strong sense of creativity and storytelling. Bess: It helps that we have some similar design sensibilities, we are both drawn to mid- century design so that gives us a good base to work from. Jay’s style is more minimal than mine so I’ve curbed a little bit of my clutter. Still, I think I add some quirky touches around the place with all my ‘trinkets,’ as Jay likes to call them-they add some personality to our decor. Left to my own devices, I would probably crowd our place with old velvet couches and paintings of cats, so he’s probably a good influence and I manage to work a few cat knick-knacks in here and there. Jay is also a master of organizing space and creating a nice flow while I like to experiment with mixing colors and patterns. What is your favorite element of the apartment? Jay: I am very fond of the large bookcase that I constructed to hold our art books. I really wanted a bookshelf along the wall with the stairs, but it is an unusual shape and nothing I could afford would fit properly, plus I really hate the sag of cheap bookshelves. So, I built this one to match the wall and feel like a built-in. I left overhangs so that Bess would be able to decorate and not have to encroach on the books too much. Now that it is finished, it really is a nice focal point of the home and really functions perfectly. Bess: The picture wall in the living room is something that I love. The salon-style hanging works well in the narrow space and allows us to Paprika Southern

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display a large amount of the work we’ve col- Jay’s giant orange cabinet worked well with lected over the years. It’s wonderful to look at it the orange in the painting as did my pinkish and be reminded of the friends who made the 1950’s kitchen set. work or the places we found it. Is there anything that you would have What has been the biggest transforma- done differently? tion in the apartment? Jay: I would have definitely moved less stuff Jay: Again, I’ll go with the big bookshelf. It is when we came up to Baltimore. It is expensive to replace a couch or a table, but it is also fun to the change that I really felt worked best. pick something out that will be more long-term Bess: I would say our very colorful dining or have an excuse to build something. We came room. One of the first things we did was hang up with so many things that we really have had the enormous painting of the swimmer by our to work to fit some of it in. friend, painter Dara Engler. We had admired the painting for a long time and traded her Bess: I probably would have not rented a house some of our photographs for it just before we sight-unseen! We were lucky that it worked out moved to Baltimore so this house was the first so well and had trusted friends to scope it out chance we’ve had to display it. We designed for us. Other than that, not too much. I’m really a lot of the room around it because it’s such happy with the space and how we’ve managed a great focal point. It was a nice surprise that to make it our own. Paprika Southern page 74

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What makes this apartment unique? Jay: Like a good old Baltimore row home, it is tall and narrow with a lot of natural light. The narrowness is the biggest challenge, so having less furniture is definitely helpful. The walls are also quite long and tall, so filling those with artwork really gives some personality. Thankfully, we and most of our friends are artists, so there is no shortage of work to display. Plus, I happen to enjoy making frames, so that’s a nice coincidence. Bess: Our use of color helps individualize the place and the items we have on display give a good sense of our history. I enjoy having my collection of honey jars and bee things on a fretwork shelf that Jay made in 4-H club from his grandfather’s design. The things we’ve built since we’ve moved here are unique such as the large bookshelf in the living room and the small one in the dining room. Jay also built the lovely bar cart in the dining room for my birthday this year. It holds our record player, records, liquor and games. It’s a rolling party! What decorating advice would you give to people just moving into a space? Bess: Deciding on a general scheme for the design helps but don’t be afraid to experimentI think that’s something that Jay and I have learned from each other. An old, yellow studio light as a living room lamp? Sure, why not? If your landlord will allow it, changing wall color can really help make a place feel like your own. We were lucky that the owners of our house had great taste in color that wound up working well with our artwork. If you can’t paint, I would suggest covering the walls with pictures is a good compromise and can really change the feeling of a room. Paprika Southern

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The Gallery The theme of this month’s gallery was, in keeping with the overall theme of the issue, “literary.” We asked for artwork inspired by literature, books, and literary characters. In addition, this month, we also have a poem and a short piece of fiction to share with you.

Charlotte Oden, mixed media, (inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher)

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Charlotte Oden, mixed media, (inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher)

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Wicked (inspired by the novel of the same name), Donna Rosser, iPhone photography, Fayetteville, GA

Shell Seekers (inspired by the novel of the same name), Donna Rosser, iPhone photography, Fayetteville, GA

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Southern Land by Dana Zullo, Savannah, GA Here we are in the land of cotton these precious days won’t be forgotten it’s hard to look away, look away, look away, southern land. It seems we’ve been here years before we had a life along these shores give us a reason to stay, a reason to stay, a reason to stay, southern land. The magnolia tree is scarred and tattered but along the ground its seeds we gather let us pray, let us pray, let us pray, southern land. A yellow dog walks with his master the flowers shine like alabaster gently we lay, gently we lay, gently we lay, southern land. The faces of years before circle ‘round again once more let us float the sea and soothe what’s sore come what may, come what may, come what may, southern land. Two cats play in the house all day under a golden light we all stay show us a way, show us a way, show us a way, southern land. Old trees roots go down in the soil rope and twine we will uncoil a new day, a new day, a new day, southern land!

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Los Libros II, Jeanne Svendson, digital photography, Savannah, GA

A Gothic Romance I, photography by Izzy Hudgins Photography, styling by French Knot Studios, digital photography

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Discuss Great Literature, Michelle Birki, digital collage book covers, Elyria, OH

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Before the Light by Anthony Garzilli, Savannah, GA A flashlight’s going to brighten the room. It’s only going to flash for a second and the room won’t be radiant, but there will be a hint of light. Pitch darkness interrupted by a sneeze of a spark. We know because we’ve seen it happen twice. The television’s picture is black and white, a security camera’s intrusion on three men looking at a flashlight. They are quiet until one asks the room for a sign, something that proves they are not alone. A sign that proves they are sitting with a presence. Something that proves this is real. They wait. They look at the flashlight. They watch. A man asks for it to happen again. In the dark, on a television screen, three men sit paralyzed by what might happen. In the dark, on a living-room couch, a woman sits tensed, waiting, waiting, waiting for it to happen again. The light. She knows it’s a television show. It’s a program with scripts and actors and prearranged drama and the light’s already flashed twice, but she’s mesmerized. The first time the men asked, there was a flash. She drew a breath. They asked again. It flashed. She laughed. They ask again. Could the presence do it once more, could it please make that flashlight brighten the room? The men wait. They stare. One man wipes his forehead. Another leans forward. She sits, tea cup frozen in her hand, then slowly set down, eyes never leaving the screen. Please, show us again. We watch three pairs of eyes watch a flashlight set in the middle of the room. She starts to smile. It’s going to happen. Dark will turn to light and back again, black and white. The woman’s coiled, knees pulled up. They ask again. He sees her eyes grow wide, like a child’s at the end of a magic trick. He sees her widening smile. The camera zooms. He watches her hands twitch. A light. The men gasp. The woman giggles. She believes in magic. He loves her for her belief. He loves her for her happiness in a flashlight. He’ll always love her for that moment just before the light.

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Charlotte Oden, papercut and fabric (inpsired by the American folklore story of Aunty Greenleaf and the White Deer)

The theme for next month will be “ocean.� Often in literature and art the ocean becomes an active character, a participant in the action, or an adversary. Think Moby Dick or The Raft of the Medusa. The ocean is a force of nature, beautiful, and terrifying. Send us your work inspired by the sea.

To submit to our gallery section, please attach your jpegs to an email sent to with the title Ocean Submission, with the following information: -Artist Name -Hometown -Title of Piece(s) (must match file name) -Medium -Artist website (if applicable) -A brief statement about the work (optional) Please note file resolution should be 150ppi, and file size no smaller than 12 inches on the shorter side. Open to all mediums.

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P.S. Paprika Southern recommends Savannah SCAD Museum of Art is currently showing Streaming Spirits, an exhibit of prints and mixed media by Valerie Hammond and Kiki Smith. The work of both these artists benefits from being viewed in-person and this is a unique opportunity to do so. Show runs through August 25

In Columbus, GA The Columbus Museum will present Warhol in Southern Collections. This exhibition of the pop artist’s works draws work from museum and private collections throughout the South.


June 27 - October 13

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Louisville What is summer without a music festival? The Forecastle Festival will bring together southern favorites such as The Black Keys, Alabama Shakes, and The Avett Brothers, along with numerous other acts. July 12-14


Jackson Fine Art presents a showing of renowned southern photographer Emmet Gowin’s most iconic works. Originally from Virginia, Gowin is known for his photographs of his family and his explorations in aerial photography Show runs through July 27

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Follow along with Paprika Southern throughout the month: Facebook Twitter Pinterest Instagram See you in August!

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Paprika Southern 2, July 2013  

Featuring Seersucker Live, Alysia Gray Painter, Somewhere in the South, and more.

Paprika Southern 2, July 2013  

Featuring Seersucker Live, Alysia Gray Painter, Somewhere in the South, and more.