BFA04: The Beauty of Folk Arts with Instrument Makers Bill Berg and Tony Artis

The Beauty of Folk Arts podcast is brought to you by Traditional Arts Indiana (TAI) at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures. This podcast features an interview with dulcimer maker Bill Berg and  drum maker Tony Artis by TAI director Jon Kay. In this episode, Bill and Tony discuss how they began making instruments, their building processes, passing on their traditions, and the communal significance of their respective crafts.

Please click on the link below the photos to hear this episode! 

Drum maker Tony Artis teaches a girl some drumming techniques.

Bill Berg plays one of his dulcimers for a visitor.

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BFA03: The Beauty of Folk Arts with Bowl Hewer Keith Ruble and Weaver Dee Nierman

The Beauty of Folk Arts podcast is brought to you by Traditional Arts Indiana (TAI) at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures. This podcast features an interview of bowl hewer Keith Ruble and fourth generation weaver Dee Nierman by TAI director Jon Kay. In this episode Keith and Dee discuss how they learned their craft, the significance of their craft for their families and communities in past times, and the importance that practical, hands-on creativity has for the present and future.

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Dee Norman with family member displaying wool rugs.

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Keith Ruble at work on an Indiana shaped bowl.

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BFA02: The Beauty of Folk Arts with Psyanky Maker Carol Powers and Rosemaler Jan Boettcher

The Beauty of Folk Arts podcast is brought to you by Traditional Arts Indiana (TAI) at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures. This podcast features an interview of pysanky maker Carol Powers and rosemaler Jan Boettcher by TAI director Jon Kay. In this episode Jan and Carol discuss how they learned about their crafts, the importance of arts education, and teaching their tradition to future generations.  

The music featured in this episode is from the album October Dreams by Jon Kay

Jan Boettcher's rosemaling pieces

Jan Boettcher’s rosemaling pieces

Carol Power's psyanky eggs

Carol Power’s psyanky eggs

 

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BFA01: The Beauty of Folk Arts with Netmaker Larry Haycraft

The Beauty of Folk Arts podcast is brought to you by Traditional Arts Indiana (TAI) at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures. This podcast features an interview of netmaker Larry Haycraft by TAI director Jon Kay. In this episode Larry Haycraft discusses his family’s tradition of making hoopnets used for fishing. He addresses the changes and innovation in his craft over time as well as the importance of the continuation of the tradition. 

The music featured in this episode is from the album A Night at the Grind by Jon Kay. 

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November First Thursday Event

On November 3rd Traditional Arts Indiana set up our tents once again for Indiana University’s monthly First Thursdays event. This month TAI featured instrument makers from a diverse set of traditions. Dulcimer maker Bill Berg displayed some traditional dulcimers and a recently crafted hammered dulcimer, playing each in turn to demonstrate how the instruments produce sound. He also displayed some of the tools and unfinished woods that he uses to construct his instruments.

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Next door M. and David Roach displayed their handmade, fire glazed—think raku pottery—ocarinas. While M. demonstrated the process of forming the instruments out of clay, David showed interested event goers how to play them.

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A few steps away Iuri Santos (graduate assistant’s note—he’s the guy who does Rastapops!!) and a fellow capoeira player alternated between demonstrating the construction of berimbaus and playing the berimbaus while singing.

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Our programming integrated nicely with the displays and interactive activities provided by the Mathers Museum of World Cultures, and many people flowed naturally from listening to and discussing the instruments demonstrated by these artists over to the Mather’s instrument petting zoo and their instrument crafting table.

Traditional Arts Indiana will not be present at the final First Thursday event of the semester, but we hope you will go out and enjoy this excellent program on the first Thursday of December.

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Hooiser Homecoming

On Saturday, October 15th, Traditional Arts Indiana participated in the culminating event for Indiana’s Bicentennial: Hoosier Homecoming. This event, held at the statehouse in Indianapolis, featured musical acts, cultural organizations, speeches from political figures of the region, and the torch relay’s finale. TAI set up along one whole corridor of the area surrounding the statehouse, creating a space in which participants could learn about Indiana crafts, witness artists craft pieces from their respective traditions, and speak to those artists about their crafts and traditions. A wide array of Indiana craft and artistic expression was on display, as all of the following excellent craftspeople were present: basket maker Viki Graber, bead artist Katrina Mitten, pysanky maker Carol Powers, rosemaler Jan Boettcher, furniture maker Greg Adams, decoy maker John Bundy, Bowl Hewer Keith Ruble, members of the Sisters of the Cloth quilting guild, and netmaker Larry Haycraft. Please enjoy the following pictures from the event:

Traditional Arts Indiana tents as far as the eye can see!

Traditional Arts Indiana tents as far as the eye can see!

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Greg Adams works on the finishing touches of a willow-topped table.

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Greg Adams and John Bundy’s demonstration area complete with admirers!

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Carved pieces by John Bundy in honor of the bicentennial.

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Keith Ruble discusses bowl hewing with an interested group of military personnel.

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Keith Ruble demonstrating bowl hewing while working on an Indiana-shaped bowl!

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Larry Haycraft and his son demonstrate net making.

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Carol Power’s and Jan Boettcher’s demonstration space.

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Carol Powers demonstrates pysanky making for an interested event goer.

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Some beautiful example of rosemaling by Jan Boettcher.

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Katrina Mitten demonstrating beadwork on a teal vest.

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Viki Graber demonstrating basket making with willows.

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An event goer signs a quilt square for the Sister of the Cloth’s guest quilt.

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Deep quilting discussions occur.

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Everyone together displaying their work! (plus graduate assistants).

 

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Everyone together displaying their work! (plus Jon Kay!)

 

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The Bicentennial Exhibit’s Last Stop: Join Us at the Brown County Public Library!

The 2016 Bicentennial Exhibit

The 2016 Bicentennial Exhibit

For that past several months, the staff at TAI has been traveling the state displaying our exhibit “Indiana Folk Arts: 200 Years of Tradition and Innovation”. In celebration of the state’s bicentennial and Indiana’s rich folk arts tradition, we have taken this display to state parks, arts and music festivals, state historic sites, and finally to public libraries. On Friday, November 11th, TAI will be presenting our bicentennial exhibit at the Brown County Public Library from 4:00pm–7:00pm. This event is our last official bicentennial event of the year. We have had so much fun seeing the state of Indiana; meeting visitors; and most of all, we have enjoyed developing relationships with our artists over the past year. The events that we organize and the exhibits we create, would not be possible without the hard work, talent and participation of traditional artists. 

Several bowls by hewer, Keith Ruble

Several bowls by hewer, Keith Ruble

On Friday Nov. 11th, we will have several artists present at the library demonstrating their crafts and taking questions from the public. They are Larry Haycraft (hoopnet maker), Keith Ruble (bowl hewer), Viki Graber (willow basket weaver), Katrina Mitten (Miami bead artist), and Jan Boettcher (rosemaler).

Please join us on Friday to see the work of these skilled artisans and to see the bicentennial exhibit displayed for the last time (or at least for a while). We are proud of the work we have done for the state’s bicentennial, and we are glad that so many people were able to visit us at some of our events this year. 

Friday’s event is free and open to the public. The address to the Brown County Public Library is 205 Locust Lane, Nashville, IN 47448. Please check out the library’s website for driving directions and more information. Also, please see TAI’s blog and facebook page for more information about our programs. 

From left, TAI staffers Maria Zeringue and Emily Burke. On the right, TAI Director, Jon Kay

From left, TAI staffers Maria Zeringue and Emily Burke. On the right, TAI Director, Jon Kay

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Traditional Arts Indiana at IU Bloomington’s October First Thursday Event

In conjunction with IU Bloomington’s Themester on beauty, the Office of the Provost is hosting a series of free festivals throughout the fall semester on the first Thursday of each month. Each event includes live music, dance and theatre; hands-on arts, crafts, and games, treasure hunts and prizes; and free as well as purchasable food. Traditional Arts Indiana is contributing programming to each of these events throughout the semester, presenting a number of artists and craftspeople and displaying exhibits relating to regional folk art. September’s First Thursday Event featured willow furniture maker, Greg Adams; blacksmith, John Bennett; decoy maker, John Bundy; and basket maker Viki Graber.

Casey Winningham demonstrates hand carving techniques.

Casey Winningham demonstrates hand carving techniques.

For the most recent event on October 6th, TAI highlighted Indiana’s limestone heritage. Local limestone carvers, Casey Winningham, Matt Bruce, and Will Galloway participated in the event, and TAI’s limestone exhibit was also on display. Casey, whose expertise is with lettering for monuments and gravestones, demonstrated carving by hand with a chisel

Casey Winningham demonstrating hand carving techniques.

Casey Winningham at work.

and mallet, showing event goers key techniques for creating clean lines and three dimensional shadowing with carved lettering. Alongside his workspace he displayed examples of his work.

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Matt Bruce teaches festival attendee how to use the air chisel.

Matt Bruce, well known for his inventive pieces such as giant scissors and pocket knives that can actually open and close, loaded his compressor onto his truck and brought it with him to the event so that he could demonstrate air chiseling for the crowd. Matt not only demonstrated with the air chisel, he also taught event goers of all ages how to hold the chisel and use it to carve into the piece of limestone he brought for the purpose.

Will Galloway describing process of limestone carving.

Will Galloway describing the process of limestone carving.

For the first part of the event award-winning carver Will Galloway displayed projects at various points of completion, talking interested event goers through the journey a piece takes from its conceptualization to its completion. As the evening drew on Will moved over to demonstrate and teach hand carving techniques at Matt’s table and Casey joined them to talk carving techniques. This gave festival goers the opportunity to learn two methods of carving and hear some of the differences between various carvers’ approach to the craft. It was an excellent end to the evening and provided an experience that melded education and hands on experience wonderfully.

Will Galloway watches as event goer tries her hand at chiseling.

We hope you will join us at the next First Thursday event in November to talk with craftspeople and see them demonstrate and teach their craft!

 

 

 

Casey Winningham, Matt Bruce, and Will Galloway in deep discussion.

Casey Winningham, Matt Bruce, and Will Galloway in deep discussion.

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Photo Gallery: TAI at the Lanier Mansion

On September 18th, Traditional Arts Indiana participated in a Bicentennial Torch Relay event at the Lanier Mansion in Madison. Jon Kay, director of TAI, took several photos of the artists present that day, which we would like to share with you. Thank you to all of the artists who helped make this event a success!! Thank you Greg Adams (furniture maker), John and Valarie Bundy (decoy makers), Casey Winningham (limestone carver), and Clint Bear (guitar maker).

Greg Adams

Greg Adams

Greg Adams demonstrating furniture making to a group of children.

Greg Adams demonstrating furniture making to a group of children.

Casey Winningham

Casey Winningham

Casey Wininngham demonstrates his carving tools.

Casey Winningham demonstrates his carving tools.

John and Valarie Bundy

John and Valarie Bundy

John and Valarie's duck decoys

John and Valarie Bundy’s duck decoys

Clint Bear's apparatus for making his guitars

Clint Bear’s shaping apparatus for making his guitars

A close up of a guitar made by Clint Bear

A close up of a guitar made by Clint Bear

Posted in Bicentennial, Event, Folk arts, Limestone | Leave a comment

TAI at the Lotus in the Park Event

Clint Bear shows off his guitars to a musical public.

Clint Bear shows off his guitars to a musical public.

This past weekend (September 17th) Traditional Arts Indiana participated in the Lotus World Music and Arts Festival’s free Saturday event “Lotus in the Park.” The morning rain gave way to sunshine by late afternoon and the park was filled with excellent live music, art activities and star making sessions for One Million Stars to End Violence, and artist demonstrations and narrative stage events from TAI. The artists present were guitar maker Clint Bear, fiddle/mandolin maker Bruce Taggert, dulcimer builder Bill Berg, and African drum maker Tony Artis. The artist demonstrations at this event were uniquely interactive, as Clint, Bruce, Bill, and Tony not only demonstrated how they make and play their instruments, they also allowed event-goers to interact with and play the instruments themselves. This lead to some deeply rewarding moments both between the artists and the public, and between the artists and the musicians playing the festival.

A few young violin players talk with Bruce Taggert about his intsruments

A few young violin players talk with Bruce Taggert about his instruments

Traditional music jam sessions coalesced around Bruce Taggert’s tent as musically inclined event goers came by to admire Bruce’s fiddles and mandolins and then stayed to play and sing together. As the crowd changed so too did the music of the jam sessions, shifting from French-Canadian styles to traditional Irish tunes and then to Old Time music, punctuated occasionally by a classical piece or two. Things took an equally interesting and enjoyable turn when some of the musicians booked to play the festival stopped by, bringing with them some of their own instruments including an accordion (which the Traditional Arts Indiana graduate students were personally very excited about).  Additionally, our own Jennie Williams, a musician in her own right, gave a few impromptu mandolin lessons to interested children attending with their parents.

Drum maker Tony Artis teaches a girl some drumming techniques.

Drum maker Tony Artis teaches a girl some drumming techniques.

At the next table over, Tony Artis set out two drums, one mostly finished and the other complete, along with two chairs so that he could alternate easily between showing event goers how he constructs his drums and teaching them how to play them. Tony sat  interested parties of all ages down across from him and taught them five central techniques for drum playing. Meanwhile, Clint Bear and Bill Berg’s tables featured a combination of partially finished and fully completed guitars and dulcimers with which passerby could engage. Intense musical and technical conversations between the makers and interested dulcimer and guitar players occurred frequently throughout the event and they too allowed their instruments to be played by the public.

Bill Berg plays one of his dulcimers for a visitor.

Bill Berg plays one of his dulcimers for a visitor.

Throughout the day the artists were whisked away to participate in narrative stage events. Here our own Jon Kay interviewed the artists in pairs (Bruce Taggert and Clint Bear, then Bill Berg and Tony Artis), asking them about their personal connections to their crafts well as about their methods and experiences.

All in all it was a lovely day of engagement and music and we at Traditional Arts Indiana hope you will stop by our upcoming events.

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