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Supernatural Art

Curated by Paula Katz
June 6 – July 17, 2015
Reception July 11, 2015 from 4-6 p.m.

 The New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art invites you to the newest exhibit, Supernatural, from June 6th to July 17th 2015. With works juried by Paula Katz, Executive Director at the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art (iMOCA), Supernatural presents a variety of concepts and takes on the subject of the supernatural as depicted in popular culture. Through earnest explorations, humorous takes and conceptually oriented works, this show presents works in a variety of media including painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, sculpture and video.  

This exhibition features local, regional, national, and international artists: Brett Anderson, Lesley Baker, Max Boschini, Emily Budd, Josiah Cazares, Richard Cutshall, Dominic Guarnaschelli, Gary Logan Hobdy, Sean Hoisington, Robert Horvath, Arpád Horváth, Christy Jochum, Sarah Kasch, Heather Landry, Laura Levine, Erich Neitzke, Quincy Owens & Luke Crawley, Andrew Davis, Stefan Petranek, Aaron Pierce, Steven Sickles, Kalli Stylianides, Ingrid Ung, Simon Welch, Kristen Wilkins.

A reception for Supernatural will be held at the New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art from 4-6 p.m. Saturday, July 11th during the final weekend of the New Harmony Music Festival and School. The exhibition is free and open to the public. 

The New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art is an outreach partner of the University of Southern Indiana. The gallery is located at 506 Main Street in New Harmony, Indiana. Regular hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, call 812/682-3156 

New Harmony Writers Workshop June 21-26

During your visit to Utopia, there are many varied and interesting ways to participate in the arts.   The New Harmony Writers Workshop is an evolution of a celebrated program of the University of Southern Indiana.  Each year, participants engage with poets, writers, and authors come to New Harmony to workshop their talents together. The workshop includes craft lectures, manuscript conferences, and small group working sessions for paid registrants but many of the readings and receptions are open to the public.

This year’s schedule has just been published and includes events all over New Harmony June 21-26.  Click on some of the links below to learn more about the people and places engaged in the 2015 New Harmony Writers Workshop:

NHWW at a Glance*
The events listed below are free & open to the public!

Sunday, June 21
6:30 p.m. — Ross Gay reading (Bayou Conference Center)

Monday, June 22
7 p.m. — Andrew Meredith & Robert James Russell reading (Sara’s Harmony Way)

Tuesday, June 23
10 a.m. — Robert James Russell editing & publishing lecture (Barn Abbey)
1 p.m. — Stuart Dybek fiction craft lecture (Barn Abbey)
3 p.m. — Andrew Meredith nonfiction exercises (Barn Abbey)
7 p.m. — Phillip B. Williams & Rebecca Gayle Howell reading (Gallery of Contemporary Art)

Wednesday, June 24
4:30 p.m. — Rebecca Gayle Howell translation session (Barn Abbey)
7 p.m. — Ada Limón reading (Working Men’s Institute)

Thursday, June 25
10 a.m. — Ross Gay nature writing session (Barn Abbey)
1 p.m. — Ada Limón poetry craft lecture (Barn Abbey)
3 p.m. — Phillip B. Williams poetry exercises (Barn Abbey)

Friday, June 26
6 p.m. — Stuart Dybek closing reading (Atheneum)

* Schedule Subject to Change

Bugs, Shells & Pottery: Celebrating 201 Years of New Harmony Science and Art

USI’s Super Summer program is a popular week-long educational day-camp for kids that is typically held on campus as well as at a rotating Evansville school each summer.  Last year, for New Harmony’s Bicentennial, Historic New Harmony partnered with the Super Summer team to provide a special session “Bugs, Beakers & Eyeballs: 200 Years of New Harmony Science”.   This program was held in town on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and on campus on Tuesday and Thursday.

Due to the success and overwhelming feedback the program received, the program will return this summer- this time spending the whole week in New Harmony!  Middle school students wanting to engage in science, art, history, and technology are encouraged to register here for “Bugs, Shells & Pottery: Celebrating 201 Years of New Harmony Science and Art”

The list of activities is below, take a moment to see just how much fun and edu-tainment your children can have in New Harmony June 15-19, 2015!
Super Summer 2015 Schedule

Culture Vultures

This May, the “Culture Vultures” will descend on New Harmony!

This group, comprised of early retirees and University of Southern Indiana gerontology students, is intended to “promote history, arts, education and health living” within its membership. While in New Harmony, they will engage with town in a variety of ways. They will start their day at Fragrant Farms and will get to experience the acres of peonies in the peak of their bloom. They will then explore the Harmonist Labyrinth before going on a guided walking tour lead by Historic New Harmony. They will get to explore town on their own for lunch and shopping and will  close the day with a meditative walk at the Cathedral Labyrinth and a debrief and reflection session at the Atheneum.

There are several organizations and businesses in town that help groups plan day-long and overnight retreats in New Harmony.  This trip was organized through Historic New Harmony, but Events of Harmony also coordinates many such programs as well.  The Blaffer Foundation owns many venues and spaces in town as well that groups take advantage off for retreats, receptions, and other special events.

No matter what the reason for your trip to Utopia, New Harmony has the amenities and resources to help make your visit engaging and worthwhile!  Everyone is welcome to Visit New Harmony!

A Night of Banjo Heaven

My nephew Reuben picked up the banjo about a year ago and enthusiastically learned how to play “Dueling Banjos,” so he was beside himself with excitement when I told him that two of the most amazing banjoists now playing – Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn – will be performing live on April 25th at the final 2015 Under the Beams concert, and that I’d gotten us tickets.

These two don’t “duel!” Most folks have heard of 15-time Grammy winner Béla Fleck, but not everyone has heard of Abigail Washburn. Abigail brings clawhammer banjo playing into the 21st Century with her refreshing pairing of that traditional style with world music forms. Fluent in Chinese, she has been named a TED fellow and gave a talk at the 2012 TED Convention in Long Beach about building US-China relations through music.

So how did we have the wonderful opportunity to see them together? Well, they’re married, so there’s that.  Plus there is one other small, yet not at all insignificant factor in the timing: the birth of their son Juno. Says Fleck, “I come from a broken home, and I have a lot of musician friends who missed their kids’ childhoods because they were touring. The combination of those two things really made me not want to be one of those parents. I don’t want to be somebody that Juno sees only once in a while. We need to be together, and this is a way we can be together a whole lot more.”

The two of them blend the East of China with the West of Africa into a music that can only happen in America.

Live Music all Weekend at Arts in Harmony!

A good time will be had by all, May 2 & 3!  Prepare for some fun and a full weekend of live, free music!

The music lineup for this year’s Arts in Harmony will include both local and imported talent and a broad spectrum of musical genres that range from bluegrass to blues and folk to funk.

Kicking off the festival at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 2, is singer/songwriter Steve Tyner, whose band Jenny’s Bad Hair Day, plays frequently in venues in and around Evansville.

Posey County’s Circle of Friends takes over at noon with a repertoire that includes country, pop, rockabilly, and standards.

Harmony Road is next at 2 p.m., serving up a tasty musical menu of pop, folk, blues, country, and originals, all in lush three-part harmony.

Native American recording artist Michael Jacobs takes over at 3 p.m.

At 6 p.m. there will be dancing in the street as Evansville’s popular Honey Roy Band deliver a set of funk and rhythm & blues.

On Sunday at noon, neo-traditionalists Dana and Susan Robinson will perform acoustic folk music that evokes the sounds of the Appalachian hills.

At 1:30 the Flatheads will play bluegrass, folk, rock, jazz, blues, and world music.

Capping the bill at 3:30 will be the blues/rock quartet of Tommy Stilwell, Mike Rodenberg, Carl Rodenberg, and Mickey Grimm!

Street Art in New Harmony!

Looking for a bit of competitive sport on your next visit to New Harmony?  On May 2, during Arts in Harmony (our fabulous art fair featuring fine art & craft and live music all weekend) we will debut a new Sidewalk Chalk Art event!

Competing for a $500 prize, artists will take to the streets and exert their best moves with chalk. Beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday and ending for the judging at 5 pm, artists and their teams (ages 16+) are invited to take color in hand and transform the pavements!

Look on as wildly creative artists use chalk down to the last stubs to wring out the most fabulous and motivated street art in the region.

There will also be a kid’s section for the little ones to decorate to their hearts’ content. Every child participating will receive a small prize and lots of happy attention.

Come and watch, or come and create! Contest details are at http://visitnewharmony.com/calendar/301.

Fine Artists and Live Music: May 2 & 3

Tom Wintczak, proprietor of Bee Tree Pottery, make’s original redware pottery so typical of the early nineteenth century ceramics produced by the Harmonists in New Harmony, that his production juried him into the 2014 Directory of Traditional American Crafts by Early American Life magazine.

Kirsten Skiles, proprietress of K.Skiles Studio, is a metalsmith so in touch with the crafts of chasing and repoussé that her leaf pendants and brooches seem to have just been plucked off of the tree.

David Powell, proprietor of David Powell Glass Art, makes glass beads, blown glass ornaments, and glass fruits and vegetables that look good enough to eat.

Sara Rappee, proprietress of Handmade Stone and Silver Jewelry, is a jeweler and stone polisher so in touch with her materials that they seem to grow out of her hands.

Laura Foster Nicholson, proprietress of LFN Textiles, is an award-winning textile artist with tapestries in collections such as the Art Institute of Chicago, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and the Denver Art Museum.

I’m personally acquainted with each of these gifted artists, and can attest to their passion and their skill. More to the point, though, all of them – and many other talented artists – will be under one roof when Arts in Harmony gathers for its 2015 show the first weekend in May.

Arts in Harmony has grown to be one of the premiere fine art shows in the Tri-State, and yet, the fine arts are only half of what Arts in Harmony has to offer. There are two days full of musical acts as well, on Arts in Harmony’s outdoor stage, from 10:30 in the morning until 9:30 at night, so come prepared to listen, sing along, and dance! Confirmed musical acts thus far include folk duo Dana and Susan Robinson, acoustic folk/jazz trio The Flatheads, Harmony Road, Native American musician Michael Jacobs, Circle of Friends, and soulful R&B band Honey Roy, with much more to come!

New Harmony, Indiana is an idyllic walkable village set on the banks of the Wabash River 22 miles west of Evansville. It is an easy 2 hour drive from St. Louis, Missouri, Louisville, Kentucky, and Bloomington, Indiana.

Plan your visit and find lodging at www.visitnewharmony.com.


Musical Alchemy in a Celtic Mood: Concert Review

On March 21 as part of the Under the Beams 2015 Concert Series, Celtic band Solas brought its five principal members to New Harmony’s 360-seat Murphy Auditorium for an unforgettable evening of both traditional and original music. The first half of the concert consisted of highlights of their album “Shamrock City,” which as a body of music is fascinating, lovely, and moving. But in concert, it becomes an even more immersive experience with projected historical photos and some commentary on the Irish immigrant experience in Butte, Montana, at the turn of the century. The second half of the concert featured songs from their previous albums and some of their members’ work outside of the group. This structure worked well, putting the more emotional content first; then lightening up the mood with material that, even when somber, didn’t require the same kind of attention from the audience.

I was impressed by every aspect of this band, and this show. Of course the musicianship was remarkable (not that it’s ever anything less at an Under the Beams concert). I think everyone in the audience was completely enchanted by the lead female vocalist, Niamh Varian-Barry. She’s actually the newest band member; and having heard at least one of their previous members in that role, I think she brings something unique and exciting to the group’s sound. Founding member Seamus Egan played two kinds of flute-like whistles in addition to guitar and banjo; Mick McAuley played a button accordion; Eamon McElholm mostly played guitar; and of course the other founding member Winifred Horan was a delight to watch on the fiddle, despite a broken collarbone, which required her to sit throughout the performance. She was able to perform her beautiful bowing technique almost as expressively while sitting as while standing, I think, just judging by the videos I’ve seen.

Also impressive was the variety of tone, tempo, and style that each song highlighted. I particularly enjoyed “Girls on the Line,” which slyly begins as a slow, pensive instrumental, then turns into a speedy jig. It ends with a bookending return to the pace of its opening, a way to close what feels like a musical journey. “Lay Your Money Down” is rollicking from beginning to end, with the feel of a rough and tumble drinking song, but the lyric reveals how the local drinking and gambling establishments exploited the miners financially. “Am I Born to Die” is its opposite, solemn, dirge-like in its pace, questioning the life of toil and its ultimate conclusion and judgement.

This is one mark of a great ensemble – creating a myriad of moods, without any feeling of discord, without pretentiousness. It was a totally compelling alchemy of material, musicianship, and feeling.

The final Under the Beams Concert of the season will be April 25th. The much anticipated show will feature Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn. Plan a day or weekend in New Harmony at www.visitnewharmony.com.

Great Women of New Harmony

Mary Emily Fauntleroy and Jane Blaffer Owen: Preservers of the Past

March is women’s history month, and as the month draws to a close I’d like to recognize two women who have had tremendous roles in preserving New Harmonys history.

Perhaps the patron saint of historic preservation in New Harmony is Mary Emily Fauntleroy. Ms. Fauntleroy was born in April 1858, and for decades she acted as a one women preservation movement for the Old Fauntleroy Home. Ms. Fauntleroy purchased the Fauntleroy House from a relative and acted as its guardian and historian for a number of years. She made additions and renovations, researched the building’s history, and procured furnishings. In 1919, the Indiana Federation of Clubs agreed to purchase the Fauntleroy Home from Ms. Fauntleroy, and in 1925 the house was formally handed over to the organization. In 1939 the property was again transferred, this time to the New Harmony Memorial Commission and, finally, was taken up in the 1950s by the state of Indiana.

Mrs. Jane Blaffer Owen was a transplant to New Harmony following her marriage to Kenneth Dale Owen, a descendent of Robert Dale Owen. She established the Robert Lee Blaffer Foundation in 1958 with the goal of preserving New Harmony’s historical attributes, and her endeavors safeguarded many historic buildings for future generations. In addition to saving original buildings, Mrs. Owen led efforts to rekindle the appreciation for art and learning that had been an integral part of Robert Owen’s vision of utopia. This year would have been Mrs. Owen’s 100th birthday, and as such 2015 has been designated the Jane Blaffer Owen Centennial Year in New Harmony.

The first floor of the Fauntleroy Home can be viewed on Historic New Harmony’s tour, which leaves from the Atheneum at 10 and 2 each day. Of particular interest is the Minerva Parlor, interpreted as a glance into 1850’s New Harmony. The Atheneum, an award-winning building, was designed by architect Richard Meier. It stands as part of Mrs. Owen’s legacy in New Harmony today.