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Archive for June 16th, 2010

Last month I finally ponied up and joined the Blatchley Nature Study Club.  This club, founded in 1922 maintains a small nature preserve, library and specimen collection on its property adjacent to White River in Noblesville.

I’ve made several visits since I joined.  Phoebe is working on her 4H nature and wildlife projects.  I invited her along to collect photos for her projects.  We had a great time.  The river was high and we had to wade a bit.  We observed a few blooming wildflowers, but most of our time was spent observing and photographing dragonflies.

Take a look!

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The jury for Indiana Artisans is meeting today and tomorrow, at Herron School of Art, to select individuals that will enter into the program.  This is an opportunity for artists to be endorsed by the State of Indiana.

From the Indiana Artisan website:

  • Indiana Artisan supports entrepreneurs who create high-quality art, crafts and value-added foods in the Hoosier state. A venture of the Indiana Office of Tourism Development, the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, the Indiana Arts Commission and the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, this comprehensive program was launched in 2008 to:
  • Raise awareness about the availability of locally-crafted products
  • Establish a brand for Indiana-made goods
  • Provide artisans, particularly those in rural areas, with access to entrepreneurial support including training and networking opportunities

The benefits to artisans, also from the Indiana Artisan website:

  • Indiana Artisan is designed to help artisans and communities by establishing a brand that gives meaning and recognition to high quality, Indiana-made goods. To accomplish that, the program is:
  • promoting handcrafted and value-added food products made in Indiana, telling the stories of local artisans who produce them;
  • encouraging artisans to leverage the Indiana Artisan logo and branding;
  • providing access to entrepreneurial support and technical assistance, especially to artisans in rural areas;
  • providing Internet representation via the Indiana Artisan website;
  • helping artisans increase revenue and market growth through trade shows, online representation, retail displays and outlets, other distribution channels and collaborative statewide promotion efforts; and
  • aiding and promoting local efforts to develop artisan-related, tourism-focused trail development throughout the state.

As I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, I have a vested interest in all of this.  I spent the better part of two weekends, at my busiest time of year, carefully preparing a multi-page application.  I selected photographs of my work to include.

Yesterday I selected three pieces, carefully wrapped and labeled them and delivered them to the door of Herron School of Art.

In reality I’m not really that anxious.  I like my work and it stand on it’s own two feet (and wings).  The only anxiety that I’m feeling is that if not chosen I will miss an opportunity to continue to be a cheerleader for Indiana Traditional Arts.

As I reflect on my artistic life over the last 10 years It’s clear that I am Indiana’s No. 1 fan (Please note tongue in cheek and grain of salt….I may be Indiana’s No. 2 or 3 fan in reality!).

Key Strummers, the Third Satchel Novelty Jazz Orchestra and The Hoosier Hotshot Festival,my work at the State Museum and the National Barndance re-creation at the State Fair were/are about Indiana rural music.

My research of Indiana ukulele maker, Frank Bremerman, my trip to Hawaii to build and play ukulele and the three MidWest UkeFests were about pride in Indiana’s place in ukulele-dom.

My work with Traditional Arts Indiana is to continue to share and document Indiana’s traditions.

Blue Stone Folk School was founded on the notion that Indiana has a lot to share and people should come here and experience it.

From the first bird carving I made I focused on the traditions of Indiana bird carving and Indiana’s naturalist traditions.

If, at the end of the month, I’m not named an Indiana Artisan, life will go on.  I will continue to preach Indiana culture from the rooftops.  Little birds will be carved.  Folks will meet at the Folk School and enjoy music and culture.

…but I’ll feel a little like the Beatles fan that waited in line all night and never got a ticket.

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