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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Photo Gallery: State Bicentennial Torch Relay in Bloomington

Our bicentennial exhibit on the Monroe County Courthouse lawn.

Our bicentennial exhibit on the Monroe County Courthouse lawn.

This past Tuesday (September 20th), the TAI staff ventured to the Monroe County Courthouse in Bloomington to celebrate the State Bicentennial Torch Relay. Limestone carvers Casey Winningham and Amy Brier were present demonstrating their work to the public. Adults and children alike gathered around Casey’s and Amy’s tables asking questions about their art, and some even tried limestone carving for themselves. We were also pleased to see so many people engaging with our Bicentennial exhibit: Indiana Folk Arts: 200 Years of Tradition and Innovation. We had such a fun time being a part of the state bicentennial events in Monroe County, and we hope our visitors did too! We would like to thank the Mathers Museum for their continued support and to Christine Friesel and Laura Newton from Visit Bloomington. This event would not be possible without the commitment and talent of our artists Casey Winningham and Amy Brier. Thank you!!

Please enjoy some of the photos taken by TAI director, Jon Kay, at Tuesday’s event. We look forward to seeing you at our next event at the Mathers Museum in Bloomington! The members of the quilting group, Sisters of the Cloth and drum maker, Tony Artis will be participating in artist residencies at the Mathers Museum on Tuesday 9/27 (the Sisters of the Cloth) and Thursday 9/29 (Tony Artis). Stay tuned for more info!!

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Casey Winningham demonstrates carving to a group of children.

Amy Brier demonstrating limestone carving to a group of girl scouts

Amy Brier demonstrating limestone carving to a group of girl scouts

TAI Staff: Maria Zeringue, Emily Burke, and Jon Kay. Photo by Mathers Museum director, Jason Jackson

TAI Staff: Maria Zeringue, Emily Burke, and Jon Kay. Photo by Mathers Museum director, Jason Jackson

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Casey and Amy pose with Smokey the Bear

Bicentennial torchbearer carries the torch to the courthouse in Bloomington

Bicentennial torchbearer carries the torch to the courthouse in Bloomington

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Maria and Emily seated at the TAI table next the bicentennial exhibit.

Casey Winningham shows his Limestone book to visitors.

Casey Winningham shows his Limestone book to visitors.

Amy Brier's sculpture that she was carving at the event.

Amy Brier’s sculpture that she was carving at the event.

Posted in Bicentennial, bloomington, Event, Folk arts, Limestone, Mathers Museum, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

TAI Event at Salamonie Reservoir this Saturday!!

This Saturday (September 10th) we welcome you to our program, “Heritage Arts with Traditional Arts Indiana” at Salamonie Reservoir in Wabash County! Stop by any time from 11 am to 2pm to see demonstrations of various heritage arts and to talk with the wonderful people who make them.

Carol Power's decorated eggs, called pysanky

Carol Power’s decorated eggs, called pysanky

Our featured artists will include members of the Sisters of the Cloth quilting group, Plant tradition bearer and basket maker Dani Tippmann, doll maker Cathy Nagy Mowry, bead artist Katrina Mitten, basketmaker Viki Graber, and Pysanky maker Carol Powers—all of whom will be present to display their craft, demonstrate technique, and discuss the traditions and meanings that contribute to their art.

The event is free and open to the public. We hope to see you there!

Posted in Bicentennial, Event, Fiber Arts, Folk arts | Leave a comment

Photo Gallery: Fiber Arts Weekend at Spring Mill

TAI Staff members Emily Burke (left) and Maria Zeringue (right).

TAI Staff members Emily Burke (left) and Maria Zeringue (right).

This past Saturday (September 3rd), the staff at TAI headed out to Spring Mill State Park to host our Fiber Arts Weekend program. We had such a great time, and we are pleased to say that this event was a success!! The weather was perfect for outside demonstrations, and we were happy to see so many people visit us on the park grounds. Of course, the event would not have been possible without the wonderful artists who were present on Saturday. We would like to thank Marcos Bautista (Weaver), Dee Neirman (Rag Rug Weaver), Larry Haycraft (Hoopnet Maker), Viki Graber (Basketmaker), and Katrina Mitten (Bead Artist) for working with us at Spring Mill.

We would like to share some of the photos from this past weekend. We hope you enjoy them! Stay tuned for more information coming soon about next weekend’s event at Salamonie Reservoir on Sept 10th.

Our view from the artist demonstration area! (Spring Mill Village)

Our view from the artist demonstration area! (Spring Mill Village)

Viki Graber weaving baskets.

Viki Graber weaving baskets.

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Dee Nierman speaking with visitors about her weaving loom.

Larry Haycraft and his son tying knots for their hoopnets.

Larry Haycraft and his son tying knots for their hoopnets.

Katrina Mitten speaking with visitors about her work.

Katrina Mitten speaking with visitors about her work.

Marcos Bautista standing in front of his woven rugs and bags.

Marcos Bautista standing in front of his woven rugs and bags.

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Mark Your Calendars for TAI’s September Events!

As the fall season approaches, TAI will soon be traveling around the state to showcase our bicentennial exhibit, “Indiana Folk Arts: 200 Years of Tradition and Innovation”. Our exhibit is currently displayed at the State Fair. If you plan on visiting the fair this weekend, you can see TAI’s display at the entrance of the Indiana Arts Building (formerly the Home and Family Arts Building). On the second floor of the Arts Building, TAI also has a table where you can pick up one of our Bicentennial catalogues, our brochure on State Fair Master Pearce McKinney, and DVD documentaries on past State Fair Masters that TAI has produced. All of the items are free, so please feel free to take what interests you.

Bicentennial Exhibit

TAI’s Bicentennial Exhibit

After the State Fair, TAI will start our fall season of public programing on September 1st with the ‘First Thursdays’ series. In conjunction with IU Bloomington’s Themester on beauty, the Office of the Provost will host an evening festival of live music, food trucks, narrative stages and artist demonstrations on the first Thursday of the fall months. At the event, TAI will feature several artists who will be participating in the narrative stage as well as demonstrating their work to the public. We are happy to announce that willow furniture maker, Greg Adams; blacksmith, John Bennett; decoy maker, John Bundy; and basketmaker Viki Graber will be in attendance. The event will take place on September 1st from 4:00pm to 7:00pm at the Showalter Fountain on IU’s campus.

Members of the Sisters of the Cloth

Members of the Sisters of the Cloth

The next event, Fiber Arts Weekend at Spring Mill, will take place on September 3rd. TAI will host six artists, who will be demonstrating their work in the park. The artists in attendance will be Marcos Bautista (Zapotec weaving); Dee Nierman (rag rug Weaving); Members of the Sisters of the Clothing quilting group; Larry Haycraft (hoopnet making); Viki Graber (basketmaking); and Katrina Mitten (Miami beadwork). Please join us to learn more about the fiber arts traditions of Indiana!! Spring Mill State park is located at 3333 State Road 60 E. Mitchell, IN.

On September 10, TAI will be sponsoring a public program at the Salamonie Reservoir in Huntington from 10:00am to 3:00pm. Artists present at this event include: members of the Sisters of the Cloth quilting group; Plant Tradition Bearer, Dani Tippmann; doll maker, Cathy Nagy Mowry; bead artist, Katrina Mitten; and Pysanky maker, Carol Powers. (More details soon).

Dani Tippmann

Plant Tradition Bearer, Dani Tippmann

On Saturday, September 17, TAI will be participating in the Lotus World Music and Arts Festival in Bloomington. TAI will be set up from Noon to 5:00pm on Saturday at the Third Street Park (331 S. Washington St.) for the ‘Lotus in the Park’ festivities. There will be live music as well as artist demonstrations and a narrative stage featuring TAI artisans. The artists scheduled to attend include guitar maker, Clint Bear; fiddle/mandolin maker, Bruce Taggert; dulcimer builder, Bill Berg; and African drum maker, Tony Artis. This event is free and open to the public. It will be a fun day filled with art, music, and crafts, so please join us to learn more about Indiana instrument builders and artists.

We have several events planned for the end of September and October, so stayed tuned for more information on the blog in the coming weeks!!

Posted in Bicentennial, bloomington, Event, Folk arts, Indiana State Fair | Leave a comment

TAI Celebrates 2016 State Fair Master Pearce McKinney

This summer, TAI will once again have a presence at the Indiana State Fair. Our traveling bicentennial exhibit, “Indiana Folk Arts: 200 Years of Tradition and Innovation” will be displayed on the fairgrounds this year. If you have not seen the full exhibit yet, the State Fair is a fun opportunity to check it out. The fair runs from August 5-21, 2016. Please see the state fair website for more details.

The complete bicentennial exhibit set up at the Taste of Tippocanoe event this summer

The complete bicentennial exhibit set up at Taste of Tippocanoe in Lafayette, IN

TAI is also involved with the State Fair Masters series. This year we have put together a brochure and display honoring the life and work of Indiana sheep breeder and 2016 State Fair Master, Pearce McKinney. The text below, written by TAI staff, summarizes Pearce’s contributions to the Indiana farming community.

Pearce McKinney

Pearce McKinney

“Pearce McKinney has been committed not only to his award-winning sheep, but also to the upkeep of his farm, home, and property in Wingate, Indiana. Pearce’s family has lived on this farm for five generations. In 1924, his father, Lawrence, named the property Walnut Knoll for the many walnut trees that still dot the landscape today. Over the years, Pearce has worked to restore the old farmhouse back to the way it looked in the early 1900s.

Since they took over the family farm, both Pearce and his wife Alice have left their imprint on the property through their restoration work and modern additions. Pearce restored the barn at Walnut Knoll, which was originally built in 1885. Maintaining the functionality of this historic building, he constructed a modernized hay chute inside the barn and added an office in the space to help with his daily farm responsibilities. In 1991, Alice engineered Fence Line Feeders, an innovative method of feeding the herds of sheep at Walnut Knoll.

McKinney's home at Walnut Knoll

McKinney’s home at Walnut Knoll

On the farm, Pearce and Alice have raised Suffolk and Montadale sheep. The sheep interest began in 1954 when Pearce borrowed $300 from his grandmother to buy three ewe lambs. Pearce worked with sheep breeders in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and in 1963, he raised and showed the Reserve Grand Champion Ram at the Chicago International. Pearce has been actively involved in several Suffolk sheep associations, serving on both national and local committees, and he has judged competitions across the country.

McKinney and his sheep

McKinney and his sheep

At Walnut Knoll, Pearce and Alice enjoy their time at home with their three Great Pyrenees dogs and the beautiful gardens Alice maintains. Upon reflection on his life and career, Pearce has often liked to say, “If you love what you’re doing, I’m sorry, it ain’t work.” Pearce has always been proud of his family lineage and cherished the daily tending of his flock.

In addition to his work on the farm, Pearce has been a generous benefactor of the Indiana State Fair and the 4-H program for many years. He has contributed to the Sale of Champions, which helps fund 4-H members participating in livestock competitions. Pearce has served on the Board of Animal Health and the Indiana Sheep Breeders Association, and also led an initiative to give fairgoers an opportunity to see and sample lamb produced in Indiana. Through his work with the State Fair, Pearce has set an example for future leaders of Indiana farming communities.”

We look forward to seeing you at the State Fair!!!!

Posted in Bicentennial, Event, Folk Traditions, Agriculture, Indiana State Fair | Leave a comment

TAI Goes to the Circus! (In Peru, Indiana)

This past weekend, TAI staff Jon Kay, Jennie Williams, and Maria Zeringue drove from Bloomington to Peru, Indiana to see the Circus City Festival. Maria and Jennie arrived in Peru at 10:00am on Saturday just in time to catch the parade. Peru’s circus parade features performers, clowns, jugglers, unicyclists, antique circus wagons, and community members who support the circus. We were impressed to find out at the event that this parade is one of the largest parades in Indiana!

IMG_1180After the parade we had some free time before the circus show started, so we walked along N. Broadway, where carnival rides were set up and local vendors were selling souvenirs and great carnival food! We did not ride any of the rides, but we had fun taking in the sights and eating sno-cones.

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At 2:00pm, the Circus started. We were so excited to see the show! The lights dimmed and the performances began after a touching tribute to the volunteer riggers who help with the set up and tear down of equipment during the show. For roughly three hours we were amazed at the high caliber of talent and skill showed by the young performers through out the show. Peru’s Circus is special because it is comprised of young people ages 7-21 that live in Peru and Miami County. In fact, only students from Miami County are allowed to participate. The circus is truly a local treasure that is made possible by the hard work and dedication of 211 student-performers, 10 trainers, 3 assistant trainers, and over 2000 volunteers.

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The Peru Circus City Festival has hosted a traditional youth circus for last 57 years, however Peru’s circus heritage dates back to the late 1800s when the The Wallace and Company Show opened in April of that year in Peru. During the early 1900s, Peru became a popular place for the winter quarters of the Hagenbeck-Wallace circus. Until the 1940s, Peru was an important hub for the circus arts in America with 3 major circuses being based there during their offseasons. In the late 1940s, circus companies started going bankrupt and many circus workers moved out of Peru.

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Many years later in 1959, the Peru Circus City Festival and Amateur Circus were started by retired circus professionals who still lived in Peru. Three of the original founders were trainers in the original Hagenbeck-Wallace circus when it wintered in Peru. In 2016, the the Amateur Circus has quite a few 3rd and 4th generation performers in it’s lineup, who continue the rich circus heritage of Peru.

The circus ended it’s week-long run of performances this past Saturday, and we were glad that we were able to see the circus on it’s last day of scheduled programing. If you are ever in Peru during the middle of July, please try to see one of the most amazing shows in Indiana! There are so many great folk arts events happening in Indiana this summer, and the Peru circus is a great example of what our state has to offer.

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Clifty Falls State Park Event

On Saturday, July 9th, TAI set up tents and tables to spend the day at Clifty Falls State Park in Madison. Eight artists and craftspeople practiced demonstrations for visiting campers while the traveling TAI exhibit stood nearby at the entrance, welcoming guests to come and see the event. It was a beautiful day, thankfully not too hot and not too buggy! We are very excited that our newly printed TAI bicentennial catalogues are now available and several were distributed at this event.

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Artists at this event included: Katrina Mitten, Miami tribe bead artist; Viki Graber, fourth generation willow basket weaver; John Bundy, Bundy Duck decoy carver; Marcos Bautista, Zapotec weaver; Jan Boettcher, traditional painter of Norwegian rosemaling; Carol Powers, traditional Ukrainian Pysanky egg decorator; Keith Ruble, bowl hewer; and John Bennett, artisan blacksmith.

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Because the park is located on the south east border of the state along the Ohio River, many of the artists traveled several hours to reach the destination. The event was well attended and we are so appreciative for the artists who shared their traditions, the local volunteers, and the campers who expressed interest in the program!

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Clifty Falls State Park Event this Weekend!

Come on out to Clifty Falls State Park to see Traditional Arts Indiana artists conducting demonstrations of their crafts! Our traveling exhibit, “Indiana Folk Arts: 200 Years of Tradition and Innovation,” will also be featured.

Saturday, July 9th, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM at the Nature Center (2221 Clifty Drive, Madison, IN 47250)

The artists who will be attending are:

Marcos Bautista, Zapotec Weaving

John Bennett, Blacksmithing

Jan Boettcher, Rosemaling

John Bundy, Duck Decoy Carving

Viki Graber, Willow Basketry

Katrina Mitten, Beadwork

Carol Powers, Ukrainian Pysanky

Keith Ruble, Bowl Hewing

More information can be found at the DNR website. We hope to see you there!

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