Category Archives: Alternative Art Districts

DMCA: Denver Museum of Contemporary Art

Denver Museum of Contemporary Art (DMCA: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=31829)

Denver Museum of Contemporary Art
1485 Delgany St, Denver, CO 80202
https://mcadenver.org/

I experienced my first visit to the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art on its infamous “penny admission day for Colorado residents” on August 5, 2017. The architectural style of the museum portrays contemporary art in its own style and facade, with a hidden entrance down what appears to be a dead-end graffiti styled corridor out front. The rooftop has a great garden with modern-style and wonderful views of the city. The bubble chill zone on fake grass pads is also a nice touch. Its a great space for exhibiting art. While this particular selection of exhibits was not very fascinating the museum itself had lots of great pleasure. I also was very impressed with the Jenny Morgan exhibit and how it was presented. The other two, not so much. As I’m not a great fan of contemporary art, I did enjoy my visit. ~ Leaf McGowan Rating: 4 star out of 5

The MCA or DCMA was founded in 1996 as a home for contemporary art in the city. For its first seven years, it took over an old renovated fish market in the Sakura Square downtown Denver, being founded by Sue Cannon. By 2003 the Board of Trustees donated land to build a permanent building. October 2007 they opened their current, new 27,000 square foot environmentally sustainable building in lower downtown Denver created by architect David Adjaye. It was styled with hidden skylights and natural lighting with large windows looking out to Denver’s streets. The building possessed five galleries as well as a shop, library, education spaces, and a rooftop cafe.

P>Exhibits:

Denver Museum of Contemporary Art (DMCA: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=31829). New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken Saturday, 5 August 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017: Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

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Benson Sculpture Garden (Loveland, Co)

Benson Sculpture Garden

Benson Sculpture Garden
1125 W 29th St., Loveland, Colorado, USA 80538
http://www.sculptureinthepark.org/garden

Located along the shores of Lake Loveland, near Highway 34 is a beautiful tranquil sculpture garden that is free and a public park for all to enjoy. A popular tourist destination to stop at on the way to the Rocky Mountains and other activities in the area located in the heart of Loveland.

The garden is a unique showcase of local sculpture art that has been displayed here since 1985. It is also the location for the annual “Sculpture in the Park” festival held by the Loveland High Plains Art Council. There are over 154 sculptures in the park on permanent display created by world renown artisans encompassing over 10 acres with foot paths, sidewalks, benches, restrooms, and picnic areas.

It has been cited as being one of the “200 most important modern and contemporary art sites around the world”. It is open year round with no admission fee except during the festival. Rating: 5 stars out of 5. Visited 6/1/17.

Benson Sculpture Garden ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=31361); Exploring Loveland, Colorado (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=31035). New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken June 2, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

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Wall murals of Trinidad/Quincy, Washington

Wall murals of Trinidad, Washington (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=28307); Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 22, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan  and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.
Wall murals of Trinidad, Washington (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=28307); Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian. Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 22, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

Wall Murals depicting life in the area
Trinidad/Quincy, Washington

In the rural communities of Quincy and Trinidad, eastern Washington are collections of intriguing historic story-telling facades made up of wall murals telling history, storie, and scenes from the past of farm and city life through the ages. The art is beautiful and inspiring, telling tales for generations to enjoy. While both towns are ghostly and lowly populations, car driven tourist traffic have renewed interest in the area.

Wall murals of Trinidad, Washington (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=28307); Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 22, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan  and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.
Wall murals of Trinidad, Washington (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=28307); Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian. Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 22, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

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2016 Vinotok Fall Festival (Crested Butte, Colorado)

Vinotok Fall Equinox Festival ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=27751) - New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf  and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken September 24, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit   http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Vinotok Fall Equinox Festival ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=27751)

Vinotok Festival”
Middle/Late September Annually
Crested Butte, Colorado
https://www.facebook.com/Vinotok-112218345485150/

Annually around the Fall Equino or after, there is held a major free Fall Festival held by the small town of Crested Butte, Colorado in the heart of their downtown. Activities and festivities are actually held week long, with the cusp and end being the big public procession, trial, theater, and burning of the Grump – a huge bonfire held just at the end of Main Street. This year, 2016 marked its 31st year – and it was a spectacle to enjoy and be part of. Annually this multi-cultural grassroots celebration of the Crested Butte community spirit gathering, celebrating the vital energy and harvest of Crested Butte founders, citizens, and elders who settled the valley, mining and farming, homesteading and ranchers for the bounty and gifts they’ve enjoyed in their history. With a Indo-European Wicker Man harvest festival twist, the spirit of the land and valley is celebrated. Rites and rituals, feasts and events are held, with the final Saturday night involving magical Maidens and Lads led by the Green Men and Harvest mothers into the streets, mumming into each restaurant and bar, luring out the patrons into the streets for the grand trial of the Grump – a large wicker man who is processioned down the streets to the bonfire circle where he is banished and burnt with other effigies into the night – dancing, drumming, and chanting. Everyone pouring in their grumps for the magic to be actualized.

The event is free except for the feast on Friday night. Free camping options available on forestry and BLM land a short drive away.

Vinotok Fall Equinox Festival ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=27751) - New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf  and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken September 24, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit   http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Vinotok Fall Equinox Festival ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=27751) – New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken September 24, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

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First Beach, La Push, Washington

First Beach (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26123) - La Push (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26119) - Forks, Washington: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26115. Olympic National Forest and Park: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26099. Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 26, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.
First Beach (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26123) – La Push – Forks, Washington

First Beach, La Push, Washington

Tribal lands outside of Olympic National Forest not far from Forks, and part setting / inspiration from Stephanie Meyers series “Twilight” it is a location off the path from the Twilight Tour in Forks. Only 14 miles towards the coast from Forks, this is the home of the Quileute Tribe who originally habitated these lands for their sea-faring quests and fishing trips. It was here they traditionally built their cedar canoes for oceanic journeys, whaling, and seal hunting. La Push is their current headquarters. They signed their first treaty with the Euro-American settlers here that eventually relocated them to a reservation in Taholah, but because of their remoteness, wasn’t enforced, and many stayed in this area. In 1889 President Grover Cleveland established a one mile square reservation here for them, with about 252 inhabitants. That same year, the town was destroyed by arson. Today it is a popular tourist destination and is home to oceanfront resorts, a fish hatchery, a seafoo company and a marina. They host an annual festival called Quileute Days every July 17-19th celebrating their cultural heritage, with fireworks, salmon bake, dancing, songs, softball and other tournaments, vending, and food. They are featured as characters in Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series as the wolf people.

First Beach (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26123) - La Push (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26119) - Forks, Washington: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26115. Olympic National Forest and Park: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26099. Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 26, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.
First Beach (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26123) – La Push (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26119) – Forks, Washington: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26115. Olympic National Forest and Park: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26099. Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian. Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 26, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

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American Stonehenge (Maryhill, Washington)

American Stonehenge
Maryhill, Washington * Contact: Maryhill Museum of Art * 35 Maryhill Museum Drive * Goldendale, Washington 98620 * 509-773-3733 *
by Thomas Baurley

America has several Stonehenges – replicas of the infamous original from the British Isles. The American Stonehenge at Maryhill is one of the most popular sitting atop a lonely bluff overlooking the town of Maryhill, Washington and the length of the Columbia River. It is a full-size identical replica astronomically aligned of the ancient monument of “Stonehenge” in England. It serves as a replica for those who died in World War I and was built by the road engineer, Sam Hill from 1918-1930. It took him 12 years to perfect the monument, dedicating it on July 4, 1918 and completing it in 1929. He passed away shortly after its completion and was buried at the base of bluff below the monument in a difficult to reach location so that he’d be left alone by the tourists he expected to come see his monument. Hill originally built the monument after being mistakenly informed that the original Stonehenge was used for sacrifice. He wanted to symbolize how humanity was still being sacrificed to the God of War. His monument can be seen ominously looming on a bluff overlooking the Columbia River and easily seen by all passerby’s on U.S. Highway 97.

    The dedication plague at the monument reads:
    “In memory of the soldiers of Klickitat County who gave their lives in defense of their country. This monument is erected in the hope that others inspired by the example of their valor and their heroism may share in that love of liberty and burn with that fire of patriotism which death can alone quench.”

Sam Hill also built a mansion nearby that hosts the Maryhill Museum of Art holding monuments of the Klickitat County soldiers who died in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. It is also the very first monument in the United States to be constructed to honor the dead of World War I. The altar stone is aligned with the sunrise on the Summer Solstice. There is no admission to the Memorial.

American Stonehenge and the Columbia River Valley, Washington.  11/16/15. Chronicles 20: Exploring Oregon/Idaho border lands. October-November 2015. Photographs by Eadaoin and Thomas Baurley, Leaf McGowan, Technogypsie Productions. www.technogypsie.com/photography.  Reviews: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  Chronicle tales: http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=16903www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/  American Stonehenge: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=7629 Columbia River http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=1151
American Stonehenge and the Columbia River Valley, Washington. 11/16/15. Chronicles 20: Exploring Oregon/Idaho border lands. October-November 2015. Photographs by Eadaoin and Thomas Baurley, Leaf McGowan, Technogypsie Productions. www.technogypsie.com/photography. Reviews: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. Chronicle tales: http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=16903www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/
American Stonehenge: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=7629
Columbia River http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=1151

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Prince August Toy Soldier Factory

113013-232

Prince August Toy Soldier Factory
* Kilnamartyra Village, Macroom, Co. Cork, Ireland * Phone + 353 (0)26 40222 * Fax + 353 (0)26 40004 * http://www.princeaugust.ie/ *

As we were driving around Ireland looking for stone monuments, dolmen, tombs, and holy wells we stumbled upon this toy factory in the small village of Kilnamartyra in Macroom, near Killarney town and Cork City. The parking lot was empty but the open sign was up. The outside of the building had beautiful artwork and painting of mythology, toy soldiers, and dragons. Inside we were greated by a mom and her son who showed us around the store, let us take a peek in the warehouse, and demonstrated lead casting of the toy soldiers. Apparently this is the only Toy Soldier Factory in all of Europe and one of the largest of its kind in the world. They offer tours of the facilities, demonstrations, school tours, family days, parties, and craft making sessions.

113013-238

They offer casting and painting workshops as well. The Factory creates a variety of start kits that contain moulds that can be used for home crafting to create your own toy soldiers or mythical beings. The selection ranges from toy soldiers, traditional soldiers, Romans, Vikings, Faeries, Mythological Figures, Chess Sets, Christmas Ornaments, and Teddy Bears. The factory was founded in 1976 by two new Irish residents from Sweden. They bought a factory building in Kilnamartyra, recruited local help, and bought mould making machines beginning production. They originally packed and distributed in Germany while manufacturing in Ireland at first, but as their resources grew in Ireland, moved operations completely into Ireland. We had a great visit, and enjoyed the figurines. Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

113013-243

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Galleon’s Lost (Charleston, SC)

Galleon's Lost
Galleon's Lost

Galleon’s Lost
* 165 King Street * Charleston, SC 29401 * galleonslost.com * (843) 577-3875 *

Down the city center along King Street, in the historic pirate town of Charleston, South Carolina, you can find a treasure shoppe of timeless maritime collectibles, treasures, rare objects, antiques, and an authentic pirate treasure gallery. Being a big fan of “all things Pirate” I definitely had a fun browse through the store and brief chat with one of the staff. I found friendly and hospitable service, good conversations, and a great collection of fascinating finds. The shop is a subsidiary of Voyager International that brings treasures of the Island Kings collection to Charleston. The focus of the era of these antiquities covers items collected from the spice routes to China dating from the 16th-17th centuries. In addition, one can find fabulous jewelry, black pearls, pieces of 8, gold doubloons, Keris knives, salvaged treasures, and Spanish/Portugese bronze armaments. Voyager International is a world acquisition and trade service organization led by Rich Mutschler specializing in the importation and sale of maritime treasure related goods, ethnographic art, and investment quality stringed musical instruments. They also organize trade and cultural expeditions to Indonesia featuring trade and cultural experiences through business activity and social interaction. Any history buff, adventurer, pirate, gypsy, and/or hobby would enjoy this shop. Definitely a great shop to visit while in Charleston. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

Galleon's Lost
Galleon's Lost

Galleon's Lost
Galleon's Lost
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Fresh (Dublin)

Fresh

* 1 Crown Alley * Temple Bar * Dublin, Ireland * 2 * phone: (01) 671 8423 * http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fresh-Temple-Bar/ *

One of Dublin’s little hotspots for fashion, club wear, and alternative garb … “Fresh” is in the heart of Temple Bar along Crown Alley, and boasts the best of alternative brands for vintage, punk, gothic, mod, street, rock, metal, and raver clothing, accessories, and fashion. Open from 11-6 mondays through saturdays, and sundays from 1 to 5. Great shop, great selection, and for Dublin, one of its finest. Lots of eye candy in the shop and good offers.

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The Ferocious Mingle Market (Dublin, Ireland)

The Ferocious Mingle Market
The Ferocious Mingle Market

The Ferocious Mingle Market
* Thursdays to Sundays * 72 Thomas Street * Dublin 8 * Ireland * (086) 0282344 * Hours: Thu-Sun 11:00 – 18:00 * http://www.facebook.com/mingle.mkt * http://www.thejosiebaggleycompany.com/pages/FerociousMingleMarket-info.htm *

A great little odd and bizarre market open every thursday to sunday in the heart of Dublin’s Medieval district. Hidden behind a candy store is a passage back into time, a time of Steampunk visions and vintage affair. Live music sounds out every saturday and sunday with a cafe serving up a mean coffee and cake. Antiques, collectibles, art, vintage fashions, and oddities await. Much of the market takes on a “Steampunk” ambiance and flavor with an assortment of steampunk collections, gifts, and offerings. Every Sunday is fancy dress with costumes galore. After my first visit I was inspired to believe it would soon become a regular hangout! I vended the event once and had a splendid time (even though didn’t make much it was a great event). Every Second sunday it branches out to the Dublin Food Co-op for fancy dress goodness. Rating: 5 stars out of 5. [rating:5] ~ Leaf McGowan: visited 3/4/12, 3/24/12.

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Shakefest 2012: May 26th – Charleville Castle, Tullamore, Ireland

2012 Shake Fest: Charleville Castle, Tullamore, Ireland

Shakefest 2012
May 26-27th, 2012 * Charleville Castle * Tullamore * Ireland * Shakefest.net *

This year will be Shakefest’s “7th” Annual Dance and multi-cultural festival held at the historic epic Charleville Castle. The festival grounds is starting to bustle with activity as preparations are in the flow to welcome local and international community, visitors, friends, and family to celebrate culture. Since 2006, Shakefest has been bringing together an eclectic mix of Middle Eastern, Cultural Dance, and Artistic Workshops ending with a multi-cultural evening of dance performances. This year, Shakefest is expanding into more folklore, diversity, performance art, crafts, and themes for all ages, sexes, and cultures. This year features numerous workshops, classes, performances, and activities such as a “Faerie Glen” to get lost in, A “Madhatter’s Tea Party”, A bouncy Pirate Ship, Indian Cuisine, Performances by Tullamore’s “The Red Embers”, Galway Bellydance, Appolonia Tribal Bellydance, Sheeoneh, Nicole Volmering, and Aoife Hardiman.


Joana Saahirah ~ photo courtesy of Shakefest

This year’s International Guest Instructor is Oriental Dancer Joana Saahirah of Cairo, Egypt providing authentic education on Egyptian History and Folklore as well as Oriental Dance instruction in Classical, Saiidi and Alexandria of Mellaya styles. Declan Kiely will host a special workshop on how to “Dance like Michael Jackson”. Hip Hop, Jazz, Poi & Ribbon Dancing, Bachata and Argentinian Tango classes are also offered. There will also be African dance, poetry, open-mic sessions, a kid’s gigantic Dragonfly and butterfly hunt, punch and judy, juggling & stiltwalking by Stagecraft Ireland, Drum Circles, and a magic show. This year will also be breaking ground on a live history section with the KHI Medieval Re-enactors treating audiences to combat simulations of the Crusader’s Knight’s Templar with medieval tents, a full try-on armoury and archery for all ages.



KHI Medieval Re-enactors ~ photo courtesy of Shakefest

Featured musical performances by 40’s Swinging The Bugle Babes, Our Annual Multi-cultural Hafla, daring fire show by The Red Embers & Babylon’s Inferno, The North Strand Kontra Band from North Dublin. Dazzling Romanian and Bulgarian instrumental band is expected to finish off the fest with explosive energy and lively dance accompanied by original and traditional tunes from clarinet, saxophone, trombone, keys, banjo, double bass, and drums. If you’re travelling through Ireland this weekend or live in the magical isles, this event is not to be missed. Gates open at Noon on Saturday the 26th with admission only 10 general entry, 10 camping, 20 family day pass or only 15 for evening entertainment. All proceeds will be going towards Charleville Castle Restoration Fund Operation Raise The Roof project in which money will be raised towards putting a protective roof on the castle chapel. We’ll be covering this event, so come back here for photos, review, and the stories we weave from the experience …


North Strand Kontra Band ~ photo courtesy of Shakefest

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Cirque Du Soleil’s “Alegra” (Dublin, Ireland) ~ April 25-29, 2012

Allegria - Cirque du soleil
Allegria - Cirque du soleil

Allegria – Cirque du soleil
– April 25-29, 2012. Dublin, Ireland * http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/en/shows/alegria/show/about.aspx.

Coming soon to Dublin is the world infamous monumental “Cirque Du Soleil” with their astonishing troupe and show “Alegra”. It’s a mood and a state of mind after which the show is named. Coming from the Spanish term for “jubilation” the troupe will show power and the handing down of it through time with artistic demonstrations of the evolution of ancient monarchies to modern democracies, old age, youth, and the cycles of time. With the King’s fools, minstrels, beggars, old aristocrats, and children making up the show’s universe speckled with clowns, they come again to stun their audiences. I’ve been fortunate to experience this amazing show of acrobats, music, performance, arts, stilt-walking, fire art, juggling, comedy, clowning, and breathe death-defying feats. Mesmerized by the costumes, stage design, arts, illusions, super-human body twisting and endurance … I’ve been addicted to the Cirque since I first saw them in the early 1990’s at their home arena in Quebec. Definitely a not to miss show when they come to town. Unfortunately we don’t have the funds to see this show while it hits Dublin this year, but for those that can afford it, definitely go out for a time of your life. You will not only be amazed and whirl-winded, but tingled to sheer ecstasy. If for some reason we do find a way to go via winning tickets or being gifted with them, we’ll definitely add on to this review with a stunning report. ~ Tom Baurley

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Steampunk Art & Performance Snippets from Dublin’s St Patricks Day Parade 2012

The Saturday March 17, 2012 St. Patrick’s Day Festival and Parade in Dublin, Ireland. Video clips of various Steampunk themed art and floats presented in the Parade.

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Melbourne Road Side Art

Melbourne Road Side Art
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

One of the memorable facets to Melbourne I remember from my travels is the fantastic and sometimes bizarre roadside art one can find on the highways in and out of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Many of the roads and freeways around this Metropolis compete for attention by the implementation of large-scale artworks and architectural interventions that make roadtrips that much more appealing. Some of these are listed on the Visit Victoria website. These tie in somewhat with the notable Australia’s Big Things art sculptures found throughout the country. Great aspect to Victoria and Melbourne in my view … definitely worth a drive-through outdoor art gallery peek! Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

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DC’s 11th annual Goth Prom

Thursday, 22 May 2008
Washington, D.C.

11th annual D.C. Goth Prom “Under a Milky Way” * Town Danceboutique * 2009 8th Strett NW | Washington, DC 20009 * http://www.gothpromdc.com/


11th Annual Goth Prom, Washington, D.C. 5/22/08

After the National Geographic Live and private reception, I headed over to my ‘first’, while DC’s 11th, Goth Prom which is apparently the longest running Goth Prom in the United States. They even had a Prom King and Queen contest. Prior to this event, I was under the impression that DC really didn’t have a sizeable Goth community (based on last two years fly-ins to D.C. and checking out the scene) but I have to say, after this event – the population exists and the support for the night appeared to be pretty phenomenal. I might have to add this one to my annual calendar of events I go out of my way to attend (of course given time off work and funds). This year it was held at the Town Dancboutique, a two floored club with large levels and plenty of room to dance and move about. The event was $15 advanced tickets or $20 at the door, and that didn’t stop the place from filling up. A wide assortment of DJ’s were spinning on both floors – such as Scary Lady Sarah (Berlin, Chicago – Nocturna); DJ Spider (Charlotte, NC); Kelowna (Toronto-XM Satellite, chiarOscuro DC); Liebchen (DC Midnight, XUBERX); 2501 (Chronos DC, Alchemy DC); Dirty B; Shade (Spellbound DC, Alchemy DC); variety acts such as Cheeky Monkey slideshow performing her Amazing Trinket and MabJustMab acts (including glass walking); bellydancing and gothic tribal upstairs including Cerastes (tribal/industrial dance), Romka (tribal fusion bellydance), and others. Vendors ranged from custom made prom corsages and boutonnieres by Lost Moth; to custom art pieces by Arty4ever, wire jewelry by Eleanor Justice, horror kitsch illustrations and paintings by Frozen Charlotte, clothing and accessories by Dry Tear, Creepy home decor by Morbid Decor, Kilts by The Kilted Nation, custom latex/rubber clothing by Slyx, John Holmes of Bloodrose Industries fashion photography, custom hats and accessories by Peacock Blue, handmade beaded jewelry by Camille DeWalder, and custom t-shirt dsigns by Mind Jacket Designs. The music, talent, decor, acts, and performances were incredible. Drinks a bit higher end priced. Excellent job Lori Beth and all who put this on!!! Plus it was excellent to see my new friends from earlier this year Sarah and Alex who as usual, made me feel right at home as if I lived in D.C. Thank you. Goth prom are slowly putting up pictures in their Gallery here. Rating 5 stars out of 5. Visited 5/22/2008.

* apologies for the lack of quality of pictures for this evening. These were taken from my cell phone camera (no flash) as my camera was out of commission for the evening.

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Facepainting at the Phoenix Flea Market (Canberra, Australia)

Facepainting at the Phoenix Flea Market
Phoenix
Canberra, Australia Capital Territory, Australia

On April 24, 2011 in Canberra, Australia at the infamous Irish Bar “The Phoenix”, bodypainter Leaf McGowan participated in the Phoenix Flea Market. Drinking, revelry, and art was had by all in attendance. Utilizing Ben Nye, Wolf, and Mehron bodypaint, the following is a photogallery of Leaf McGowan’s portfolio work for the event.

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Shandon Center Samhain Dragon Parade 2011

http://www.dragonofshandon.com/ * Dragon of Shandon Samhain Parade in Cork, Ireland on Halloween * Monday, October 31, 2011. This years parade featured creations from hundreds of community group participants, Irelands largest articulated sellotape Dragon, scary characters, musicians and an illuminated river parade by Naomhga Chorca and Meithal Mara up the River Lee.

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Echoe Park Time Travel Mart

Echo Park Time Travel Mart
* Echo Park * Los Angeles, California * http://www.826national.org/stores/ * 1714 W Sunset Blvd * Los Angeles, CA 90026 * (213) 413-3388 *

In the heart of Echo Park is the thriving little convenience mart for “Time Travellers”. Is your flux capacitor out of commission? This is the place to go for repairs. Need leeches? They’ve got them in stock. Need a Toga in a jar? Need beards for disguises? weapons? dinosaur eggs? freeze dried milk robot milk? Viking odorant, mammoth chunks, Ricky Martin lunch boxes? they are in stock. While this shop has everything to peek one’s interest and give a chance to get a souvenir while visiting historic Echo Park, in reality this shop is a facade for another artsy “www.826national.org” shop known as www.826la.org. These are amazing writing labs where kids can go to write and learn with a non-profit organization that tutors kids ages 8-18. Throughout America are 826 stores that have a creative facade to attract tourists and souvenir shoppers while supporting the non-profit witha mission to support the local community, sell books, and teach under-privileged youth. San Francisco’s shop is a “Pirate Supply Store”, New York City’s is a “Superhero Supply Company”, while Seattle’s is a “Space Travel Supply Company”, Chicago has a secret agent supply store, Boston a Cryptozoology shop, and Michigan’s Liberty Street location is a “Robot Supply and Repair Shop”. L.A.’s Time Travel shop is operated by Miguel Arteta, Mac Barnett, Joshuah Bearman, Nnive Clements Calegari, Dave Eggers, Jodie Evans, John T. Gilbertson, Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal, Keith Knight, Melissa Mathison, Salvador Plascencia, and Sally Willcox as the Board of Directors. Drop In Tutoring is available from Monday through Thursday, 2:30-5:30 pm. Tutoring has a focus on personalized instruction offering local students individualized help with their homework. Often many of the student’s works are published by Dogtown Books, an in-house publishing outfit in L.A. Workshops are offered to help students strengthen their skills, foster their creativity, and give them an opportunity to execute projects that showcase their work. The 826LA also sends volunteers to local L.A. schools to support teachers in their classrooms.

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Event Organizing: concerns and/or compliments

I’m tagging many movers and shakers from various communities, event coordinators, festival planners, discussion group organizers, entertainers, and/or vendors because I think this may be beneficial to you from one organizer / entertainer / and vendor to another. However, I realize I may be stepping on the toes of some who don’t agree with my following two cents. I welcome input and dialogue in this forum. If I’m wrong, I would appreciate being enlightened otherwise. It is my thoughts and beliefs, none other, but some thoughts/beliefs shared with others in the community. So its important to understand where some of us are coming from when we don’t support certain events or projects. I apologize in advance if it feels insulting, attacking, or personal, it is not meant as such. Especially the last paragraph. I realize that paragraph is a bit personal to a local event organizer, but it needs to be expressed for the upcoming events are seen as an insult and complete disrespect for many in the local community it is attempting to profit from. Many of these community members have asked me to speak out about it, and I’ve put it off too long.

I’ve been meaning to write this piece for awhile now. There has been a disturbing trend I’ve seen lately where too many “community” based events and organizers have been catching the “knickel and dime to death” virus that Corporate America, its airlines, its businesses, and its government has been initiating in our world since the “Dotcom” crash. (Prior to this point, the world and its corporations thanked their customers, their workers, their patrons, and often gifted them extras or benefits – something that has long since vanished)

I’ve held off on writing and publishing it because right about when I was going to ‘release’ it, a friend of mine, or a community member of mine, was hosting an event where they were showing signs of this virus. But now is the time to write it because instead of being approached with an event that was infected, I was blessed with an event last night that radiated exactly what has seemingly vanished. This event last night, re-established my faith that there are still community organizers out there like me who are NOT profit-driven and a bright example of entities that exist for “their community”. For those of you who are infected with the “greed” virus, I wish you the strength to get over your illness, and while this might be stepping on some of you “profiteering” toes, it needs to be said. Because such actions are “NOT” community. Commercialism does not equate to community. Now don’t get me wrong, it is totally understandable to want to be compensated for your cost, fund-raise for a specific cause, be paid for you art and time – but honestly, if a “profit” intent is your focus, please keep the word “community”, “non profit”, or “not for profit” out of your vocabulary. For those that are not infected with the said virus, I commend you for sticking true to ethics, for the hard work you give to community, and all the work you do for us. You indeed will be rewarded through time. It may not be financial, but I guarantee “goodness” comes back to you when you put it out. Call it Karma or what-have-you.

Last night I attended, and participated as a vendor, in an incredibly successful event that was held by “The Denver Community Collective”. (At least I hope it was successful – they appeared to have great community support, stunning attendance, fabulous entertainment, and most of the people I spoke to afterwards came out with a very empowering rush of community spirit) (Kudos for those of you who were responsible for such an incredible event). This event stated on their web page that it was created with a soul purpose of educating, empowering, and uniting the community through sound, art, love, and knowledge. I would say they were highly successful with that purpose and intent. They also stated that The CommUnity Family believes in only charging you for what the event actually costs, to ensure that more of you can be involved and enjoy this community experience. (this project is not profit driven in any regard, other than staying sustainable). Again, I say KUDOS and Congratulations again to the CommUnity Family. Four floors of entertainment, 5 domes, two stages, three DJ rooms, free water, free vending, free art space. 7 pm until 3 am. Wow. Admission: $14 pre-sale, $17 at the door. A bargain. Thank you for such a wonderful experience last night. I saw an incredible community spirit last night. I was beyond impressed. The entertainers, the artists, the musicians, the community came together to make this happen. It appeared to me to have more than 600 participants. (I’m not aware of the numbers, but the Sherman Center holds 2,000 and the place was pretty packed)

:: Begin Rant ::

From a struggling artist perspective, I was originally attracted to the event for (a) their mission statement and intent, and (b) the free vending as an artist. From an individual who had been a struggling “feast or famine” technogypsie artist travelling around to festivals “trying to make a living” this was like a heaven-send to me. I gave up that lifestyle 6 years ago because I couldn’t make it. Mainly because too many festivals after the .dotcom crash pumped up their vendor fees, knickel and dimed their vendors and entertainment, added on ridiculous rules, regulations, tax permits, licensing, insurance requirements, etc. making a life of a vendor too difficult to live off. So I gave up. I went to work for the Federal Government and a defense contract firm for a steady paycheck. 6 years later, I am now voluntarily leaving a secure job to go back to pursue the struggling artist lifestyle with knowledge of the fears and struggles that lifestyle has. But I have to say, the event last night gave me hope. As a vendor I did make money albeit not much. Had I paid the typical vendor fee that many events charge out there, I would have come out in the negative. I was impressed with CommUnity realizing that this is all-too-often the situation with vendors/artists and is what is collapsing the independent artist from surviving and many from pursuing such inspiration. Kill your art, you kill your entertainment and in many cases, you kill your event’s attractions. You kill the community’s purpose or intent on preserving the arts, culture, folklore, tribal focus, and reason for being there in the first place. Vendors are a festival’s “free information booth”, “guide”, “point of help”, and a draw to one’s attendees and participants. Certainly there is a place for a vendor fee or a commission of sales, but not to where it can destroy that existence of said talent. Honestly how many people would attend a Renaissance Faire without the vendor presence? very few. I’m not quite sure why the vendors who participate in the “worst of the worst” events that prey on vendors like the “Renaissance Faire” circuit does, attending and paying such ridiculous fees, perhaps it is worthwhile to some of the larger well known artists who can make a living from it. But for the small fry, or the “startup from scratch” artist, they don’t have a chance. Imagine if all the Renaissance Faire vendors, artists, and entertainers stood up and held a strike? I guarantee you the corporation behind that institution would drop their fees and plea for them to come back. I’ve been vending for over 10+ years and I to this day will boycott Corporate festivals that prey on the vendor. Usually its a boycott based on ethics, but sometimes even when I believe in the community and its event, it has to do with the cost and the knowledge of knowing I’d come out at a loss.

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Pirate Relief’s “Project Pacific Trash Island”

Pirate Relief’s: Project Pacific Trash Island
* Piraterelief.com *

Project “Pacific Trash Island” is one of Pirate Relief‘s first Environmental “Large Scale” cleanup projects the organization will work on, ship or no-ship yet ready to sail. One of our first projects will be to find solutions in tackling the ecological mess that is known as the Pacific Trash Island. In the center of the Pacific, natural ocean currents have been collecting trash in the ocean and lumping it together to create a mass of junk over the years the size of two Texas landmasses stuck together. We are abhorred by the fact that the Nations of the world responsible for this trash is not cleaning it up. Were investigating sustainable renewable floating islands, art projects, and recycling ventures to tackle this issue. We will also investigate how we can help with the Gulf oil spill rehabilitation. This growing ecological catastrophe brewing in the Pacific Ocean the size of “two” Texas length and width landmasses of trash and litter nestling in the middle of the ocean currents. We are in process of investigating recycling and renewal technologies to help break up Trash Island. From floating islands to renewable energy … our research team is brainscheming for our first of many ecological battles to tackle …

  • Recycling
  • Cleanup
  • Sustainability
  • Floating Reclaimed Islands
  • Plastic Bottle Vessels like “Plastiki” that just made their successful journey from California to Australia
  • Art Projecs and Events to Make the Project Fun

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Pirate Relief’s : “Project Black Pearl”

Pirate Relief’s: Project Black Pearl
* Piraterelief.com *

Project Black Bearl is one of Pirate Relief‘s projects they are seeking by no later than 2015 in achieving. At present, negotiations are being made in the use of some “historic tall sailing ships” that are already in use, as a means of vehicles to use until we can afford our own to purchase or build. As the end of 2011/2012 is focused on achieving a home base on the coast somewhere in the world through Project Gypsy, most likely England near Penzance; Oregon near Eugene / Ashland / or Portland, Washington near Point Roberts, Seattle, or Bellingham; or Florida near St. Augustine, Melbourne, or Miami as being the most realistic of locations due to support, community, services, land, and/or ship expertise located in these regions that might become accessible to us. The first exciting and alluring vessel we’ve had our eye on is “The Black Pearl” which is currently on sale for a mere $994,000 (currently located in Honduras). Of course, no-where in our budget line at the present moment, but definitely an aspiring dream to work towards. Realistically though, we’ll start with any good, sturdy, long distance sea worthy tall sailing ship vessel, and will even start out with a small sailing boat or yacht if we have to.

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The Tree Leaves Oracle & Folk Fellowship

The Tree Leaves’ Oracle and Folk Fellowship
* www.treeleavesoracle.org * 1991 – Present * Livejournal Community * Facebook Group *

Founded in 1991 as an underground Neo-Pagan newsletter, evolving into an arts and crafts wandering business, “Tree Leaves” eventually mutated into a cooperative / collective of folk enthusiasts, folklorists, artists, musicians, religionists, and culturalists who seek to preserve folk and tree lore, culture, ways, religion, art, music, and beliefs. As a cooperative, members network together, share ideas, theories, concepts, art, techniques, and lore to help one another preserve traditions, knowledge, and beliefs that have been generated in the past, present, and future. Tree Leaves sprouted from an entity known as “The Tree Leaves’ Oracle”. (The Tree Leaves’ Oracle started as a community newsletter and grew into a journal. It became an organization, a store, a company, and was reduced back to a journal offered by the Folk Fellowship to it’s membership. From 2007-2008 it became a faerie and art store in historic Manitou Springs, Colorado.)

When “The Tree Leaves’ Oracle” started out as a Tallahassee Florida publication in 1991 it very quickly shifted into a nomadic arts/crafts/oils/ and herbal sachets nomadic peddling business founded at the Saturday Market in Eugene, Oregon that same year. In 1993 a not-for-profit special-interest group was formed for the study of folklore and the offering of folk artist networking as a avenue for drum circles, talent shows, classes, and discussion groups. This special-interest group became known as “The Tree Leaves’ Folk Fellowship”. Tree Leaves soon took off on it’s own and escaped the financial support of “The Tree Leaves’ Oracle”. In fact, as the “The Tree Leaves Oracle, Inc.” collapsed as a corporation, the Folk Fellowship was still holding activities and networking several hundred enthusiasts of folk culture (and a membership base of a couple hundred). The Tree Leaves Folk Fellowship was officially born and founded as a separate entity in November of 1995 with conceptual activities sprouting in 1994. Through membership dues and support, the fellowship offered it’s collective a bi-annual journal called The “Tree Leaves’ Oracle”, a quarterly newsletter known as “Tree Talk”, an annual membership directory, a web site, and a board of Directors and volunteers who actively organized activities, events, and question/answer support for those seeking answers about folk culture. Because of difficulties with volunteer support, The Tree Leaves’ Folk Fellowship closed it’s person-to-person activities and community support on September 1st of 1998. By October 1, 1998 Tree Leaves had mutated into a internet organization that operated on a strictly cyber-basis. (although Tree Leaves’ Folk Fellowship forest groups still held activities in their local areas) The official organization stopped holding events, printing paper publications, and no longer offered telephone or person-to-person guidance & support. After careful consideration of the expenses involved in becoming a non-profit tax-exempt organization, Tree Leaves decided to remain not-for-profit and allow other organizations to donate support and funding for it’s operation and existence. The journal, website and former newsletters were shortly made available for free online. Their folk journal is sporadically still published online for free viewing by anyone with internet access. From 1998 to 2000, Tree Leaves was adopted by the research and design firm known as “Leafworks, Inc.” (a company now defunct). From the death of Leafworks, Tree Leaves operated under the wings of Wandering Leaf Designs. Reproduction of all cyber published materials was available for a nominal printing or reproduction cost through copyright held by Wandering Leaf, LLC. (now defunct)

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Pirate Relief

Pirate Relief
www.piraterelief.com * Facebook *

Imagined by Captain Leaf McGowan in May 2010 as a dream, the ghostly ship didn’t manifest into conceptualization until June 2010 as he was to embark across the “Great Pond” to England. He posted the concept on facebook and expected to be laughed at but was greatly supported and encouraged to have the ship set sail. Investigations into the idea, networking, and fundraising took effect immediately as a crew of over 20 committed individuals enthusiastically climbed on board. At this stage, the group is planting the seed to make the project a reality. The crew and project has a facebook group and a web site with several projects being set into motion.

Pirate Relief is a roving band of pirates, gypsies, artists, musicians, environmentalists, scientists, & relief volunteers who are striving to bring together a fleet of tall sailing ships to sail the seven seas to ports around the world – sharing art, music, drama, theater, folklore, performance, storytelling, history, & culture to those they encounter. They are setting out to share the wealth of the Living Myth. When able to assist in coastal disaster areas – they plan to set into port to uplift the spirits of those who had their lives affected – bringing back hope to the hopeless, guidance to the lost, and insight to the inquisitive … sharing whatever resources they have on board or the crew has to offer – whether uplift of spirit through entertainment, stories of hope, supplies, medical aid, arts, education, inspiration, or a helping hand. They are also working on environmental projects to assist in ecological tragedy by approaching areas affected such as the Gulf oil spill, the Pacific Trash Island, and how to address pollution issues with our waterways. They are targeting our concerns by embracing ecological and sustainability ideas for a new approach to living, caring for the environment, mobility, and keeping culture, arts, & sciences alive. “Through Storytelling and the Arts – The Living Myth shall live on! “ Their PDF Brochure can be downloaded Here. By the return of Captain Leaf McGowan from England, the crew was soon involved in Faerieworlds in Eugene, Oregon and Brethren Con 2010 in Denver, Colorado presenting a presence to share about the legacy and visions of the project. Still in its infancy, the captain is soon to set sail on a historic vessel to learn the ropes at sailing a tall ship, investigating the foundations of what will need to be accomplished to make this dream a reality.

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Thunder Mountain Indian Monument

Thunder Mountain Indian Monument
* P.O. Box 162 * Imlay * Nevada * 89418 * United States of America * http://www.thundermountainmonument.com/ *

Thunder Mountain is a little artistic wonder along the side of Interstate 80 near Imlay, Nevada. It is also known as “The Place Rolling Mountain Thunder built”. This array of odd kitch construction as a collage of bizarre and trbal art, while maintained and managed by Daniel Van Zant, is one of Nevada’s historic monuments that was built by his father “Frank Van Zant” a.k.a. “Chief Rolling Mountain Thunder”. The Thunder Mountain Monument is a property of exotic folk art and architectural oddities spread over five acres of land standings as a roadside art park, museum, monument to Native Americans, and as a retreat for pilgrims aspiring to the “pure and radiant heart”. The local neighbours of Van Zant were split – some feared his oddity while others saw him as a spiritual guru. Frank was a Creek Nation member who was born in Okmulgee, Oklahoma on November 11th, 1921. At age 14 he left the reservation and enlisted in the Civilian Conservation Corps and then the Army Air Corps during WWII. From there he transferred to the Tank Corps for several campaigns in Europe. After his service, he studied theology for 1 1/2 years wanting to become a Methodist minister. Brushed off by the hypocrisy of the church, he dropped out of divinity school and became a law enforcement officer working for two decades as a sheriff’s deputy in Sutter County near Yuba City, California. After his service with the police, he became a private investigator, and with his third marriage set out for the Nevada lands where he became reincarnated as “Chief Rolling Thunder Mountain”. No one really knows why such radical changes came about in his life, but it boiled down to a dream he had one night where a big eagle swooped down from the sky and told him this is where he should build his nest. Another story tells about Frank and his young bride Ahtrum heading west in 1968 to “find a place in the sun” where they landed 130 miles northeast of Reno, at the oneime railway station of Imlay, and where his 1946 Chevy pickup truck saw its last day, and it was on this spot he set up camp, and the property owner offered him the land for a price he couldn’t refuse. Inspired from a moment in youth where he saw a bottle house in the desert near Death Valley is what led him to build the artistic houses that are now the monument. Made primarily of bottles cemented together with daub and slate ceilings, he built a 3 story monument from a one-room travel trailer. He added corridors, stairways, upstairs bedrooms, and other rooms on to the structure. Whatever trash he could get his hands on to turn into building materials he did including automobile windshields as picture windows, chicken wire formed into ornamental statuary and cemented with concrete, scrap iron and galvanized pipe as rebar, old automobiles as foundations. Every square foot of the structures exterior is covered with friezes and bas-relief tableaux depicting historic Indian massacres or bureaucratic betrayals of Native Americans. Statues, multiple arches, and a carved wooden eagle adorn the roof. After the main building was built, a roundhouse, hostel house, 40×60′ work shed, underground hut, guest cabins, and a “Tim Burton-like” children’s playground was also constructed. The resort and rest area became a popular location for hippie artisans and countercultural movers/shakers. By the 70’s, Thunder Mountain began falling into disrepair, and in 1983 the 3 story hostel house burnt to the ground caving in the underground hut. Eventually the hippies left, his wife and three children left him. Alone, depressed, and health failing, he shot himself on January 5th, 1989. The estate became deserted, being only visited by curious roadside visitors spying the monument from the highway as well as being the destructive ground of various vandals. People would break into the house at night to party and tell ghost stories. The remains began to crumble and decay. His son tried to donate it to the State Parks of Nevada, but they called the place a mess. So Dan and his wife cleaned up the place. Lacking funds they have plans for a visitor center to be constructed some day. The site includes a large somber statue of the son who killed himself, Sarah Winnemucca the Paiute Peacemaker, the Aztec God Quetzalcoatl, Standing Bear of the Ponca Tribe, and a couple of statues of Thunder himself all built from “white man’s trash”. Rathing: 5 stars out of 5. Visited 9/5/10


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Chronicles: Sept. 2, 2010: Thursday at the Burn, Bodypainting, Playa, Thunderdome

Thursday at the Burn 2010: Goddesses, Bodypainting, Playa, & Thunderdome

Thursday, 2 September 2010
* Utah-Nevada, United States of America *

Sir Thomas Leaf awoke and setup the Body Painting Station. Lots of wanderers coming in to get painted and painting each other when Leaf was gone. Leaf took a wander-a-bout in search of his brother the mad Docteur Mangor. No avail. He did find the Canadian Goddesses, whose camp he always enjoys a visit to see his good friends from Canada. Margaritas and Caesars all around, laughter, catching up, and excellent new friends made. Wandering around the playa and exploring the art was the theme of the day. Hot sun, dusty winds, and some revealing omens at the temple. Central camp was thriving and he did find Bonefinder, one of his best of friends from Canada. The floats and art cars were fabulous. An afternoon of bodypainting, as darkness fell, Leaf took a wander over to see his friends at Death Guild. He ran into his close friend, the wonderful Lady Karen of San Francisco for some vino and late night frolick. “Two Man Enter, One Man Leave” bungy battles in the Thunderdome. Much imbibing of alcohol throughout the evening at all the nightclubs and bars. Sir Thomas Leaf passed out near morning’s light.

Photos and videos below the cut:

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Burning Man

Burning Man Festival
Black Rock City, Nevada

Burning Man is a week long arts and entertainment, sustainable and self-reliance festival that occurs every year embracing Labor Day. From 1986 until 1989 there was a Summer Solstice bonfire ritual held on Baker Beach in San Francisco by Larry Harvey, Jerry James, and their friends. Here they claimed, not inspired by the “Wicker Man” movie (they state they hadn’t seen it before their party), they would burn a 8-9 foot tall wooden man with his smaller wooden dog, and they did this not for Pagan offerings, but rather as an experiment in art, community, radical self expression and reliance. Apparently Larry’s girlfriend Janet Lohr’s friend, Sculptor Mary Grauberger had been throwing Baker Beach bonfire parties prior to Larry picking it up after she stopped organizing them. By 1987 the “Man” was 15 feet tall and by 1988 at a whopping 40 feet height making it much more of a concern on the beach to the authorities. They eventually called their event “Burning Man”. Because they didn’t have a permit for such a fire on the beach, they had to relocate, and in 1990 a separate event was put on by Kevin Evans and John Law of the Cacaphony Society in the Black Rock Desert on its large dry lake. They billed it as a dadaist event with temporary sculptures and situationist performance art called “Zone Trip #4: A Bad Day at Black Rock”. The Baker Beach Burn “Burning Man” event, after having been kicked off the beach, dissassembled their “Man” and brought it to “Zone Trip #4” just in time for the event. One of the Cacophonists in attendance, Michael Mikel, concerned that the attendees would not be familiar with the harshness of the desert environment, took on the name “Danger Ranger” and formed the “Black Rock Rangers” to make sure everyone was safe. It was here in 1990 that Black Rock City and “Burning Man” was founded. Word spread about the event and people from all over the world started to flock to this desert event. It was assembled of participants only with no paid or scheduled performers/artists, no separation from art space and living space, and no other rules except not to interfere with another’s experience and no guns were allowed in central camp. In 1991 they filed for a legal permit with the Bureau of Land Management evolving to a formal partnership in 1996 for them to own the name “Burning Man”. 1997 Saw the biggest changes in structure to the event when the remaining organizers formed the Black Rock City, LLC after John Law, Kevin Evans, and others left. As the BLM refused a permit for the event, it was moved to “Fly Ranch” that adjoined the Hualapai Flat mini dry lake bed. Since the event moved to Washoe County permitting, more heightened rules and laws were enacted, banning driving of non-mutant or service vehicles and guns, imposing a low speed limit of 5 mph for art cars, a imposed curved grid street structure, no campfires or tiki torches, all burnt art must be on approved burn platforms, bans on fireworks, firearms, and dogs. It was also then that a 7 mile long temporary plastic fence to be erected to surround the event as a 4 foot high “trash fence” to catch wind blown debris. After 2002, no attendees of the event could go beyond this fence. In 2006 was the first time that Burning Man was covered extensively by television, which continued as “TV Free Burning Man” from 2006-2008, and the coverage nominated for a news Emmy Award in 2007.

The man remained 40 feet tall until 1995. By 1997 it reached 50 feet, and by 2001 at 70 feet, from 2002-2004 at 80 feet tall, Then was reduced in size from 2005 until 2008 when it was pumped back up to 84 feet, and at an amazing 104 feet by 2010. In 2007 a well known prankster named Paul Addis set the Man on fire four days ahead of the schedule and was arrested for the incident. The Burning Man crew was able to still erect a replacement effigy in time for the scheduled burn. By 2010 it reached an attendance population of over 51,454 recorded paid participants. Burning Man attendees nickname themselves “Burners”. The festival is based on community, artwork, absurdity, decommodification, revelry, participation, self-awareness, self-reliance, and self-sustainability. In those regards, it has nothing to do with the modern Hippie movement even though the un-knowledgable compare the two as being the same. Burning Man is governed by 10 principles – (1) radical inclusion, (2) gifting, (3) decommodification, (4) radical self-reliance, (5) radical self-expression, (6) communal effort, (7) civic responsibility, (8) leaving no trace, (9) participation, and (10) immediacy. Burning man is a “gifting economy” in like to the tribal potlach ceremony, and relies on the unconditional “gifting” of resources. No cash transactions are permitted between attendees of the event (though the event will charge for entrance tickets (pays for event), daily ice (benefits the local Gerlach-Empire school system), tea and coffee (benefits the event) for those wanting it). The event is clothing-optional and nudity is very common. Once in the event you are highly discouraged from leaving. A re-entry wristband costs a high price if one needs to exit and re-enter. Portable toilets are throughout the event, a temporary airstrip/airport is setup along the event boundary, hospitals and law enforcement stations are setup throughout the city, as is ice stations. All attendees are responsible for bringing their own food and water as none can be guaranteed to be obtained elsewhere in the city. The Event is “Leave No Trace” and all attendees are expected to collet M.O.O.P. (Matter out of place) when observed. All attendees are expected to participate as much as possible, no water is permitted to be drained on the playa and much be either evaporated in a drain field or ported out when attendees leave, no fires without approved burning platforms, and observance of US and Navada federal, state, and local laws. Every year a different theme transforms the event. Art and entertainment, is centered around these themes each year. Numerous registered and un-registered theme camps are all around the city, including over 100 bars, and numerous art or mutant vehicles parade around the playa during the days and nights. Otherwise many participants have their own transportation with bicycles that they bring to the event. Some art is funded by ticket sales through art grants. In addition to the “Man”, a giant “Temple” is constructed and burnt on the last night of the event culminating ritual and interfaith spiritual offerings, prayers, sacrifice, and observance in its participation.

Leaf’s personal photos from Burning Man 2008; Burning Man 2010 (coming soon).

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Itchy-O @ Smash Club (Denver, CO)

Itchy-O @ Smash Club
* Private Party * Denver, Colorado * Saturday, August 21, 2010 * www.itchyo.com *

An AMAZING Marching Band by the name of “Itchy-O” graced our presence and spiced up the already fantastic party to enlightened levels at Odd Todd’s Junk Yard “Smash Club” this particular Saturday. A major compilation of ambient, experimental, and ghettotech music with full ski-mask covered dark musicians beating and banging on their drums sending shivers through the veins of all onlookers. Based out of Denver, this act (wherever it mysteriously appears) is never to be missed. They are in the works of producing a record with the Record Label Mettle. Itchy-O got it start as a solo project in 2003 when Scott Banning, a experimental percussionist and filmmaker brought together his art piece while living in Denver. Mixed together with Phagocytosis, Conrad Kehn (vocalist, improvisationalist, and composer from Skull Flux / Kallisti) in 2005 and then with guitarist Nick Lloyd and flemenco guru Rene Heredia in 2006. They composed the film “Whirl” in 2007 and was joined by Kirsten Vermulen with her accordian. They began to play live scores to Scott’s experimental films in 2008 and was joined that year by Bill Englebach and Scot Waknin. They describe themselves now as “Hyper-Intentus~ Electro-Acoustic~ Artifex Voluptus~ Celebratio Professio~ Compello-Fratorum” musical and artistic theatrics experience as one of the world’s only percussion-centered electronic marching bands priding itself on bringing sophicated savage avante-garde music to the people, when and where it is least expected. I for one have to concur, they manifest that destiny to the highest impressive degree. The current composition of artists are: Drew Vinciguera~ Snare; JD Hortel~ Quad Tenors; Jesse Dickens~ Quint Tenors; Rachel Hargroder~ Quad/Quint Tenors; Dustin Ardnt~ Quint Tenors; Scott Banning~ Roto-Toms; Luke Wachter~ Timbales; Steve Gordon~ Bass Drum; Paul Alexander~ Bass Drum; Dean Hirschfield~ Marching Crash Cymbals; Stephanie Wood~ Marching Crash Cymbals; Pamela Webb~ Marching Crash Cymbals; Justin Simoni~ Marching Crash Cymbals; Kirsten Vermulen~ Synthesizer/Vocoder; David Britton~ Synthesizer/Vocoder; Coby Hickman~ Synthesizer; Bert Beudin~ Electric Bass; Ed Smith~ Electric Bass; Roger Liu~ Electric Guitar; John Gross~ Vocoder; Conrad Kehn~ Vocoder; Joe Mehner~ Dr. Bucket; Aaron Spriggs~ Theremin; Josh Strange Powers~ Vocoder; Joanne M.W. Liu~ Larry the Chinese Lion; Megs Burd~ Larry the Chinese Lion; Ryan Archuleta~ Special Unit I; Todd Yore~ Special Unit II; Jill Mustoffa~ Special Unit III; Mable Mabe~ Special Unit IV; Alicia Bailey~ Special Unit V; Nick Lloyd~ Special Rolling Unit; Sara Valentine~ Miss. O; and Justin Hicks~ MSP (Most Special Player); (and often many more). Once again, have to stress, NEVER to miss this sensational crew. Rating: 5+ stars out of 5.


Itchy-O Marching Band @ Smash Club
Photo by Guy Mason Photography, © 2010
permission granted to reprint

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Faerieworlds 2010: Good Faeries Day (7/30/10)

Faerieworlds: Day 1 – Good Faeries Day
Friday, 30 July 2010

Faerieworlds 2010 pilgrimmaged back to the Buford Recreation Park at the Mount Pisgah Arboretum once again this year with a spectacular opening day on Friday with Good Faeries Day. Now with evening entertainment and camps all night long as they re-designed their main event site as an inner circle with over 300 camping sites on its eastern end and more camping 10 minutes hike away. This year was their biggest Faerieworlds yet. Beautiful additions from Woodland’s summer journey to England were incorporated including a sacred standing stone circle and a wishing tree. Chill out and hangout areas abound, a healthy food court, more recycling and trash areas, campfire pits with fires at night, and of course the cool relaxing river escape. Entertainment went from 2 pm until midnight. Friday saw Tricky Pixie at 3 pm, A mesmerizing opening ritual and welcoming ceremony revealing the stone circle, then 5 pm David Helfand and the Mystic Ensemble brought joy to the stage, Wendy Rule enchanted the audience at 6:30 pm, and Brother rocked the world at 8 pm, followed by the enchanting mesmerization of Woodland until the witching hour. On The Neverworlds stage Mingushki took off at 2:30, with Marcus Fire at 5:45, and Ghillie Dhu at 7:15. I did get a chance to see Tricky Pixie, Brother, and Woodland – What amazing bands and a dance exhaustion day. Always good to be in Faerieworlds, seeing friends, family, and clan; eating the forbidden fruit of the fae that keeps you in Faerieland, spinning around in circles with pixies and sprites, soaking with mermaids and selchies in the cool refreshing river, and hearing chilling tales from trolls and gnomes by the fire’s light. Good Faeries Day was everso mystical and a blessing. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

Faerieworlds: The Experience from Unreal Classy on Vimeo.

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Three Wishes Faerie Festival (Bodmin, Cornwall, UK)

The Three Wishes Faerie Festival
* http://www.3wishesfaeryfest.co.uk/ * Colliford Lake, Bodmin Moor, Bodmin, Cornwall, England * June 18-21, 2010 *

One of Europe’s most infamous and exciting Faerie Festivals, Three Wishes does not disappoint in the Realms of Enchantment. It was my first (of hopefully many) Three Wishes Faerie Fests. A gathering place for the faery clans to meet with the mortal humans in heartland of the historic faerie tromping grounds of history … in Bodmin Moor, on the shores of Colliford Lake (where the Lady of the Lake presented King Arthur with Excalibur) right in the magical lands of Cornwall. Just taking an adventure in Cornwall is mystical enough … but adding a visit to Three Wishes definitely added to the charm of the exciting quest. A three day festival for kids, families, and adults with an assortment of fun. A whole different world than the infamous American Faerieworlds, you’ll find many of the same mystical folks and kindred wandering around. Set in the heart of Midsummer, a portal is opened into the realms of the fae where those curious can come out to play with the good neighbours and see the “little people” close-up. Why Three Wishes? According to the web site, Karen Kay – the founder and creator of this magical event, was out in her garden hanging out laundry to dry when she noticed a single dandelion seed head standing strong and tall amongst a recently cut lawn – and as she watched it, three of the little seed heads appearing like faeries flew up into the blue sky … and thence, Three Wishes was born. This annual three day festival in the heart of Cornwall has been growing by leaps and bounds sounding the horn for fae from all corners of the world to gather each year around the Summer Solstice. Concerts, artists, fashion shows, workshops, art exhibitions, forest walks, games, exploration areas, food, drink, festivities, friendship, kid parades, drumming, meditation, yoga, late night parties, wishing wells, clottie trees, and frolick abound. Sunday ended with a early morning greeting of the sun with a Druidic rite to welcome in the sun. What a mesmerizing time!

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Bodypainting @ Beltania 2010


Face and Body Painting Booth
Friday 6 May, 2010 @ Beltania 2010

Face and Body Painting At Beltania 2010
* Florence Mountain Park * Florence, Colorado * www.beltanefestival.com *
Beltania this year was colorfully bestowed with some amazing designs and art throughout the grove, fields, and meadows. There were at least three booths doing face and bodypainting including Henna. As I’m one of those bodypainters present, I unfortunately was so swamped I didn’t have a chance to meet those at the other two booths and therefore can only comment on our experience at Beltania this year. Teamed up in our Face and Bodypainting booth was myself, Leaf McGowan of Tree Leaves’ Oracle & Technogypsie Designs doing face and body painting with a numerous assortment of mediums, David Caballero and Kathy Nutt of Disguises / Blue Sky Collective / Guildwerks doing makeup, special effects, and a variety of mediums in face and body painting; and Tarena Davis doing Henna and Face / Body Art. I thought the four of us made a magical palette of colors and designs. Below are pictures of some of our work from the festival.

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