Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Alison Brynn Ross nominated as a top 10 craft maker by 'USA Today'

Killin' the game

Posted by Heath Ellison on Wed, Oct 12, 2016 at 10:50 AM

Artist Alison Brynn Ross left the world of food and beverage for one inhabited by wire dragons, moose, and unicorns - JONATHAN BONECEK
  • Jonathan Bonecek
  • Artist Alison Brynn Ross left the world of food and beverage for one inhabited by wire dragons, moose, and unicorns
Last year we featured local artist Alison Brynn Ross, who brings whimsy to the art of taxidermy by making animal statues out of steel and copper wire. Now we've learned that Ross was recently nominated as one of the top 10 craft makers by USA Today. “I didn’t even know I was nominated until it was already live. It was a pleasant surprise," she says.

That ninja nomination came to Ross courtesy of Erin Godbey of the Maker’s Collective in Greenville. While Ross still saves animals with her taxidermy alternative, she does enjoy branching out. Her commissions have been as varied as making a wire depiction of The Little Prince, from the children’s book of the same name, and replicating someone’s custom Harley motorcycle. “It’s always a conscious effort to challenge myself. The more I challenge myself and make pieces I like, the more it strikes a chord with people,” says Ross.

And she isn’t lying. Ross’ medium has become more complex in the last year as she's begun to add color and shadow to the wire. That willingness to explore in the medium has paid off, as she is currently leading the top 10 on USA Today’s craft maker leaderboard. If you’d like to help her take the silver, and maybe gold, in the competition then head here to vote. You've got 12 days left.

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Tonight: Q and A with author and mountaineer Harry Farthing

Top of his game

Posted by Erin Davis on Wed, Oct 12, 2016 at 10:42 AM

  • Provided
World-renowned mountaineer and traveler Harry Farthing wrote his first novel, Summit, after moving to Charleston in 2010 to start what he saw as an early retirement. However, Farthing isn’t settling down quite yet. From leading a group of 13 to the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro to summiting the Matterhorn, Shishapangma, and Mt. McKinley (just to name a few), Farthing has seen a whole lot of the world — and he isn’t one to just take it easy.

Summit captures his real-life adventures with startling precision in the tales of his characters, which include present-day Everest guide Neil Quinn and Josef Becker, a 1940s Nazi climber. From America, India, and the airports in between, Farthing’s book captures the human spirit and the adventures that we all crave (and will be out in paperback come January).

Tonight, from 6-7 p.m. at the Charleston Library Society, you can chat with Farthing for yourself as part of the Library's speaker series. 

CP: You are an incredibly experienced climber and have lived all over the globe, not to mention that you’re a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. What drew you to writing about these experiences?

Farthing: I’ve always had an interest in writing. Climbing and writing weren’t my day jobs, though. I was in real estate. Usually I always wrote about my experiences very much for myself and my family and I always read about the mountain I was to climb before I went. Reading about the mountain could not only save your life, but it’s also beautiful, especially the climbing classics. My writing is definitely a mashup of my climbing experience.

CP: Summit goes back and forth between present day and the years of Nazi Germany. Do you often write historical drama?

Farthing: I’m from England, and people in Europe are very conscious of what happened during the world wars. When your country goes through something so powerful, like World War II, it is ingrained in your culture. I’m a 19th century buff, for sure. In regards to Mt. Everest, a lot of the issues are the same for present day, even though today we think more about the individual accomplishment of summiting over national glory, which was what a lot of nations tried to do during this time.

CP: I hear you’re working on a second novel that is based on Mt. Kilimanjaro. Will this novel follow the same style as Summit?

Farthing: At the moment, the novel focuses on the 1900s-1920s, so from the turn of the century to the first World War. A lot of this war surrounded the areas near Mt. Kilimanjaro, which is something people tend to forget. I’m really interested in this war but, of course, the whole thing was completely ridiculous. War itself is often futile.

CP: In the Author’s Note at the end of Summit, you mention the stress of overcrowding and climate change on today’s Mt. Everest. Do you have any suggestions on how to remedy these issues, especially in regards to the Southeast Ridge route, which is the most populous?

Farthing: Until the mid-1990s, only one or two expeditions climbed Everest a year. Now, the Southeast Ridge sees 400-500 people at a time at base camp alone. You see, I’ve been climbing hard for 13-14 years now. I’ve earned my chops. But Everest is like being invited to the Daytona 500 as a driver. Say you went there and saw the best professional drivers next to you. On the other side, you see a kid who just got his driver’s permit. That’s what’s going on now. Not to mention the underpaid sherpas and refuse of 500 people and their used oxygen tanks.

CP: You’re originally from North Devon in England, but you moved to Charleston with your wife in 2010. What made you plant your stakes here?

Farthing: My wife’s family is from here, and I’ve been visiting since the 2000s. We lived in Italy for 12 years and had enough of it. I love Charleston, everyone has been so kind. I just hope I don’t fit into that Yankee stereotype.

CP: Is there anything else you would like readers to know?

Farthing: I just want to entertain, but I also want to inform. If a reader buys this book, how will they feel at the end of it? Really, I’m auditioning for their time. You’ve only got so much time on this Earth. I don’t think it’s a complete disaster, and I hope my readers feel the same way.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Leigh Webber Photography partners with Historic Charleston Foundation for Hurricane Matthew benefit

Hurricane art

Posted by Connelly Hardaway on Tue, Oct 11, 2016 at 4:14 PM

Local photographer Leigh Webber (peep her photos in this week's cover story about Hurricane Matthew), has teamed up with the Historic Charleston Foundation to sell four of her images as limited edition fine art prints. Proceeds from the sale of the images will benefit the Historic Charleston Foundation's efforts to clean up post-Hurricane Matthew, helping them to repair damages to their headquarters at 40 East Bay St., along with some of their museum houses.

Check out the available images below and head here to purchase one for yourself. 
  • Leigh Webber
  • Leigh Webber
  • Leigh Webber
  • Leigh Webber

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Monday, October 10, 2016

New Date: Walter Brown's 'Concrete Rose' to be released this Sunday

New date, same deets

Posted by Connelly Hardaway on Mon, Oct 10, 2016 at 2:17 PM

Hurricane Matthew did a number on the Lowcountry, leading to a whole bunch of canceled events. The good news, though, is that most of those events are going to be rescheduled, including Walter Brown's EP release for his first album, Concrete Rose, which will be held at PURE Theater on Sun. Oct. 16 at 7:15 p.m. 

Brown, the subject of this past week's cover story, wrote the five songs on his EP based on his experience growing up in the Old Village, going to jail, and living life on the outside. Read all about him here. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

RESCHEDULED: 'Hamilton's America' sneak peek at CofC

I am not throwing away my shot!

Posted by Erin Davis on Mon, Oct 3, 2016 at 1:17 PM

NOTE: This event has been rescheduled to Wed., Oct. 12 due to Hurricane Matthew. Reservations for the original event will be honored.

This Wed. Oct. 5, ETV, SCETV and The College of Charleston Arts Management Program host an unforgettable sneak-peek of the documentary Hamilton’s America. This film explores the smash hit Broadway show, Hamilton, and delves into the visions of creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, who also starred in the show, winning Tony and Grammy awards, as well as a Pulitzer Prize.

Attendees will get to see a 30-minute sneak peek of the upcoming documentary which will be broadcast in full on Oct. 21 on SCETV. Dr. Nic Butler, historian-in-residence for the Charleston County Public Library, will discuss the Broadway show in a new light, comparing and contrasting Hamilton’s connections to the true Alexander Hamilton.

Marcus Amaker will perform at this sneak peek event. - JONATHAN BONCEK
  • Jonathan Boncek
  • Marcus Amaker will perform at this sneak peek event.
Artifacts of the nation’s first secretary of the treasury will be on display for the history buffs, and after the screening, Marcus Amaker, Charleston’s first poet laureate, will perform a selection of verse, along with performers Abstract and Willie Soul. 

The event, held at Sottile Theater, is free to the public, though it is currently at capacity. Head here to get on the waiting list. And if you don't make it, make sure to tune in on Oct. 21 to SCETV to start watching Hamilton’s America in full.

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