Monday, February 28, 2011

On the Scene: Into Space--Marginal Arts in Roanoke, Virginia--What in the World?

This week, 3rd-8th, Roanoke Va. will host the much anticipated Marginal Arts Festival.   Participating in the festival, The Unicorn Stables Project is a studio which will be showing a large variety of artists in an unusual promotional venue:

The showing corresponds with the Southwestern Virginia's Premier Science Fiction & Fantasy Convention, ShevaCon,  March 3rd-6th.  Local established and emerging artists are participating in the art event at Unicorn Stables.  Including Cathryn Hankla, Ann Glover, Judith Starchild, J.D. Whitney, Susan Jameson, Morgan Strong and many more.  A few examples of Strong’s art are included below:
Planets   I

This previous Saturday, Feb. 26th,  the The Unicorn Stables Project Studio was a-buzz with activity as Cameron Niedermayer worked on finishing her sculpture:
Niedermayer explained her inspiration for the pyramid comes from the alien associations with monolithic man-made constructions.  Although she doesn’t intend for her art to have a political message, she is aware that the work she is doing can be seen in a new context due to the recent upheaval in Egypt.  The symbols shown in the picture below have a spiritual significance.  On the side not showing in the picture, Neidermayer has painted the Vulcan IDIC symbol from Star Trek.  IDIC stands for Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations.  She was pleased to consider the symbol as applicable in a wide variety of philosophies, both theological and political. 

Another artist hard at work and the brain-child behind the project, Tiff Robinette.  Robinette explains that the showing will include: installations, live performances, a projection, 2-dimensional paintings, encaustic, sculptures, and sound pieces.  Of her own installation piece, which is a womb-like cave space (Saturday it was already filled with pink stalactites hanging from the ceiling, the stalagmites were still under construction) she explains, “I’m interested in female space, perceptions and traditions of gender.  My inspirations are mythology and literature, particularly biblical narratives of the end and of fear that comes from above.”

DSCF1334 (2)Robinette goes on to share that the imagery found in her art often comes from dreams.  As she is the oldest of nine children, only one of her siblings was a boy, it is no wonder her themes relate to gender and variations of this theme are repeated in symbolic motifs through-out her work.  “I create mythology,” her artist statement unapologetically proclaims.  The picture is a sculptural representation of Robinette’s take on a confectionary tradition called the “tea cake.”

Two other Unicorn Stables artists were busy at work this past Saturday, Julie Schneider with the help of Megan Robinson was preparing her instillation “Contemplations of the Universe at a Slumber Party in New Jersey, 1996”
The alien in the picture is Bob from the planet Bob.  He was a donation from Fenn and Jackson Walker, the youngest contributor to the showing at 8 years old dressed Bob in his own clothes for the exhibition.  
     DSCF1335                                          DSCF1310         
 Another exciting contributor is Urban Artist, Toobz.  When entering into the Secret Histories of a Space Age, be sure to check out his sci-fi mural in the hallway. Here’s his work-in-progress space-creature:



  1. way cool. seeing some of these pieces, i had a sense of your poetry wash over me. hmmmm!

  2. I'm cosmic. And campy. What can I say? I have no defense. :) Thanks Sherry. This is going to a fun event!