Posts Tagged ‘Jules Verne’

Of the three featured artists displaying their work at Steam for the “Around the World” exhibit, only John Hoffmaster is a first-timer. The other two, Leigh Anne Cassell and Jason Edwards have shown their work at previous shows.

Here is John’s artist statement:

John Hoffmaster has been an artist for as long as he could hold a pencil. He had been drawing as a hobby until he started tattooing professionally at Sakura tattoo. This gave him a place to put his skills to work for clients on a daily basis. After tattooing for some time, John began turning his efforts to the fine art community working in different mediums such as oil and acrylic painting, washed Indian ink,pencils, watercolor, and charcoal.

For the “Around the World” exhibit, John is showing his work “Still Waters” which will be on display until August 25.  Welcome, John!

John Hoffmaster and Family at "Around the World" exhibit opening

John Hoffmaster and Family at “Around the World” exhibit opening


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Steam at Harper’s Ferry is pleased to announce two featured artists for the “Around the World” exhibit,

John Hoffmaster with his Indian ink illustrated work “Still Waters Run Deep”

John Hoffmaster illustration - Still Waters - cropped (c) 2013 John Hoffmaster

John Hoffmaster illustration – Still Waters (cropped for post) (c) 2013 John Hoffmaster

and Leigh Anne Cassell with pen and ink illustration “Legs that Can Can.”

"Legs that Can Can" by Leigh Anne Cassell. (c) 2013 Leigh Anne Cassell

“Legs that Can Can” by Leigh Anne Cassell. (cropped for post) (c) 2013 Leigh Anne Cassell

Chris Loggie is a guest artist for this exhibit, along with Steam’s Resident Artist, Jason Edwards, who prepared the promotional illustration for this exhibit.

"Around the World" illustration and painting by Jason Edwards after "Ascension du 26 septembre 1876, 700 mètres" by Albert Tissandier

“Around the World” illustration and painting by Jason Edwards after “Ascension du 26 septembre 1876, 700 mètres” by Albert Tissandier

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Current Exhibit – “Aware Amusings” by T. Jason Edwards

Through June 23, Steam’s Resident Artist, T. Jason Edwards will be showing some of his work from hisJason's_Spring_Show_2013_With_words_WEB_versionAware Amusings” collection. If you have been to the gallery, you may have seen samples of his work, but this is the first time that seven pieces from the collection have been shown together.

Around the World – Call to Artists

The next exhibit at Steam will have an “Around the World in 80 Days” theme. A “Call to Artists” has been posted on the website. Submissions for consideration are due June 15, 2013. The Exhibit opening is scheduled for June 29, 2013.

What’s New at Steam

Steam has released another publication under its SciFi/Steampunk imprint, Steam at Harper’s Ferry Press, entitled “Guide to Creating and Protecting Fictional Characters.” The Guide was released on May 19 at the Steampunk World’s Fair at a seminar called “Character Development and the Law” held by Cynthia Gayton. Here is an excerpt:

“This is an exciting time to be a creative in any enterprise. You can develop stories, illustrate and publish your work with great speed and minimal expense. Doing things on your own is both liberating and inhibiting. Yes, you can do it all – from start to finish – the product, distribution, display, advertising and promotion are all controlled by you . … This legal guide identifies five categories of things a creative should consider before putting her or his hard work out there for public consumption.”

This Guide, as well as the story “Of Steam and Spring” are available for sale at the Gallery as well as Amazon.com in a Kindle version.

Artomatic in Jefferson County – October 2013

If you have heard of the DC Artomatic, which has been held almost every year since 1999 in Washington, DC you know it is quite a spectacular art event.  Last year, Frederick, MD held its first Artomatic. This October, Artomatic comes to Jefferson County! It will be held at the Rock & Tile Building off of 340 (9154 Wolfcraft Way, Charles Town, WV). Please see their website.

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The Big Top Steam exhibit opens this Saturday, February 23. Big Top Steam’s featured artists are Leigh Anne Cassell and Lindsey Donaldson. There will be special installations by two additional artists, Eric Holstine and Phil Berneburg.

This show will be a first for Steam at Harper’s Ferry – all of the artists live or work in West Virginia! Two artists (Leigh Anne and Lindsey) are from Charles Town, one artist is from Charleston (Eric Holstine) and another has a studio in Bolivar (Phil Berneburg).

Come One! Come All! Step Right Up!

The Show is About to Begin!

Girl on Horseback1909 Harpers Weekly

Girl on Horseback
1909 Harpers Weekly

Leigh Anne Cassell

This is the second show in which Leigh Anne has participated. The following is an excerpt from her original artist statement from the “Gadgets, Guns & Gears” opening in 2012.

“As an artist, one of my personal goals with my work is to strengthen my talent with drawing portraits, especially with the use of color, while also trying more stylized approaches. Since I started drawing portraits in high school I have come to greatly love the technicality of capturing the realism of people’s faces with a pencil. Recently I have expanded my medium to inks and colored pencils. It took me so long to try using color because I did not think that I had the skills to draw with it. One day I just decided to try it, and I ended up surprising myself. Even though I think I still need lots of practice with it, I am happy that I am working well enough with color at the moment. I have been asked in the past why I do not try more digital media to create drawings. I have never had interest in trying a tablet or any other form of digital process to draw. I am in no way against these technological advancements or works of art created by them; I just personally like to sit down with my drawing board, paper, pens, and pencils and just draw. I like the sound and feel of pencils as they move over paper. I can easily say that I do not fit in very well with the more “modern” art world, but I am perfectly fine with that.”

"The Little Jester" (c) 2013 Leigh Anne Cassell (with permission)

“The Little Jester”
(c) 2013 Leigh Anne Cassell (with permission)

Lindsey Donaldson

“I have always had an interest in art but have never had any formal training.  I gained what little prowess I have by constantly doodling, drawing, and sketching. Several broken pencils later, I emerged with a preference in traditional media, mostly graphite and ink, but have started to expand into digital media. I’d like to become more proficient in digital media because it eliminates the boundaries of traditional media.  Since I’ve never been able to spend a lot on art supplies, digital media gives me access to all sorts of things I wouldn’t be able to get normally. I have always preferred working in a more illustrative style because it offers a different sence of control and creativity that I appreciate more than realism.  People have always been my subject of choice ever since childhood.  Real or imagined, mostly imagined, the human form has always facinated me and taking the faces out of my mind and putting them onto paper is one of life’s little joys for me.”

"The Bearded Lady" (c) Lindsey Donaldson (with permission)

“The Bearded Lady”
(c) Lindsey Donaldson (with permission)

Eric Holstine

“I have worked in a variety of mediums.  Most of my work also incorporates my professional life, which is in Information Technology, as well as electrical features.”

Steampunk floor lamp (c) 2013 Eric Holstine (with permission)

Steampunk floor lamp
(c) 2013 Eric Holstine (with permission)

Phil Berneburg

“My interests lie in creating sculptural work (both functional and nonfunctional) and in contributing to education in the ceramic arts. I consider myself very fortunate to have had the opportunity to gain experience in both the technical and creative aspects of ceramics. My approach to pottery is very experiment-oriented. I explore a lot of ideas and try a lot of techniques; I learn a lot, but I produce relatively little. Not every idea is turned into a finished piece.  The current work is part of my “Steam-Pfunktional” series of Steampunk-inspired  pseudo-functional ceramic pieces. Steampunk, the art of Victorian futurism or science fiction with the celebration of Victorian technology and aesthetics and the rejection of the evils resulting from the Industrial Revolution, has existed ever since the novels of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, but has only recently coalesced from a term referring only to a type of science fiction novel into a broader art movement.”

"High Pressure Brewing Vessel" (c) 2012 Phil Berneburg (with permission)

“High Pressure Brewing Vessel”
(c) 2012 Phil Berneburg (with permission)

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What makes certain things iconographic and others not? In the book Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea there are so many creatures and characters to capture the steampunk imagination it is worth considering what is not a steampunk icon.

For example, why not the shark who struggles in mortal combat with Captain Nemo: “The beast’s eyes were on fire, its jaws were opened wide. I was mute with horror and quite unable to move a muscle. … Then I saw Captain Nemo straighten himself from a crouching posture and, dagger in hand, walk directly toward the submarine terror, ready for a face-to-face fight with it.”

While the octopus/poulp/cephalopod/immense cuttlefish is a steampunk icon: “The monster’s mouth, a horned beak like a parrot’s, opened and shut vertically. Its tongue was of horn substance and furnished with several rows of pointed teeth. It came forth quivering from this veritable pair of shears. … The truly terrible beak of the cuttlefish was open above Ned Land. The poor chap would be cut in two – unless- I rushed to his succor with all my might and main, but our commander was there before me. His axe disappeared between the two enormous jaws. Miraculously saved, the Canadian jumped unharmed to his feet and jammed his harpoon to its heft into the triple heart of the nauseating poulp.”

Why the “Nautilus” and not the “Abraham Lincoln”? Captain Nemo and not Ned Land?  Steam trains and not steam boats?

But that is what makes the genre so fascinating. If there were not some icons about which the majority of steampunks agreed, it wouldn’t be so much fun to break the rules!

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Since Steam’s opening in October 2011, I have been asked often about the name: “Why Steam at Harper’s Ferry?” then I explain how important Harper’s Ferry was to the B&O’s expansion west, the awesome steam trains that traveled on rails along both the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers, steam-powered canal boats and the water-generated industries whose clamor echoed between the mountains.

For those familiar with steampunk, there’s not much to explain. The indicia surrounds them in the space – an owl here, a raygun there, fleur de lis homages to Jules Verne, and props (keep your fingers crossed! Chris from Steampunk Styles may be coming to Steam with a raygun display in the coming months!) from the Seth Foreman’s video project Steampunk Stacie, some of which was filmed on the premises. But I’ve been at a struggling to bring Civil Rights/War history together with the town’s Victorian and Industrial past and making that connection to a steampunk present (except in my mind, of course!).

On a whim recently, I purchased a promotional photo of James Mason portraying John Brown in a Playhouse 90 production released in 1960 entitled “John Brown’s Raid”.  It was no coincidence that the film’s release was 101 years after John Brown’s October 1859 raid on Harper’s Ferry. A fitting centennial remembrance.

But wait, there’s more!

It was filmed on location in Harper’s Ferry!  This somewhat obscure production was made on the heels of two iconic steampunk films in which James Mason appeared.  “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” (1954) and “Journey to the Center of the Earth.”  (1959)

So it was destiny that this little steampunk gallery in Harper’s Ferry exits today. Thank you James Mason!

Also, not coincidently, these book titles and DVDs are available at Steam at Harper’s Ferry.

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