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Steam at Harper’s Ferry made it through another year. We are now in the midst of a federal government shut down which will certainly have an impact on all the merchants in the lower town who have come to rely on the Park being open and operating! Hopefully, this situation will be resolved quickly.

In the meantime, here are some positive reflections on our second year. So much was accomplished! In addition to expanding our artist roster and organizing a second annual Art Walk, we started a new imprint, Steam at Harper’s Ferry Press – introduced Steam-exclusive postcards, and participated as a vendor at a steampunk event!

None of this would have happened without the help and support of Jason Edwards who managed to stay a lot more calm than I over the course of this year.

October 2012

Steam was fortunate to have the works of Josh Aterovis and Mark Schumaker in the gallery. Josh specializes in steampunk jewelry comprised of antique watch parts and other embellishments. Mark Schumaker displayed his fantastic door knockers.

November 2012

In November, the popular exhibit “Steampunk Leisure” ended featuring the work of Teresa Dunham Cavagnaro a photographer from Hedgesville, WV and Nancy Kautz, a water color painter from Harpers Ferry, WV. The posters and 3D images by Steam’s resident Artist, Jason Edwards, were a big hit. Kasey Hendricks dropped off prints of her “Sleep in Heavenly Timepiece” illustration just in time for the holiday season!

December 2012

The 42nd Annual Harpers Ferry Olde Tyme Christmas was held the first two weekends of December. Jonah Knight performed in the gallery on opening day. In the exhibit “Winter Themes and Best of Steam” Steam featured many of our most popular artists, including Pith Helmet Provisions, Christopher Loggie, Kasey Hendricks, Josh Aterovis, Mark Schumaker and Jason Edwards. Steam re-installed our most popular 3D images with a new one featuring a view of Harper’s Ferry from Jefferson’s Rock. We had the good fortune to participate in a “Steampunk Stroll” organized by The Steampunk Family. In addition, we had some new steampunk espresso cups for sale which were made by local artist Phil Berneburg. Theresa Barth contributed to our festive decor with steampunk stockings which decorated our mantle. The letterpress was pumping away with our annual Christmas cards.

January 2013

Steam posted a call to artists for the next exhibit, “Big Top Steam.” We also posted our first guest book review of “Sapphire Blue” prepared by Theresa Barth. Also beginning this month, Steam started promoting the Second Annual Bolivar-Harper’s Ferry Community Art Walk. Harpers Ferry National Park Bookshop, Tenfold Fair Trade Collection, Westwind Potters, Mary Adams and Scoops were the first businesses to sign up!

February 2013

The “Big Top Steam” exhibit opened this month. Big Top Steam’s featured artists were Leigh Anne Cassell and Lindsey Donaldson with special installations by two additional artists, Eric Holstine and Phil Berneburg.

March 2013

Steam was awarded a grant from Aha! for the Second Annual Bolivar-Harper’s Ferry Community Art Walk! Our first Steam-exclusive postcards featuring Harper’s Ferry themes became available for purchase. March also saw the first publication under the Steam at Harper’s Ferry Press imprint “The Acme Corporation, a political science fiction fantasy, by V. Edwards Clarke. We also started our “Steam’s Got Tech” postcard series.

April 2013

This month was filled with preparations for the Second Annual Bolivar-Harper’s Ferry Community Art Walk starting at the Visitor’s Bureau in Bolivar and ending at the Harpers Ferry National Park Bookshop. All told, there were 21 participating venues and over 50 artists. Steam prepared commemorative woodblock prints for the event as well as commemorative bags which held various “goodies” supplied by some participating merchants and artists. Thanks go out to Theresa Barth and Kenzie Allen who volunteered to help greet walkers at the Hill Top parking lot (which looked awesome, by the way). The Big Top Steam exhibit closed this month. On April 26, Steam released its second publication under the Steam at Harper’s Ferry Press imprint “Of Steam and Spring – A Calliope Romance.” Illustrations by Kasey Hendricks.

May 2013

Jason Edwards had a solo show entitled “Aware Amusings” featuring some previously seen and unseen work from this collection. The next exhibit “Around the World” was announced with a call to artists. Steam added a third publication under its Steam at Harper’s Ferry Press imprint “Guide to Creating and Protecting Fictional Characters” which debuted at the Steampunk World’s Fair at a seminar called “Character Development and the Law” held by Cynthia Gayton. Illustrations by Jason Edwards.

June 2013

The “Aware Amusings” exhibit ends. The “Around the World” exhibit begins on June 29 featuring the work of John Hoffmaster and 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. Theresa Barth dropped by some handmade France-themed tiny top hats for decoration. On June 28, Steam had a pre-opening reception with the artists as well as the Artomatic@Jefferson volunteer team.

July 2013

The “Around the World” exhibit continues. Steam began promoting exclusive new hand-painted goggles and handmade tiny top hats.

August 2013

The “Around the World” exhibit closes. Cynthia Gayton made a steampunk in literature presentation at the Bolivar-Harper’s Ferry Public Library on August 15. At the presentation, Steam distributed to attendees the first of a new postcard series featuring Jefferson County inventors. The featured inventors were Estelle Black, Royal Emerson Whitman and John Hall.

September 2013

Steam’s “Travels in Time” exhibit opens featuring the work of Eric Holstine, Leigh Anne Cassell and Jason Edwards. For the first time, Steam is a vendor at a steampunk event! On September 7, Steam at Harper’s Ferry was a vendor at The Steampunk Family’s Steampunk Croquet Picnic! It was a lot of fun.

Thank you, everyone, for your support!

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What do you think?

Winding_Drum_Steam_Engine_2x3_Web_Card_Darker_Red

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Big Top Steam – Call to Artists – Deadline February 1Female Acrobats

Big Top Steam is coming to the Gallery!  We have posted a call to artists for this next exhibit. The deadline is February 1. The first day of the exhibit is February 23.  Please check the website for further information.

Big Top Steam – Exhibit February 23 through April 28

On February 8, the artists for this exhibit will be announced.

Shameless Steam – March

The next Shameless Steam arts-related business series will be held in March. If you are interested in promoting your arts-related business or your own work, please see the website under the post “Call for Presentations!” or follow the links under the “Events” tab.

Bolivar-Harpers Ferry Community Art Walk – April  27 and 28, 2013

So far, there are thirteen participating venues for this event! We are currently working with Hill Top House owner, SWaN Investors, which has tentatively agreed to make its overlook available for the Art Walk. So far, the participating venues are (from Bolivar to Lower Town): Bolivar-Harpers Ferry Public Library, Teahorse B&B/Hostel, The Gilded Flea, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, (fingers crossed Hill Top House!), The Vintage Lady, The Village Shop, Steam at Harper’s Ferry, Tenfold Fair Trade, Mary Adams, Scoops, Westwind Potters, True Treats, and the Harpers Ferry National Park Bookshop. If you are interested to have work shown at your business or if you are an artist who wants to have work shown at a business establishment along the walking tour route, please contact Steam at Harper’s Ferry.

February 2013

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Trains! It’s almost a year away – but worth getting excited about now!  The “Steampunk unLimited” event is going to be held in November this year.

A juxtaposition of art and invention, creativity and technology while paying homage to the Victorian Era and Industrial Revolution, an unprecedented weekend at the Strasburg Rail Road is announced.  Train rides behind a massive steam locomotive, delicious eats and treats, steampunk handiwork, photo opportunities galore, an insider’s look through a shop tour, music reflective of days gone by, and so much more are just a snippet of the weekend’s events. 

From the Strasburg Rail Road website!

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I’m always learnin’ somethin” here …

  1. The Strasburg Rail Road Company was responsible for restoring the William Mason for the movie, “Wild, Wild West” AND there may be a steampunk-related event in the near future!!!
  2. There is a place called The Kitchen Kettle Village in Pennsylvania

  3. That steampunk computer mod enthusiasts are alive and well, and

  4. Taking photographs of Harper’s Ferry enveloped in fog is hard.

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We are celebrating our one year anniversary this month. We closed out September with a bang – the Steampunk Leisure exhibit opened and Steam held its inaugural Shameless Steam business series event.

Brunswick Railroad Days October 6 & 7, 2012

The Harpers Ferry Merchants Association, of which Steam at Harper’s Ferry is a member, is promoting Brunswick, Maryland’s annual Railroad Days celebration. If you are interested in taking a train from Harper’s Ferry to Brunswick for the Railroad Days activities, drop by Tenfold Fair Trade on Potomac Street to purchase tickets. Participating Harper’s Ferry Merchants Association members will have information about Railroad Days at their establishments. Check out the Brunswick Railroad Museum if you go and see if the Harpers Ferry extension is complete. It is a wonderful exhibit.

Halloween 2012

Steam at Harper’s Ferry is coordinating a special installation for the fall which should be up by Halloween. Also, check out special Halloween offers in town as well as late night hours the Saturday before Halloween and October 31.

Steam at Harper’s Ferry is Seeking Artists

As you may know, Steam at Harper’s Ferry advertises a call to artists for specific themed exhibits on a quarterly basis. Starting in November, artists who are interested in displaying their work on commission between exhibits should contact Steam at Harper’s Ferry directly. Steam is particularly interested in art that “works” in the gallery space. Artists are encouraged to come to Steam before contacting us. Information about submitting work is available on the website.

Shameless Steam – March

The next Shameless Steam arts-related business series will be held in March. If you are interested in promoting your arts-related business or your own work, please see the website under the post “Call for Presentations!” or follow the links under the “Events” tab.

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Steam will have a very exciting exhibit starting this weekend. The art installation is half-way done and fortunately, it is still pretty comfortable inside the gallery.

There are four artists being featured: Leigh Anne Cassell, Scott Little, Christopher Loggie and Sue Parker. Jason Edwards’ illustration work will also be on display. Here is brief introduction to them in their own words.

Leigh Anne Cassell

“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.

[Copyright Leigh Anne Cassell. Displayed with permission.]

Lately I also decided to venture into drawing portraits of people in steampunk attire or fashions that reflect bygone eras. Steampunk is another passion of mine, and I highly enjoy dressing up and going to events. Since both drawing and this amazing subculture make me incredibly happy, I figured: why not combine the two? Since I do not draw much still-life I find that I can capture aspects of it in the accessories people wear, and it gives me more practice with different surface types. The kind of material used for the subject’s clothing can also be a positive challenge with texture types.

Ultimately, drawing portraits is something of which I will never tire.”

Scott Little

“My work is a venture in manipulation, with respect to light, color and space, creating a reversal of color with respect to their negative complements as well as a reversal of dark and light.  I combine diverse media and techniques to develop greater layers for expression, thereby establishing a deeper, holistic significance.”

[Copyright Scott Little. Displayed with permission.]

Christopher Loggie

“Raised in Australia, came over on walkabout, met the love of my life, landed in Maryland. An avid Steampunk enthusiast for the last few years. I have created props for one movie, Steampunk Stacie. I have turned 20 years of crafting and artwork experience towards this exciting new direction. I hope you like my work.”

[No photo will do Mr. Loggie’s work justice – you have to come see it!]

Sue Parker

“After painting seriously, but briefly, during college, I returned to art  in 1998.  It is now my primary activity, apart from the demands of daily living.

I studied watercolor for 4 years with Irene Sylvester, artist-in-residence at Montpelier Arts Center (Laurel, Maryland), and have also received instruction from Frank Webb (AWS),  Lynn Ferris (NWS), Kent Roberts, Marie McCafferty as well as  David Buckley Good and Fritz Briggs of the Schuler School of Fine Art (Baltimore), and Michael Davis.

I work in watercolor, oil and pastel, using the medium that best suits the subject.

[Copyright Sue Parker. Displayed with permission.]

As an artist, my goal is to focus attention, if only briefly, on the beauty in the things around us that often escape our notice as we rush about our daily lives.

I exhibit at Hagerstown, MD’s Valley Art Association Mansion House, and the Washington Street Artists’ Coop in Charles Town WV, and have shown at the Ice House and Art in the Park in Berkeley Springs (WV), the Washington County Arts Council, Seneca Rocks Discovery Center. and the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts.”

Jason Edwards – Resident Artist

Jason’s work has been on display previously at Steam at Harper’s Ferry. This time around, he did the illustration for Steam’s Gadgets, Guns and Gears promotional flyer. He will have three illustrations on display.

 

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For some reason, as I reviewed the art work submitted for Steam At Harper’s Ferry’s next exhibit, “Gadgets, Guns and Gears,” the philosopher, Martin Heidegger came to mind. I cannot say that I am a Heidegger scholar or even a fan, but his writings about “things” and the “essence of things” made an impression on me.

The theme of this exhibit is most certainly about things.

In some respects, the selected work reflects an evolution of useful things from “need” to “pleasure” in Heidegger fashion, as well as from “original steam” tools to entirely aesthetic contraptions which are representations of useful, and sometimes dangerous, things.

Four artists’ works, along with those of Steam At Harper’s Ferry’s Resident Artist, have been selected for Steam’s next exhibit starting on June 23 and ending on August 26, 2012.

The technological and visual manifestations of the artists’ perceptions appear in evolutionary order below.

“The Original Steam” hand operated tools and gadgets – visual art by Sue Parker

Gears, real gears! – photographs by Scott Little

Decorative uses of eye protection and vision enhancement – drawing by Leigh Anne Cassell

Aesthetic fanciful manifestations of weaponry and gadgetry – works by Christopher Loggie

Coalescent visualizations of all the above – illustrations by Steam’s Resident Artist, Jason Edwards

Please come and see our own “public happening of truth.”

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News From Steam At Harper’s Ferry

For Immediate Release: 4/30/2012
Contact: Cynthia – 304-885-0094 or info@steamatharpersferry.com
John Lamb – jwilliamlamb@gmail.com

Legendary Steam Gun Is Focus of Event at Steam At Harper’s Ferry
Author of Book on Winans Steam Gun to Presents Its History and Sign Copies of Book

Steam powered weapons are a staple of steampunk literature, art, and fashion, but in 1861 Harper’s Ferry played a part in the story of the “Winans” Steam Gun. “Its tough to imagine Harper’s Ferry as enemy territory, but in May 1861, Federal troops captured a steam gun, allegedly built by Maryland industrialist Ross Winans as it was being transported to Harper’s Ferry” says John Lamb, author of A Strange Engine of War: The “Winans” Steam Gun and Maryland in the Civil War. “ The men captured with it hoped to sell it to the Confederate troops there.”

While the gun never made it to Harper’s Ferry, Lamb will share its story with patrons of Steam at Harper’s Ferry on May 6. “Steam is a steampunk art and gift shop. What better place to share the story of such an outlandish, but entirely real Civil War device?” Lamb says. “Steampunk is a literary, artistic, fashion, and musical movement that starts with Victorian aesthetics, keeps things steam powered while taking technology and society in different directions. While contemporary to us, its roots go back to the 19th Century.”

 “One of the frequent themes of steampunk literature, is inventors toiling in obscurity on their creations – that is a pretty fair synopsis of the steam gun’s creation by Charles Dickinson and William Joslin,” Lamb says. What started as an effort to build a hand powered “centrifugal” gun by the men, grew into a steam powered weapon that rocketed to national prominence in the wake of the April 19, 1861 Baltimore Riot.

The gun’s menacing appearance and its arrival on the public stage at the height of anxiety after the riots helped bury its true origin, and forever linked it to noted Maryland industrialist Ross Winans through newspapers at time and through many books and historical articles over the years. While the basic facts of the story were talked about at the time, they soon faded from memory, according to Lamb. “Newspaper articles around the 50thanniversary (1911), helped bring out the story of its last days,” Lamb says. “During the 100th anniversary (1961), a replica was built for a reenactment of the gun’s capture. In 2007, Mythbusters on the Discovery Channel put the idea of the gun to the test. My book, published in 2011, continues the gun’s 50 year cycle of returning at key anniversaries for another round of publicity.”

Lamb’s interest in the gun was sparked when he found an engraving of it while working on another project in the early 1990s. “My curiosity about it began simply – what was it, was it dangerous? What happened to it? The more source materials I read, the less sense it all made – with good reason – the accepted account of events had little to do with what really happened.” Lamb says. “I worked on it here and there as I could and slowly a more complete account of the gun emerged. Being on Mythbusters spurred me to complete my work and put out a book, which came out in 2011. I have really enjoyed uncovering the true story of the Steam Gun, and am looking forward to sharing it with gallery guests at Steam at Harpers Ferry.”

If You Go: Historical Presentation/ Book Signing with John Lamb, Author of A Strange Engine of War: The “Winans” Steam Gun and Maryland in the Civil War, 2-4 p.m., Sunday, May 6, Steam at Harper’s Ferry, 180 High Street, 1B (on the stairs), Harper’s Ferry, WV, 25425. For more information visit, http://www.steamatharpersferry.com, call 304-885-0094 or send an email to info@steamatharpersferry.com

About John Lamb

John W. Lamb, author of A Strange Engine of War: The “Winans” Steam Gun and Maryland in the Civil War works in communications and development in the non-profit sector, is interested in Maryland’s Civil War history, 19th Century technology and shapenote singing, and appeared on the Discovery Channel’s *Mythbusters* series episode regarding the Winans Steam Gun. He lives in Harrison, Tennessee, with his wife and 3 children.

About Steam

Steam at Harper’s Ferry is a Victorian/Steampunk themed art gallery and gift shop located in the historic lower town of Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia. Steam at Harper’s Ferry has quarterly openings and features local and regional artists.

John W. Lamb
Author, Historian, and Development Professional
Harrison, TN, USA
jwilliamlamb@gmail.com

The book is available for purchase at Steam at Harper’s Ferry.

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When I wrote about the Winans Steam Gun back in October 2011, I had no idea how popular the post would be, and I certainly had no idea that there was a new book about the subject by John Lamb! I will post more in the coming weeks, but I wanted to let you know about this event well in advance.

Steam at Harper’s Ferry will be hosting a book signing and historical presentation on the legendary Winans Steam Gun from the Civil War, 2-4 p.m., Sunday, May 6, with John Lamb, author of A Strange Engine of War: The “Winans” Steam Gun and Maryland in the Civil War.

Hope to see you there! If you can’t make the event, get your hands on the book.

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