John Wesley Williams is an award-winning furniture maker. He considers himself a designer/craftsman. He also love curves and wood that is sculpted. We met him at his studio just north of Lewisburg and learned about his design work and creative spark. His documentary short will be coming soon.
Last night my co-producer, Marla Carr, and I attended the 2nd Annual Plum Tuckered Film Festival (http://www.plumtuckeredfilmfestival.org/2016/) held in Davis, WV. Davis is a small town of 700 located in beautiful Tucker County, where outdoor adventure is the draw for many visitors.
The Film Festival was held on the third floor of the historic National Bank building and drew about 150 attendees. They were there to see 21 short films by regional and international filmmakers. About 8 filmmakers were among the group. The audience was a mix of locals, visitors who came specifically to the festival and a few who just happened to be in the area and decided to check it out.
We were there because we had entered two shorts in the film festival; our first foray into the world of film festivals. Our films were in the Short Documentary category and featured “A Creator of Things” and “A Fascination with Change.” Other notable films (from my perspective) included “The Croquet Calamity” by emerging filmmaker Dia Griffith of Berkeley Springs and “Deepest Violet” by filmmaker K. B. Montgomery.
After the showing, we retired across the street to Stumptown Ales (http://www.stumptownales.com) to enjoy some thirst-quenching local brews while we awaited the final judging. The films were curated by the Festival team and judged by a panel of five “outsiders” with backgrounds in film and documentary production.
We were very pleased to receive the Best Short Documentary Appalachian Filmmaker Award for our production of “A Fascination with Change” which profiled the very talented printmaker/painter Susan Carney of Shepherdstown, WV. This short also received a 2015 Telly Award for excellence in the Online Documentary category.
If you decide to visit Davis and neighboring Thomas, WV in the future, I highly recommend staying at Bright Morning Inn. (http://brightmorninginn.com). Innkeeper Susan Moore is warm and welcoming, and the breakfasts are fantastic.
Our Telly Award for ArtVoiceWV episode, “Holding the Vision” arrived today. It joins its other award fellows in our trophy area.
Massimo Righini is an Italian-American sculptor. He was born in Italy and grew up during WWII. As a teenager Righini taught himself to sculpt stones picked out of the river beds in Italy, using simple, old techniques with mallet, chisels, rasps and elbow grease. But his career as a surgeon in the US put that “hobby” on hold until he retired. Looking for something to occupy his time he took up his “old flame” and launched a second career. As a young man whose worldview was shaped by war and its aftermath, Massimo questioned authority, both civil and religious. And that influenced his perspective as an artist. Learn more about Massimo here: http://www.sculpture.org/portfolio/sculptorPage.php?sculptor_id=1000867.
Music was kindly provided by Blake Wynia, a very talented musician who enjoys playing with a Halo. You can hear more of his music and download it at http://blakewynia.bandcamp.com.
This program is presented with financial assistance from the WV Division of Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the WV Commission on the Arts.
Writer, historian and community activist Jeanne Mozier is one of the vital ingredients of Morgan County and Berkeley Springs. She and her husband Jack Soronen came to Berkeley Springs in 1977. Jeanne would become both the advocate for and champion of this small historic town. Thirty seven years later she still has the same passion for her adopted town. I have never met anyone with so much energy and determination. But what is clear is that Jeanne has a vision and she continues to pursue it everyday. You can learn more about her at http://www.starwv.com/wordpress/about-jeanne/.
ArtVoiceWV is an original online video series that features West Virginia artists. It is produced by 78 Degrees West Films (http://www.78degreeswest.com). ArtVoiceWV is produced in cooperation with the Morgan Arts Council (http://www.macicehouse.org).