Past Projects

Clermont Forum II Postcard

Clermont Forum II: Interpreting Clermont’s History Through Art.

A multi-media arts exhibition which ran from April 12, 2014 through May 31, 2014

LOCATION: Clermont Farm, 801 E. Main St., Berryville, VA 22611  WEBSITE: www.clermontfarm.org

Baltimore based curators the Rotating History Project  (Teddy Johnson and Heather Rounds), in cooperation with the Trustees of The Clermont Foundation and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, presented a multi-media arts exhibition entitled The Clermont Forum II: Interpreting Clermont’s History Through Art, in Spring 2014. This was Clermont’s second interpretive forum and the fourth conceived exhibition by the Rotating History Project.

The six-week exhibit  opened Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Clermont, a 360-acre farmstead at Berryville in Clarke County, Virginia, in the northern Shenandoah Valley. A state historic site currently under intensive study, the farm consists of a well-preserved complex of buildings ranging in date from 1755 to the mid-twentieth century and remains a working farm, involved with local food production and university-related historic and agricultural education.   The farm was divided from the 5.5 million acre Fairfax Proprietary in 1750, based on a survey conducted on October 19 of that year by the 18-year old George Washington.

Clermont Forum II included fourteen visual artists—some local to Virginia and some national—working in a broad range of mediums, to explore and create interpretive and site-specific works that drew on  topics relevant to Clermont’s history. Topics included agriculture and rural life, African American and Native American history, women’s roles, architecture and material culture. The artworks were installed in multiple locations on the property, including in The Owner’s House (1755-1970), The Slave and Farm Worker’s House (1823), The Smoke House (1802), The Bank Barn (1917), and the surrounding grounds.

Past Projects

Conceived and curated by the Rotating History Project (Teddy Johnson and Heather Rounds) and in cooperation with EMP Collective, Down Through the Needle’s Eye is an exhibition consisting of 18 artists and scholars exploring themes related to Baltimore’s historic former Garment District.

An area of the city loosely falling between Fayette Street, Greene Street, Pratt Street and Hanover Street, it was in the Garment District where umbrellas were first manufactured in the US and the second largest men’s clothing factories in the world once operated. The city’s labor movement and many of its early union struggles happened here as well.

The rise and decline of the Garment District as a flourishing industrial center for Baltimore’s manufactured products, as well as the people who worked and struggled to maintain their livelihoods through the decades, speak to events and societal practices that are not alien to our own time and highlight the finite nature of our society’s industries in general.

The site of the exhibition, the EMP Collective Space, sits in the Faust Building. Located in the heart of the Garment District, the building was once a wholesale boot and shoe business, and through time leased space to clothing firms, dry goods wholesalers, and merchants of men’s furnishings.

The show is part of a larger group of happenings called the Rotating History Project. Through a variety of artistic mediums, the Rotating History Project aims to draw attention to the threads running through our history, culture and environment, which remain relevant to our ever-evolving society today.

Same River Twice: A Night of Art, Music, and Literature.

Conceived and curated by the Rotating History Project (Teddy Johnson and Heather Rounds), along with local writer and artist, Joseph Young, SAME RIVER TWICE is a one-night, multidisciplinary arts event exploring personal, historical, environmental, and cultural reactions and interactions with the Jones Falls watershed, the mills that sit along its banks and the people and culture that emerged as a consequence of the area’s industry and development. As part of the Baltimore Green Work’s 8th annual Baltimore Green Week—a weeklong series of events promoting sustainability and the environment—SAME RIVER TWICE includes original, theme-specific work by 19 artists and writers, as well as traditional and old-timey musical performances by The Shapenote Sisters (with special guests Anna Roberts-Gevalt and Elizabeth LaPrelle) and the Manly Deeds.

childbrooklynfront

The Child Ballads Show: Brooklyn NY

American scholar Francis James Child collected the Child Ballads, a collection of 305 distinct ballads from England and Scotland and their American variants, in the late nineteenth century. Dealing with such ageless themes as morality, murder, romance, supernatural experiences, historical events, riddles, and folk heroes, Child’s compiled ballads continue to survive through oral traditions, are still sung today in both America and Europe, and have become part of the core of traditional Appalachian music. The Child Ballad Show is an exploration and continuation of these beautiful and strange old songs through the mediums of painting, music, and film.

This traveling exhibition, organized by The Rotating History Project (Baltimore based artists Teddy Johnson and Heather Rounds), makes its Brooklyn debut on February 10 and 11, 2011. The two-day event will feature painting interpretations of Francis J Child’s English and Scottish Popular Ballads, by 13 artists from around the country, screenings of several documentary films related to the ballads by director’s Neil Rosenbaum and John Cohen, and live musical performances of ballads by John Cohen and Art Rosenbaum with the Around the Globe Chantey Singers.

childflyer

The Child Ballads Show: Baltimore MD

The Child Ballads are a collection of 305 distinct ballads from England and Scotland and their American variants, all of which were collected by Francis James Child in the late nineteenth century. The Ballads compiled by Child consists of songs which have survived through oral traditions for several hundred years, some of which continue to be sung today. These songs deal with morality, murder, romance, supernatural experiences, historical events, riddles, and folk heroes. More than just a collection of songs in an old dusty book, these songs found their way across the Atlantic to become part of the core of traditional Appalachian music. They continue to be sung today in both America and Europe. The Child Ballad Show is an exploration and continuation of these beautiful and strange old songs.

The artists featured in this forthcoming show have each chosen a different ballad from the 305 for interpretation. Much like the singers through the ages, who have brought their own voice, inflection, and life experience to the Child Ballads, these artists have their own diverse approaches to narrative in their painting. The artists represent 6 different states, including Maryland, Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, New York, and Indiana.

The art opening will be followed by a musical performance of the ballads by Baltimore’s own old time and country favorites Walker and Jay, Brooklyn’s haunting H. Honne Welles, and Grammy Award winning collector of traditional music, Georgia music icon, and banjo wiz Art Rosenbaum.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s