Palustris Festival Features Lectures
BY MARY ELLE HUNTER
Special to The Pilot
A selection of entertaining lectures covering various phases of the visual, literary and performing arts has been scheduled for the fourth annual Palustris Festival.
Sandhills Community College has put together a remarkable choice of six discussions, lectures or demonstrations ranging from a presentation by Nancy Heilman on "The Victorian Art of Pressed Flowers," in which participants will make a small pressed flower picture for their very own, to an enjoyable return to the music of the doo-wop era.
Called "Doo-Wop Revisited," this presentation features SCC's Dr. John Turner and WIOZ 550 AM's Billy Bag-O-Donuts as they examine the styles, artists and songs of this particular type of music. From the Ink Spots and Mills Brothers through the advent of Motown and the hits of the Four Seasons, there will be plenty of music and video performances. Doo-wop was a significant contribution to the beginning of rock 'n' roll and carried its own weight through the late 1950s and '60s with such treasured recordings as "In the Still of the Night" and "Earth Angel," still ranked by sources as the top songs of the early rock 'n' roll era.
Another musically themed lecture, "Story Telling Scat Band," is presented by award-winning writer and poet Stephen Smith, who will be joined by three of his musical friends for a lively combination of poetry and song, all with a distinct local flavor.
Smith says, "Be prepared to sing along and laugh out loud."
"Art/Culture and Community" focuses on how art brought two communities together. Led by Denise Drum Baker, Southern Pines Sister Cities chairwoman and SCC art professor, this discussion will center on the relationship of the communities of Southern Pines and Newry Mourne, Northern Ireland. Representatives from the arts and local community will participate in this lively dialogue on the place of art in building community
Ray Linville, SCC's associate professor of English and humanities, in "North Carolina Folklife: The Art of Living" will examine traditions of folklife - expressive culture that includes a wide range of creative and symbolic forms - in a variety of communities across the state.
And "Finding the Funny in Films," presented by Ron Layne, an SCC instructional officer, is an hour-long glimpse at films that provides evidence in support of the Relief Theory, the Incongruity Theory, and the Superiority Theory as they apply to a wide range of films. Layne is especially intrigued by visual metaphors in fiction and film.
The Rooster's Wife presents a variety of musical experiences during the festival, including a discussion called "Dream Writing: Making Songs While You Sleep," guided by Maura Kennedy of The Kennedys. This two-hour session teaches participants how to use the imagery from dreams to enhance writing songs or poetry and prose.
Lecturer Vivian Jacobson will present a talk on "Chagall in Israel" at Temple Beth Shalom exploring Marc Chagall's artistic and spiritual legacy. During his lifetime he visited Israel seven times and retained close ties to the country.
The lecture examines these artistic pilgrimages and serves as an introduction to his paintings and other artwork that he donated to Israel's museums, as well as sketches, drawings and other works found in both private and public collections.
"Paul Gaugin in Brittany" will be given on Sunday afternoon, March 24, at the Artists League of the Sandhills, in Aberdeen. The presentation covers the period in the artist's life when he left Paris in 1888 and headed for the fishing village of Pont-Aven, where he gathered a "school" of like-minded artists. Together they established a style of symbolic art called Synthetism.
Another Sunday afternoon lecture is scheduled at the Southern Pines Library. Called "Food and Memory in Southern Literature," the topic refers to the fact that for the last two centuries, Southerners have written, argued and reminisced about food. In this lecture, Dr. Mary Ellis Gibson traces the history of Southern food talk in cookbooks and fiction, asking why Southerners are so obsessed with eating together and why they find it even more important to remember and talk about meals they have shared.
All details of these lectures that are a part of the celebration of the Palustris Festival from March 20-24 may be found at the festival's website, www.palustrisfestival.com, including directions to the various locations, and the times and days of the individual events.
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