The Tinner Hill Blues Festival is constantly growing. This year one of the most exciting new elements added to the festival is "Call it the Blues", a juried art show. The exhibition will open during FIRSTfriday of Falls Church events on Friday, June 1 and remain on exhibit at Art and Frame of Falls Church throughout the blues festival weekend until the end of June. It is particularly exciting to push the concept of blues culture beyond music - expanding beyond the norm of a "Blues Festival".
The juried art show is being organized by Falls Church resident and artist Irena Chambers (pictured to the left). Chambers, Special Project Director for Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation, has worked diligently to bring the first years show to the attention to a wide variety of regional artists and arranged for the show to be juried by outstanding Philadelphia, artist Kitty Caparella.
The show will assemble works from artists in an attempt to focus on the meaning of the "blues" from an artists' perspective. The Call to artist was for a very liberal interpretation of "the blues" which could include works of art that explored the nature of blues music, literature, or history; interpret or reflect the emotions and events inspired or evoked by the "blues"; focus on blues performers; or even explore the "hue of blue". Artist works were inspired by Blues music, a musical form and genre originating in African-American communities at the end of the 19th century. Recent scholarly research have indentified cross pollination in the development of blue music from a variety of influences including Native Americans, indentured Irish people and enslaved African Muslims during the early part of the 19th century. One thing is for sure, in addition to the music being influenced by a diverse people and their experiences, the Blues has influenced jazz, rock and roll and other music genres the world over.
The exhibition opens during FIRSTfriday of Falls Church on Friday, June 1 at Art and Frame of Falls Church. The opening reception will present an opportunity to meet the shows winning artists, the show's organizer, Irena Chambers and Tom Gittins, owner of Art and Frame of Falls Church. Tom, believed in the vision of the show and signed on in the dead of winter with enough enthusiasm to commit to the first time event.
111 Park Avenue is located at the intersection of Rt 29 and Park Avenue in downtown historic Falls Church, 62 steps from the State Theatre. There is ample parking any time at Kaiser Permanente on the top level and at 113 Park Avenue after 5pm. The market is surrounded by numerous cafes, restaurants, and other FIRSTfriday participants. For more information on the FIRSTfriday of Falls Church and ArtALot - A FIRSTfriday of Falls Church Event, visit their website at www.firstfridayoffallschurch.com.
I love music. . .and I love history. . . and black culture. . . and don't tell my husband - but I don't mind good looking men. . . as my Grandmother used to put it "he ain't hard on the eyes!" And while we're on the subject of men, as a young girl, my Mom gave me a few litmus tests for selecting appropriate males to spend time with. They included things like: "Within the first 45 minutes of conversation he should share some kind of interesting information you don't already know/give you the name of a book/artist/writer you've never read, or otherwise challenge your mind. If not - you're wasting your time, in a short time he'll be like a twice read book!" With that being said, Michael Roach is all of that plus a bag of chips! This is not a come on to Michael, we're both happily married! At a recent Prelude to the Blues concert we featured Michael Roach. Michael, D.C. born and bred, flew in from his home in the U.K. for a limited U. S. engagement. He graced the stage at ArtSpace Creative Cauldron in Falls Church, VA. for 3 hours (not nearly enough). He had all the qualities I look for when searching for "edutainment" for performances or putting together events for Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation. Michael has stage presence, interacts with the audience, plays for the people (not other musicians), teaches about blues history and heritage (hence the term edutainment). He is witty enough to take the sting out of some of the painful history that is part of the blues legacy. He is a gifted musician, gracious and approachable. . . he held the audience in the palm of his hand. We laughed, we jotted down the name of a song, a book, a name to look up later. We thought "Wow, I didn't know that!" We fell silent, we listened, we were happy, we were moved, we reflected, we tapped our feet, we clapped, we sang along, we nodded our heads, we ate together, and we felt comrady among our fellow music lovers. . . It was everything we strive for at Tinner Hill! A community, a community togther without any pretenses. No barriers. . . just people, equals all. . . and equally respected.
April already and the blues festival is right around the corner! I can hardly contain my excitement over who's performing Friday at the State Theatre or Saturday at Cherry Hill Park or who'll be jamming at the Blues Brunch on Sunday -- or any of the other All Blues, All Weekend happenings All Over Town! This is my first blues blog and I don't know where to begin. OK, let's start with - what will we drink??? We'll Begin with Beer! Mad Fox Brewing Company, Falls Church's very own brewpub, will provide libations (for purchase) at the Tinner Hill Blues Festival on Saturday, June 9, 2012 in Cherry Hill Park (located at 330 Park Ave in Falls Church, VA.) Not only will Mad Fox be on hand to serve ice cold beer, the new Tinner Hill IPA (Indian Pale Ale) will be available. Just a couple of weeks ago the award winning brewing company introduced the new beer and titled it Tinner Hill IPA. The beer will be sold at the blues festival! Yes, you heard it right! The new ale - will be on available for purchase at the blues festival! Beer, BBQ and Blues, can life get any better than this? Only if you happen to have a beer named after you! Tinner Hill IPA s a light beer - golden, smooth and rich with a bit of a kick to it.
But hold it, you don't have to wait until June 9th to satisfy curiosity or your need to indulge. Head over to Mad Fox Brewing Company (located at 444 West Broad Street, Suite I, Falls Church, VA 22046. Phone 703.942.6840) and order a pitcher (or two). They're open: 11am - 11pm Monday - Wednesday, 11am - Midnight Thursday - Saturday, 10am - 11pm, Sunday, Brunch 10am-3pm. Visit their website for more information about beer than you ever imagined and see what's cooking on their menu or check. You know the food is good, when I admit that their shrimp and grits actually hold it's own -- that is a really strong recommendation coming from the creator of "Miss Nellie's Grits and Gravy"! Check out the live musical entertainment schedule Mad Fox Brewing Company website BTW be sure to tell Brewer Bill Madden - Nikki sent you!