Wednesday, May 9, 2018

John Jude Palencar redux

This post is long overdue -- I should have written it late last fall, but when the bookshop picks up between Thanksgiving and Christmas, all those "really should have" things turn into "whoops I meant to" things!

Well, here I am, reminded that I was supposed to point out a little bit of wonder that is in the shop that might be missed by you otherwise.

The Palencar Project by John Jude Palencar
Last year was a banner year in terms of my efforts to reach out to the wider world, and getting to work with a great team of artist co-curators down in Providence, Rhode Island. Together, we hand-picked pieces for an artshow that surpassed expectations, Ars Necronomica: Wonders of the Visible Weird. This was the third biannual Ars Necronomica exhibit, organized in conjunction with the NecronomiCon, a convention created from a swirl of literary, visual, and elements, intellectual and otherwise, all orbiting around the kernel of author and Providence native H.P. Lovecraft -- a heady and thought-provoking brew.

The convention attracts a diverse array of creators and fans, and every year I meet new people that go on to become friends and peers, a support network of cosmic scale built hand to hand, face to face, conversation to conversation, idea to idea.

Meeting the man himself! (That's me with the frizzy hair.)
In 2017, our Artist Guest of Honor was John Jude Palencar. For those of you who think you don't know his work, you would likely be surprised to find out just how familiar you are with it, without ever having known his name. The image shown here as an example, The Palencar Project, is far more evocative when you encounter it in person (my snapshot does not do it justice), a quiet masterpiece painted in acrylic on mounted ragboard.

If you are curious to find out whether you know his work or not, I invite you to look at copy of his art book, Origins, which I have here at the shop -- signed copies, even!

Here's a silly little timelapse GIF of me putting mylar sleeves on the books when they first came in:

The exhibit of Palencar's work was phenomenal -- to be able to see the artwork full-size and in person was a memorable experience, perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime experience for those of us in attendance. Even better, we got to meet and talk to John Jude himself, and true, those of us who had our own work hung alongside his paintings felt an extra bit of thrill. The scale and the depth of subtle hues and the intense composition of his pieces rewarded those who lingered or paid second and third visits to the pieces, as many of us did.

Luckily, the folks at the Lovecraftian journal, Dead Reckonings were inspired to ask some of us to record the event and its after-effects, and as part of that effort, I was able to commemorate and expand upon the event by interviewing John Jude Palencar himself.

This chain of events brings me to the point of this blog post, which is to let folks know that I have copies of the late Fall 2017 issue of Dead Reckonings here at the shop, so that you yourself can take one home! You will find among its pages many delicious goodies, including:

-- my article about and interview with John Jude Palencar
-- an article co-written by myself and fellow artist Dave Felton about the experience of attending Ars Necronomica
-- musings by Ars Necronomica Head Curator, Brian Mullen III

-- a review of Grady Hendrix's Paperbacks from Hell (yay!)
-- a range of historical & contemporary considerations, from Sidney Sime's artwork and Victorian gaslight and ghosts, to an interview with T.E.D. Klein, all the way up to the current horrors of Ramsey Campbell and the Kings' Sleeping Beauties
-- and more...!

... in other words, plenty of ghosts, monsters, and other more abstract horrors and delights.

P.S. If you want to see some of Dave Felton's increasingly amazing artwork, by all means go here!!!

P.P.S. If you want to see the Ars Necronomica: Wonders of the Visible Weird exhibit, go here:
Ars Necronomica 2017 album, or
see photos of the opening night reception here:
Ars Necronomica 2017 opening night album

Here is my piece from the show (us curators had to demonstrate that we had some chops ourselves!), which was inspired by H.P. Lovecraft's story The Dunwich Horror, reinterpreted from the point of view of the locals in the area as Feeding Time at the Whateleys', drawn in graphite.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

SUMMER HOURS! now through Sept

Yes, we rejoice, summer is here! Maine gave spring a miss this year, and froze us until suddenly it's 80 degrees again. Welcome to the warmer weather, and with it our expanded hours.

We are closed on Mondays only now through September, with the following hours:

Tues-Thurs 11:00-5:00
Friday 11:00-6:00
Saturday 11:00-7:00
Sunday 12:00-5:00

See you soon!  😎