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Hog Island Audubon Camp Journal 2014

Your correspondent volunteered for a week cleaning dishes and bathhouses at the Audubon Society Camp on Hog Island off of Bremen, Maine. He collected an old glass bottle encrusted with barnacles and these stories. See photo slideshow here.

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A large aquarium in the lab building of Hog Island affords a micro view of aquatic life in coastal Maine’s tidal pools. Off the pier, swaying mats of seaweed. Watch video here.

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“Puffin” Pete Salmansohn, Project Puffin outreach coordinator and director of Hog Island Educators week, describes how puffins were saved from near extermination from the Maine Coast on a boat trip out to Eastern Egg Rock Island where island sitters carefully monitor and study them. Along the way, seals sunning themselves on a small island, produce whoops and hollers among the day-trippers as they dive into the water toward the boat to investigate or perhaps be fed? Watch video here.

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On Hog Island, early morning guided birding, a photographer and his camera level with the osprey nest, an osprey parent guarding two fledglings and later the same day foraying out and back. Watch video montage here.

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“Seabird” Sue Schubel, Project Puffin Outreach Instructor and Hog Island Camp Coordinator, puts the finishing touches on a large batch of cream “puffins.” They will be served to oohs and ahs and camera flashes at the conclusion of the farewell lobster dinner for Educators week. The confectionary puffins, like their living counterparts, Schubel says, could be either male or female, as they look the same. Their breeding plumage, bright orange bills, mark them as mature adults. Watch video here.

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Susan Spitzer Williams, a career guidance specialist participating in Educators Week on Hog Island, seen here rushing to get her camera to the photogapher and back in place for a group shot. In the video, she pauses before swimming to share one of the many ways in which she is superior to her dear older brother, Nick Spitzer, host of the widely syndicated, public radio program, “American Routes.” For one, she met and played pool with Muddy Waters and he didn’t. Watch video here.

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A short, live action, instructional video for kitchen volunteers at the Hog Island camp on how to use the Hobart 4 sided, hood mounted, pass through, commercial dishwasher. Watch video here.

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She’s been skinning road kill, preparing pelts, skull specimens and mounts for museums for some time but this was Carolyn Zaino’s first beaver. Discovered by a couple Hog Island staffers, the road kill became the object of Zaino’s artistry and industry in between stints in the Hog Island kitchen. Zaino is nonplussed by the gore and gruesomeness of her vocation as befits the pathologist’s daughter for whom, as a child, the hearts, lungs and brains in her father’s lab were naturally things of wonder. Her work lets her give these animals “another life” and educate people about them. Watch short video here. Watch full-length video here.


Coffee Roasters ReAnimate the dead (or sleepy)

Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 4.58.25 PMThe images on "ReAnimator Coffee Roasters" bags of a skeleton reaching up with a bony hand to perhaps clasp a flask containing some potion held high up by a priestlike figure come from old wood etchings. The name "ReAnimator" is taken from the HP Lovecraft story, "Herbert West - Reanimator," about a doctor who experiments with bringing the dead back to life through ingestion of reagents. Sleep, a state akin to unconsciousness may be an analog for death, a barista at the outdoor Clover Market in Chestnut Hill philosophizes and a workmate adds that coffee drinkers love the revitalizing effect of caffeine. Coffee "reanimates" them.


Antonelli Institute teachers and students got talent

Most students at the Antonelli Institute of Graphic Design and Photography in Erdenheim, Pa, just outside of Philadelphia, enroll coming out of high school. They must first study traditional film and wet process darkroom photography before moving on to digital work, says lead photography instructor Drew Simcox, shown above.

Students compete for awards by class and by subject category and their prints for the upcoming May competition are displayed across the tall walls of the well-lit atrium-lunchroom area. Simcox proudly shows off the work of Antonelli graduates like the cover photo by Evan Habeeb on a recent Sports Illustrated magazine as well as published books of instructors such as his own “Heber Valley Railroad” shot in Utah through a partnership with the Adobe Company and illustrator-cartoonist Christian Patchell’s “I put the Can in Cancer,” documenting his personal battle with the affliction.

Renowned photojournalist Colin Finlay has visited twice and has critiqued the work of Antonelli students who had returned from a photo shoot in Haiti in conjunction with the Pennsylvania non-profit, Poverty Resolutions.

Students are given a wide arrange of field assignments and can often be seen  practicing their art in nearby Chestnut Hill at the Morris Arboretum or on the main Germantown Avenue corridor.

 

Left: Antonelli student Jaime Perez was at the Morris Arboretum shooting a Kyudo archer in 2009. Right: Antonelli student Eric Moll shown here taking photographs at the 2013 Chestnut Hill Fall for the Arts Festival has a photo published in the 2014 Chestnut Hill Calendar.


Costumed horses parade at NW Stables

Northwestern Stables Haunted Horses Costume Parade 2013

SLIDE SHOW

Horses, riders and spectators got in the Halloween spirit on Sunday at the Northwestern Stables Haunted Horses Costume Parade and Open House.

Your correspondent observed the third round of parade competition and these were the results: Yasmin and her horse Cinnamon took the “Hilarious” prize for their superhero outfits. The “Crafty” award went to Emma and her horse Rooster for their piñata theme. Terri and Splash, (horse and rider, respectively) won the “Couple” prize for their Indian pony getup. “Most Original” went to Sal Pagen and his horse Cofrey who were costumed as an Indian chief and his warhorse. PJ Sedgwick and son Ellis Uhl were the “Most Funny” with horse Baxter as Goldilocks and the three bears. And for their fruity theme “Fruit of the Loom”, Kristen Bowmen Kavanagh’s family captured both the “Group” prize and “All-around Best.”

Northwestern offers year round riding lessons, a summer camp, a Pennsylvania Equine chapter 4H, Department of Recreation field trips and conducts community service projects with Crefeld School students and the Boy Scouts.

Watch video here.


New baby, new studio at CH Fall for the Arts Fest

The youngest person at Chestnut Hill’s Fall for the Arts festival Sunday may have been two day-old Xavier Brubaker.  Sleep-deprived but happy parents Japheth and Suzanne recently returned to Chestnut Hill with their 2 year-old daughter, Quinn, to be closer to family. They were the southernmost exhibitors at the festival, promoting their new fitness and personal training studio, "Water and Rock," at 8109 Germantown Avenue. Visit http://waterandrockstudio.com/ for more information.

New baby, new training studio

Watch video interview here.


Dancing puppet delights passersby

cu frank moore puppeteer

Frank Moore, a tall muscular man, pulls on the strings of a 2-foot tall high Tina Turner-esque puppet; it lip-syncs and dances to funky music blaring from his boom box in eerie mimicry with his arm and torso motions. Moore and “Tina” (he doesn’t give his puppets names) reeled in passersby at a corner in Old City one evening in downtown Philadelphia. Moore makes his own puppets, and this year’s bunch are ones he has revamped from last year. During the school year he performs at parties. But because practices always go so smoothly at home, during the summer he works the kinks out of his routines in different public spots around the city. This was Tina’s first time out and she was not doing well, Moore joked. In addition to Tina, his current cast includes a young boy, an old man and four others, all siblings, he says. They bear resemblances to each other but dance to different international grooves - German, Korean, Hindi, Chinese, Japanese. Two young girls passing by were visibly intrigued by Moore’s act. Giggling, they hesitantly approached the puppeteer, hanging on to each other for support. Then one dashed forward and stuffed a bill in Moore’s donation bowl. Tina was not putting on too shabby a show after all.

Watch video here.

Dancing puppet delights passersby


Woodmere's Plein Air painters

Woodmere Art Museum Plein Air painters

Frances Galante, an art instructor with the Woodmere Art Museum, has been bringing her Plein Air painting students to Northwestern Avenue at the edge of Wissahickon Park – to paint in the open air, of course. On a recent morning she was seen giving tips to student Maria Kurtzman, who was painting the horse barn. on how to put back in the shadows of the cupola that were visible when the sun was lower in the sky. In addition to making a mental memory of the scene, Galante says, a drawing or a digital camera shot are other tools that can be used to meet the landscape painting challenge of changing objects in the scene and shifting light. For student Anne Rothman, Galante suggested more specificity. Watch video here.


Combines yoga, hula hooping

hula catch

Vanessa Hazzard-Tillman teaches hula hooping in East Falls, entertains at parties and at the Public Eye: Artists Animals July 4th Vegan Potluck picnic in Harper’s Meadow in Chestnut Hill, she showed off some of her stuff.  A former clown and currently involved with the vibrant Philadelphia circus arts community, Hazzard-Tillman is also a massage therapist and yoga instructor.

She especially likes to combine yoga and hooping. While being distracted by her young son, Phoenix, she nevertheless managed to twirl a hoop smoothly around one rotating foot in the air while switching from one yoga pose lying on the ground on her side to an inverted pose.

Hooping is good for muscle toning, she explains while demonstrating some “off-body” exercises that can be easier than “on-body” exercises.

Hazzard-Tillman often studies online videos and is now training to do fire hooping.

The circus community likes to give back, she says, introducing one of her ambitions. In addition to being President of the United States and a rock star according to her online profile, she hopes to successfully audition with a troupe that instructs youngsters in circus arts in one of the refugee camps in northern Thailand. The two-month program in which the children learn juggling, clowning, poi spinning, silks and hooping culminates with the refugee children mounting their own performance.

Hazzard-Tillman makes her own hoops out of black polyethylene tubing, covers them fun tape like Batman or Hello Kitty themed patterns and also sells them online through Amazon and her own website nirvanalandessentials.com where she also sells jewelry, gemstones and African soap.

Her business card also lists her profession as “Reiki Master/Teacher.” Had my interview with her continued further, I definitely would have asked how she manages to juggle it all!

Watch video here.

See other photos here.

Vaulting bride and groom sculpted by blind uncle

Vaulting couple marries

Michael Gieschen, left

Because Mike Gieschen’s niece met her fiancée while competing at vaulting event, a passion they share, the blind artist decided to create a wedding gift depicting their shared hobby. (Vaulting is essentially the striking of gymnastic poses atop a horse).

Constructed of celluclay and smoothed with joint compound, built over a wire and paper armature, a male and female couple are shown, each standing on one leg atop a horse with an arm around the other’s waist, the other arm extended horizontally forward and the other leg extended horizontally back as if they were flying. Taking artistic license, not knowing whether this is an actual vaulting pose, Gieschen, in this work, expresses his hope that the newlyweds will soar together and happily in their new life together. The couple marries today

watch video here