We are now accepting programming submissions for Curious Gallery 2015; please send us your proposals using this form.
Curious Gallery’s 2014 programming received a strong positive response from attendees and presenters alike, and this year we’re expanding our event to include even more panels, workshops and other presentations to pique your curiosity. Possible programming selections may include, but are not limited to:
–Presentations/panels on the history and modern revival of cabinets of curiosities and their contents; specimen collection and preservation, scientific advances of the Renaissance and beyond, and other natural sciences topics; the cultures behind archaeological artifacts; handcrafting skills old and new; and other subjects to inform and inspire the audience.
–Demonstrations of relevant technology and skills, whether the mad scientist fare of quack medicine, or the rebirth of “archaic” skills by modern makers. Obscure tech and skills that no one else has ever heard of are a bonus!
–Hands-on workshops were very popular last year; we’re looking for teachers of theme-appropriate skills and crafts accessible to a general audience. Materials fees per participant should be free or in the $5-$15 range as attendees will be paying for materials above and beyond the registration fee; however, we have limited space for workshops with higher materials fees.
–Cultural performances such as dance, theater, and storytelling that can fit on a small stage. Please be prepared to offer the audience some history and background either before or after the performance itself; the goal is to both entertain and educate.
Not sure if your programming idea will fit our event? Contact us at email@example.com to ask us for feedback.
As with last year, hands-on workshops that involve creating items will have limited seating capacity (usually 15-20 people on average) and we will have signup sheets available at the registration desk each day. To pay for materials costs you can either pay with cash at the beginning of the workshop, or you can purchase tokens in $5 denominations at registration using your debit or credit card. If a workshop has a materials fee, it will be listed at the end of its description below.
Here are just some of the presentations, panels and other programming that will be featured at Curious Gallery 2015; we will add more as we confirm them:
Inside J.W. Kinsey’s Artifice: Handcrafted Objects of Wonder
Presented by J.W. Kinsey
Makers, creators and artisans, are you looking to expand your repertoire of tools and techniques? This presentation offers an in-depth look at the processes, methodologies, and techniques implemented by J.W. Kinsey’s Artifice, a world-class custom design and fab shop. Over 500 process photos will be presented and discussed, illustrating tooling, construction approaches, casting concepts, concept art and design, as well as a comprehensive portfolio. This presentation is designed with serious makers and designers in mind.
Resurrecting Dead Cosmetics: Historical Inspiration and Cosmetic Crafting
Presented by Kim Damio
As a cosmetic crafter, I have been heavily influenced by historical sources. Historical beauty recipes can be creatively inspiring, educational, and surprisingly accessible. They can also be difficult to interpret, hard to recreate, or even dangerous. Please join me as I relate some of my successful—and less successful—experiences adapting period formulas for modern use.
Weapons as Cultural Curios
Presented by Stephen Couchman
A civilizations’ tools of warfare and defense can tell us much about their history, technology, and values. Learn tips on weapon collecting/curating and discuss the relative merits of antiques, reproductions, and “tourist art” weaponry.
Chinook Indians and the Folklore of Food
Presented by Heather Arndt Anderson
A great deal of the Chinook Indian’s worldview was based on the notion that food was symbiotically linked to people. For Portland’s first people, all food was anthropomorphized. It was not just the birds and fish that told their stories, but roots and berries had a say in the myths as well. As they did with all aspects of life, the Chinook imbued the practices of hunting, fishing and gathering with their all-encompassing spirituality. This talk examines the folklore behind Chinookan people’s foodways.
The Altar of Curiosities
Presented by Lupa
In recent years, there’s been a resurgence in interest in cabinets of curiosity featuring natural history specimens, ancient artifacts and other wonders. The altar of curiosities combines the conscious aesthetics of the classic wunderkammer with the meditative focus of the spiritual altar. Lupa discusses how to find and display curiosities, how to incorporate them into your spiritual practice, how to work with antique and otherwise secondhand sacred items, and more!
Leaf Print Scarves & Natural Dyes
Presented by Sarah Hill
Participants will learn the basics of dying fibers with natural materials, including material selection, mordants, and possible local and invasive dye plants, and resources on regional dye stuffs. We will put some of these principals to action while imprinting local leaves on silk scarves. (Materials cost $5, payable at the event)
Wet Felted Bags
Presented by Sarah Hill
Beginning with raw sheep wool, participants will learn the process of wet felting with a resist, producing a small pouch with an antler or black walnut button. The principals covered in this class can be applied to other projects such as felted booties, hats, or larger bags and pouches, and this is a great beginner project for anyone interested in felting. (Materials cost $5, payable at the event)
Make Your Own Rawhide Shield Wall Hanging
Presented by Michelle Meister
Create art using ancient materials and techniques from the natural world, working with softened rawhide to create a personal shield. We will lace the rawhide to a bent willow hoop and paint it using natural clay pigments. No artistic talent is required. (Materials cost $10, payable at the event)
Curious Gallery Show and Tell
Open to all attendees
Do you have some neat antique or natural history specimen you’d like to share with others? Got some oddity that you haven’t been able to identify? Or are you just interested in other people’s collections of the weird and wonderful? Here’s where you can bring in skulls and tiny terrariums, ancient relics and modern recreations, and share them with like-minded people!
Flint Knapping – The Art of Making Tools From Stone
Presented by Tony Deland
I will be demonstrating flint knapping by making arrow heads and spear points using traditional tools and obsidian. Come find out about this ancient art that has been instrumental to our species’ success for thousands of years!
Steel Sculpture/Torch Welding Demonstration and Workshop
Presented by David Gonzalez
I will be demonstrating how to manipulate and weld metal into creative, flowing and unique sculpture with the oxygen acetylene torch. If patrons are wanting to have something small created, they can help with the creation process. They will learn a bit about steel, welding and tools. Please note that this workshop will be held outside on the venue grounds; please dress appropriately for the weather. Materials fees TBA.
What is Rewilding?
Presented by Peter Michael Bauer
What is rewilding? Director of local non-profit Rewild Portland will give a talk on the emerging cultural movement. What is it? Why is it important? How does it relate to the Curious Gallery?
Raptors, Rodents, and Regurgitation: A Dissection of Owl Pellets
Presented by Amanda Fisher
Participants will discover what owls have for midnight snacks as they dissect an owl pellet and take home their findings. The types of bones will be identified, as well as tips on cleaning, protecting, and using your bones for artistic purposes. (Materials cost $5, payable at the event)
Out With It!: How to Talk to People About Your More Morbid Interests
Presented by Chelsea Mascari
Come discuss the difficult topics of how to tell your family you’re interested in hides, bones, and other dead things, how to deal with opposition, and learn how to “Open The Front Door” with communication.
Make a Tiny Air Plant Terrarium!
Presented by Julie McGowan
Come join Julie McGowan in making small air plant terrariums! Use a container of your choosing, customize it with substrate, and decorate it in various ways– with paint, rocks, yarn, and so much more to make a cozy home for an air plant that you get to take home! Materials will be provided, but you’re welcome to bring some of your own, too. (Materials cost $10, payable at the event)
Cleaning, Preservation, and Art of Animal Bones
Presented by Carla Brauer
Learn how to prepare, clean, and finish skulls and other bones for display, collections, or art. This panel will go over the procurement of raw specimens, how to prepare animal parts prior to cleaning, and the most effective cleaning methods: dermestid beetle colonies and masceration. This will include an overview of the care, maintenance and breeding of beetles as well as the risks and rewards of keeping them. Degreasing and whitening techniques will be discussed, as well as articulation and ideas for using or altering finished bones as art.
Lupa, Chelsea Mascari, more TBA
In recent years taxidermy has become rather trendy, but what’s it take to be a modern-day taxidermist? In this group panel we’ll discuss what taxidermy is (and isn’t), some basics of legalities and ethics, where to get supplies and how to start creating your own taxidermy creations. We’ll also have a Q&A session, so bring your questions about this ancient art in the 21st century!
Liv Rainey-Smith, more TBA
In the classic wunderkammer, the “wonders” weren’t just your run-of-the-mill natural history specimens; they also included medical oddities, strange mutated specimens, and supposed remnants of fabulous creatures known only to myth and legend. Our panelists will discuss this stranger side to the cabinet of curiosities, including how you can create a weird collection of your own, and a chance to ask our panelists any questions you may have about the weirder side of the cabinet of curiosities!