Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Weaving Hope

In the town of Occoquan, Virginia where I was a member of a co-op gallery for several years, there is a little weaving shop that has been offering hope to mentally challenged adults for almost 30 years. The shop is called Spinaweb and was started by a caring weaver named Erna Gilker. In the early 80s, she offered classes to residents of an intellectually disabled adult activity center and they responded with excitement. The shop employs a small staff who warp the looms and do the weaving. The program is supported by ARC (Association for Retarded Citizens of Prince William County, VA). Through the years, visitors from around the globe have brought handwoven gifts to their home countries, and orders have risen. In addition to handwoven shawls, ponchos, scarves, purses, tea cozies and other gifts, they also offer a selection of weaving and knitting yarns for sale. Spinaweb is nestled in the lovely historic community of Occoquan, on the banks of the Occoquan River. Shop hours are 9 to 4 Monday through Saturdays. For more info, call 703-491-7422 or visit Spinaweb .

Saturday, May 09, 2009

M'Bemba Bangoura, Bernard Woma with Ethos Percussion Group

I'm not sure the Coolidge Auditorium at the Library of Congress has ever been so lively. At least never during the many times I've been there for concerts. I've heard world famous string quartets, early music ensembles and other recitalists, but this concert definitely didn't fit the mold. The Ethos Percussion Group, a contemporary music ensemble joined forces with two renowned west African musicians from Ghana and the Republic of Guinea for an unforgettable concert. My poor cameraphone was only able to get these shots, but you can see the audience members grooving to the African beats on stage. We were all encouraged to get up and dance, as they say in Ghana, you should dance anyway even if you're not a good dancer because, "the ground won't complain" !

Monday, May 04, 2009

Gorgeous Fiber Jewelry

Just discovered this Russian fiber artist on Etsy whose work blew me away and I had to share. Her shop is TianaCHE and her name is Tiana Agapcheva. I just love what she does with knitting, crochet and beading. Enjoy !