Saturday, February 20, 2010

across the North Carolina wilderness

Back on the road again, headed east on I-40 to Raleigh-Durham, where my film, Trimpin: the sound of invention, will be shown at Duke's prestigious Center for Documentary Studies.

While Jolene recalculates, I take a detour along the lovely Blue Ridge Parkway to the Highlands Folk Art Center.  There's way too much to see here, from exquisite hand-crafted quilts and fine ceramics to a rough-hewn front gate:

At the folk art center, I luck into a retrospective of the work of Charles Counts, an extraordinary ceramicist/weaver/writer and teacher who lived and worked in Rising Fawn, GA.  

(untitled quilt, designed by Charles Counts, 1965)

(hooked rug designed by Charles Counts, ca. 1977-80)

(title page of a book written and illustrated by Charles Counts)

"Art is a disease and there is no cure." - Charles Counts

"You may get better, but you'll never get well." - Huey 'Piano' Smith

Back on I-40, I blow past Greensboro, home to Eugene Chadbourne (guitarist, banjoist, improvisor, and wild man; onetime frontman for NYC's proto-punk band Shockabilly; inventor of the electric rake).

(Dr. Chadbourne, in all his virtuosick cacaphony) 

With no time to spare, I exit at Durham, and promptly get lost in the woods of the Duke campus.  Via cellphone, Lynn McKnight patiently guides me to Pettigrew Street and the Center for Documentary Studies, where a crowd is already gathering for the evening screening of Trimpin: the sound of invention.