Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Artistry Above Ground

As opposed to artistry below ground? Hmm. Maybe that would refer to gemstones, gold and silver, etc. The artistry above ground we are talking about are gems of a sort - the creative arts produced by the people who were expected to participate in the tent-and-table, physical outdoor art exhibition, “Artistry Above Ground,” sponsored by West Laurel Hill Cemetery in Bala Cynwyd, PA (a Philadelphia suburb). This was to be the inaugural spring arts and artisans event held by the cemetery, similar in concept to the wildly popular “Market of the Macabre,” which has been a regular fall event for the past several years at West Laurel’s sister cemetery, Historic Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia.

I’ve participated in the Market of the Macabre and it has been a wonderful outing. Death-centric folks selling everything from serial killer T-shirts to dead things in jars. Of course, my graveyard photographs, cards, and books fit right in. My friend Sarah Amendola and I have consistently set up next to each other, she of Mockingbird Lane Artistries with her jewelry, glass coffins (not full size), and crazy crystal vending machine! Alas, a physical outing is not to be, as the COVID Hounds of Hell are nipping at all of our heels.

This being the case, West Laurel Hill decided to go ahead with the event, only as a “virtual market.” For many of us artists and organizers, this is, in fact, our first rodeo. Wish us luck! The idea is that West Laurel Hill will host on its website (“Artistry Above Ground”) links to as many vendors as have an on-line store, so that the public can visit and potentially buy such things as steampunk clothing, coffin-nail necklaces, and dead things in jars. (Not joking about the coffin-nail necklaces, Mockingbird Lane Artistries has them!)

Link to "Artistry Above Ground:"

When the page is updated on May 28, 2020, links will be available for all the vendors, including me. You'll see a link to my “Stone Angels” ETSY shop. Or, if you'd like, you can click here to be teleported directly to my shop.

I’ve put up some new items just for the “Artistry Above Ground Virtual Market” (like the masked and dangerous statuary image above, made in Laurel Hill Cemetery last week). You’ll see some surprises there. Typically, my two books, “Stone Angels” (Blurb) and “The Cemetery Traveler” (Amazon) are only available (unsigned) from the publisher or (signed) at shows. For this 3-day-event, I am offering signed copies of the books if you purchase them from the ETSY shop. 

Also, my photographic prints are typically unsigned, but I will sign those as well, and include an extra special surprise photo with your purchase. There are some gruesome things lurking in there, so be prepared – death is not always pretty.

“Secrets from a Cemetery Underwater”

In addition, “Artistry Above Ground” will feature a ticketed event for Saturday, May 30, 2020, at 5 p.m. – an on-line presentation by me, entitled “Secrets from a Cemetery Underwater.” Hmmm. Now what could THAT be about? If you’ve read my blog or purchased a copy of my book by the same name, “The Cemetery Traveler,” you might guess it will be about the 1956 destruction of the Victorian-era Monument Cemetery in Philadelphia. And you would be correct.

In the 1950s, Temple University wanted the land across Broad Street to build a parking lot for its commuter students. Unfortunately, the land was occupied by Monument Cemetery, the second Victorian Garden Cemetery established in Philadelphia (in 1837, right after Laurel Hill). As the owners wouldn’t sell, Temple managed to have the city of Philadelphia condemn the property, remove the graves, and sell the land to Temple. In 1956, many of the 28,000 graves were removed and the headstones and monuments dumped into the Delaware River – where they remain to this day. Hence the title, “Secrets from a Cemetery Underwater.”

I do hope you will join me for the this Zoom presentation (my in-house IT consultant, a.k.a. my ten-year-old daughter Olivia, taught me how to use Zoom). There will be a Q&A session afterword (chat your questions and I’ll answer them live for all to hear). 

Links to Sarah Amendola’s Mockingbird Lane Artistries:

Ed Snyder’s Stone Angels ETSY Shop: