Coal Miner's Fodder
Around 2001, I had the idea of forming a sort of 'art performance' group. Not a dance group, or group of guys painting in public—a performance group which mixed silly comedy with a wide interpretation of art-related viewpoints. I asked a few friends of mine to join in this venture: Rick Blasdell (talented graphic designer), Gene Hosey (well-known regional poet... and more of him in an upcoming post), Jeff King (terrific magazine designer), and Russ Cox (gifted and popular illustrator). Considering a name for the group, I drew from my family origins of coal miners (my father was deep in a mine the day I was born) and suggested Anthracite (that's the harder, longer-burning coal). We performed a few times but, even better, we published a few things: An interactive CD-ROM, a radio show recording, and a book (Anthracite One). We each assigned ourselves a couple of sections in the book and created whatever we could conjure. Writings, poems, photographs, illustrations... whatever. We had a few auxillary contributors: Bill Spinner and Janette Toth. One of my sections focused on 'alternate uses for a designer.' My only regret about the group is that we didn't do more and last longer. But, it was challenging to do such work and still maintain an income.