From the Editor’s Desk
“Stories are medicine. I have been taken with stories sinceI heard my first. They have such power; they do not require that we do, be, act, anything — we need only listen.”
—Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Welcome to the Winter 2006 edition of the Journal of Mythic Arts, a Special Issue focused on tales of illness and calamity, healing and transformation.
There has long been a mythic link between storytelling and the healing arts — so much so that in some ancient societies storytellers and healers were one and the same. Stories are valued in many indigenous cultures not only for their entertainment value but also as a means to pass on cultural teachings — including practices intended to prevent imbalance and illness (both physical and mental),and to help overcome ordeals of disease, calamity, or trauma. In some shamanic traditions, magical tales are told in a ritual manner to facilitate specific acts of healing. In Korea, for example, a well–known fairy tale called Shimchong, the Blind Man’s Daughter, a variant of Beauty and the Beast, plays a role in traditional healing rites related to eyesight. "The ‘patient’ is supposed to be healed precisely at the climax of the story," explains folklorist Heinz Insu Fenkl, "when Old Man Shim opens his eyes and sees his long–lost daughter."
Storytelling is also an important part of shamanism in Siberia, where, as in Korea, it is often women who perform shamanic healing rites. "Oral storytelling is the way shamans themselves convey spiritual truths," writes Kira Van Duesen in The Flying Tiger: Women Shamans and Storytellers of the Amur. "[T]hrough the power of words and sounds, stories and songs act directly on the listener to bring about healing and spiritual growth. More important thanthe content of the tales is the process of telling them — the way a storyteller chooses the tale, the details added or removed, the tone — all these make storytelling a spiritual act. Stories and songs are not objects or artifacts but living beings."
In her popular book Women Who Run With the Wolves, psychologist and folklorist Clarissa Pinkola Estes writes of the healing powers of Hispanic "trance–tellers" who enter into a trance state "between worlds" in order to "attract" a story to them. Such stories are said to contain the mythic information the listeners most need to hear. "The trance–teller calls on El Duende," says Estes, "the wind that blows soul into the faces of listeners. A trance–teller learns to be psychically double–jointed throughthe meditative practice of story, that is, training oneself to undo certain psychic gates and ego apertures in order to let the voice speak, the voice that is older than the stones. When this is done, the story may take any trail . . . The teller never knows how it will all come out, and that is at least half of the moist magic of the story."
In many Native American cultures, illness indicates that the patient’s life, spirit, or relationships have gone out of balance and harmony; a restoration of spiritual balance is required before a physical illness can be cured. Among the Navajo, health and longevity are attained by "walking in beauty," living in harmony within oneself and with the natural world. If this harmony is lost, it can be restored through elaborate, days–long ceremonies during which some of the most ancient, sacred stories of the tribe are chanted and painted in sand. In the traditional lore of the Tohono O’Odham tribe,disease is caused by improper relationships with the bird and animal worlds. The repetition of certain stories and songs brings these relationships back into harmony and the sufferer back to health. We find a similar approach in the healing practices of the traditional Gaelic culture in Scotland — of which the leading characteristics, writes Noragh Jones, "are an instinctive ability to gather healing plants from their own locality when they are sick; a heritage of herbal remedies handed on from mother to daughter which have been tried and tested in everyday situations — part of the informal education of the household; a sense that illness is some kind of imbalance in the individual,and so mind and body and spirit must be treated as a whole; and a conviction that healing is a spiritual resource as well as a physical process." (Power of Raven, Wisdom of Serpent: Celtic Women’s Spirituality.)
Herbalists and hedge–witches of the British Isles once used stories not only as a means to preserve information about the medicinal properties of plants, but also as a means of communicating with the spirits of the plants themselves. In trance states induced by ritual fasting, prayer, or the use of hallucinogenic mushrooms, they communed with the plants in order to learn the best ways to gather, preserve, and use them. Likewise, the stories told by Siberian shamans weren’t always meant for human ears but for the various plant, animal, and supernatural spirits who aided in their rites of healing. The medicine men and women of the various Indian tribes living in the Amazon have long been renown for their deepknowledge of the healing properties of plants, sometimes gained during trances induced by hallucinogenics such as ayahuaska. A relationship must be established between the healer and the plant in question, however. In Plant Spirit Medicine, Eliot Cowan tells the tale of an American friend in the Amazon. The man meets a hunter–shaman who takes him on a long walk through the jungle, pointing out plants and listing the various ways he has used them to heal. The American wants to write this all down, which makes the shaman howl with laughter. No, no, he explains, "that was just to introduce you to some of the plants. If you actually want to use a plant yourself,the spirit of the plant must come to you in dreams. If the spirit tells you how to prepare it and what it will cure, you can use it. Otherwise it won’t work for you."
"There is a plant for everything in the world; all you have to do is find it," an old herb–woman in the Louisiana Bayou told folklorist Ruth Bass in 1920s. And there’s a folk story attached to nearly every plant — as volumes of folklore and herb lore from all around the world can attest. The history of modern medicine is rooted in the history of folk medicine, entwined with myths, folk tales, fairy tales, and the homespun magics of countryside healers. I recommend two wonderful novels (which happen to be by two of my favorite writers) exploring the connections between folk medicine, myth, spirituality, and the mysteries of Mother Earth: The Limits of Enchantment by Graham Joyce and The Hummingbird’s Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea.The first of these, The Limits of Enchantment, set in the deep green hills of the English countryside in 1966, is a story about a hedgerow healer and midwife, the apprenticeship of her adopted daughter, and their struggle to maintain an ancient way of life in the modern world. The Hummingbird’s Daughter, by contrast, is set in the dusty brown hills of northern México in the years before the Mexican Revolution. The novel is based on the real–life story of the author’s great–Aunt Teresita, the illegitimate child of a prosperous rancher and a Yaqui Indian girl. Apprenticed to an Indian medicine woman, Teresita demonstrated such miraculous healing powers that her fame spread through northern México, leading to denunciation by the Catholic church and accusations of fomenting an Indian uprising. Both of these novels are coming–of–age stories about young women with remarkable gifts, looking at the ways that "women’s wisdom"is passed down through the generations — and how those gifts are both feared and revered in a world uncomfortable with Mystery.
In addition to fiction about folk medicine and beliefs, there are also stories that turn folk tales and fairy tales themselves into healing narratives, using their themes to explore issues of survival and transformation. The Armless Maiden (and Other Tales for Childhood’s Survivors) is a collection of contemporary stories and poems inspired by fairy tales, focused on the subject of child abuse. The book is aimed at adult survivors of childhood trauma, employing the language of fantasy as a means of entering that dark wood — and of finding within it the signs and guides that can lead us out again. Likewise, Robin McKinley’s novel Deerskin is a re–telling of a classic fairy tale about a heroine who must flee from the sexual advances of her own father.Peg Kerr’s The Wild Swans makes use of another well known fairy tale to weave together two stories: one about a teenage girl accused of witchcraft in 1689, and one about a contemporary teenage boy stricken with AIDS. "Wolf’s Heart" by Tappan King is haunting story that employs a simple fairy tale form to explore the "survivor’s guilt" of male siblings in abusive families. "Silver and Gold" by Emma Bull is the story of an apprentice healer in a magical imaginary land. It’s a shamanistic tale with a fairy tale feel, rooted in the "medicine" of the natural world.
In Native American traditions, the word "medicine" does not refer to the pills or tonics we take to cure an illness but to anything that has spiritual power, and that helps to keep us "walking in beauty." Words can be strong medicine. Stories can touch our hearts and souls; they can point the way to healing and transformation. Our own lives are stories that we write from day to day; they are journeys through the dark of the fairy tale woods. The tales of previous travellers through the woods have been handed down through the generations in the poetic, symbolic language of folklore and myth; where we step, someone has stepped before, and their stories can help light the way.
In this Issue
In our Reading Room this month: Heinz Insu Fenkl presents a fascinating new article exploring the connection between storytelling and healing. Midori Snyder discusses hero narratives for women while looking at the Armless Maiden tale in folklore, art, and life. Kim Antieau discusses a related folk tale, Silver Hands, in her new essay "The Wounded Wild," a personal reflection on what that tale has meant to her as she struggles with chronic illness. My own contribution is an expanded version of my essay on Rites-of-Passage tales (originally published in 1999),examining the ways myth and mythic fiction can serve to illuminate periods of crisis, illness, and transformation.
We have two brand new fiction offerings this time. Jubilee is a powerful new story by Tim Pratt about trauma, loss, and suicidal fish. How Master Madman Came to Ch’ing Feng Temple by Heinz Insu Fenkl is an imaginary tale of China’s T’ang Dynasty, a dark story of death, dismemberment, and the soul’s awakening.
Look in the Reading Room archives for other good pieces on the subject of healing and transformation: Ellen Steiber’s moving essay on the Brother and Sister fairy tale, Heinz Insu Fenkl’s explanation of the shamanic aspects of Shimchong, The Blind Man’s Daughter (a Korean variant of The Beauty and the Beast), Helen Pilinovsky’s survey of contemporary fiction based on the "incest" fairy tale Donkeyskin (a.ka.a Deerskin and Allerleirauh), and my essay/memoir "Transformations" discussing the importance of fairy tales to children from abusive homes. (It can be found half–way down a page devoted to theart of Adrienne Ségur).
In the Crossroads, our section on cross–media arts, we offer an article on the African–inspired, Brazilian Ex–Voto, symbols of healing miracles, by Beate Echols.
In the Gallery, we feature drawings, paintings, and three–dimensional works by 16 female fairy tale artists from the 19th to 21st centuries, accompanied by text exploring the history and transformational aspects of women’s tales. We also present an updated exhibition of the mythic paintings of Mark Wagner, a Bay Area artist whose work is rooted in global mythology, visionary storytelling, the healing arts, and the world of nature.
In the Coffeehouse, you’ll find myth and fairy tale inspired poems from some of the finest poets in North America: Margarita Engle and Diane Thiel examine the enduring power of traditional stories; Margaret Atwood, Rigoberto González, and Elline Lipkin are inspired by the tale The Handless Maiden; Wendy McVicker revisits the mythic story of Pandora’s box;Rebecca Baggett meditates on the flight of Icarus; and Mario Milosevic conjures the luminous angels of language itself.
Contributor’s Notes for all the writers and artists whose work appears in this issue can be found at the bottom of this page.
Endicott Studio News
The Endicott Studio will be participating in two conferences this year: the 30th anniversary of Wiscon, a convention devoted to feminism in speculative fiction, held in Madison, Wiscon at the end of May; and the 2nd Mythic Journeys conference held in Atlanta, Georgia in early June. Midori and I will attending and speaking at both events, along with other Endicott contributors including Charles Vess, Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman, and Heinz Insu Fenkl. We hope we’ll see some of you there.
We’ve got three new art prints for sale this year, as well as t–shirts with Endicott”s "Hedgerow Nester" logo, on the Friends of Endicott page. All proceeds go to keeping the Journal of Mythic Arts online. Please don’t forget that when you purchase books from Amazon.com via the links on these pages, you also help to keep this site onine — as well as supporting the Endicott children’s charities.
We’ve begun work on the next issue of the Journal of Mythic Arts (Spring 2006), focusing on death and rebirth in myth and fairy tales. We’ll also have new Book Recommendations for you this spring in the Scuttlebutt section of this site. Until then, please visit the Endicott Bulletin Board for updates on myth and fairy tale related publications, events, etc. We invite you to post your own book recommendations there as well, and links to your own mythic websites, publications, and projects. For online myth and fairy tale discussions, please visit the Surlalune Discussion Board, moderated by Heidi Anne Heiner.
Thanks, once again, for dropping by the Endicott Studio. May all your own stories be healing and transformative.
Contributor’s Notes, Winter 2006
Margaret Atwood is the author of numerous works of fiction and poetry, including The Handmaid’s Tale, Cat’s Eye, Wilderness Tips, Alias Grace, Morning in the Burned House, Eating Fire: Selected Poems (1965–1995), and The Blind Assassin (winner of the 2000 Booker Prize), as well as children’s books and literary criticism.Her long–standing interest in myths and fairy tales is evident in such works "Bluebeard’s Egg" (a story published in her collection of the same title), "Of Souls as Birds" (as essay published in Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, edited by Kate Bernheimer), and her novels The Robber Bride and The Penelopiad. Atwood lives in Canada, where she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1973,promoted to Companion in 1981. For more information on the author, please visit her "O.W. Toad" website.
Kim Antieau is the author of the novels Coyote Cowgirl, The Jigsaw Woman, and The Gaia Websters, as well as works of short fiction, nonfiction and poetry. She is also a librarian and researcher, with a life–long interest in myth and folklore. Antieau was born in Louisiana, raised in Michigan, and now lives in Washington State with her husband, writer Mario Milosevic. She maintains a blog on myth, writing, and wilderness issues called Furious Spinner, and is also a dedicated environmental and peace activist. For more information, please visit her Endicott Bio page
Rebecca Baggett has published two poetry collections, Still Life with Children (winner of the 1995 National Looking Glass Chapbook Competition) and Rebecca Baggett: Greatest Hits. Her poems, short stories, and essays have appeared in many journals and anthologies including New England Review, North American Review, Ms., and Utne Reader. Baggett lives in Athens, Georgia, where she works at the University of Georgia as an academic advisor for the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. More information on the author can be found on the Franklin College website.
Beate Echols has written and lectured on art from the Americas and self-taught artists since 1995, both in New York City and elsewhere. From 1997 until 2004 she was on the teaching faculty of the Folk Art Institute at the American Folk Art Museum where she taught courses on Latin American and Latino art, cultures and traditions. She has been a lender to major museums for exhibitions of works by self–taught and visionary artists (such as the American Visionary Art Museum, El Museo del Barrio, and the San Antonio Museum of Art)and worked on a number of curatorial projects.She has also published articles for Raw Vision Magazine #20 and Raw Vision #47, the Folk Art Messenger (#61), and other publications. To view her remarkable Gallery offerings of Latin American Art and more of her collection of Brazilian Ex–Votos, please visit her website, Mariposa.
Margarita Engle is the Cuban–American author of Singing to Cuba, Skywriting, and The Poet–Slave: A Biography in Poems of Juan Francisco Manzano. Her work has appeared in Atlanta Review, California Quarterly, Caribbean Writer, Hawai’i Pacific Review, and Thema. Her most recent book is Word Wings, a collection of poems for children. Engle lives in central California, where she works as a botanist and agronomist. Other poems by the authorcan be found online here and here.
Heinz Insu Fenkl is the Korean–American author of Memories of My Ghost Brother (a magical autobiographical novel nominated for the PEN Hemingway Award), co–author of Shadows Bend (a dark fantasy about pulp writers Robert E. Howard, H.P. Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith), co–editor of Kori (a Korean–American fiction anthology), the translator of various works of Korean literature, and a contributor of folklore columns to Realms of Fantasy magazine. Fenkl was raised in Korea, Germany, and the U.S., and currently lives in upstate New York with his wife and daughter.He teaches creative writing at the State University of New York, New Paltz, and is the director of ISIS: The Interstitial Studies Institute. For more information, please visit his Endicott bio page.
Beckian Fritz Goldberg is the author of three volumes of poetry: Body Betrayer, In the Badlands of Desire, and Never Be the Horse, and of a limited edition chapbook: Twentieth Century Children. Her work has appeared in anthologies and journals including The American Poetry Review, The Best American Poetry 1995, Field, The Gettysburg Review, Indiana Review, The Iowa Review, New American Poets of the 90s and The Massachusetts Review. She has been awarded the Theodore Roethke Poetry Prize, The Gettysburg Review Annual Poetry Award, The University of Akron Press Poetry Prize, and a Pushcart Prize. Currently, Goldberg teaches Creative Writing at Arizona State University.More information on the author can be found here.
Rigoberto Gonzбlez was born in California and spent much of his childhood in Michoacán, México. He is Associate Professor of English and Latino Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana–Champaign and is Contributing Editor to Poets and Writers magazine. González is the author of the poetry collection So Often the Pitcher Goes to Water Until it Breaks, the novel Crossing Vines, and two bilingual children’s books, Soledad Sigh–Sighs / Soledad Suspiros and Antonio’s Card / La Tarjeta de Antonio. His poems have also appeared in several anthologiesincluding American Poetry: Next Generation and The Poets’ Grimm: 20th Century Poems from Grimms’ Fairy Tales. For more information on the author, please visit his website.
Elline Lipkin grew up in Miami, attended Wesleyan University, and received her MFA in Poetry from Columbia University and her Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston. She has been a freelance editor in New York and Paris, and currently is a Postdoctoral Scholar with the Beatrice M. Bain Research Group on Gender at the University of California at Berkeley, where she is also a Lecturer. Her first poetry collection, The Errant Thread, was selected by Eavan Boland for the 2004 First Book Award from Kore Press. She also studies and writes about spatial and visual elements in American women’s poetry and the artist’s book.
Wendy McVicker lives and writes in the beautiful green hills of Athens, Ohio. Her poems have appeared in Appalachian Women’s Journal, Confluence, Riverwind, and Whiskey Island, among other publications. She is a teaching poet with the Ohio Arts Council’s Arts in Education program, and has been inciting poetry in schools, libraries, galleries, and community centers since 1987. In her poetry, she seeks "to honor memory and the slow, deep process of knowing." More of her poems can be read online here.
Mario Milosevic is a fiction writer and poet whose work has appeared in numerous magazines and journals, including Asimov’s, The Amherst Review, Light Quarterly, Rosebud, Black Warrior Review, and previous issues of The Journal of Mythic Arts, as well as in the anthology Poets Against the War. His poetry has been collected in two volumes, Animal Life and Fantasy Life. Milosevic lives with his wife, writer Kim Antieau, in Washington state. For more information, please visit his Endicott bio page.
Tim Pratt’s fiction and poetry has appeared in The Best American Short Stories: 2005, The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, Strange Horizons, Realms of Fantasy, Asimov’s, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, and Year’s Best Fantasy. He is the author of one novel, The Strange Adventures of Rangergirl, and one story collection, Little Gods. A second story collection, Hart & Boot & Other Stories, is forthcoming from Night Shade Books. He has been nominated for the Nebula Award, was a finalist for the Campbell Award, and won the Rhysling Award for poetry in 2005.Pratt lives in Oakland, California, where he works as an editor and reviewer for Locus Magazine, and co–edits a ‘zine, Flytrap, with his wife, Heather Shaw. For more information, please visit his website.
Midori Snyder grew up in the U.S. and Africa, and currently lives with her husband in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She has written seven novels for adults and children, as well as many works of short fiction. She won the Mythopoeic Award for The Innamorati, a "Commedia dell’Arte" novel inspired by living in northern Italy. Her most recent novel is a contemporary fantasy for teenagers, Hannah’s Garden. Snyder is co–director of the Endicott Studio, and co–editor of the Journal of Mythic Arts. For more information, please visit her Endicott bio page.
Diane Thiel is the author of six books of poetry and nonfiction: Echolocations; Writing Your Rhythm: Using Nature, Culture, Form and Myth; The White Horse: A Colombian Journey; Resistance Fantasies; Crossroads; Open Roads; and Cleft in the Wall. Her work has appeared in numerous publications and anthologies including Poetry, The Hudson Review, Best American Poetry 1999, Twentieth Century American Poetry, and The Poets’ Grimm. She has won the Robert Frost Award, the Robinson Jeffers Award, the New Millennium Writings Award, and the Nicholas Roerich Prize. Thiel has lived in various countries in Europe and South America,and was a Fulbright Scholar in Odessa, on the Black Sea, in 2001–2002. She is currently an Associate Professor of English/Creative Writing at the University of New Mexico. For more information on the author, please visit her website.
Mara Brendt Friedman has been an artist for most of her life, but her main body of work was born during the years when she lived on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, stirred up and released by the powerful experience of Hurricane Iniki. Friedman relocated to a country town in the Pacific Northwest in 1994, where she co–founded New Moon Visions (a small publishing company) with her partner Bob Friedman, and the STREAM School of Art (offering classes in "creative sacred play" to women and girls) with her sister Karen Russo.She draws inspiration from Buddhist teachings, Sufi poetry, the art of indigenous cultures around the world, the cycles of the seasons, and universal symbols and forms. Her paintings have been featured in exhibitions including Ancient Spirit, Modern Voice (The Mythic Journeys conference, Atlanta, Georgia) and in publications including calendars, cards, and The Triple Goddess Tarot, co–created with writer Isha Lerner (Bear & Co). To see more of her work, and to purchase prints and cards, please visit the New Moon Visions website.
Virginia Lee was born in Devon, England in 1976, studied Art and Design at Exeter College, and received a degree in Illustration from Kingston University in London. She then worked as a sculptor on the New Zealand set of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings film trilogy. She now lives in Brighton, where she is illustrating two children’s books for Frances Lincoln, Publisher. Lee works in a variety of media, including oils, pastels, pencils, watercolors, fimo, and clay. For more information, please visit her Endicott bio page.
Caz Love was born in Boston in 1971, and now makes her home in Los Angeles. She studied at CalArts, and at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Love specializes in three–dimensional work incorporating conceptual, craft–based and mixed–media elements, often using garments as representations of a woman’s body and her experiences. Among recent works is an installation inspired by the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale. She describes it as "an homage to the thorns and raptures, the innocence of first kisses and schoolgirl crushes, the beauty and magnitude of true love, and the wounds of loves’ endings."To see more of her work, please visit her website.
Fernando Olivera was born in Oaxaca, México in 1962, and studied art at the Escuela de Bellas Artes at the Benito Juarez University in Oaxaca. He went on to study lithography with Japanese print–maker Shinzaburo Takeda at the Taller de Artes Rufino Tamayo. His art has been featured in international exhibitions including "Myth & Magic: Oaxaca Past and Present," organized by the Palo Alto Cultural Center in 1994. His work was also included in The Tree is Older than You Are, a 1995 collection of Mexican poems and stories, and he illustrated the award–winning children’s book, The Woman Who Outshone the Sun, based on a Mixtec folk tale.More of Olivera’s imagery can be seen online on the Indigo Arts Gallery’s "A Magical Reality: Art from Oaxaca, Mйxico" web page.
John Jude Palencar’s award–winning paintings have appeared on hundreds of book covers in over thirty countries and in publications including TIME Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, National Geographic Magazine and Television, and IDEA Magazine in Japan. His paintings have been featured in the exhibition "Images of Ireland" held at the National Museum in Dublin; in the exhibition "As Seen From Ohio: Nine Illustrators" at the Centro Cultural Recoleta in Argentina;in "The Spectrum Retrospective Exhibition" held at The Society of Illustrators Museum of American Illustration in New York City; and in group exhibitions at university museums and galleries across the U.S. To see more of Palencar’s distinctive paintings, please visit his website. A 2006 calendar of his work is currently available in most bookstores and on Amazon.
Helena Nelson Reed was born in Seattle, Washington, and grew up in Marin County and Napa Valley, California. Although she attended the American Academy of Art in Chicago for two years, she is a largely self–taught artist. Her educational emphasis has been on abnormal psychology (cult/occult duo diagnosis) and on art history, primarily focused on the historical, devotional folk and fine art traditions of Southeast Asia and Japan. Her imagery is inspired by myth, fairy tales, legends, and mysticism, as well as by cultures, religions, spiritual paths and societies different from her own. To see more of the artist’s work,and to purchase her prints, please visit the Lapizmoon Studio website.
John Roy was born in New Zealand and trained at Wanganui Polytechnic, graduating with a B.F.A. majoring in Ceramics in 1997. He won the Student Art Award from the Friends of the Dowse Art Museum in the same year. He has also won the Portage Ceramics Award, Waiheke Ceramics Award, Molly Morpeth Canaday CD Award for Ceramics, and a Premier Award from the New Zealand Society of Potters 45th National Exhibition. He exhibits his work throughout New Zealand. To view more of Roy’s ceramics, visit theArtfind.co.nz website.
Jeanie Tomanek lives in Marietta, Georgia, and is represented by Trinity Gallery in Atlanta. Her paintings have appeared in many juried exhibitions throughout the Southeast, and can be found in numerous public and private collections in the United States and Europe. "Literature, folktales and myths often inspire my exploration of the feminine archetype," she writers. "My figures often bear the scars and imperfections, that, to me, characterize the struggle to become. In my work I use oils, acrylic, pencil and thin glazes to create a multi–layered surface that may be scratched through, written on, or painted over to reveal and excavate the images that feel right for the work."Also a poet, Tomanek’s poems have appeared in Poets, Artists and Madmen, The Birmingham Poetry Review and Poetry Motel. For more information on the artist and her work, please visit her website.
Mark Wagner works in a variety of forms from traditional painting to digital mediums, using archetypal symbolism to create images of personal and cultural transformation. Wagner grew up in Pennsylvania Dutch country and went on to study art at Kutztown State University (Pennsylvania), Pratt Institute (New York), and John F. Kennedy University (California), receiving his Masters Degree from the latter in 1996. He exhibits his paintings in the U.S. and abroad; he is also an illustrator, teacher, arts activist, and has worked on a variety of films including Dreamkeeper, Taking the Wheel, Terminator 3, The Book of Stars, and The Face.Mark lives in the Bay Area of California with his wife, writer Laurie Wagner, and their two daughters. For more information, please visit his Endicott bio page.
Biographical notes on the 16 artists featured in "Old Wives Tales" in the Endicott Gallery can be found here