Thanks to Shannon Eileen’s blog post, I have discovered something else to get excited about. Because I’m not already overly-excited about so many happenings and happynings.
Begun as a roadside folk art show in 1996, inspired by the Burning Man festival, the Doo-Nanny is now located on a beautiful 80 acre farm in Seale, Alabama. It includes a wacky “lo-fi” film festival, fun food, the Possum Trot auction, and an eclectic assortment of music and activities. Not to mention the Doo Nanny Burn. When I read the following invitation on the festival website, there was no doubt in my mind that they were talking to the Coryells:
Come all ye inventors, movie makers, ballerinas, bikers, morticians, bakers, artists, conspiracy theorists, scientists, foodies, eco-whatevers, moonshiners, comedians, fire-spinners, yodelers, he-shes, animal-trainers, pickle-makers, party girls, sock monkeys, stackers, jugglers, musicians, whittlers, spankers, fisherpersons, beggers, wanderers, and map-makers…….
The Outsider Art Show is primarily rooted in southern folk art, but the doors of interpretation are wide open. Oh my goodness. The plan is hatching. Somehow, I have to convince the Adams Family, who now resides in nearby Columbus Georgia, to camp out with us that weekend. We could buy a vendors pass or two for $50, including camping, party admission, and admission for one helper / partner. Children are free.
Butch Anthony, also known as The Museum of Wonder, is quite the visionary. He started building his log cabin in 1988 and is still tweaking it. It is made from heart pine salvaged from an old mill in Columbus, Ga., and put together with the help of his home-made rigging — cables and pulleys strung from the branches of pine trees. Mr. Anthony made the chandeliers on a screened porch from twigs and cow bones; the 1930s quilts came from his Possum Trot auction.
Mr. Anthony dresses exclusively in Liberty bib overalls (he owns 25 pairs).
The house is built into the side of a hill, and the bedroom is half-underground, which keeps it cool in the summer. A rusty mattress spring from an antique bed makes a wall hanging; ladder-back chairs have seats woven from old ties.
A visionary man needs a visionary woman. When Ms. Chanin and Mr. Anthony met, he told her he was living in a log cabin in the woods. “But this was like a vision,” she said. Now, his aesthetic and hers — she makes hand-stitched clothes and home goods under the Alabama Chanin label — have merged. Mr. Anthony and Natalie Chanin’s 4-year-old daughter, Maggie, jumps on a bed next to a bathroom with “windows” made from “beaver sticks,” a.k.a. twigs chewed by beavers.
Mr. Anthony describes his art, which includes old family portraits (not his own) embellished with skeletons or creatures of his own imagining, as “intertwangleism.” His definition: “Inter, meaning to mix,” he said, “and twang, a distinct way of speaking. If I make up my own ‘ism,’ no one can say anything or tell me I’m doing it wrong.”
The kitchen is heated by a wood-burning stove. The mantel was salvaged from an old house being torn down nearby; the pine cones are from Longleaf pines, a historical Southern original that Mr. Anthony is reinstating on his property.
Credit goes to excellent reporting and photos from The New York Times.