MICHAEL AND MAUREEN BANNER, the best silversmiths, and I'm not just saying that because they're also my sister and brother-in-law.
Their work is featured in the Smithsonian Institution's Luce Foundation Center for American Art in Washington, D.C. On the Smithsonian's website, there's a photo of their silver teapot, a charming video of them demonstrating how they work (and a photo of them that I took).
EDNA ARNOW, my mother, was a studio potter. She worked in Chicago from the 1950s through the '70s. Now her stoneware is celebrated as mid-century modern. My sister scanned some photos of the art fairs and pottery (taken by our dad, Robert Arnow), and I made a couple of web pages with them.
HARRIETTE AND HAROLD ARNOW, my aunt and uncle, were writers who met working on the Works Progress Administration Writer's Project in Cincinnati. They dreamed of getting through the Depression as subsistance farmers in Harriette's home area of Eastern Kentucky, writing in their spare time. What dreamers. Today, their farm by Lake Cumberland, which has come to me, is overgrown with trees, and the house has collapsed. However, most of the land, 136 acres, is now protected from mining, drilling, and development by a conservation easement held by the federal government. Here are some pictures and a bit of the history of the place. And here are photos of the region, the farm, the Arnow family and friends from the 1970s to the present.
An East Tennessee finish carpenter with a special affinity for building wonderful staircases, TOBY WILKINS is a careful craftsman and a great friend. He works mostly around the Southern mountains--Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia, but likes to explore, so can easily be lured to other parts of the country (even New York City) to work on restoring and recreating older styles of architectural detail and doing other projects. I made a website for him, Custom Carpentry by Toby Wilkins.
JENNIFER MILLER is a wonderful landscape and portrait painter in North Carolina. Also a wonderful friend.
This is a painting she did that was a departure from her plein aire work. She went to her friends' homes and chose a spot that seemed to tell something about who they were. This one is our kitchen. The bagel, tattered sponge, red kettle, that's a good portrait of who we are. But, um, what's the story with all those knives?
ANN ROPP, painter. "Body of Water" series watercolor on paper. She is just so good. And a true friend in East Tennessee.
TERRY J. ALLEN is a friend and a kick-ass journalist in Vermont. She writes a column for In These Times and reports for VTDigger, among others. Really good photographer, too.
MARCELLA ARNOW, my first cousin, was born in Kentucky, reared in Michigan, and went to the London School of Economics. She lived in Brooklyn for a long time (and instilled inme an appreciation of New York). She later had a good life in Winchester, England. She died Feb. 14, 2010. Since many of her family and friends are scattered around, I put up some web pages about her funeral.
LE AND JULIAN WILLIAMS, my aunt and uncle, were unsung artists in San Francisco. Their kids had a show for them at Fort Mason in San Francisco in August 2006. I posted pictures of that show—and family and friends who attended.
CHICAGOANS IN HELL This is the best Chicago joke and
has everything in it I love about my home town. Oh, except the hot dogs.
Picture of Patricia Arnow by the 'el' on Sheffield Ave. Steve Giles took this when I worked in Chicago for In These Times in 1997.
ROPPO'S BED & BREAKFAST Ann Ropp's brother runs a rogue B&B in Carthage, Ill. Check it out but don't check in. At right is the mini-bar.