Loren Damewood

Loren DamewoodLoren has been tying knots in anything that will let him for more than half a century, and enjoys teaching others to do so. When he uses precious metal, it results in beautiful jewelry.

 

Chris Semtner

Chris SemtnerThe Curator of the Edgar Allan Poe Museum, Chris Semtner has written several books on topics including Edgar Allan Poe, visual art, and cryptography in addition to contributing articles to Biography.com, Resources for American Literary Studies, Crime Writers’ Chronicle, and The Edgar Allan Poe Review. Semtner has been interviewed on the BBC, PBS, Travel Channel, Military History, NPR, CNN, and other networks. He has spoken about a variety of unusual, obscure, and macabre subjects to groups around the country and as far away as Japan. An internationally exhibited fine artist, Semtner’s paintings have entered numerous public collections including the Virginia Historical Society and the University of Maryland. He has exhibited paintings at Viktor Wynd Fine Art, London; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia; and the Science Museum of Virginia, Richmond. Semtner currently co-hosts the web series The Raven Lunatics with comic writer and publisher Dwight MacPherson. He has also collaborated on Poe-themed performing arts projects for the Latin Ballet of Virginia, Engaging History Productions, the Friends of Shockoe Hill Cemetery, and other groups. Semtner’s most recent book, The Poe Shrine: Building the World’s Finest Edgar Allan Poe Collection, tells the strange stories behind the Poe Museum’s artifacts. You can see Semtner’s art and learn more about his books at ChrisSemtner.com or learn more about the Poe Museum at PoeMuseum.org.

 

Heidi Hooper

Heidi HooperHeidi Hooper is the Dryer Lint Lady — Believe it or Not.

A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s sculpture department, she later studied for her master’s at the University of California Long Beach and the Massachusetts College of Art (where she also taught for a year). After cancer ate most of her upper arm, she has tried to find new ways of making art and has become the nation’s leading dryer lint artist.

Her work is showing in Ripley’s Believe it or Not museums around the world, and Heidi was featured in their books. Her work is also currently showing in galleries in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

After Consumer Reports called her “The Andy Warhol of Dryer Lint” she made a piece called “Andy Warhol in Dryer Lint” which won her the prestigious Niche Award for recycled art. Last year, she won again, making her one of the few artists to do so.

She has been the Artist Guest of Honor at Albacon and Heliosphere.

Heidi is also one of the founders of modern live action role-playing games in North America, running Alliance LARP with her husband, writer Michael A. Ventrella.

Her web page is HeidiHooper.com.