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Looking back at Gathering of the Artist’s festival, view gallery

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Chainsaw art and live music create a great scene at the Austin Dam in Pennsylvania

Photo gallery and writing by Michael L. Whitney

From arts and crafts to music of all kinds, the third annual Gathering of the Artist’s at the Austin Dam Memorial Park had a little something for everyone. The Gathering, as it is lovingly known by all who attended, was held at the site of the Bayless Paper Mill Dam now known as the Austin Dam, which collapsed in 1911 tragically claiming the lives of over 78 people.

Officially held as a gathering of chainsaw artist’s, this event brought together artisans, crafters, and vendors of all varieties.  Live demonstrations by some of the countries best chainsaw artists including internationally known artist Pat Holbert, local favorite David Dowd and more were held throughout each day. Saturday’s carving highlight was a speed carving demonstration where each carver is given 15 minuets to complete a carving of there choice. Other daily demonstrations included iron working the old-fashioned way given by Seth Green of K & S Ironworks and meal making on an open fire demonstration given by Dam historian Alvie Fourness.

As if time stood still there were attractions such as handmade furniture, muzzle loaded firearms, handmade embroidery items, pottery and so much more. Venders had items such as handmade tie dyes from Grateful Tie Dye, hippie items such as dream catchers and cacti provided by Destany’s Dreamy Cacti & Things, and large hand drawn posters by John Doty.

If music is more your thing, there were over 27 musical acts across the stage throughout the 4-day event! Acts included such Dam favorites as the heartfelt music of WhiteFeather, who by the way is one of the nicest people you will ever meet on stage or off. Some of the musical highlights included a smoking hot set by one-time local favorites The Woodshed Prophets, these guys are old friends and I have seen them many times and this was a set to remember!

Local favorites The Diggin Roots Band performed a stellar set with favorites from the Grateful Dead, Allman Brothers and more. The Diggin Roots set was even more impressive as drummer Elliot Jackson of High Pines jumped in to join Roots Drummer Pete Gilroy in a “Grateful Dead” like 2 drummer set! The Buddhahood from Rochester was Saturday nights headline act, and they did not disappoint!  The Buddhahood, known for their multi-instrumental, powerhouse sets, The Buddhahood represents with a variety of vocal styles, percussion, guitar, horns, bass, and keys in shades of Roots, Rock, Reggae, Ska, Funk, and Afro-beat in a flavor they call “Worldternative” as each song forces you to stay on the dance floor.

And if there was any question if this was a family event, one need only to look at the sound and lighting tent where Dotzspot productions very own Andrew Dotzel was joined by his son Andrew “Tanker” Dotzel running the lights for the show. At 15 years old, this young man has an understanding of concert lightning that is WAY beyond his years. Andrew and Tanker kept the crowd jumping and thumping the entire festival!

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