Tim Brookes, a professor at Champlain College in Burlington, Vt., decided to carve signs into curly maple planks as gifts for Christmas 2009. Once that was done, he started searching for his next carving endeavor. He “stumbled upon” the issue of alphabets worldwide that are in danger of extinction and the subject has consumed him since.
Since then, he has carved an exhibition’s worth of planks and furniture and is taking his “essay in wood” and their stories around the country, sharing the cautionary tale and his insights into the one-third of the world’s alphabets that are no longer taught in schools or used for commerce.
Brookes’ “Endangered Alphabets Project” will be on exhibit at ETSU’s Slocumb Galleries from Oct. 28 to Nov. 1. Brookes will hold an opening lecture on Oct. 28 at 6 p.m. in the Ball Hall Auditorium, preceded by a reception at 5 p.m. in the galleries.
While in Johnson City, sponsored by Mary B. Martin School of the Arts and the Department of Literature & Languages, Brookes will be meeting with ETSU classes and holding a presentation for the community at Johnson City Public Library on Oct. 30 at 5:30 p.m.
The project has interested experts and the public, not only visually, but also through connections with language, history, anthropology and communication.
“Yet another collaborative effort this fall, the “Endangered Alphabets Project” was an idea brought to us by a faculty member,” said Mary B. Martin School Director Anita DeAngelis. “We liked it and the opportunities to engage so many disciplines with one event and we were able to incorporate it into our season.”
For more information about the “Endangered Alphabets Project” or Brookes, visit http://www.endangeredalphabets.com or www.timbrookesinc.com. For information on the Johnson City Public Library presentation with Brookes, call Lisa Krekelberg at 423-434-4352.
Slocumb Galleries are located in Ball Hall on ETSU’s main campus. Hours of operation are Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with extended hours for receptions.