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March 10, 2014

Clarksville artists join MidSouth Con 32 in Memphis March 21-23

MidSouth Con 32 is about to descend on Memphis March 21-23 with Toastmaster Lee Martindale joining  author Kelly Armstrong, artist and Paul and Michael Bielaczyc, Daniel Wallace, editor Toni Weisskopf, fan guest of honor Tim “Uncle Timmy” Bolego and “Dr. Science as Guests of Honor.

Author/Publisher Lee Martindale

Author/Publisher Lee Martindale

As a convention, MidSouth Con is 32 years young and growing with each passing year. It has an average of 120 hours of programming in multiple tracks during the Con (and that’s not counting the Video Room, Anime Room or gaming tracks). The Con offers panels or presentations on Science, Education, Space, Gaming, Fandom, Comics, Anime, Costuming, Movies, SCA, Art, Writing, and much more.

Jewelry by Gemini Dream Designs artist Kelly LaPlante

Two Clarksville artists, Kelly Anne LaPlante and Christine Piesyk of Gemini Dream Designs will both hold multiple  spots at the convention. LaPlante is a jewelry designer and artist who, in addition to holding a vendors table, will be leading hands-on panels on the craft of jewelry-making. LaPlante works with wire and all natural stones to fabricate steampunk jewelry, ear cuffs, headpieces, earrings, and more. Each piece is unique and many pieces are custom made. Some pieces use recycled materials and antique jewelry. Kelly is an art major at Austin Peay State University and has had her work on exhibit at the TAL Gallery in Nashville as well as Memphis and Clarksville.


Kelly LaPlante as Professor McGonegal. Costume by Christine Piesyk. [Photo by Turner McCullough Jr./JazzWaves Imaging]

Kelly LaPlante as Professor McGonegal. Costume by Christine Piesyk. [Photo by Turner McCullough Jr./JazzWaves Imaging]

Piesyk will again be part of panels on costume design and fabrication. With 50 years of experience in clothing and and in costume design, she re-purposes fabric and trimmings  — all as a second career and “labor of love” (her primary career has been as a writer). She makes costumes to order, a second career that began by creating costumes for her grandchildren.  She also crafts bags, headpieces and other accessories.

Both will be displaying their work as vendors in the dealer room.

Comic illustrator Keith Wood of Clarksville of Verias Art Studios will sit on several panels on Comic Illustration and will join with Author Lee Martindale for a panel discussion on copyright law and fanfiction.

The Darrell Awards are presented by the Darrell Awards Jury in association with Memphis Science and Fiction Conventions, Inc. to promote literacy in the Mid-South by recognizing the best published local science fiction, fantasy, and horror. For more information check out the Darrell Awards home site.  MidSouthCon’s annual Charity Auction Benefiting SFWA Emergency Medical Fund and other good causes.

Children’s Programming at MidSouthCon has been a great success, and once again we will have a dedicated Children’s Program Room, with lots of neat stuff for children to do. (Note: Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.) One of the most popular children’s panels is the two-hour “Chaos Costuming,” where the findings (fabric, ribbon, elastic, wire, buttons etc) are piled into the middle of the room. Youngsters of all ages pull items from the pile to make into impromptu costumes.

"This Song Is For You" by Keith Wood

“This Song Is For You” by Keith Wood

MidSouthCon is proud to announce the return of the writers’ conference open to writers of all genres. Join award winning authors, editors, and publishers for a weekend of workshops and panels as they share their insights and answer questions about the craft of writing and publishing.  It’s all set in the fun, inspiring background of the leading science fiction and fantasy convention in the MidSouth.

The weekend also includes a masquerade and Midnight Dance Party.

The event will be held at the  Hilton Memphis, 939 Ridgelake Blvd., in Memphis. Registration is $50 adults/$25 children 12 and under  at the door. All children age twelve and under must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who is a registered Member of MidSouthCon.




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