Wooden boxes as smooth as leather-bound books, glass melted and pulled into vines, embroidered landscapes as fine as paintings — Memorial Day weekend brings the Paradise City Arts Festival to Northampton.
In the photo at the top, Cake n’ Chit-Chat, Dwight Baird walks the backstreets of Havana, Cuba. This is one in a series of paintings with old men playing dominos and rolling cigars, women dancing to a Latin beat in doorways, and vintage cars rolling down the road. (Photo courtesy of Paradise City)
Vicente Garcia demonstrates on the potter’s wheel at Paradise City Arts Festival. A ceramist and college professor, Garcia is also a sculptor of large-scale metal structures. He will share the secrets of his studio every day at the Festival. Photo courtesy of Paradise City Arts Festival in Northampton
Dwight Baird lives on the border between Canada and New York State, but his heart resides in the tropics. Baird’s current series of paintings shows the people of Cuba. These sun-drenched works move through the backstreets of Havana, with old men playing dominos and rolling cigars, women swaying to a Latin beat in mysterious doorways and vintage cars rolling slowly down the road. Photo courtesy of Paradise City Arts Festival in Northampton
Catherine Cantara is a ceramist who makes functional stoneware, raku-fired and pit-fired (smoke) pottery. She says, “My work is influenced by the beautiful landscape that surrounds my studio. The rugged seacoast, the woods behind my house, the sky and earth all play a part in the shapes and colors I use in my pieces.” She incorporates horsehair and metallic lustre glazes into many of her very distinctive raku-fired pieces. Crow Bowl is raku-fired pottery with horsehair. Photo courtesy of Paradise City Arts Festival
Maine painter Lori Austill’s exuberant encaustics, with their depth and rich surfaces, celebrate color, texture, movement, and life. Photo courtesy of Paradise City Arts Festival in Northampton
Stephen Procter creates enormous vessels from clay. He loves the sense of presence they emanate, the sensuous language of their curves, the way they beckon the viewer to approach and touch. He builds his large pieces in many stages, joining damp sections in a modified version of the coil-and-throw method found in many ancient cultures. Although he works on a potter’s wheel, his approach is essentially sculptural. Each massive pot is a powerful and mesmerizing focal point, whether placed in a garden, a living space, a grouping or as part of a collection of large-scale sculpture. “Monumental Bottle”, hand thrown and coiled unglazed stoneware. 34″ x 62″.
All manner of wild things, from bronze herons and glass-eyed dragonflies to towering giraffes, line new Sculpture Promenade — giant clay pots, stone fountains, outdoor seating, birdbaths. Photo courtesy of Paradise City Arts Festival in Northampton
Take warriors from ancient Greece, put them in an epic battle with medieval knights, add the imagination of metal sculptor Matthew Evald Johnson, and the result is Chess mastery. Photo courtesy of Paradise City Arts Festival in Northampton