Paradise City Arts Festival brings local chefs, artists together

  • Paradise City Arts Festival will be held this weekend at the Three County Fairgrounds in Northampton. Gazette File Photo/For the Recorder

Recorder Staff
Thursday, May 24, 2018

Multiple local artists will showcase their diverse talents at Northampton’s Paradise City Arts Festival throughout Memorial Day weekend.

Overall, the event will welcome more than 200 artists from 20 states, including many from Massachusetts, at the Three County Fairgrounds Saturday through Monday. This year marks the festival’s 24th year in Northampton.

Adelle Louise Barlow — Small-batch knitwear

Adelle Louise Barlow, formerly of Los Angeles and now of Greenfield, who specializes in crocheting and knitwear, will show her work. This is her first time participating in Paradise City.

She visited the arts festival last year and loved it.

“I thought it was a great community of artists,” she said. “I’m so excited.”

In addition to hats and scarves, she also crafts shirts and sweaters. Some of her work, she said, has been featured in films and she has been hired by designers to advise on pattern drafting and design.

After Barlow moved to Greenfield four years ago, she wanted to transition from “less freelance” sewing to sewing her own line, “adellelouise,” exclusively. She participated in a trade show this past February in New York and is thrilled to participate in Paradise City. All of her pieces are made on vintage hand-knitting machines.

She plans to bring mostly lightweight summer apparel and accessories to the festival made from cotton and “very comfortable” eco-friendly bamboo yarn. Pieces for sale will include scarves, lightweight cardigans, T-shirts, and “some winter stuff” to gauge what customers want.

“I want to see my pieces on people,” she said. “That’s the goal.”

After Paradise City, Barlow is seeking out other arts events to participate in. She already has one lined up in Rhinebeck, N.Y., in June, but for now she is focusing on Paradise City and meeting potential customers face to face.

“I’m looking forward to being a first-timer there,” she said.

Ann Brauer — Contemporary quilts, accessories

Quilt maker Ann Brauer has participated in the show since the early days of its inception. This year, she’s especially excited to participate because she wants to see the renovations that have been made to the fairgrounds.

Many of her quilts and accessories are inspired by the landscapes around her. Her Shelburne Falls studio overlooks the Deerfield River, giving her artistic ideas all year-round and fueling her abstract landscape themes.

“Basically, I love color,” Brauer said. “The colors I like working with change with the seasons. Right now, I’m working with some lovely lilac place mats because that’s the color around me.”

She plans to bring around 20 large wall hangings and a variety of smaller items like place mats, eyeglass cases, potholders and table runners to the show.

“I love doing craft shows because I love talking to people and seeing how they relate to my work,” she said. “I get inspired.”

She also allows buyers to place custom orders, which she enjoys because she gets to take an idea and make it work for the specific customer’s home.

“I’m looking forward to this show,” she said. “This particular show is really fun. The food is fabulous, the music is fabulous.”

“One of the other things I love is that there is something for everybody,” she added. “You never know what’s going to be around the corner.”

Other artists participating

In addition to works from Barlow and Brauer, festivalgoers will have a chance to purchase items from other local artists including:

Deborah Bix of Millers Falls, expressionist painter;

Will Carswell and Jaya Boerman of South Deerfield, wooden jigsaw puzzle makers;

Caroline Christie of Colrain, wild horse photographer;

Linda Jacque of Northfield, creative painter of accessories and furniture;

Patrick Moriarty of Conway, heirloom-quality chair sculptor;

Andrew Sovjani of Conway, black and white photographer;

and Bob Compton of Shelburne Falls, architectural and sculptural iron forger.

The festival

In addition to talented artists, the festival will include food from local chefs, a silent art auction to benefit the Survival Center, a “Flower Power” exhibit, workshops, demonstrations and outdoor art installations.

The festival will last from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday. Admission for adults is $14, senior admission is $12, and student admission is $8. A three-day pass will be available for $16, and children ages 12 and under may enter for free.

Reach Christie Wisniewski at: cwisniewski@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 280.