Congratulations to the Winners and Finalists of Paradise City’s

Third Round of Collectors Recognition Awards!

Congratulations to the Winners and Finalists of Paradise City’s 2022 Collectors Recognition Awards! Thousands of you, our patrons, participated in this competition. Voters recognized artists and makers for their achievements in each media category – Art and Sculpture; Furniture and Home Furnishings; Fashion and Jewelry. The votes were remarkably close, and we thank everyone for their participation.

The First Prize Winners are: William McCarthy, Nancy Marland, and James Guggina.

The Finalists are: Tracy Levesque, Natalie Reed, and Ann Brauer.

In addition, we would like to give honorable mention to a handful of artists who came extremely close to winning: painter Patricia Czepiel Hayes, furniture maker Geoffrey Warner, jeweler Keith Lewis, digital collage artist Joanne DeLomba, jeweler Kara Hickey, and furniture maker Mark Del Guidice.


William McCarthy’s luminous oil paintings evoke subtle variations in light and atmosphere. “My work speaks about spiritual places, places that contain a quiet inner light, radiating an ethereal whisper, the places we see every day." McCarthy works from memory and imagination. He brushes on many layers of translucent oil washes and glazes. A cadmium red base imparts a subtle glow to each piece, as if the trees were lit by the last vestiges of a setting red sun. "Farnese Morning", oil on canvas. 24" x 30" Hamden, CTWILLIAM MCCARTHY, First Prize, Art and Sculpture

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William McCarthy’s collectors pushed him over the top in the Collectors Recognition Awards this time, elevating him from finalist to First Prize. Will’s luminous oil paintings evoke subtle variations in light and atmosphere. “My work speaks about spiritual places, places that contain a quiet inner light, radiating an ethereal whisper, the places we see every day.” Unlike most landscape painters, he works from memory and imagination. He brushes on many layers of translucent oil washes and glazes. A cadmium red base imparts a subtle glow to each piece, as if the trees were lit by the last vestiges of a setting red sun. Will shares his technical and observational skills in his popular travel workshops, bringing artists to Italy several times a year.  

Will attended Columbus College of Art and Design and pursued graduate studies in printmaking at Wesleyan University. His work has received numerous solo exhibitions and awards. Permanent collections include Yale Art Gallery, Cirque du Soleil, the New York Public Library, Mayo Clinic, and Wesleyan University. He was the subject of a featured article in American Artist Magazine and has received grants and residencies from the Center for Contemporary Printmaking in Norwalk, CT and the Connecticut Commission on the Arts. He lives in Connecticut and has participated in nearly every Paradise City show since 2002.

TRACY LEVESQUE, Finalist, Art and Sculpture

Tracy Levesque is not only a Finalist, but the featured artist on the cover of this Fall’s Paradise City Guide! Her landscape paintings are loaded with color and bursting with texture, character and individuality. The richly textured chromatic brushwork, defined by strong black graphic lines, suggests stained glass. She works in acrylic paint, often using a palette knife and layering to create the illusion of three dimensions. Tracy graduated from Brandeis University, Bachelor of Arts Magna Cum Laude with honors in English and American Literature and with honors in Theater Arts. She studied Graphic Design and Japanese Printmaking at MassArt, and the impact of those fields of study are evident in her recent work. 

“Nature is my biggest influence, says Tracy. “The light of the moon and the sun, the reflections on the water, and all the movement in the natural world blows me away with emotion. I put that same passion in my work.” She has been an animal rights activist and environmentalist all her life. Tracy uses her paintings to inspire people to fall in love with nature again, and work towards making better choices to protect our precious planet. When she isn’t painting or enjoying the outdoors, she practices Taekwon-Do, in which she has earned a third-degree black belt. Her studio is in Lowell, MA and this is her tenth year showing with Paradise City.

James Guggina's stoneware and porcelain ceramics always attract a crowd at Paradise City. He has relied on abstract patterning and repetition in his glazes for many years. His colors have gone from brillant jewel tones to soft earth tones, but his love of geometric designs is remarkably consistant.JAMES GUGGINA, First Prize, Furniture and Home Furnishings

James Guggina was a painting major at Massachusetts College of Art in Boston when he discovered ceramics by accident. He had been drawing and doodling his entire life and he thought that painting would be a good fit. But as he says, “There was something missing. When I took a wheel throwing class to fill a requirement, I wasn’t expecting much. But as soon as I started making pots, I was completely and utterly hooked. There’s something about the tactile quality of clay, the magic of throwing a pot on the wheel and the enduring functionality of the finished piece – this is what I had been looking for all along. And I could still draw on the pots!”

There is always a crowd in James’ booth at Paradise City. Maybe it’s because he makes pots that are sturdy and user-friendly for everyday use. Perhaps his popularity is due to the intricate, one-of-a-kind sgraffito designs that he draws into the clay. His hand-thrown porcelain and stoneware dinnerware is complimented with carved patterns, and his wood-fired pottery with rich glazes. He wants his work to become a part of your everyday life, to bring a little bit of beauty into your morning cup of coffee, a sandwich at lunchtime, or a dinner with family and friends. James has shown at Paradise City since 1998.

ANN BRAUER, Finalist, Furniture and Home Furnishings

When Ann Brauer was born in the Prairie Midwest, her grandmother made a postage stamp quilt from feed sack cloth. She slept under it for years, always finding some new design or pattern she had included. Ann says, “My grandmother’s quilt is one of my inspirations, as I use many fabrics only once or twice in each quilt. If you look closely you will find that the fabrics themselves often tell small stories.” From the start she used a spontaneous and intuitive quilt-as-you-go method. “Eventually I began thinking of my quilts as paintings of the Midwest where I grew up, the hills around western Massachusetts where I live and many landscapes of my imagination.”

Ann’s work is in the Museum of Craft + Design in NYC, the Lodge at Verona, NY and the Federal District Court House in Springfield, MA. She has shown at Quilt National as well as quilt museums and medical care facilities throughout the country. She received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and was a Finalist for the Massachusetts Artists Foundation. She does all the work by herself in her beautiful studio on the river in Shelburne Falls, MA. She has been supporting herself making art quilts for over 41 years and has participated in a Paradise City show every year since 1996. 

NANCY MARLAND, First Prize, Fashion and Jewelry

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Jeweler Nancy Marland is another artist who has made the leap from Finalist to First Prize Winner this year. At the heart of Nancy’s work is a playful contrast between precious metal and polymer clay—the shiny, reflective quality of silver against the colorful, patterned, matte polymer. The contrast is based on a desire to expose what’s under the surface, a concept in her Groove collection, to working with spontaneity (polymer) within a solid underlying structure (silver). Her jewelry studio is in Swampscott, MA.

​Nancy’s work has evolved from decades of experience working as a visual artist within a variety of disciplines (ceramics, painting, quilting, fine woodworking, and graphic design). She has a BFA from The Art Institute of Boston. Nancy found her way to jewelry design just seven years ago after having spent more than 30 years as a self-employed graphic designer. The process of design combined with the intimacy of personal adornment has informed the passion she feels designing jewelry: “I look for the structure underlying the pattern—whether it’s in what I’m seeing in nature or in the music I’m listening to. On the other hand, I absolutely love improvisation! That’s what I’m trying to express in my work—creating a structure that gives way to expressive and spontaneous improvisation.” She exhibited in Northampton and Marlborough for the first time last year and can’t wait to show her newest line of jewelry at Paradise City this fall.

NATALIE REED, Finalist, Fashion and Jewelry

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Jeweler Natalie Reed grew up by the sea on the island of Vinalhaven in Maine. She still lives in Maine, where nature’s wonders are buried by the long winters. Her work is all about trying to capture the delicate, fleeting beauty of the ocean and making it timeless and wearable. Through carving and casting, Reed experiments with materials and techniques to create golden sea urchin earrings, silver lobster buoy pendants, seahorses studded with sapphires, and mermaid rings textured with scales.  

As a child, Natalie spent many afternoons beach combing and adventuring on Vinalhaven’s rocky coast, collecting sea glass, unusual rocks, urchins, and shells. She has always had a deep fascination with the sea, it’s power and mystery always drawing her back. In 2009 Natalie began her degree at Maine College of Art in Portland where she quickly discovered she could combine her two passions: jewelry and the ocean. Working her way through college doing construction and lobstering, she majored in metalsmithing and jewelry, graduating in 2013. Natalie now lives and works in Minot, Maine with her two cats, a rescue dog, and her fiancé, who builds guitars. This is her very first year of participation in Paradise City Arts Festivals!