Fall Marlborough • Directors’ Picks

The Paradise City Arts Festival in Marlborough, Massachusetts showcases 175 of the “best-of-the-best” of America’s most exciting independent artists, designers and master craft makers. This November, dozens of remarkable artists were selected to exhibit here for the very first time.

The brand-new exhibitors in this show selected for the Directors’ Picks feature four intriguing new artists, all of whom deserve recognition for their accomplishments. They come from across the country and nearby: Baltimore, MD; San Francisco, CA; Mount Vision, NY; and Boston, MA. They all look forward to exhibiting in Marlborough November 16-18 at the Royal Plaza Trade Center.

Shana Kroiz is one of America’s leading experimental enamelists. Her meticulously crafted one-of-a-kind and limited production jewelry celebrates ancient forms with a contemporary edge. Every piece, whether a simple earring, a dramatic choker or a sculptural brooch, possesses sensuous curves and an exuberant spirit. There is an unbridled sense of playfulness in her work, which is enhanced by the seductive color of her enamels.

Kroiz carves her forms in wax and then electroforms them in either 18k gold, rhodium,18k rose gold or oxides over copper. The forms are very lightweight and easy to wear. She also creates layers of enamel, both opaque and transparent, set in hand-fabricated silver or gold settings. The extraordinary work of this new Paradise City artist can be found in the permanent collections of the Museum of Art and Design (MAD) and the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City and the Racine Art Museum in Wisconsin. Kroiz has been featured in Metalsmith and Ornament magazines and in many books, including Cast: Art and Objects, One of a Kind: American Art Jewelry Today, the Penland Book of Jewelry, 500 Brooches, and Found Object Art. She resides in her native Baltimore and teaches at the Baltimore Jewelry Center, a non-profit school that she helped to found. She is a frequent guest teacher at art schools and jewelry centers around the country. She received her BFA with Honors from Parsons School of Design and her MFA from Towson State University.

Michael Gard’s ethereal kinetic sculptures are created using a wire weaving technique he invented as a teenager. Each figure begins as a block of clay and a spool of wire. Gard sculpts the clay and reproduces the body in wax. Individual lengths of wire are woven and knotted stitch-by-stitch around the wax form. At long last, the wax is melted away, leaving a rigid figure that is both light and strong. Originally sculpted in pure metallic finishes, some of the figures now incorporate glimmering LED lights and even brightly colored enameled wires.

Gard states, “For my subject matter I choose the human form. A very recognizable shape that can be read by the viewer from any angle, essential for mobiles. I stylize the figure just to the edge of what viewers consider naturalistic. But since the piece is essentially seen only in silhouette, I need to exaggerate some aspects of the form to appear naturalistic. I elongate the limbs, cinch the elbows and knees and carve the backbone deep.” Michael Gard was born in London in 1971, and he moved to the United States in 1994. He lives and works in San Francisco. Click here to watch this amazing video of his suspended dancers!

Boston-based artist Mae Chevrette is inspired by travel, adventure and the relationship between our individual experiences in a place and the artifacts that make up its history. She combines layers of her own photography with acrylic paint, inks, hand-lettering and vintage materials, like old letters, envelopes, maps and postcards. Pieced together by hand on canvas, Chevrette creates vivid contemporary paintings with a vintage feel and tangible depth and texture.

Her main source of inspiration is travelling solo across the United States. Each year she spends about six weeks meandering along highways and back roads, camera in hand, camping and hiking, exploring tiny towns from Maine to Oregon. Back in her studio, she begins piecing together photographs and ephemera from her adventures. Each painting combines a multitude of layers of the past and the present. The acrylic paints, inks, graphite, washes and textures emulate the natural wear and tear of time and travel. Chevrette’s work has been featured in O, The Oprah Magazine and resides in many public and private collections across the country. These include Madison Square Garden, Norwest Equity Partners in Minneapolis, and in Boston the Boston Harbor Hotel, Jordan Lofts, Hotel Commonwealth and Hostelling International Boston.

Christie Schorf-Miller and James Miller of Mission Guild Studio in Mount Vision, NY work solo, as well as collaborating on the next level of Mission & Arts and Crafts in America. James studied Design at both the New York School of Interior Design and at F.I.T. in New York City. Christie earned her Phi Theta Kappa Degree from Cazenovia College in Commercial Art & Illustration and a Bachelor’s Degree from S.U.N.Y. in Art History with a concentration in Sculpture & Design. Christie has received Roycroft Master Artisan status for her outstanding work in Clay and Metal. James has received the Roycroft Master Artisan status for his outstanding work in Wood. Only those whose work exemplifies the following criteria are awarded the use of the Roycroft Renaissance Mark by the Roycrofters At Large Association:

• High quality of hand craftsmanship and excellence in design
• Continuous artistic growth
• Originality of expression and professional recognition

With a strong passion and established philosophy of Forward Thinking in the Craftsman Tradition these makers offer original furnishings and décor inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement. Many of the tiles are created with the same hand crafting methods used by renowned designers Ernest Batchelder and Moravian. Although sometimes asked about doing so, the Millers do not create reproductions of any prior artisans’ work; they develop new works embracing those designs, ideals & inspirations. Their focus is on making one or few of a kind, creating the heirlooms & antiques of tomorrow.