Fall Northampton • Directors’ Picks
The 250 artists who are accepted to participate in the Paradise City Arts Festival in Northampton for its flagship fall show are the “best-of-the-best” of America’s independent painters, sculptors and craft makers from every corner of America. Each one has a story to tell, a skill to share and a passion for their work that is inspiring and infectious. Every season Paradise City introduces many exciting new artists who will exhibit their work in the Northampton show for the first time.
The brand-new exhibitors in this show selected for the Fall Northampton Directors’ Picks include a humanist sculptor and painter from New Mexico and three artists from New York State: a Rochester jeweler/alchemist who transforms paper into wearable art, a photographer from Lansing whose work is reminiscent of centuries-old Dutch paintings, and a modern master of Windsor chair design from Ontario. Please welcome these four and scores of new and noteworthy artists to Paradise City Northampton this October!
P.Z. GUILLOUME was born in Colombia, where he studied painting at Bellas Artes Fine Arts Institute in Medellin. He moved to Los Angeles with his wife and family, but soon fell in love with the colors, the richness and the creative energy of Santa Fe, New Mexico. The nearby Sandia Mountains became his new home, and not long after the move he began a two-year apprenticeship to learn the art of bronze sculpture, casting, welding, metal chasing and patina work.
Guilloume is a man of many talents. A figurative sculptor and painter, he works both quite small and very, very large. Two themes stand out in his work – partnership and family. He believes that as human beings we have more in common than we have differences. The universal content of his work has resulted in five books and several public commissions. His large-scale bronze sculpture Family Gathering, 48” high, is installed at Clemson University, SC. Just the Two of Us is an 86” tall bronze installed at the Library of Breckenridge, CO. Aspiration, a trio of 36” high bronze sculptures, was purchased by Frank Adams, Chancellor of Cossatot College, University of Arkansas.
FRANCESCA VITALI says, “My work aims to achieve body adornment through folded and woven paper rather than relying on gemstones or precious materials. This concept strives to link the humble nature of paper with notions of preciousness.”She didn’t start out as a jeweler. Vitali earned her Ph.D. in organic chemistry at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. Despite her passion for science, she has been working with paper since she was a child in Italy. Art and chemistry have found an intersection point in the alchemy of her paper jewelry.
In ancient times, alchemists tried to convert common matter into gold. Vitali strives to transform paper, a humble and ordinary material, into precious objects. Once she moved to America, she also wanted to incorporate metal into her work. Since then she has studied at the Penland School of Crafts and Revere Academy in San Francisco. The paper she uses has already lived a full life in other forms – newspapers, shopping bags, magazines or maps. She enjoys the idea that fleeting fragments of our lives will remain trapped in her paper jewelry forever. Vitali lives in Rochester, NY.
SARAH BLODGETT often uses her modern camera to get viewers in touch with the past in carefully arranged still life photographs that evoke the masterpieces of 16th century Dutch painters. Sculptural oak leaves, dried hydrangeas, a scattering of acorns, old metal teapots and desiccated apple cores take on a wistful, remembrance-of-things-past quality in her quiet work. She photographs a wide range of subject matter in color and black and white, from birds and landscapes of upstate New York to intimate portraits. Blodgett helps us narrow our visual field so that we stop and notice. We pay attention and feel the better for having done so.
Blodgett lives in Lansing, NY. Her photography has appeared in many print and online publications, including Fine Gardening, Country Living Gardener, Woman’s World, The Knot, Martha Stewart, Sun Magazine, and Quest Magazine. She has been featured as a “trendsetter” in Art Business News, is the winner of an Audubon Photography Award and was selected by Jennifer Blessing, Guggenheim Museum curator, in the 2014 Photo Review Competition.
WILLIAM PECK specializes in Windsor and more contemporary chairs, handcrafting them one at a time in Ontario, NY. Chairs are the consummate measure of a furniture maker’s skill. Built for strength and comfort while displaying grace and elegance, Windsor chairs have united form with function for over 250 years.The original Windsors are a testament to those craftsmen who were thoroughly dedicated to quality. Over two hundred years later their chairs are still strong and sought after by collectors. Ironically, due to its phenomenal success, the antique “democratic chair” has become overpriced for most Americans. Lita Solis-Cohen observed in the Maine Antique Digest that original Windsor chairs were being auctioned off for tens of thousands of dollars. So if you want a real Windsor in your home, what are your options? Most modern mass-produced Windsor chairs are stiff, uncomfortable, and loosen over time.
Bill Peck has devoted himself to the art of making contemporary Windsor chairs using traditional methods. Dedicated to quality, his chairs are a connection to our American heritage and are ready to continue a reputation of durability for the next two hundred years with time-honored Windsor style and a personal flourish.