The Northampton Arts Council works to support and nurture the arts in the city of Northampton. The Council awards grants twice each year to artists and arts groups from both state and locally-raised funds, and seeks to improve public awareness of the arts. Its' goals include maintaining and preserving the rich and diverse cultural heritage of Northampton, programming such annual events of interest to the community as First Night Northampton and Transperformance.

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Paradise City Arts Festival - Memorial Day Weekend, May 23, 24 & 25, 2015

The Paradise City Arts Festival opens to the public at the Three County Fairgrounds on Memorial Day Weekend, May 23, 24 & 25, 2015. One of the most spectacular fairs of fine craft, painting and sculpture in the whole country, this fair is lauded for its fresh, innovative approach. Meet 260 extraordinary artists traveling from every corner of the country to show off their newest work, enjoy sensational cuisine by Northampton's best chefs and catch live performances by nationally and regionally acclaimed musicians. Stroll through a flowering sculpture garden filled with artful delights, visit special exhibits, demonstrations and activities... all compelling reasons to come on down to Paradise City for the long holiday weekend.

Founding Director Linda Post says, “Paradise City attracts artists whose work is both exceptional and unique. When attendees visit the event for the first time, I can almost see their jaws drop! They expect a craft show, but this is so much more. It goes far beyond what you can imagine.”

“Up in the Air!”
Themed “show-within-a-show” exhibitions have been inspiring artists and intriguing patrons at Paradise City Arts Festivals for years. The sky is truly the limit at this spring’s special exhibition. The artists were asked to give us the sun, the moon and the stars! If it isn’t tethered to the ground, it’s fair game. “Up in the Air!” explores all that defies gravity, whether it flies, floats or is suspended in space.

“When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” ~ Leonardo Da Vinci

Silent Art Auction Benefit for ILI
The International Language Institute of Massachusetts (ILI) provides free English classes for new arrivals from all over the world so they can utilize their skills in this country and successfully integrate into their community. The campaign for this program is called Giving Voice. A different selection of beautiful and valuable donations by Paradise City exhibitors will open for bidding each day at the Silent Auction Tables. Paradise City’s Silent Art Auctions have raised nearly $400,000 for community non-profits over the years.

Fabulous Food and Cool Jazz under the Festival Dining Tent
“The food soars beyond expectations,” writes Boston Magazine. The Festival Dining Tent is a microcosm of Northampton’s vibrant restaurant scene, with recipes that span the globe. Expect lots of tasty surprises from the region’s restaurants at this spring’s show, using locally grown foods straight from the Valley’s farms. Restaurants include Local Burger, Sierra Grille, Spoleto, Amber Waves, India House, Pizzeria Paradiso, Bart’s Homemade Ice Cream, Mama Iguana’s and the Great Wall.

Paradise City introduces three new bands on the Soundstage this Memorial Day Weekend.
Saturday: Juke Joint Jazz plays their own hard-driving and melodic arrangements of the classic jazz repertoire, with influences ranging from Miles Davis to the Grateful Dead, from Monk to Funk. The quintet of piano, guitar, saxophone, bass and drums has played widely throughout New England.

Sunday: Sugar Ray and the Bluetones. Sugar Ray Norcia cut five albums with the legendary band Roomful of Blues, and has received three Grammy nominations and five Blues Music Awards. Sugar Ray and the Bluetones’ newest album, Living Tear to Tear, was released last summer and debuted #1 on The Living Blues Radio Charts.

Memorial Day: Powerhouse vocalist Evelyn Harris recorded 10 albums over 18 years with the internationally acclaimed Sweet Honey in the Rock. Harris, along with a backup trio, explores an extensive array of musical styles, interpreting African-American traditional and contemporary material, freedom songs from around the world, jazz, pop, rock ‘n’ roll, gospel and blues.

All the Extras
Join master ceramist and raconteur Tim Scull, star of the WGBY/PBS program 'The Fire Within', as he captivates a rapt audience. Tim shares the secrets of his studio, discusses raku firing and demonstrates his expertise on the potter's wheel all weekend long.

Roll up your sleeves and learn clay sculpture with Alan Bennett. A spellbinding teacher, Bennett loves working with children, but all ages can exercise their creativity with clay.

Big Wheel Press gives kids (and their parents) a hands-on opportunity to try non-digital-age-printing. Using humorous antique engravings as well as original art carved by Big Wheel artists, they can create your own coasters and notecards on a 100-year-old letterpress.
Spectacular large-scale sculptures are installed in the outdoor Sculpture Garden and Courtyard, adjacent to the two Morgan buildings. Votes are cast, and a “People’s Choice Award for Outstanding Outdoor Art” is awarded on Memorial Day to the three winning artists.

Information: Call 800.511.9725 or visit:

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