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, September 25, 2017

The 23rd Annual Paradise City Arts Festival

WHAT: Paradise City Arts Festival
WHERE:  3 County Fairgrounds 54 Old Ferry Rd., Northampton, MA
WHEN: October 7, 8 & 9, 2017
Saturday and Sunday, 10am-6pm
Monday, 10am-4pm

Come October, Northampton’s Paradise City Arts Festival is New England’s cultural, creative, culinary and leaf-peeping destination.

Meet 250 outstanding artists and master craft makers traveling from 25 states to show and sell original works in ceramics, painting, decorative fiber, art glass, furniture, jewelry, metal, mixed media, photography, sculpture, wearable art and woodworking.

The 23rd Annual Paradise City Arts Festival in Northampton, Massachusetts is an experience like no other – beautiful, unique, festive and fun. This sprawling, thrilling showcase for the arts features three airy new Exhibition Buildings filled with visual art and design, plus cuisine by Northampton’s best chefs under the 12,000 square-foot Festival Dining Tent, live music, craft demonstrations and workshops, themed exhibits, a benefit silent auction and the new Sculpture Promenade.

This award-winning event offers the chance to see the remarkable work and hear the stories of 250 extraordinary artists from every corner of America. Over 10,000 attendees, many traveling long distances, visit the flagship show held during the peak of New England’s fall foliage season. AmericanStyle Magazine named Paradise City the “#1 Arts Festival in America” in 2008 – and one of the top five in the country for eight years running – calling the event “truly innovative”.

For over 23 years, Paradise City’s guest books have recorded names, addresses and comments by visitors from all 50 states and five continents. A sampling from the last show:
“Incredible variety of artistry here, and so wonderful talking with artists about their work. Like being at a museum except you get to take some art home.”
“We drive an hour and a half one way to attend this show, and it’s definitely worth the trip. Seeing the scope of creativity is amazing, and we go home all revved up.”
“I must say that we were really impressed by the new buildings the show is in. There is more room for the attendees, the atmosphere is bright and airy, and the vibe is really friendly and relaxed. The art at the show had terrific selection and depth. Kudos to Paradise City!” 

Life of the Party! The Art of Celebration
There’s nothing like a celebratory occasion – a wedding, a holiday, New Year’s Eve, Mardi Gras, a birthday, an anniversary, a graduation, even a festive gathering of old friends – to raise the spirits, inspire us to lift champagne glasses high and break out in song and dance. There is a rich and nuanced art to celebrating, and a long history of art and design that enhances and commemorates celebrations.

“Life of the Party!” is a themed exhibit of works by Paradise City artists in paper, canvas, clay, glass, metal and wood that capture the essence of the celebratory spirit and help elevate the mundane into the sublime. The exhibition showcases glassware and tableware, fashion, jewelry, and decorative objects sure to spice up any joyful gathering. Through painting, photography and sculpture artists give us back celebratory memories, capturing the essence of what it is to rejoice.

For ten years, the themed special exhibitions at Paradise City Arts Festivals have enchanted and educated the public, while offering the artists an opportunity to be extra creative and think outside the box.

Silent Art Auction to Benefit WGBY Public Television
WGBY 57, the public television and PBS member station for Western New England, is the beneficiary of Paradise City’s popular Silent Art Auction. PBS provides multi-media ABC’s for kids, exciting entertainment for grown-ups such as Masterpiece Mystery and Downton Abbey, and fascinating scientific, political and cultural programming for all. Paradise City’s exhibiting artists have generously donated hundreds of beautiful items to be auctioned each day of the Festival. 100% of the proceeds from the auction will benefit WGBY and public television in the region.

Use Your Marbles!
From workshops and demonstrations to fascinating talks, Paradise City keeps your hands, eyes and brain busy. Richard Borden and Patricia Disantis of Shibumi Silksoffer a fantastic hands-on experience in silk marbling techniques. Their enthusiasm for their craft is contagious. Make your own patterned scarf using a rainbow of vibrant dyes! Master ceramist and sculptor Vicente Garcia shares the secrets of his studio and demonstrates on the potter’s wheel, while Alan and Rosemary Bennett lead clay sculpture workshops for children (and the young at heart). The changing installations and large-scale sculpture along the brand-new Sculpture Promenade between the Dining Tent and the Exhibition Buildings are catnip for kids and full of fantastic decorating ideas for the attendees’ own gardens.

International Foods and Live Music under the Festival Dining Tent
The 12,000 square-foot Festival Dining Tent is a microcosm of Northampton’s vibrant restaurant scene, with recipes that span the globe. Chefs introduce new dishes every season, often using ingredients straight from the Valley’s farms.

This holiday weekend Paradise City presents jazz and swing by three of the region’s favorite bands:
October 7: The Jazz Divas, Jill Connolly, Carol Abbe Smith and Barbara Ween, cover ballads, swing, bebop and blues in fabulous harmony, backed up by a great instrumental trio.
October 8: The O-Tones From Big Band Swing to Motown to R & B, this four-piece band showcases powerful vocal harmonies, catchy rhythms and amazing strings.
October 9: Introducing The Blend, a six-piece ensemble to wrap up the Columbus Day Weekend in style. Enjoy sizzling New Orleans-style jazz with three female vocalists including Leslie Alexandra – who also plays washboard – fronting three backup musicians on keyboard, drums and saxophone.

American Craft Week
Join Paradise City Arts Festival during American Craft Week, when the nation recognizes the countless ways handmade objects enrich our daily lives and contribute to our national aesthetic and economy. Paradise City is proud to be a sponsor of American Craft Week. Diane Sulg, a founder of American Craft Week, writes, “We thank Paradise City for all you do to keep American-made craft alive and well. Your shows are a wonderful tribute to the very best in today’s arts and craft world!”

Demonstrations on the potter’s wheel, clay sculpture workshops for children, a series of “Smart Talk” presentations on a variety of fascinating topics and the opportunity to talk to individual artists and makers about their inspiration and techniques all add to the educational value of Paradise City and its celebration of American Craft Week.
Fast Facts

23rd Annual Paradise City Arts Festival
250 competitively juried artists from 25 states and Canada exhibiting original works in ceramics, painting, decorative fiber, art glass, furniture, jewelry, metal, mixed media, photography, large-scale sculpture, wearable art and woodworking.

In three buildings and under tents, rain or shine,
at the 3 County Fairgrounds 54 Old Ferry Rd., off Rt. 9
Northampton, MA: I-91 at Exit 19 or 20

October 7, 8 & 9
Saturday and Sunday, 10am-6pm
Monday, 10am-4pm

Adults: $14. Seniors: $12. Students: $8. Three-Day Pass: $16. 12 and under: free.
Free Parking!
Free full color program with admission.

And More!
Live jazz and sensational food under the Festival Dining Tent • WGBY Benefit Art Auction • Special exhibit: Life of the Party! • Creative children’s workshops • Demonstrations • “smARTtalk” presentations • Art installations along the Sculpture Garden.
Call 800.511.9725 or visit:

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