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.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

“Pattern Play!”: 24th annual Paradise City Arts Festival

WHAT: “Pattern Play!”: 24th Annual Paradise City Arts Festival
WHEN: Saturday October 6 & Sunday October 7: 10am-6pm, Monday October 8: 10am-4pm
WHERE: Three County Fairgrounds (Indoors and Under Tents), 54 Old Ferry Road, Northampton, MA 01060

Adults: $14 | Seniors 65+: $12
Students: $8 | Three-day pass: $16
Children 12 and under free (no dogs)
Tickets available here

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 more than 20 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 24th Annual Paradise City Arts Festival in Northampton, Massachusetts is an extraordinary event for such a small city, drawing attendees from all over the northeast and beyond. This expansive showcase for the arts features three large, carpeted Exhibition Buildings, plus cuisine by Northampton’s best chefs under the 12,000 square-foot Festival Dining Tent, craft demonstrations and workshops, themed exhibits, a benefit silent auction and an array of large-scale outdoor sculpture and garden pieces. Most importantly, it’s all about the 250 artists. Each one has a story to tell, a skill to share and a passion for their work that is inspiring and infectious.

The Festival has become a tradition. It also takes a lot of time and effort, as preparations for each show starts months in advance. But as the Directors told Business West Magazine, “Every day we’re surrounded by all these beautiful objects and creative people. That’s a really good way to have to work.” For many thousands of people, coming to the Paradise City Arts Festival in October has become their tradition, too.

One aspect of the Paradise City Arts Festival that really sets it apart is the enormous range of the work on display. A blend of fine art and fine craft provides a synergy that can inspire collectors to look at something new. Attendees who come expecting to see just functional crafts find themselves inspired by the work of painters, sculptors, and printmakers. Paradise City is unusual in that it has successfully integrated art and handmade craft into one show where both are taken seriously.

Pattern Play! Rhythm and Decoration in Art and Design
Playful, mesmerizing seductive, even startling — patterns captivate us with their clever, intricate rhythms. Patterns are all around us, playing an important role in our ability to navigate through life. Some scientific studies suggest seeing patterns will even make you smarter! You’ll see mesmerizing patterns and rhythmic decorations everywhere you look at Paradise City, but the theme really comes to life in the special exhibit “Pattern Play!” mounted in Exhibition Building 2. Across all disciplines, in art and sculpture, textiles and fashion, ceramics, glassblowing, woodworking and all manner of metalsmithing, the imaginative use of this effective design element has become indispensable to the creative process.

For more than ten years, the themed shows-within-a-show 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. Discover the mysterious power of patterns to communicate ideas, create new connections, and spin a web that draws you deep into the artist’s imagination.

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, mystery and drama series, and fascinating scientific, political, historical and cultural programming. 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. Paradise City has raised over $400,000 over the years to benefit regional non-profits.

International Foods under the Festival Dining Tent
The 12,000 square-foot Festival Dining Tent at the Paradise City Arts Festival is a microcosm of Northampton’s vibrant restaurant scene, with music wafting through the air and recipes that span the globe. Expect lots of tasty surprises from the region’s restaurants at this fall’s show, using locally grown foods straight from the Valley’s farms. Sample exotic curries, pad Thai, crisp-crusted pizza, lobster rolls and corn chowder, pulled pork sliders, poutine with duck gravy, dim sum, locavore burgers, Asian tacos, overstuffed burritos, mango lassi, pumpkin moon pies, apple fritters and fresh homemade ice cream.

Restaurants include: Sierra Grille • Mama Iguana’s • Local Burger • Amber Waves • Great Wall • Spoleto • Pizzeria Paradiso • India House • Bart’s Homemade Ice Cream • 3 County Fair Bar • Café & Bar in Exhibition Building 3

See How They Do It
From workshops and demonstrations to fascinating talks, Paradise City keeps your hands, eyes and brain busy. Get a glimpse of the technique and thought process behind each piece of art or craft, whether it’s during a formal demonstration or just talking to individual artists. It’s one of the many pleasures of this event.

Master ceramist and sculptor Tim Scull 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 Sculpture Promenade between the Dining Tent and the Exhibition Buildings are catnip for kids, Instagram heaven and full of fantastic decorating ideas for the attendees’ own gardens.

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!”

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