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. Many remarkable artists were selected to exhibit here for the very first time this November. 

The brand-new exhibitors in this show selected for the Directors’ Picks feature four intriguing new artists from near and far, all of whom deserve recognition for their accomplishments. Meet a milliner from California, a mixed-media artist of abstract resin paintings from North Carolina, a recent BFA graduate from Massachusetts who brings together ceramics, metal and leather in her jewelry, and a Florida artist who combines striking geometric structures with found objects. They all look forward to exhibiting in Marlborough, November 17, 18 & 19, at the Royal Plaza Trade Center.

Hailey Angione

Hailey Angione writes, “My practice of melding metals and ceramic creates unique objects I find endlessly intriguing. In their close integration, the materials complement each other and are taken to a whole different imaginative space. My excitement for the exploration of materials is part of what drives me to make work the way I do.” She works in metal, ceramics, and leather. She received her BFA in Metalsmithing and Ceramics at UMass Dartmouth in 2019, where she fell in love with Southeast Massachusetts and decided to stay. 

Angione uses a potter’s wheel to meticulously throw and carve intricate porcelain forms, often combining clay and metal with leather into stunning neckpieces and bracelets with storybook titles. She throws delicate porcelain pots and embellishes them with silver talismans. She dabbles in history and collects antique and fantasy books. Angione’s book collection has led to a fascination with the concept of a story, but one that is held within the physical bounds of an object. Her work is permeated with a sense of history and antiquity. We love the way this young artist draws inspiration from ancient architecture to create contemporary and eye-catching jewelry and vessels. 

John Wayne JacksonWhat is resin fusion? John Wayne Jackson’s work incorporates multiple media – spray lacquer, artists’ acrylic, mica powder, oxides, pigments, resin and a variety of solvents, but resin fusion is an apt description of his medium. His finished pieces evoke a three-dimensional quality suspended in the thin layers.  Abstract in nature, the vivid colors, textural depth, misty pools, and connecting pathways compel the viewer to fuel their own imagination.

Working from his studio in the hills of Black Mountain, North Carolina, Jackson found inspiration in exploring new techniques and finishes.  “A willingness to fail is the most precious asset I possess. It allows me to push beyond what is known into new creative territory.” Tapping into this passion for experimentation, Jackson’s take on resin art pushes the boundaries of what others have done, putting a new and refreshing spin on the medium. His resulting works create three-dimensional illusions that challenge the viewer to reconcile what they see within material that is actually smooth and credit-card-thin.

mcguire portrait 2Cheerfully referring to herself as “the Hat Lady,” Tess McGuire crafts felted hats in a variety of styles and shades. They have structured brims, and often sport fanciful embellishments – like sculptural flowers, feathers, or stripes. Though she now lives in northern California, McGuire grew up in Switzerland, and Swiss culture had a major impact on her love of crafts. “Fortunately, I grew up in a culture that, to this day, values traditional crafts. In grade school, girls had to take many years of knitting, sewing, and embroidery lessons,” she says.

Today, her hats are made of felt, in a process that takes ordinary wool yarn and, through the careful application of heat, soap, water, and friction, transforms it into a warm and virtually waterproof material. This newly evolved wool is dense, crushable, and won’t pill, but maintains its shape. These hats are stylish, colorful, and eye-catching. Welcome this West Coast milliner to Paradise City, and ponder this thought…  Sometimes we don’t need space-age acronymic materials; felt was here all along. Watch how Tess makes her hats! 

George BraggGeorge Bragg was a machinist by trade and began his artistic career working with stained glass. His current art is abstract, made primarily of copper sheeting and tubing, accompanied by organic materials found on his travels. His work includes subtle nods to his home near the Gulf of Mexico, including geometric forms and patterns that evoke Art Deco, but there are more literal references as well: coral, wood, bamboo, perfectly imperfect stones. “The metal process includes repousse, chasing, hand tooling, torching, and acid patinas applied to copper to create the surface variations,” says Bragg. “Completed works have a variety of tactile and visual textures and are designed as 3-D wall sculptures.” 

Bragg comes to Paradise City Marlborough from Florida, but his work – with all the nods to natural forms – feels right at home in New England. His art has the impact of a jewel box, given room to breathe the ocean air.