Paradise City Marlborough, November 2021 • Director’s Picks

PRESS RELEASE: For Immediate Release


Event Date: November 19, 20 & 21, 2021

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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. This November, dozens of remarkable artists were selected to exhibit here for the very first time. 

The brand-new exhibitors in this show selected for the Directors’ Picks feature three intriguing new artists, all of whom deserve recognition for their accomplishments. Meet a painter from Rhode Island, a jeweler from Missouri, and a ceramic sculptor from Massachusetts. They all look forward to exhibiting in Marlborough, November 19, 20 & 21, at the Royal Plaza Trade Center.

Full of Promise, oil on linen. 48″ X 24″

Karen Murphy paints from memory, capturing the feeling and mood of the places she loves, rather than an exact rendering. She lives in Rhode Island and frequents the beaches and salt marshes where inspiration is all around her. “I favor the transitional times of day,” states Murphy. “But I am also influenced by the calm before an approaching storm, or strong sunlight with burnt out forms and long dark shadows.”

Murphy’s oil paintings have muted colors, soft contours and an overall tone that evokes a quiet, contemplative feeling. She wants the viewer to walk through the scene as they would in nature, always discovering something new. Her paintbrush captures the rhythm of the waves, the sea breeze through long grasses, the sandy curves of dunes. Her work has been featured in numerous publications, including American Art Collector, New England Living, and The Bay Magazine.

Sand Dollar Pendant, sterling silver, 18k gold with a diamond, stainless steel.

Susan Mahlstedt finds joy in hand fabricating with metals, by solving technical challenges in order to create the look and vision she wants to achieve. Working in silver and gold, she looks closely at the forms and textures of leaves, sand dollars, shells, bamboo, and pebbles and recreates them by carving with burrs and embossing with steel stamps. Hand saw piercing, roller embossing, hammer texturing, and surface drilling may suggest a night sky or landscape. The interior of the piece is sometimes layered to create dimension and contrast. 

Using a variety of textures, patterns, and finishes, she creates unique jewelry that the wearer finds graceful yet strong, artistic, and comfortable to wear. Traveling all the way from Kansas City, Missouri, Mahlstadt looks forward to introducing her work to a Paradise City audience in New England.

Remnants, ceramic sculpture. 23” x 17” x 7”

Ceramist Anne Thiam’s forms take root in the natural world. She is interested in how we all thrive or struggle in different ways due to the environment we find ourselves in. What is the legacy this process leaves behind? Her sculptures exist in a place where vulnerability and strength are revealed together. Her process involves a soft slab technique because it lends itself to adding texture through impressions or appendages. She carefully works these patterns and details into each piece, with each detail telling the story of that day. 

Her clay pieces can grow to be two to four feet in height or length, and have titles like Outer Shell/Inner Thoughts, Unearthed, and Finding the Current. Thiam states, “I love that clay can be altered in an infinite number of ways, but eventually requires patience in order for the structure to become sound and take form.” Anne Thiam currently lives in Andover, Massachusetts, but her work is greatly influenced by the time she spent living in Senegal, Spain, and the Caribbean.

Press Contact:
Linda Post, Founding Director
Paradise City Inc.
163A Northampton Street
Easthampton, MA 01027
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Fax: (413) 587-0966
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