A new community event at Alternatives

Blackstone Valley XPress
September 2016

One of the fun markers of fall is the flurry of craft and holiday art fairs. One unique local event this season will be an Art & Music Makers Festival, being held at the Alternatives’ Whitin Mill Community Plaza at 50 Douglas Road in Whitinsville on October 1 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Artists, artisans, musicians and an appreciative audience will gather on the plaza to be part of this experience. This new, one-of-a kind festival is an extension of Alternatives’ interest in presenting arts to the public for the benefit of all levels of ability, making it more accessible to more people.webguitar_0

One of the special aspects of this free festival is the hands-on nature of the event; the artists and musicians will show how they make their work throughout the day. Kathy Olson and Stephen Paulson will demonstrate both leaded and copper foil stained glass work. Gabrielle Gura-Gold will demonstrate her pottery making technique. Patricia DeVries of Chevere, Inc, the local bead-making guru, will have bracelet kits available and demonstrate their construction. Robyn Bernstein of Artfully Well will show the art of handmade cards.

Jennifer Wiles of Jen Niles Art will be working on her mini acrylic wood block paintings of animals, demonstrating how to do a whimsical painting of your own pet or favorite animal. Christine and Miguel Guanipa of Little Man Originals, handmade handbags and accessories, will be drawing cartoon pictures by request. Jan Barlow of Apple Tree Arts will be demonstrating the art of music making. Steve Beckwith of Beckwith Strings will demonstrate the intricate art of guitar making.

David Lane, an Alternatives Shared Living client, will be displaying/selling his handmade scarves and scrubbies, and you can watch his unique left handed knitting method on site. Lisa Fracalogi, also an Alternatives Shared Living client will be demonstrating her jewelry making talents.

Candace Sidner will be demonstrating hand painting, pottery painting for adults. Bonnie Combs of Bird Brain Designs will be demonstrating how she sews her recycled feed bags. Painter and Printmaker Carolyn Letvin will be demonstrating her hand printmaking with palm press tools

Other local vendors will include Cydney Cnossen of Makers Way Post, showing pottery, cards and other hand crafted items and Ken Lindgren of Walk Softly Wood Art will be presenting his wood turned bowls and other items. Deb Fisher and other members of the Upton Women’s Club will be at the festival with a table full of handcrafted items made by the club members. Profits made from their products go directly to benefit a number of local groups, including Alternatives.

The hands-on portion of the day includes several kids’ art tables. Pamela Murphy from The Artist Palette Studio and Kirstin Irish will keep the them busy with their creative offerings. Elisa Murphy of Elisa’s Now and Zen will have a table with your chance to try out the hot new creative stress reliever Zentangle. No fair would be complete without face painting, and Rachel King will be on hand to make kids smile with her creative talent.

Music for the festival will be provided by the Holdin Back Band in the morning and Lizzie James and The Greystone Rail in the afternoon. Food will be available for purchase from Anzio’s Brick Oven Pizza, The Dogfather and Bit’Chin BBQ. Sponsored by Valley Cast, Alternatives and Boston Financial Management, the Festival is a great Saturday event for the whole family, featuring all levels, styles and interests in making art and music. The show will go on, rain or shine.

Alternatives’ Whitin Mill Plaza is at 50 Douglas Rd. Whitinsville; www.alternativesnet.org; 508-234-6232 for more info or [email protected]

By Magda Dakin