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Sunday, July 19, 2015

ArtBeat 2015

rain braving chalk artists
Yesterday was the always fabulous ArtBeat festival in Somerville.
ArtBeat is one of the area's largest and most innovative arts festivals, with over a dozen bands, dance troupes, 75 craft vendors, food and hatch-themed activities.
I LOVE this festival and had been looking forward to it for months. Seriously. I used to sell my pots and sculpture there back when we lived in Cambridge. Always fun and always a money maker.
cool forms but PUT DOWN the rutile!

 I remember the last time I went, and this is eons ago, my pals Michael and Tim were dressed as glammed out fairies. They had skyscraper high heels, mega make up and giant mountains of hair. (pictures? WHERE are my pics of this?) They were spreading joy and glitter everywhere. Man ‘o’ man they were fantastically breathtaking.

Jill J. Burns, Early Bird Designs
One year there were roving bands of art cheerleaders, kitted out in pleated skirts, letter sweaters (featuring an “A” for ART!), ripped fishnets, ragged Doc Martens. (Again, WHERE are my pics of this?!) They were, naturally, shouting cheers about the wonders of art as well as lefty political diatribes—I agreed with all of it. Of course.

Yesterday, I was hoping to catch the drummers that were to be pounding it out right in the center of the square. I also wanted to see if I could experience any of the other music happening on one of the two stages. Sadly, the day began with deluges of rain which continued through festival kick off time. Dunno if the music still went on but, it seemed, there was none of it right in the square AND I only saw one street performer.

Jen and I had a brill lunch of avocado, eggs and mimosas at Johnny D’s before braving the crowds. Says a lot about a festival that, even in rain, it’s still packed—don't it?
Wendy Baker Design

Right away I found an awesome clay artist— Jill Burns of Early Bird Designs. Sweet, beautiful, happy-inspiring work. I think I’m gonna have to save up for a whole set of the bunny plates (//snort// like I need more pottery in my house!).

While there were other potters at the fest, her work was the most distinctive. All the others seemed to be working off the same palette. That is, I surely do like what rutile can do for a glaze too but, c’MON, let’s have some variety!

And then, THEN, I came upon Wendy Baker’s work. At first I wasn’t drawn in—she makes a lot of gorgeous floral themed pieces. Lovely but, ya know, just not my thing. I was moving on (LOOK—tie dye tanks!) but Jen snagged me back. Yes, I’d missed these astounding beauties. JeSUS these are perfect—and now mine.

Despite the, now, drizzle there were massage therapists (WITH customers!), a zillion wild food vendors, group chalk doodling at intersections (the shower action took a brief hiatus) and more. This extravaganza, followed closely by the Cambridge River Fest, is the best arts festival EVAH.

There were a LOT of other awesome artists displaying their wares—glass, textiles, wood AND toilet seat lids (I missed the artist's name). I think I need to expand my own interior painting efforts to the cover of our throne. Yes, The Amazing Bob will be so thrilled!

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