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City’s 57th Holiday Arts fete lets Richmond artists shine

on December 14, 2019

Richmond Art Center’s 57th Holiday Arts festival brought together residents, children, art lovers and shoppers with independent artists and craftspeople sharing their art and handcrafted holiday gifts for the season. 

 Here is a sampling of artists and vendors from the festival, displaying and discussing their work:

TheArthur Wright 

“I’m a painter that uses bleach as a medium,” says TheArthur Wright.

Wright speaks to client

Most of his works use bleach to remove, rather than add, color from black backgrounds revealing a golden color.

Wright said he began thinking of his work as a variety of pointillism, a style of painting in which tiny dots or points of paint are applied in a pattern to form an image. But a friend he visited at the time of a 2006 show in El Paso, Texas, misunderstood this name for his style. “She thought I said that the style that I use is ‘Pointiflet,’” he said.  He liked her variation, he says, adding, “I’ll use ‘Pointiflet’ from now on out.”

”Pointiflet” style art

Jade A. Waters

Waters always wanted to learn hand lettering and began the practice for its calming effects during periods of stress. 

Waters interacts with art lovers

“I just picked it up. I started watching some YouTube videos and sort of obsessively practiced for an hour a night for the first three months,” she said. “I feel like lettering is so bouncy and fun and it makes people happy and that’s why I started this.”

Hand-lettered cards and glasses

She makes hand-lettered drinking glasses, with sayings like: “It’s bourbon time,” as well as herb garden labels, plant and cheese markers. She also creates unique hand-lettered cards for events breakups, divorce and anti-Valentine’s Day. (If you speak to her nicely, she’ll share the adult versions.) 

Deborah & Ralph McCaskey

Deborah McCaskey and her husband, Ralph, run Nightside Studios in San Pablo. The name of the studio refers to her former career as a journalist, where she was a copy editor and often worked nightside. 

Aquamarine saucer flowers

Ralph uses Effetre Venetian glass from the island of Murano to make the aquamarine saucer flowers. The glass is fused directly onto a stainless-steel stem that is 1/16 inch-thick and 8 inches long. The saucer-shaped blossoms are approximately 1 inch in diameter.  

He also creates flowers and fish, bees and small vessels, and sometimes the odd, quirky monster. 

Copper plated sea urchin skeleton

Originally, Ralph vowed never to sell any of his creations. However, the couple acknowledged at the festival, that “one thing led to another.” 

Nancy Northern

Northern crochets anime-inspired hat designs, fingerless gloves and beanies featuring characters such as Spongebob, Garu Ninja, and Badtz Maru from Hello Kitty.

Northern shows off a piece she is working on

“I really like cartoons, and anime and superheroes,” she says. She uses different yarns to bring each character to life; including acrylic, rayon and shiny yarn. The hats, which come in kid and adult sizes, have a wonderfully smooth and soft feel, that is harmonized with bold vibrant colors.

Anime-inspired hat designs

Hope Meredith

Meredith makes handcrafted boxes covered with polymer clay. “Little kids are attracted to the boxes because they look like candy,” she says. “They’re like the colors of Sweet Tarts.” 

Meredith enjoying the Art Festival

The boxes, which can be used as mint tins or pill boxes each have abstract, playful, many-hued flowery patterns. Meredith achieves this by taking the polymer clay and putting different colors together. I “just smush it and roll it out till it has these different combinations.” 

Hand-crafted box covered with polymer clay

Feleciai Favroth

In 2007, Favroth started making beauty products, using only natural ingredients. Her handmade skincare products are made from organic shea butter, golden jojoba, fragrant olive oil, organic raw sugar and are scented with essential oils. 

Favroth, the beauty enthusiast
Hand soap

“Long before Rihanna talked about diversity and beauty,” she says while laughing, “I talked about diversity and beauty.”  

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