By Kendra Sardinha, Staff writer
GateHouse News Service
Sun Oct 28, 2007, 10:49 PM EDT
Photo by Kendra Sardinha: Ellie Campion creates mosaic art with her mother, Lisa Hodgson. The two were among the 40 vendors at the third annual Dighton Arts Festival on Sunday.
DIGHTON - For the third year, people came from all over to take in a little art, music and wine. The annual event, held at Araujos Garden Center on Sunday, was sponsored by the Dighton Lions Club and the Dighton Art Association. Martha and Rose Sibin, of Tiverton, R.I., took one of the school buses, courtesy of Bloom Bus Services, which shuttled people from the Auto Auction to Araujos. They have been involved with the arts for years. “We heard about this through a friend,” Martha said.
“We travel around the area to different arts festivals,” she said. “It’s a great way to support local artisans,” Rose explained. “Plus, having the wine and children’s area gives it so much more. It’s a great exposure to everyone.” This event is the dream of Lions member Carl Stonstrom with help from Ron O’Connor, Dighton Art Association President.
“This dream began 10 years ago,” Stonstrom said. “I went to an art festival in Arizona and fell in love with what I saw and I knew I wanted it to happen in my town.”
In previous years, the event was held at the Lions’ Pavilion, behind the Dighton Town Hall, but due to increasing popularity, it was moved this year to Araujos.
Of course both O’Connor and Stonstrom have great volunteers within the Lions and the Art Association to help pull the event together. O’Connor said it’s the people’s commitment to the arts and community that makes planning the event so easy. The art association even has a waiting list now for artisans who want to participate.
The people that are involved really care,” Stonstrom said. “Our camaraderie and determination is evident.”
Visitors walked from greenhouse to greenhouse, five in all, and enjoyed just about every form of art as well as a greenhouse for children’s art work. Students from all the Dighton and Rehoboth schools created drawings, paintings and sculptures and students from grades one to seven from the Palmer School had paintings on display. There were various vocal performances by young local artists such as 16-year-old Maria Ventura, 17-year-old Matt Borrello, 16-year-old Sarah Borrello, 14-year-old Kara Fortier and 14-year-old Mia Boostrom. Both the Dighton Elementary School Chorus and the Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School Jazz Band performed and singers, Gary Duquette and Johnny Botelho performed on the main stage.
Almost 40 exhibitors came from all over the Bristol County area, some as far away as West Warwick, Rhode Island to showcase their pieces, most, one-of-a-kind.
For the first time this year, the event offered wine tasting. Rui Campos, Lions member, shared his expectations. “I’d like to start off slow with about five or six tables, and grow the wine portion as time goes by,” Campos explained. “We’re trying to bring some culture in,” he said. “Some of our wines are local, while others are from Portugal. We also have Port wine and Maderia wine.”
Mary Ann Martin and Martha MacNaught were at this particular festival for the first time selling handcrafted jewelry. Both former educators, they decided to take some jewelry making lessons five years ago. “We never intended to start a business,” Mary Ann explained, “but we had so much stuff, that we decided to do a craft show. We actually sold some stuff, so we figured we might have something here.”
Ester Entin and Steve Davis came from Swansea to take in the great atmosphere.
“This is our first time,” Entin said. “Our friends live down the street. They told us about it.”
“It’s a nice mix of arts and crafts and the fact that it’s local artisans,” Davis said. “Mixing in stuff for the kids makes it nicer as well.”
“I also like that the artists are local,” Entin added. “I found one who has a pottery studio that I’m interested in working in.”
This was the second year for Charles and Brenda Winters, of Somerset.
“There’s a great mix of items and we’re interested in seeing what the wine tasting has to offer,” Charles said.
Mother and daughter team Lisa Hodgson and Ellie Campion, of Crooked Moon Studio, are mosaic artists from Taunton. They had their pieces on display for the first time. Hodson learned of the festival through the Dighton Art Association, where she is a member. Given it was her first time, she had a slight touch of nerves, but her beautiful mosaic pieces could speak for themselves. One of the more unique items she had was a mosaic acoustic guitar.
“I’ve been doing mosaics for three years now,” Hodgson said. “I offer classes as well.”
Painter Theodore Lippold from Berkley has been selling his work at the festival since it began. He specializes in restoration of heirloom photos and nature photography. Lippold has been painting in watercolor since 1965 and working with digital photography since the 1980s.
“This is a great festival because it gives the community the chance to see all local artists and crafts people,” Lippold explained. “The setting is desirable because you’ve got the wine-tasting and great vendors. All these things combine to make a great event.” He noted how the natural light from a greenhouse also adds to the atmosphere and brings out the best in all the art pieces.
Visitors could take a break and grab some quick eats from the Lions Club, who were serving burgers and hotdogs, chicken wings, chili fries and curly fries, coffee, hot cider and hot chocolate and a few other favorites. According to Stonstrom, this was the perfect place to learn about wine and art and have fun doing it. “I want people to come and experience culture,” he said.
Reprinted with permission, courtesy of the Taunton Gazette