For several years now, I’ve been attending the Danville Fine Arts Fair, covering nearly all of Hartz Ave. in downtown Danville. Because of the large number of exhibitors and booths and wall-to-wall crowds, I’d tended to breeze past fairly quickly, unless I saw something that looked intriguing. I’d stop at several booths to chat with the artists but rarely take time to “smell the roses,” as it were.
This time the fair was less crowded; I still had my personal preferences, but I tried to spend more time admiring the craftsmanship. There was a lot of impressive and beautiful work on display. Though the event is situated in Danville, artists come from as far away as Orange County to participate. Some make the circuit through various fairs around the Bay Area, around the state, and beyond.
Although I tried to look more ecumenically beyond just what I liked, I did have favorites. Among them:
Indigo Lights, Brian Giberson, mixed-media artist. Brian melds canvas and metal (mainly copper) to create multilayered, multicolored constructions. He has also developed a way to produce rust on wooden surfaces. Not surprisingly, various saturation of indigo tend to predominate in his palette.
Kelly Morgen, Jewelry. With a deft touch, Ms Morgen cuts delicate and intricate designs into silver—often superimpose over stone or other media—to create neo-Art Nouveau effects.
Derek Voien, Ceramics. Primary colors burst forth in this craftsman’s pottery. I was drawn in by the vibrancy and immediacy of what Voien calls his “hot gallery.”
Many of the same artists have booths year after year, and the musical fare, as usual, tended toward the schmaltzy and saccharine. But overall it appeared that the art was more diverse and interesting this year. I hope that signals a trend.
John A. Barry is a writer and avocational artist. To share anything art-related, call him at 314-9528 or email email@example.com