Artsplash: America’s Best Artists and Craftmakers Take Center Stage AT Menlo Summer Fest
One-of-a-kind jewelry, recycled metal work, unique embroidery wall-hangings, chic wearables, stunning glass vessels, metal sculptures, hand painted tiles, vibrant paintings, beautiful slate fountains, whimsical sculptures, handmade quilts, hand thrown ceramic pieces, dramatic photography and hand carved wooden furniture –– these are just some of the extraordinary handcrafted items you’ll find at the visual feast that is Artsplash, the fine arts component of Menlo Summer Fest, coming up July 21–22 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Santa Cruz Avenue in downtown Menlo Park.
Enjoy a beautiful summer weekend strolling among more than 200 well-stocked booths while chatting with world-class artists and craftmakers from far and near, all showcasing their latest work in glass, ceramics, metals, fiber, leather, wood, jewelry and fine arts at this nationally renown festival.
There will be many new, emerging artists featured and they are excited to add a fresh, modern edge to the festival. “Festivalgoers will find handcrafted treasures in all price-points by many of their favorite artists and discover one-of-a-kind items by emerging, talented newcomers,” said Director of Pacific Fine Arts Festivals Dana Hale-Mounier.“
Sadegh Aref mixed media painting "Sunny Day in the Winter"
Paula Riley oil painting
Karen Hale mixed media painting "Into The Light"
Sadegh Aref’s vivid paintings contain elements of absractism, realism and cubism. His paintings often feature modern figures surrounded by hidden images of musical instruments and still life. Sadegh was influenced by 19th and 20th century artists, including Picasso. Sonoma poppies, lavender fields, rustic European villages … Paula Riley captures light and shadow in her brilliant oil paintings by using a brush or palette knife. Paula paints in the Impressionist style, and she particularly enjoys painting colorful flowers and landscapes. Mark Vantress is inspired by visualizations he sees during meditation, playing music and dreaming. Mark places a canvas on the floor and applies paint with a palette knife. He drips custom-mixed colors from a bottle and flicks paint off the palette knife. Mark’s roots lie in Abstract Expressionism. He paints large-scale paintings with emotional themes of passion, courage, love, trust and acceptance. San Francisco, Sonoma, Yosemite, Lake Tahoe … Dennis Kohn captures breathtaking photographs of landscapes and landmarks. His astonishing architectural abstract collection features contemporary buildings from all over the world, which he shoots from interesting angles.
Sculpture and Mixed Media
Damien Jones’ high-fired ceramic sculptures and water features will last for decades with no fading. The artist incorporates glass, granite and resin. His work has been prominently displayed in front of notable buildings, city halls and hospitals. Leaping dancers, sports heroes and musicians are just a few of the whimsical wire sculptures designed by Sten Hoiland. The artist loves the portability of wire – his “studio” is similar to a knitting basket that he can bring anywhere. Sten prefers rebar tire wire as his medium, although he occasionally works with aluminum and copper. Karen Hale constructs her contemporary paintings with layers of thick and thin color that is washed, glazed or “scumbled” over textured surfaces using towels, brushes and found objects. She uses acrylic paint and often adds paper for texture. Karen’s work has been described as “explosive and exciting,” and her vivid creations will add a pop of color to any space. Whatever road I travel, I’m going home … Add some words of wisdom to your tranquil garden space with a carved slate plaque designed by John and Kathleen Anderson. Their uplifting work features expressions of gratitude.
Sylvia Chesson glass art bowl
Linda Ripatti original designer clothes - Cuba shirt
Sasha Samuels jewelry
Lydia Choi hair adornments - beaded leaves headband
Gayle Mayhew jewelry
Scott Graham and Cristy Aloysi are fascinated with the 3,000-year-old ancient process of glassmaking. Their brilliant bubble bowls, lustrous vases and contemporary wall art shimmer with vitality. David Levy uses a variety of beautiful woods to make sturdy kitchen accessories, game boards, tables, cutting boards, toys, stools and desk accessories. His multicolored creations make useful gifts. How about a one-of-a-kind sushi board for your favorite friend? Add some pizazz to your front door or favorite room with beautiful stained glass accents and windows designed by Peter and Nancy Zajda. Their themes range from pretty garden scenes to tropical plants to abstract designs. Sylvia Chesson’s shimmering vessels, platters and plates pop with bright colors of turquoise, red and cobalt blue. Through her kiln’s heat, she is able to manipulate sheets of glass into stunning artwork. She said she uses this medium “to translate my personal experiences in to tangible, visual communications.”
Ready for warm weather? Steve and Linda Ripatti design their own original prints on microfiber fabrics to make unique “Aloha-style” shirts and jackets. The Ripattis use the newest concepts in fabric technology and their own weave design. They specialize in easy-to-pack fabrics that are machine washable. Inspired by the rich tapestry of Italian culture, Sasha Samuels’ jewelry has components that are removable and reversible, allowing her customers to change their jewelry to reflect their changing moods. “My work encourages you to manifest your dreams and visions for yourself and your life,” the artist said. Lydia Choi was inspired to design a romantic line of accessories while helping a childhood friend plan her wedding. Lydia found it challenging to find elegant accessories for the bride and bridesmaids. Today, her Poppyhearts collection features fashionable hair adornments for weddings, special occasions and festive events. She designs romantic feathered fascinators, elegant rhinestone headbands and fabric corsages that can be clipped to hair or pinned to a favorite outfit. Gayle Mayhew says it’s magical to combine stones with pearls and glass. Choose from squiggly silver earrings with pearl posts, turquoise Bohemian-style necklaces and beautiful bracelets set with unusual stones. Her sparkling creations are perfect for summer celebrations.