Montclair Village is a charming and vibrant community, nestled in the beautiful, tree-covered Oakland Hills. With its laid-back, small town feel, Montclair Village is the perfect spot to take a break from the bustle of the Bay – and for the Montclair Fine Arts Sidewalk Festival, which celebrates art in the outdoors when more than 65 artists from the Bay Area and beyond will be displaying their wares against the scenic backdrop of Montclair Village and the Oakland Hills. Visit the event, engage with the artists, touch handcrafted treasures and take home a unique gift.
Presented by the Montclair Village Association, this free festival is set to take place Saturday June 24 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, June 25 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Among the celebrated art and artists:
Bruno Kark is an enthusiast of the historic vases of Japan, Korea, China, and the Pacific Rim. He spent years in Japan perfecting the art of Japanese ceramics and today creates functional everyday ceramics with elegant designs. Bruno uses classic glazes such as Shino, Tenmoku, Oribe and Celadon resulting in traditional earth tones that complement a variety of ceramic forms ranging from from jars that fit in the palm of your hand to large-scale works of wheel thrown vases (some over four feet tall) and platters up to three feet in diameter.
Many current works are built to join with the compositions of Ikebana flower arranging, particularly the abstract Sogetsu school. Bruno will have many items on display including wonderfully glazed and textured beer flutes, mugs, and Yunomia teacups.
Jeannie Haydon thinks of her jewelry as small sculpture. All of her creations are fabricated out of sterling silver, 14k gold and gold-fill. The metals are roller printed leaving textures from rice paper and fabrics. Pieces are then formed by hand sawing and delicate soldering. Lost wax casting is another process Jeannie uses to make limited editions. “I've been making jewelry for many years,” says Jeannie. “I find that my work is constantly changing because I have so many ideas and enjoy learning new techniques.”
Barbara Lee is a photographer specializing in landscape, nature, and travel photography who looks for intimate landscapes with strong pattern and texture. People often say her photos look like paintings. “As a photographer, I am interested in the patterns that occur out of randomness, and the tension and harmony that often co-exist in any natural scene. As I wander through the woods, hike up a mountainside, walk across the desert, or just stroll down any city street I look for visual snapshots that capture these elements in a way that will bring the viewer into that scene, to see what I see, to stop and to really look.”
Kurt McCracken attributes his artistic talent to his father and his grandfather who were both design engineers. McCracken's eye for traditional forms informs his ability to wheel-throw one piece of clay into extraordinarily large forms; often his vessels will exceed three feet in height. He loves to vary his art forms, creating large wall hangings, sculptures with glass, and decorative plates. Some of his more contemporary works are ceramic towers (up to 8 feet tall) and abstract music designs. Kurt is also using his design talents to create large-scale paintings on wood and canvas. Because of the size of his creations, Kurt custom designed and built his own raku kilns. He selects special clays for each of his hand-glazed pieces that are individually fired at over 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. These red-hot pieces are then transferred from the kiln to the reduction barrel. The glazes are oxidized with natural materials, such as pine needles, leaves and straw. This abrupt oxidation process is what produces the color, crackle and intensity that are signatures of Kurt’s gorgeous artwork.
Paula Riley has painted for many years, but it is only recently that it has become her passion. “I am devoted to the expression found in the brush or palette knife through the application of paint,” she says. “…I like to paint objects and landscapes which are joyful and exciting to me - and hopefully to the viewer.” Paula is interested in light and shadow, in warm and cool, and texture. She strives to take her paintings beyond what is seen by the eye, and to create a mood or feeling through color and composition. The works of the great Impressionists, and later those of Expressionists, have influenced Paula’s painting.
The Montclair Village Fine Arts Sidewalk Festival takes place in the Montclair business district on Mountain Avenue at LaSalle, off highway 13, between Park Boulevard and Thornhill Drive. For more information, contact the Montclair Village Association at (510) 339-1000 or Pacific Fine Arts Festivals at (209) 267-4394, www.pacificfinearts.com. You can also see more information on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.