The 18th Annual Halloween & Vine art show was held last weekend in Petaluma, CA and it's Northern California's largest Halloween art show. I was able to chat with one of the event organizers, Lesley Papola, who told me the show started many years ago in a Napa winery (hence the "Vine" part of the name – mystery solved!). The three partners who organize the event have a great dedication to Halloween and promoting Halloween artists – just like we do! The event was very well attended and making our way around the many wonderful booths took a bit a patience. It was well worth it. Here are some of my favorite finds.
David H. Everett knows paper mache and has an amazing skill at conjuring the most creepy and whimsical creations I've seen. He is also a very gracious gentleman who walked me through the creative process and even encouraged my burgeoning paper mache interest. I walked away from his booth with so much inspiration to create art – and one of his original creations.
I've been a long-time fan of Shelley Spranza's ceramic gourds and finally own an original piece. Her creations often include an incredibly tricky technique called raku using incredibly superhot fire, smoke, and thermal shock to produce incredible finishes that look like cracks or webbing.
Cris Orr makes a variety of indispensable household items: mugs, sugar bowls, plant vases but she does so in such a neat way. Her whimsical creations have teeth, eyes, and tons of attitude. She also employs a very interesting double-wall technique that allows her foodsafe creations to appear to have eye and mouth holes or worms protruding out of them while still having a completely sealed interior. Brilliant!
Annie Libertini makes exquisite masks – hand painted and fabricated in leather. Yes, leather – you'd never guess that by looking at these even up close. The amount of detail and gentle shaping is absolutely incredible. The best part is that these are incredibly comfortable to wear, unlike every other mask in existence. I can easily see spending an entire night in one of these masks no problem, especially the half masks that allow you to eat, drink and be scary.
Gothic Rose Antiques
One of the most impressive displays at the show belonged to Gothic Rose Antiques, a purveyor of hauntingly gothic and macabre goods. From fantasy furniture, period clothes and even occult items like tarot cards and voodoo dolls can be found in their Placerville, CA store. They also modify some of the items, applying original art to augment the natural creepiness of antiques. If you can't visit the store, many items are featured on their site which is worth the visit.
Jorge De Rojas combines traditional paper mache with reclaimed materials to create unique holiday folk art that is inspired by vintage Halloween Art. The whimsy and retro charm of his pieces are jubilant and brightly colored, and his Dia de los Muertos pieces were must-haves for collectors.
Sweet B Folk Art
Amelia Schaefer creates whimsical paper mache art including delectable cupcakes and cakes that are ready to fight back! Her temperamental creations have teeth and are armed with knifes. Awesome! Her Poison Apple and Vamp Pears are also outstanding and would be a welcomed addition to my fruit bowl.