Posted March 2nd, 2012
After deliberating for over five hours on February 26, the Bear Fest jury selected the designs for the 2012 Bear Fest. 40 bears will be creatively transformed by the selected artists and then exhibited on the streets of Easthampton from June – September. Artists will receive an initial commission and a percentage of the final selling price of the bear sculpture. Easthampton City Arts+ and the Bear Fest Committee are proud to announce the 2012 Bear Fest artists and their designs:
From Ribbons to Thorns by Rosemary Barrett of Easthampton
SteamPunk Bear by Lahri Bond of Lake Pleasant
Fishing Bear by Deborah Ann Burnham of Hadley
Dia Del Oso Muerto (Day of the Dead Bear) by Lyell Castonguay and Carand Burnet of Easthampton
Rainbow Spot by Luke Cavagnac of Easthampton
Spirit Bear by Victoria Chapman of Greenfield
Beehive Beardo by Wade Clement of Florence
Bearly There by Rhys Davies of Amherst
Ursa Major by Michelle DeMarco of Three Rivers
Respect Your Mother by Jennifer Dorgan of Westfield
Teddy’s Bear Picnic by Mischa Epstein of Springfield
Artie Bear by Theodore Fijal of Chicopee
Viva Easthampton! by Keith Fisher of Easthampton
Bearing the Fruits of the Harvest by Amalia FourHawks of Florence
Bear HeART by Catherine Gamble of Amherst
Clown Bear by Gary Hallgren of Granby
Bearly Giggling by Lynn Hraba of West Springfield
Winter’s Lament by Natania Hume of Amherst
Steel Clad Bear by Matt Evald Johnson of Easthampton
The Artist by Juli Kirk of Easthampton
Bear in Landscape by John Krifka of Northampton
Whimsey Wilbear by Gary LaCroix of Easthampton
The Bear Truth by Evan Lareau of Northampton
On the Wall Bear by Sarah Lasky of Easthampton
Shakesbear by Jill Lewis of Easthampton
Old School Biker Bear by Terra Missildine of Haydenville
Pieces and Patches by Carol Ostberg of Florence
Fun & Games Bear by Kim Parkhurst of Winchendon
Stuart Bear by Sarah Platanitis of Feeding Hills
Klimt Bear by Samantha Pliska of Easthampton
A Bear in Sheep’s Clothing by Tess Poe of Easthampton and Julie Flahive of Northampton
Luminous Bear by Crystal Popko of Ludlow
Bear Crossing by Nancy Potvin of Easthampton
Gilda Bear by Amanda Quinby of Easthampton
Paisley Bear by Ruth Sanderson of Easthampton
Michaelangelo’s Long Lost Captive Bears by Mark Stein of Hatfield
Birch Bear by Phoebe Siter of Springfield
Patches by Soren Mason Temple of Northampton
Go Figure! by Whitney Wood Rahm of East Longmeadow
Five jurors chose the designs through a blind selection process—names and biographical information were not included in the design presentation. The jury was comprised of:
Kristin Angel is a co-facilitator for Easthampton City Arts+ Coordinating Committee and Chair of the Easthampton Cultural Council. She is the Exhibitions Coordinator at the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst. She graduated from Hampshire College in Integrating the Arts into the Curriculum with a focus on integrating art and science. She can often be seen with a camera in-hand.
Mark Brown is an Easthampton artist that makes one-of-a-kind mixed media sculptures and clocks. Trained as a painter, Mark worked on canvas for 25 years before turning to his robot inspired character creations that incorporate collected materials from tag sales and flea markets, ensuring that each individual piece has its’ own identity. His work can be seen locally and nationally.
Becky George Since 2006 Becky George sees her role as whirling dervish in many and varied creative projects around Western Mass. She has a hand in managing aspects of the Green River Festival, Fibertwist, Cider Days and work on the Brick + Mortar International Video Art Festival and Double Take Theatre Fringe Festival in Franklin County. One of her current passions is raising the profile of the Arts and Creative Industries by coordinating the Creative Economy Summit 3, a 2 day Arts and Business Conference being held in March in Greenfield and inspired by the Fostering Art and Culture Partnership.
Marcia Morrison is the Dean of arts and Humanities at Holyoke Community College. She serves on the Easthampton City Arts+ Coordinating Committee and recently retired as a longstanding member of the Easthampton Cultural Council. She is an ardent supporter of local arts and her dedication knows no bounds.
Denise Riggs is a founding member for Easthampton and co-facilitator for City Arts+ Coordinating Committee. Graduating from Savannah College of Art and Design, Riggs is a photographer who’s solo exhibit Reflections will be opening at the Northampton Center for the Arts on March 6, 2012.
Designs were viewed by the public prior to the judging during the wildly successful Mardi Gras themed Naked Bear party. Also on view were t-shirt designs created by students from Maple Street, Center, Pepin and Norris Schools. Party goers were invited to vote for a Naked Bear design and a kid’s t-shirt design. The public choice award winner for bear design is SteamPunk bear by Lahri Bond. The kids t-shirt design winner is t-shirt design #1 by Amelie Fisher of Center School.
Bear Fest is a public art project created by Easthampton City Arts+. The first Bear Fest began in 2009 and raised over $60,000 for artists, art education, and local art organizations. Look for the 2012 unveiling of the table top bears, decorated by school kids of Easthampton, Westhampton, and Southampton at Cottage Street Open Studios on May 19 and 20, 2012. Mark your calendars for the official bear unveiling on June 9, 2012.