Archive for July, 2012


More Central PA Festival of the Arts 2012

Booth Villamagna, aka B-8

I had a successful show this year at the Central PA Festival of the Arts. My sales nearly tripled over last year, and I am quite pleased. In the awards department, well, I am having a bit of a drought. I have not won an award of any size, at any show or festival, since St. Louis about three years ago. Not sure what that means, if anything, except to my ego! Ha, ha!

In addition to the chance of selling my work and maybe getting a hunk of prize money, there are some additional reasons that I do the arts festival at State College. I have these great neighbors that are on “our street”. Not only are they talented artists in their own right, but they are fun people to be around. A few of us have made it a tradition to have dinner on the second night of the festival at Faccia Luna, which Chris and I look forward to each year.

On the first night of the festival, the CPFA holds a dinner for the exhibiting artists. More food, more adult beverages, and more talk. For the past three years, the Palmer Museum of Arts offers breakfast for the artists, and it is a wonderful opportunity for Chris and I to see what is going on at the Palmer.

Chris and I also enjoy shopping the over 300 artist booths, and sometimes if the moon and stars line up, we can TRADE with another artist. Woot woot! This year we purchased a wonderful piece from kinetic sculptor and artistic ninja, Tomas Savrda. We had not seen Tomas since he was our neighbor at CPFA 14 years ago! This year Tomas was presented with an award.

Of course, don’t think that doing the arts festival is a stroll down easy street. The booth tent must be erected, panels installed, work hung. Then four long days of meeting the public and hopefully selling your work. All this wraps up with everyone’s favorite, the illustrious tear down. And this year, we did it in the pouring rain! However, the likes must outweigh the dislikes, because Chris and I have been doing the CPFA since 1996. And I owe so much to my beautiful wife, Chris, for not only her hard work, but for always believing in me. She is the greatest!

Just a small part of the Central PA Festival of the Arts

Our neighbor of many years, fiber artist Susan Levi-Goerlich from Columbia, MD.

Another neighbor, potter Pam Cummings of Harrisburg, PA.

Chris with glass jewelry artist Loretta Fehling of Nokomis, Florida. Loretta’s contagious laugh affects everyone in our neighborhood!

A sampling of work by jeweler Kim Young (aka “the Kimster!”) of Richmond, Virginia.

At the artist party with Mitch Lyons, Kim Young, and Chris & Robert Villamagna.

Also at our artist party table was watercolorist Dave Gill and friends.

A example of Dave Gills watercolor skills.

I met clay artists Robert Kastrinos, Orlando, FL, after Chris had purchased one of this oil lamps. His tea pots were amazing!

One of Robert Katrinos’ amazing tea pots.

After 14 years it was so good to reconnect with friend and kinetic sculptor Tomas Savrda. Chris and I were excited to purchase one of his pieces, “Cowboys and Indians”.

Cowboys and Indians in motion.

This guy referred to himself as the Analog Tele-Phongrapher, making old-school amplifiers for new-school devices. Wild! If I had a bunch of money, that big one would have been ours!

I’m sorry to day that I do not recall this artist’s name, but his wire animals were just great!

Yes, you can even get a free hug at the arts festival!

Newlyweds Umut Demirguc and James Thurman stopped by B-8! Both are metals artists par excellence! Some of you may remember when James had an exhibition at West Liberty University’s Nutting Gallery a few years ago.

The man, the myth, the legend…..Mitch Lyons! And after a rainy-day trade, Chris and I now have a piece of Mitch’s work! Woot, woot!

One of our new neighbors, and our only neighbor from France, Philippe Laine with hand painted pillows and lamp shades.

An artist does what he must to keep cool at the art festival!

Annie Matsick wants to be my buddy once she sees that I won the Solon de Refuses Bagel Award! Nice shirt Annie!

What a way to wrap up an art festival: Loretta’s friends bring us home-made sticky buns! They were delicious!


I could have had a B-8

Chris and I have been exhibiting at the Central PA Festival of the Arts since 1996, and each year our booth number has been B-8. Well, there was a year where we forced to move to Pollock Street due to construction on Burrowes, and the following year we were back at B-8. For several years now, Chris and I have given away a little momento to visitors of B-8. This year we gave an individual, portable air conditioning device, also known as a fan. Here are a few photos of B-8 along with some of our “fans”.

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A is for ARTS

The letter A, shown above, will be part of Wheeling Arts Fest , being held on Saturday, July 14 in Wheeling, WV. Four artists are each painting a nearly six-foot tall wood letter that will make up the word ARTS. The word will be installed on the Arts Fest grounds so that festival visitors will be able to interact with the letter forms for a “Kodak moment”. I painted my letter outdoors yesterday, on the patio in front of my studio. It was a hot, humid day, but with the help of an electric fan and plenty of iced tea, I accomplished my task. Even my neighbors from across the street came over to see what I was up to. Here is a slide show of how my letter came about:

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