Chris Cyr is an award-winning illustrator from Pepperell, Massachusetts. He is also a designer, a writer, a sometimes animator, and a college professor. Through his use of light and color, along with a heavy dose of imagination and grandeur, he creates compelling environments and characters that leap from his illustrations and take action to tell the stories he weaves. An alumnus of the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design, he is currently pursuing his passion in children’s books.
Daniel Balter and Patino Vazquez of Fireseed Arts, located in Framingham MA, are the Creative Producers for the Nines.
The Nines loves their environmental message!
Fireseed’s Moby Disc, with artist Juan Flores, a 30’ environmental sculpture made from 6.000 CDs saved from the landfill will be headlining the Art Garden. Dan and Patino are also working with Tom Malone to create not only the worlds longest xylophone but also demonstrate how beautiful music can be made anywhere: the xylophones are made from discarded wood, old floor boards, fence and bedframes. Every piece saved from the landfill.
Several other exciting projects are under the Fireseed umbrella, including Egg Head light boxes, Groove Tubes with Jamie Powell, and a large NonaTree, a towering tree of light with nine large branches using “locally harvested Trash”, an environmental sculpture made from repurposed materials: CD cake boxes, conduit, recycled lights, plywood and fabric.
Fireseed Arts is spearheading an environmental art movement.
Fireseed artists transform “locally harvested trash” from landfills, homes and businesses into higher value objects of beauty and contemplation.
Some of the cool projects Fireseed is running with.
No Wood Left Behind: We gather cutoffs, construction scraps, demolition lumber, kitchen counter tops, old furniture, and other discarded items to give new life to this wonderful material as musical instruments and new artwork.
Johnny FireSeed and the Junkyard Dogs! is a concept band, comprised of professional musicians playing instruments made from repurposed and upcycled materials to get people tapping their toes to the tunes of the sustainable future.
Eco Art Labs at landfills and transfer stations. We invite environmental artists for a residency to create art from found materials — recycling, trash, wood, metal, and plastic — sharing ideas about the consumption to waste cycle.
Dr. Thomas B. Malone is a composer, educator, and scholar with an interest in traditional music and pedagogies outside the mainstream. Originally from Vermont, Tom attended New England Conservatory studying Music Education with Richard Colwell, classical composition with Robert Didomenica, and was a teaching assistant at the Intercultural Institute from 1997-2002. He received his Masters and Doctoral degrees from Boston University and has taught all levels of public school music and has served as a clinician at MMEA, NYSSMA, and at the National Meeting of NAFME in Washington DC. His research involves pedagogy and praxis of world traditions including Caribbean, African, and American Rural music with a focus on Ugandan Music, the African roots of the Banjo, and Shape-note Singing as a culture of musical praxis.
With the help of friend and colleague Moses Buyondo, Tom is developing “Madinda Nation” a music education initiative using East African-style mallet instruments and ensemble skills to bridge musicians and learners at the classroom college and community level through participatory music making and instrument building. Tom is currently a member of the music faculty at UMass Lowell where he teaches conducting, vocal repertoire and directs multiple choral groups.
The use of found objects often lends a familiarity that immediately engages the viewer – it is fun to recognize common objects such as nuts, bolts, nails, springs and saw blades that have been given new life and immortality in these works of art. “Funky Junky” themes include whimsical flowers, birds and bugs, imaginative and improbable creatures, thought-provoking and disturbing pieces, and sculptures that emote the darker side of the mind.
Paul has exhibited his sculptures in the Annual Regional Art Exhibit at the Fitchburg Art Museum in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. One of these, “Stony Adversary”, was voted “Most Popular” by its many fans who admired not only the overall impression of the piece, but also enjoyed searching for recognizable objects within the intricate framework.
Artist, educator, gallery owner. My focus and visions are based on positive human development and universal understanding for man and woman and all life forms. I just wish to make this earth better and by just having a positive thought you can change the world. And at the same time I’m my worst enemy. My positive and negative demons fight for the possession of my heart body and soul. The revival of the human race is my life’s goal. The constant struggle to stay in the moment to make these dreams and visions of mine come to life. I’m a father, a creator, a dreamer, a visionary. Positive and respectful, love my children, love the beauty of the world. Love the mysteriousness of dreams and visions that drive us.
Phyllis Ewen, lives in Cambridge with a studio at the Brickbottom Artists Building in Somerville. Her work has been shown recently at Trustman Gallery at Simmons College, Black & White Gallery in Brooklyn, AIR Gallery in New York, Grimshaw-Gudewicz Art Gallery, Fall River, and Galeria Espacio Abierto in Havana, Cuba.
GREEN THOUGHTS is a series of playful interventions into the natural environment, placed in varied outdoor locations. Collectively entitled Green Thoughts, these installations are made of indoor/outdoor carpet–the poor man’s Astroturf. The series has included: Five Oases, False Ferns, Stone Circles, Salt Marsh Pillows, The Quaking Bog Project, and Indoor/ Outdoor Gardens. They are placed in environments where imagination can interact with the natural in unpredictable ways–as the natural world is always in contact with human intervention
Ryan Gardell is a Graphic Designer and Visual Artist based out of Fitchburg, Massachusetts. He is a graduate of Fitchburg State University, with a Bachelor of Science in Communications. Currently, Ryan is working as a freelance designer and running a private studio space in downtown Fitchburg, with plans for expansion in the near future.Ryan is keen on illustration, photo-editing, typography, poster design, logo design, branding and visual identity design, motion graphics, animation, video-editing and more. He also expresses strong interests in painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, and writing. Ryan enjoys skateboarding and progressive electronic music.
Rachel Manly studied at Maine College of Art. At Maine College of Art, Manly’s primary focus was printmaking with emphasis on textile design. Her work has been featured on Design Sponge and she has exhibited works in both Maine and Massachusetts. Manly worked as studio assistant for Karen Gelardi and worked in production for Rogues Gallery for from 2010-2012. Manly created window environments during her 3 month residency at 475 Fore Street in Portland. After seven years living in Portland, Maine Manly has returned to her hometown to revive Art and Cloth at the Center on the Common in Harvard, MA. Manly will be teaching classes through the center as well as serving as the center’s Director.Manly is available for commissioned works and can be contacted here.
Kenny Ide and Lia Cornella will be doing fire performance as Flow Theory Fire at The Nines. We love to share our skills and teach people about flow so feel free to come up to us and ask questions after our performance. Kenny’s main focus in life however is sustainable living, he studied for a Permaculture Design Certificate last year at D’acres farm in Dorchester, NH and he plans to organize “land regenerative festivals” and build eco-villages to educate the world about sustainable living practices in the upcoming years of his life starting by organizing a small second time festival in Harvard, MA called Kinetikos II geared towards raising awareness of sustainable living practices and inspiring personal and community growth and artistic collaboration. Kenny will also be working with the Valhalla Movement on 60 acres in Charlotte, VT to build a sustainable community come next spring.
Nikki Stephens is a 23-year-old hoop dance performer, instructor, and visual artist based out of Fitchburg, MA. Through her art and movement, which includes LED and fire prop manipulation, she seeks to contribute to the sense of wonder at festivals and gatherings, adding her own novel spirit to our collective expression. It is through her dance practice that Nikki was initially able to tap into her own physical potential, and she would like to inspire others to explore the endless possibilities that passion and creativity can deliver. Nikki is also a recent graduate of Fitchburg State University where she majored in Interdisciplinary Studies. She hopes to use her degree to benefit social and psychological welfare through art.
Catherine Evans lives in Maynard MA with a studio at ArtSpace Maynard. Her art deals with the repurposing of common objects; transforming everyday materials into the powerful, the unordinary; stretching preconceived notions of the limits and boundaries connected to that object. Here work is currently installed at Contemporary Sculpture at Chesterwood, Stockbridge, MA; Exposed 2013, Helen Day Art Center, Stowe, VT; Occupying the Present, Harbor Arts, Boston Harbor Shipyard and Marina, East Boston.
Thistle is a site-specific installation made especially for the Nines Festival. Each piece was custom made for that individual tree with each tree visually playing off the surrounding trees, very much like a grand tree dance. The project first became public in 2011 for Art in the Park Worcester in Historic Elm Park, celebrating the trees that had survived the devastating Asian Long Horned Beetle infestation. The bright playful color and shape has been used in various installations throughout New England.
Rollstone Studios is a cooperative artist-run studio and gallery in downtown Fitchburg, Massachusetts. The storefront gallery features work by local artists and artisans, and is the home of the Fitchburg Cultural Alliance. Three of Rollstone Studios artists created the sculptures on exhibit assisted by intern Alicia Lefebvre a Graphic Design major at Fitchburg State University.
Helen Obermeyer Simmons is the Director of Exhibits for Rollstone Studios and one of the founding artists. Having earned a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Photography from Rochester Institute of Technology and a BFA in Art from Stephens College, Helen has served as Professor in the Communications Media program at Fitchburg State University for over 30 years. Helen’s artwork includes hand painted prints in alternative photographic techniques including Cyanotype and Van Dyke Brown processes.
Anne Giancola has been in business as a decorative painter since 1994. She specializes in decorative painting, faux finishing, murals and painted furniture. A graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara with a Masters Degree in Communications Media from Fitchburg State University, Anne has a strong art background that lends depth and realism to her work. Anne is one of the founding artists of Rollstone Studios, and currently serves as the Studio Director.
Gail Bloom says that Fitchburg gently houses the arts, and is a stimulating incubator for them. No wonder Fitchburg feels like home to Gail. She describes her art career as a slow professional advance into the arts. Her paintings express a passion for revealing the romantic nature of our places, our people and our collective memory. Gail was honored as Fitchburg’s Millennium Artist in the year 2000.
Amanda Beard is an illustrator and designer from Beverly, Massachusetts. She received her BFA in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2012 and has since been working full-time at Endicott College as Staff Assistant for the School of Visual and Performing Arts. Amanda also does freelance illustration and design work (business logos, wedding invitations, murals, to name a few!) and maintains her own line of art and stationery. Amanda’s work has recently been exhibited at The Center on the Common, Harvard, MA; the Walter J. Manninen Center for the Arts at Endicott College, Beverly, MA; Visionspace Gallery, Lynn, MA; Studios at Porter Mill, Beverly, MA; and Museum of American Illustration at the Society of Illustrators, New York, NY. She is currently pursuing her dream of becoming an illustrator for children’s books.
Growing up, Anna spent most of her time writing, drawing, and dancing to her favorite alternative bands. In high school she won several awards for her art including grants to attend classes at the Atlanta College of Art & Design. She received her B.F.A. in illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design, concentrating primarily on photography and painting. Her interest in photography took her abroad to study for a semester at the Photography School of France. During her senior year at R.I.S.D she became renowned photographer Henry Horenstein’s teaching assistant.
Anna has exhibited throughout the United States and has collectors of her work all over the world. Her mission is to offer high quality artwork at reasonable prices while providing professional service with a personal touch. Her years of experience as a small business consultant and successful artist have led her to developing and teaching workshops for creative entrepreneurs, in addition to offering support to artists as a creative coach.
After earning a BFA from the University of Maine in 2002 Romano went onto participate in a traditional internship with master Metalsmith, Curtis K. LaFollette in Cherryfield Maine. LaFollette’s wife, Marion was as weaver who taught Romano the rich traditions of textiles and fiber. Romano’s work transformed into a combination of both their mediums incorporating ancient textile techniques into her metal work. Currently Romano shares a studio/ gallery space in Ellsworth Maine and participates in national jurried exhibitions and American Craft Shows around the country. She currently serves as the President of the Maine Crafts Association.
Bryan Gaskins is a painter and print maker from West Boylston, MA. He studied Studio Art and Psychology with a concentration in painting at The University of Vermont. After traveling the eastern seaboard in search of inspiration, he founded The Unfine Print in 2013 based out of his studio in his hometown. The Unfine Print has been defined as vibrant, abstract and offbeat.
Katherine Rogerson Moore is a young local artist from the Boston area. Katherine expresses herself through the merging of expressionism and humanism in a style called Visual Emotionism. Her images are often designed to elicit an emotional reaction from her viewer and await that response for completion. Her work expresses raw human emotion through a combination of color, line, and poetry in a variety of mediums, including graphite drawings, Oil and Acrylic paintings on both canvas and found wood, mixed media, and collage work, as well as her own distinctive signature technique — hand stitched water color paintings.
Bob Hepner is a visual and performing artist living and working in Leverett, Mass. He has crossed the Northeast visiting fairs, festivals, block parties and even convenience store parking lots with his homemade carnival comprised of painted truck, dancing kinetic mayhem, rolling outfit sculptures and percussive objects. Vehicles, color, directional arrows and movement of any kind are among his passions. The guiding purpose of his work is getting art out on the street and into daily imagination where it belongs.
All art points something out: just by taking form, art indicates form as it exists in the world.
Arrows indicate, project and pierce. They travel across time and space. They move us from screen to screen and around the face of the clock and the dial of the compass. We are endlessly directed: where to drive, what to buy, how to live, what to want. Putting arrows out in the world that indicate nothing in particular? I hope they point us in the direction of our dreams.
Inspired by South American busses, Pakistani trucks, Southwestern low riders and North American art cars, and wack imagination, the Wandering Carnival Truck is painted with a variety of images and festooned with fabric, fur tassles, a disco ball and colored lighting. Interactive, kinetic objects hang from its roof and spill out on the ground around it. It invites wonder, exploration and play.
Working with Bamboo that he grows, He creates Award winning sculptural designs and Luminous “Groove Tubes” inspired by the rhythms of nature. Please visit his website.
Trained as a traditional furniture maker at North Bennet Street School in Boston’s North End, Nancy French has built and repaired furniture and taught woodworking for many years. She has recently strayed from her traditional furniture background, and now works with tree branches, local hardwoods, felted wool, and found or recycled materials. “There are so many opportunities for artists to re-use discarded, damaged or worn out materials,” according to the French, “finding something that has been thrown away and discovering a new use for it is always an adventure.” Always on the lookout for interesting branches, bark and scraps of hardwood, as well as moth eaten sweaters, French enjoys the creative process involved in creating new works of art. Checking out brush and firewood piles on the side of the road is a favorite hobby (much to the dismay of her four children). If you are doing some pruning and see some interesting branches, give her a call. Nancy French lives and works in Townsend, Massachusetts.
Endearment Dance Company is a contemporary based dance company founded in early 2013 by Justine Picarello. Justine is a graduate of UMass Amherst with a BFA in dance. She started Endearment in the hopes of breaking stereotypes of concert dance and bringing real life experiences to the stage. The company consists of many incredibly talented dancers and artists from across Massachusetts. All of which have intense amounts of training in contemporary dance.
Mei Ohara is a classically trained violinist and an MIT scientific research assistant, working with audio experimentation. As if that wasn’t nerdy enough, here she is, making electro beats and shredding on Vindice, the electric violin. Her music mixes her classical background with her love of video game sound tracks, good electronic music (her favorites include Depeche Mode, IAMX, Oh Land, and many others), and personal experiences from noxious love to an obsession with space.
Based in Boston but raised outside of Washington, D.C., Mei has performed around the East Coast and as far as the deserts of California. As a biracial, dual citizen of both the U.S. and Japan, she intends to travel the world and hopes her music can take her out and about!
Mostafa Kachchaf was born in Essaouira, Morocco. From an early age, he was very interested in his native city’s art. In 1999, Mostafa traveled to France and in June of the same year, began working as a welder in Artemed, Barcelona, Spain. Here, he learned many diverse welding and painting techniques. At the same time, he continued to develop his artistic talents, which have been exhibited in Barcelona. Mostafa traveled throughout Spain, and in 2005 he moved to Las Palmas in the Canary Islands. Here, he continued his two loves: art and surfing. His preferred medium during this time was, and continues to be, metal. Several of his pieces were sold to local restaurants and bars around Las Palmas. In 2007 he enrolled in the School of Art in the Canary Islands and completed a degree in sculpture. In addition to his participation in expositions for his own art, he worked at an artistic foundary in the Canary Islands, creating many bronze and metal sculptures at full scale. Now relocated to Boston, Mostafa continues to seek out opportunities to utilize his talents. He has expanded his work to blacksmithing. He continues to sculpt metal and has several of his pieces on display at galleries in the Boston area.
Marlene is a painter and graphic designer living in Boxborough, MA. She received her Graphic Design & Digital Imaging Certificate from University of Massachusetts Lowell and has been a textbook designer for the past fifteen years. She began painting in the summer of 2012 after a visit to a farmers’ market where the vivid colors, shapes, and textures of the locally grown produce inspired many of her realistic, close-up paintings.
Heather-Katie is a print maker and bookbinder, born and raised in Concord Massachusetts. She studied Fine Art with a concentration in bookmaking and printmaking at Warren Wilson College in Asheville NC. She received a graduate degree in Art Education from Lesley University and currently teaches Art to grades six, seven and eight at Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School. Most of her recent works have an activist focus and work to highlight the current crisis in our oceans.
She received a Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of New Hampshire. Currently, Deborah is an adjunct faculty member at Lasell College in Newton, MA. She has also taught sculpture courses at the Community College of Rhode Island and the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. Deborah grew up in Groton, Massachusetts and currently lives in Rhode Island with her husband and two sons.