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Danville Fine Arts Fair

Original post made by John Barry, Danville, on Jun 27, 2010

For several years now, I’ve been attending the Danville Fine Arts Fair, covering nearly all of Hartz Ave. in downtown Danville. Because of the large number of exhibitors and booths and wall-to-wall crowds, I’d tended to breeze past fairly quickly, unless I saw something that looked intriguing. I’d stop at several booths to chat with the artists but rarely take time to “smell the roses,” as it were.

This time the fair was less crowded; I still had my personal preferences, but I tried to spend more time admiring the craftsmanship. There was a lot of impressive and beautiful work on display. Though the event is situated in Danville, artists come from as far away as Orange County to participate. Some make the circuit through various fairs around the Bay Area, around the state, and beyond.

Although I tried to look more ecumenically beyond just what I liked, I did have favorites. Among them:

Indigo Lights, Brian Giberson, mixed-media artist. Brian melds canvas and metal (mainly copper) to create multilayered, multicolored constructions. He has also developed a way to produce rust on wooden surfaces. Not surprisingly, various saturation of indigo tend to predominate in his palette.

Web Link

Kelly Morgen, Jewelry. With a deft touch, Ms Morgen cuts delicate and intricate designs into silver—often superimpose over stone or other media—to create neo-Art Nouveau effects.

Web Link

Derek Voien, Ceramics. Primary colors burst forth in this craftsman’s pottery. I was drawn in by the vibrancy and immediacy of what Voien calls his “hot gallery.”

Web Link

Many of the same artists have booths year after year, and the musical fare, as usual, tended toward the schmaltzy and saccharine. But overall it appeared that the art was more diverse and interesting this year. I hope that signals a trend.

John A. Barry is a writer and avocational artist. To share anything art-related, call him at 314-9528 or email

Comments (2)

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Posted by CDSI Research
a resident of another community
on Jun 27, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Dear John and Emily,

It seems an interesting event happened at the FAIR this year, there were more buyers among fewer visitors.

It was not just a few categories of goods but quite a few that attracted buyers. More interestingly, useful ART such as service dishes were quite a hit.

Actually, FAIR committee members might want to better understand the buyers that came when the volume crowd didn't. Asking the exhibitors to define their sales would likely allow demonstration to next year's exhibitors on product choices and ART presentation.

Please give that some thought,

Hal/CDSI Research

Like this comment
Posted by Julia
a resident of Danville
on Jun 29, 2010 at 9:07 am

I dont think its very complicated. This is a craft fair with some paintings and sculptures mixed in to justify the "art" in the fair. Sure dishes are 'ART'. However, buying a set of dishes, jewelry, pottery, or terriyaki chicken is quite different than buying a large painting or sculpture.

If you do your 'research' and distribute that data to prospective participants before they buy a booth, I can almost guarantee you'd only see 1 or 2 painters at the fair next year.

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