By Lisa Capobianco
Harvest the Arts took over the last weekend of the 2013 Apple Harvest Festival, adding new features to the event, along with the traditional attractions.
A 3D chalk artist brought his work to life on the grounds of Center Street Saturday, painting a shark that jumped out of the water to bite into an apple. This new festivity was able to happen because of a grant from The Community Foundation for Greater New Britain.
Sean Fitzpatrick, the 3D chalk artist, said the shark is more “interactive” than using other sea animals.
“The kids like it,” Fitzpatrick said.
Although the full-time sculptor and ephemeral artist just started 3D chalk painting a little over a year ago, Fitzpatrick has shared his work with other parts of the world, including China and Australia.
“As a performing artist, this is my studio—this is my show,” Fitzpatrick said, pointing to his artwork. “It is about the art itself.”
Besides the 3D chalk artist, a live body artist also served as a new feature of the festival that sparked people’s interest. Marissa Janczewska, the face and body painter of her own entertainment company called Kaleidoscope, painted different mythical creatures and objects of nature on her live model inside the old “Move Over Martha” building on Center Street.
“I like body painting a lot,” said Janczewska who has done body painting for three years now. “It is something different, something people do not ever see.”
Visitors came up close and personal with the presentation, as Janczewska transformed her model into a piece of art. The old chandelier that hangs in the window of the Martha building served as an inspiration for her artwork.
“I like how old and weird the chandelier is,” Janczewska said. “Everything is off-center.”
Her model, Andrea Parker, said she always wanted an artist to paint her body. When Janczewska wrote a post on Facebook asking for volunteers, Parker stepped up to the request without second guessing.
“I am not really nervous or shy,” Parker said as people took pictures of her outside. “It is nice to see people smile.”
The festival also featured fine artists working on location including oil painters, a potter, an arts and crafts show and live music throughout the day. A bike parade exhibit also filled the sidewalks on Center Street, each designed and recycled by local artists. This year the corner of Liberty and Center Streets featured three murals created by local artists. One mural depicted a dragon about to claw a human finger, while the other two murals depicted different forms of nature.
Mary DeCroce, a local artist who is in charge of Harvest the Arts, said this part of the festival adds something special for visitors.
“It is a chance for people to interact with artists,” DeCroce said. “They can teach. They can educate.”
Tammy Chadbourne, a local resident of Southington, brought her granddaughter to the festival to enjoy apple fritters as well as the crafts displayed downtown. She also enjoyed seeing the 20 bikes displayed on the sidewalks, and other features of Harvest the Arts.
“I liked the artist spinning the clay,” Chadbourne said. “There were some really nice pieces.”
Ryan Klein of Plantsville also enjoyed the second weekend of the Apple Harvest Festival with his daughter Madison. From the arts and crafts to the apple fritters to the ferris wheel, Klein said he festival is a great way to spend quality time with his daughter.
“It is worth seeing a smile on her face,” Klein said.
Connecticut Icon, a singing competition that invites all residents ages nine and up to audition. Alexandra Hernandez of Naugatuck won the competition, receiving $1,000 in cash along with the opportunity to record her voice professionally at Onyx Soundlab recording studio in Manchester. Autumn Sheffy of Southington was named first runner-up while Joey Antonios of Thomaston was named second runner-up, and Amanda Brenkus of New Britain was named third runner-up.