ART | What To See
Washington Park comes alive with over 50 Fine & Fresh Artists Booths! As the centerpiece of this festival, the juried fine & fresh art exhibition and sale features artists in mediums including clay, digital photography, drawing, fiber, glass, jewelry, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture and wood.
Q-FEST will present over $5,000 in awards to this year’s artists!
2017 Accepted Artists
Meet the judge | Michael Parrett
Michael Parrett has been working in metals since 2001 when he began studying with master metalsmith, Paulette Myers, at SIUE and taking workshops at Craft Alliance with Andy Cooperman and Jim Muir. Having tired of working as a freelance photographer and graphic designer, he entered SIUE's graduate program in 2004 and graduated with his MFA in 2007. Michael was the metals artist in residence at Craft Alliance in Grand Center from 2009 to 2010. Simultaneously, he was creating his own metals studio in the heart of downtown St. Louis and opened as Firescale Studio in the spring of 2010.
In his own words: “As an observer I am fascinated by connections and relationships. As an artist, I am drawn to objects and forms that transcend both space and time and reside instead in a communal spiritual space.
My relationship with craft has always been rooted in process first, content second. Over time, my thinking shifted as they became one in the same. Where pieces used to begin directly with my hands, tools and materials, they now evolve on paper and in my thoughts. How long they exist there, a persistent challenge, often requires a leap of faith in order to decide when the idea begins its physical manifestation. Only once I begin working do I begin to understand the true potential of a piece. Problems arise, solutions develop and new ideas emerge... all interconnected.
Despite modern attempts toward interconnectivity through technology, our world and culture continues to fragment. Today's mass-produced fast paced world disposes of itself before it has a chance to stabilize. In reaction, I attempt to recreate iconic forms of ancient times. Ancient icons connected people through a universal collective subconscious. Often representative of archaic, modern or imagined ceremony, my work is inspired by rituals, ceremonies, their commemorative objects and the civilizations that produced them. These themes are reinforced by my insatiable interest in the magic and mystery of early ceremony, ritual and myth. Ritual signifies something more- something sacred- a transcendental exchange of energy between man, nature and spirit. Through the centuries these ceremonies have evolved, and in the disposable world of today, society often overlooks the meaning behind its own rituals. As a whole we have lost the daily ability to see the divine. Our one-track minds cloud our perception of alternative realities meanwhile destroying our imaginations, dreams and visions. We no longer relate to our neighbors, nor do we understand the idea of community. My intent is to reintroduce ritual through form and resurrect the relationship between the physical and the spiritual. My hope is that by redirecting our thinking, we might redefine our sense of culture. “
Michael is a practicing independant professional artist. He teaches metalsmithing and flameworked glass part time at Craft Alliance, SIUE and at his personal studio in downtown St. Louis. He is an active member in the St. Louis art community, the Society of Midwest Metalsmiths and a presenter at the Society of North American Goldsmiths. In addition to his metalwork, Michael, also works in blown glass, flame-worked glass and several fiber techniques, which he incorporates into his metal sculptures and wearable art. Michael has also worksremotely as an independant contractor for Black Rock City Inc. based in San Francisco helping to fascilitate the annual Burning Man experiment. He then travels to Black Rock City for two weeks each year where he works asproject manager and volunteer coordinator for a subset of the 2000 person infrastructure staff required to pull off the week long event.
In December of 2016, Michael accepted the positions of Director of Community Programs and Director of Operations over the Grand Center location of Craft Alliance Center of Art+Design.
Event organizers are seeking a diverse group of artists and makers that represent both fine and handmade indie art. Participating artists will experience the same "above-and-beyond" helpfulness of energetic volunteers and free amenities like nearby parking which artists have praised in the past. That hospitality will be combined with regional entertainment Saturday evening, an expanded Taste of Quincy food court and hands-on arts activities for the whole family throughout the weekend
Show Dates: 6/3/17 - 6/4/17
Application Deadline: 2/3/17 Midnight CST