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Hundreds attend Small Stones Festival of the Arts

Grafton, MA, Nov. 14,  2019.The Small Stones Festival of the Arts opened to a packed exhibit full of beautiful fine art and photography, artists and art supporters at the Great Hall, One Grafton Common in Grafton. During the evening, 150 people viewed the artwork while listening to the Kelly Clark Quartet play jazz standards. Festival co-chairs Donna Blanchard and Ken Crater announced the first place, second place and third place award winners and the juror’s choice awards. Cash prizes of $500 for first, $250 for second and $100 for third place winners were awarded in each category.

In the Fine Art category, Carol Arnold of Northbridge won first place for her oil on panel portrait, “Kendall.” Marsha Gleason of Northborough was awarded second place for her direct oil painting, “Pa and Pentimento.” Third place was given to Carolyn Kinloch-Winkler of Grafton for “A Gaggle of Geese,” an oil painting. Juror choice awards were given to Grafton’s Anya Leveille for her still-life oil painting “Little Red Teapot” and to Framingham residents Sharon Whitham for “Balance #2,” a monotype, oil on paper and Janet Montecalvo for her oil painting on wood “May the Best Balloon Win.”


Carol Arnold of Northbridge won first place in the fine art category for her oil painting "Kendall."

In the Photography category, the first-place winner was Richard Lapping of Framingham for his “Sun Voyager, Reykjavik.” Second place was awarded to David Long of Shrewsbury for his “Night Fishing.” Matt Reynolds of Plymouth won third place for “Fire and Ice.”  Judge’s choice awards were given to Gail Rousseau of North Attleboro, “The Nightgown,” Anne Greene of Rutland for “Lily of the Valley,” Ben Carroll of Roslindale for “Ghost Town” and Diane Norman of Hadley for “Shop Closed.”

Anya Leveille was honored with a juror's choice award for her still-life oil painting of "Little Red Teapot. (GRAFTON Resident)

This year the attendees of the Festival voted for popular choice awards. In the Fine Art category, Grafton resident Bonnie Frederico’s  watercolor batik “Portugal” was chosen and David Long of Shrewsbury was honored in Photography for “Night Fishing.”

Carolyn Kinloch-Winkler stands next to her third-place winning oil painting "A Gaggle of Geese." (Grafton Resident)

The Festival’s Fine Arts juror Jim Welu, director emeritus of the Worcester Art Museum (WAM) where he served as chief curator and director and Photography juror Nancy Burns, current associate curator of prints, drawings and photography at WAM discussed different pieces of the artwork Saturday afternoon in the Great Hall auditorium. Several of the Festival’s artists in attendance joined in the discussion answering specific questions and providing interesting details about their artwork. The lecture was well attended by many artists and art supporters.

During the weekend, hundreds of people visited the juried arts Festival and enjoyed works of art while listening to a music program provided by Apple Tree Arts. The Sutton Ukulele Strummers led by Jan Barlow performed sing-along songs and popular tunes during exhibit hours on Saturday. Flute and piccolo teacher Amy Carroll’s Anna Maria College students performed during Sunday afternoon.

The festival is a collaboration of three arts organizations – Apple Tree Arts, Worcester County Camera Club and Blackstone Valley Art Association. The mission of the Small Stones Festival of the Arts is to elevate the practice and appreciation of fine art and photography in the Blackstone Valley and beyond.

The Festival showcased 144  pieces of artwork of 76 artists residing in communities in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Artwork and photography of the members of the Blackstone Valley Art Association and Worcester County Camera Club was displayed, too. Photography Jurors Stephen DiRado’s, Scott Erb's and Donna Dufault’s artwork was shown in a juror’s section. Several original pieces of artwork and 22 prints were sold according to festival organizers.

Next weekend the music program of the Festival continues with two concerts at the Great Hall. The Nov. 15 event features Indian music and finger food at a “Night in Bollywood” with Din Check, premiere Bollywood band performing at 7:30 p.m. and a Bollywood dance workshop at 6:00 p.m. Claflin Hill Symphony Orchestra chamber music players perform with Apple Tree Arts’ actors in Igor Stravinsky’s “L Histoire du Soldat—A Soldier’s Tale, Nov. 16, 7:30 pm. Tickets may be purchased by calling Apple Tree Arts 508-839-4286 for both concerts or for the Nov. 15 event

Planning for the 2020 Small Stones Festival of the Arts starts soon. The organizing committee has announced a tentative date for the Call for Art in mid-August. Please contact Ken Crater at [email protected]  if you’re interested in participating in the Festival or for sponsorship details. For more information, visit


Richard Lapping of Framingham won first place in the photography category for "Sun Voyager, Reykjavik.