CAREFREE – Fine artists from around the world will join along Ho Hum and Easy streets in downtown Carefree on January 18-20, for Thunderbird Artists’ 26th Annual Carefree Fine Art and Wine Festival.
The prevalent show includes in excess of 150 prestigious, juried artists who will showcase and sell their original work from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day.
“Our first show of the year includes many diverse, talented artists, but we are particularly excited to showcase the breathtaking work of our featured artist, acclaimed sculptor Austin Casson,” said Denise Colter, president of Thunderbird Artists.
Casson will display steel wildlife sculptures with an emphasis on birds of prey.
“I have always been fascinated by hawks and owls,” Casson, a Temecula, California resident, said. “Years ago, I banded ospreys in Idaho and golden eagles in southern California. There’s nothing more amazing than holding a baby golden eagle in your hands.”
Casson experienced childhood with a farm in upstate New York and he credits both of his folks for his innovativeness and ability.
While he has been sculpting for over 30 years, he fell into it coincidentally because of a work situation.
“I had an extensive career in marketing, and while working in the golf industry, I came up with the idea of creating three-dimensional, miniature sculptures of famous fairway golf holes as small gifts, such as bookends and desk sets,” he said.
He had no aim of turning into a craftsman, he couldn’t discover any individual who could make the figures superior to him. The thought took off and a little while later, his figures were in 3,500 stores around the world. He sold his business nine years after the fact and chose to concentrate on fine art.
The accolades mounted as authorities around the globe looked for his work. One of his most punctual bronze eagle sculptures was displayed to the late President George H. Bramble, five of his sculptures are in the World Golf Hall of Fame, and he made the trophy sculpture for the Breeder’s Cup at Santa Anita Racetrack.
He appreciates the test of working with various sculpting materials.
“Bronze has the advantage of being repeatable, but I can create large public art pieces with both steel and concrete. Steel is one-of-a-kind, and it’s the only medium that will allow me to create delicate patterns, such as a bird’s feathers,” he said.
All through the three-day celebration, supporters can take in live music and appreciate wine samplings, microbrews and an assortment of celebration nourishment. Admission to the Carefree Fine Art and Wine Festival is $3 for grown-ups, and free for kids 17 years or more youthful. Parking is free all weekend.