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25 years of artistic success

Sculptures of glass, concrete and soapstone, paintings, photographs, jewelry, woodwork, pottery and fiber arts will be on display in downtown Grass Valley during the 25th anniversary celebration of the Sierra Festival of the Arts.

“That’s a big milestone,” said Howard Levine, executive director of the Grass Valley Downtown Association. He founded the Nevada County Arts Council, the originator of the festival, 25 years ago.

The festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday on Grass Valley’s Mill Street. There will be 53 artists showing their work during the juried show. The free event will feature live music and dance, lots of food and sidewalk chalk for youngsters.



The event has grown since its much smaller beginnings at the Nevada County Fairgrounds, but it continues to highlight the county’s flourishing artists.

“Nevada County has one of the highest per-capita artist concentrations in the state, if not the country,” said Levine, who also makes prints.




The festival moved to downtown Grass Valley during the early days of the town’s revitalization in the early 1980s. The festival, along with Cornish Christmas, united residents and merchants in the heart of town.

The show is a profitable one for artists like Soloman Bassoff and Dominica Mottarella, owners of Faducci, who have attended the festival for the last six years.

“We do very well,” Bassoff said.

Customers get a chance to view the artists’ steel and mosaic garden sculptures and then make requests for commissioned pieces, such as a 10-foot Galapagos sea iguana the couple recently completed.

During the day, people also can donate money for the Del Oro Theatre mural. The town is $5,000 away from signing a contract for the mural, Levine said.

For more on the Nevada County Arts Council, go to http://www.nevada countyartscouncil.org. For more about the Grass Valley Downtown Association, go to http://www.downtown grassvalley.com.

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To contact Staff Writer Laura Brown, e-mail laurab@theunion.com or call 477-4231.

On the Web

• For more on the Nevada County Arts Council, go to http://www.nevadacountyartscouncil.org.

• For more about the Grass Valley Downtown Association, go to http://www.downtowngrassvalley.com.

– The Union staff


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