Deborah Kracht is a mixed media artist living in central Massachusetts.
"I can't remember a time when I wasn't an artist. In most of the pictures from my
childhood I am either covered in paint or building something. Things haven't changed
much over the years, only the materials I use are different. Like many visual artists, I am
a scavenger of objects and a saver of bits. My current work seeks to rescue and reinvent
objects which are broken or have outlived their purpose. In doing so I satisfy my love of
the treasure hunt by going to flea markets, estate sales and auctions, using my finds to
make art instead of just hoarding interesting bits. I go without preconceived notions,
never looking for specific pieces. Instead I let the objects dictate the direction of the
work, sometimes the pieces come together quickly, and often they must wait until I find
the next perfect part."
ArtHead Studio | 45 stimson street : palmer : ma 01069 | 413.289.2091 | email@example.com | art * found * recycled * upcycled
• Juror, Foundry Artists Association, Providence, RI 2012
• Welding Intensive, Snow Farm Craft School, Williamsburg, MA 2010
• American Craft Council, Member
• Foundry Artists Association, Member, Providence, RI
Professional Development and Associations
Best of Category, ECO Supply Center Award for Wood or Recycled Materials
Visual Arts Center of Richmond annual juried show (Richmond VA 2009)
First Place, Shirley French Award for Mixed Media
Allentown Arts Festival annual show (Buffalo, NY 2003)
Third Place, Mixed Media
Corn Hill Arts Festival annual show (Rochester, NY 2003)
Directors Choice Award
Seacoast Artists Association juried show (Portsmouth, NH 2001)
Each year Deb participates in about a dozen juried art shows around the country where
she exhibits and sells her latest creations. Her work is also featured in several museums
and galleries throughout the U.S.
December 16, 2011
"In the age of Etsy, Paradise City Arts Festival still a draw for art lovers, artists"
October 12, 2015
By CHRIS LINDAHL
NORTHAMPTON — While websites like Etsy give art lovers instant access to the
works of countless artists, the Paradise City Arts Festival continues to draw
hundreds of artists and thousands of patrons to the Three County Fairgrounds twice
And patrons, artists and festival volunteers say it’s the in-person conversations —
and the opportunity to view up close and, in some cases, touch the works — that
make the semi-annual festival a unique and invaluable experience for artists and
their customers alike.
Paradise City Inc. hosts two festivals a year in Northampton and two in Marlborough.
Around 1,000 artists applied to be a part of this fall’s event in Northampton, which runs through Monday. Only 260 made the cut after the jury
Among them is Deb Kracht, of Palmer, who sells her creations under the ArtHead Studio moniker.
Her pieces are colorful, whimsical and definitely unusual — diminutive animals made of old medicated powder boxes, robots crafted from coffee
containers and lanky creatures built from old cameras.
“I do 3-D mixed media, mostly recycled, repurposed, and re-thought-out materials,” Kracht said on Saturday, the festival’s opening day.
Jil Lesko, Kracht’s wife, said much can be lot lost when viewing works online compared to seeing them in the flesh. She takes photos for Kracht’s
website, and acknowledges that pictures don’t often do the work justice, because the viewer can’t experience the kinesthetic quality of a piece.
“When you flatten it, it changes it,” Lesko said of trying to capture the work in an image.
Kracht sells some of her pieces online and says her Web operation and her presence at shows and festivals are complementary in her business
model. People who meet her at shows will often buy something from her website, she said.
She used to have an Etsy page, but has since taken it down because she said it’s hard for people to find a particular artist on the website — even
if they know his or her name.
Customer Nancy Hawthorne enthusiastically interjected herself into the Web-vs.-art-show conversation while browsing Kracht’s work.
“To visit a website, you need intention,” she said. “This, there’s much more serendipity involved.”
Indeed, Hawthorne, of Marblehead, said she came across the Paradise City show by chance. She and a friend were tagging along to western
Massachusetts with their significant others, who were playing golf in the area. Not golfers themselves, they figured the festival would be a fun way
to spend the day, she said.
Hawthorne said she had never even heard of the festival until deciding to go on Saturday — nor had she ever seen Kracht’s work. But she ended up
buying one of Kracht’s pieces: a dog sitting in a metal box, which she said reminded her of her golden retriever.
“Certain things are just so you, they resonate so much,” Hawthorne said.
October 7-9, 2017 | Northampton, MA
"The Paradise City Arts Festival has a vibrant
soul that many similar exhibitions reach for but
never attain. At Paradise City, jazz melodies
float in the air, while the food soars beyond
expectations. Most remarkable are the art
pieces themselves - the three-day
Northampton event has blossomed into a
unique visual arts institution."