LOWELL, Mass. — From breakdancing to wood carving to fried dough demonstrations (with free samples), the annual Lowell Folk Festival celebrates traditions from around the globe. “Everyone has their own path and their own way of contributing to the world and mine is art and I think this is a good way,” says Thomas Matsuda of Conway, who was carving an Amida Buddha from wood yesterday. The free festival continues through July 28.
“I can have [decoy] scoters out and long-tailed ducks and eiders will fly right by,” says hunter and wood carver Bob Brophy of Essex, who was adding glass eyes to the head of a female white-winged scoter duck decoy. “Birds of a feather.” (Greg Cook)
“I just picked it up at home, seeing people cooking,” says Garrison Pollard of Holyoke, who was cooking up Southern-style hushpuppies with his daughter Lilly Morales in the fried dough demonstration tent. (Samples were free.) “I see something I wanted, I cook it. When I started, I didn’t have no recipe.” (Greg Cook)
“I saw [a carousel horse] at the state Augusta show and it won best in show. Thirteen-year-old me decided to have big ambitions and do it,” says Ellyzabeth Bencivenga of Limestone, Maine, who has been carving her full-sized carousel horse for three years now. She says the project has taught her “patience.” (Greg Cook)
“I’m an artist and I have a Japanese background. I became interested in Buddhism and I was very interested in social change and the peace movement. I traveled to Japan and met a Buddhist sculptor and all those ideas came together,” says Thomas Matsuda of Conway, who was carving an Amida Buddha from wood. “I feel Buddhism is very peaceful and nonviolent. And bringing, not necessarily religion, but spirituality is important in our time. Not necessarily promoting Buddhism, but reverence and respect and compassion is what the world needs more of.” (Greg Cook)
“In Cambodia, they call this shape the lotis flower shape,” says Yary Livon of Lowell, who was molding white clay into Khmer architectural decorations. “It looks like vines when they grow.” (Greg Cook)
The West African Highlife Band plays. (Greg Cook)
Couples dance in the Dutton Street Pavilion as Jesse Lége and Joel Savoy play Cajun tunes. (Greg Cook)
Pedro Alvarez of Boston competes in the “Battle of Lowell” breakdancing competition. (Greg Cook)
Alfred Hibbert (aka Flo) of Dorchester competes in the “Battle of Lowell” breakdancing competition. (Greg Cook)
Ruben Arroco of Lowell, who carves watermelon into fabulous floral designs, hands out fruit. (Greg Cook)
Jesse Lége and Joel Savoy play Cajun tunes. (Greg Cook)
Welcome to the ARTery. The ARTery offers the best of Art news, reviews and features in sounds, words, sights, stages, screens and experiences in and of Boston. The ARTery, presented by WBUR, Boston’s NPR News Station, is powered by critic-at-large Ed Siegel and reporter and critic Greg Cook.