Joi and Dan LaChaussee

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Carefree Fine Art & Wine Festival set for March 17-19

3/8/17

CAREFREE – Fine artists from around the globe will converge along Ho Hum and Easy Streets in downtown Carefree on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, March 17, 18, and 19 for Thunderbird Artists’ 22nd Annual Carefree Fine Art & Wine Festival. The Carefree show features more than 150 renowned, juried artists who will showcase and sell their original work from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. each day during the festival.

The show’s featured artists, Dan and Joi LaChausseé, have mastered the art of glass blowing. The talented couple has worked together for more than 30 years, and they have exhibited their colorful glass sculptural pieces at Thunderbird Artists shows for more than a decade. The highly skilled artists work from their studio on Whidbey Island, not far from Seattle. Joi LaChausseé said that they like the versatility of working with glass, particularly since it can take on any form.

“Everything we do is free-hand. We don’t use any casts or molds,” she said.

While working with a hot molten material is labor intensive, they thrive on the challenge. Every aspect has to be designed and planned carefully before they even begin to work. Because they can’t fix an error, take any breaks, or use the materials again, mistakes can be costly.

“There’s so much that goes into creating a piece even before we start blowing glass,” Dan LaChausseé said. “It takes a full week of heating 200 or more pounds of glass in the furnace at 2,000 degrees before we can even begin glass blowing.”

The Carefree festival will combine fine art with an extensive collection of domestic and imported wines and rum for tasting. For $10, patrons will receive an engraved souvenir wine glass with six tasting tickets. Additional tasting tickets may be purchased for $1. Delectable caramel, roasted nuts, cookies, seafood, American food, kettle corn, and other treats will be available.

Another festival highlight will be the steel drum musical stylings of Paul McDermand in the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion. A Scottsdale resident, McDermand is famous for his work with such big-name entertainers as Tony Bennett, Johnny Cash and the Temptations.

Admission to the Carefree Fine Art & Wine Festival is $3 for adults, and free for those 17 years or younger. Parking is free all weekend.

For more information, call (480) 837-5637 or visit www.ThunderbirdArtists.com.