Carefree Fine Art & Wine Fest kicks off art season

Featured artist Jane Boggs uses gourds as her canvas

CAREFREE  – The award-winning Thunderbird Artists kicks off the arts season with its 26th annual Fall Carefree Fine Art & Wine Festival taking place on the weekend of Nov. 1-3, along Ho Hum and Easy streets in downtown Carefree.

The popular Carefree show features 165 renowned, juried artists who will showcase and sell their original work from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

A popular event for locals and tourists alike, Thunderbird Artists’ Fall Carefree show was recently ranked as the No. 2 arts festival in the country, behind La Quinta Arts Festival in California. The prestigious industry accolade was included in Greg Lawler’s Art Fair Source Book’s 2019 “Premier 100” fine art events.

Featured Artist Uses Gourds as Her Canvas

This is the first year that Cave Creek mixed media artist, Jane Boggs, will exhibit her work with Thunderbird Artists. As the featured artist for the Fall Carefree Festival of Fine Art, she will exhibit a variety of gourd masks, sculptural figures and whimsical pieces.

A gourd mask by Jane Boggs titled “Mardi Gras II.”
(Photo courtesy of Thunderbird Artists)

“Jane’s bold, colorful gourd sculptures have evolved to include elaborate and stunning pieces that are mesmerizing,” said Thunderbird Artists President Denise Colter.

Coulter added; “Although much of her work has been done in a Southwestern style, patrons to our November show will see her new, organic, multi-cultural pieces, which are magnificent!”

While always creative, Boggs didn’t pursue art as a career until later in her life.

A former United States Tennis Association (USTA) employee, she worked in Colorado for 10 years as director of the Intermountain Region Junior Competitive Division managing six states before retiring in Newport Beach in 1993. Three years later, she and her husband, John, moved to Cave Creek where she began taking painting lessons.

Gourd art was not in her plans until she and a friend visited a gourd farm.

A sculpture by Jane Boggs, who will be exhibiting her art at the upcoming Carefree Fine Art & Wine Festival.

“I was so enthralled with the variety of gourds, that I bought 100 with no idea of what to do with them,” Boggs said. “A visit to the gourd farm is a special type of shopping trip. There are 13 varieties of gourds, and by now, I have a good sense as to which ones will make good vessels, masks or sculptural pieces.” 

Throughout the three-day festival, patrons can take in live music and enjoy wine tastings, microbrews, and a variety of festival food.

The festival’s featured performer, AfterGlow will perform contemporary jazz and funk tunes all three days in the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion. Other participating musicians include Vibhas Kendzia, a master of the Indian flute.

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

For more information, call 480-837-5637 or visit