Carefree Fine Art & Wine Festival

Writer Sue Kern-Fleischer
Photographer Todd Luckritz

Jacinthe Dugal-Lacroix never knows where she will be sculpting next. About a year and a half ago, she and her husband Marc gave up their home to travel throughout North America full-time in their RV, which they affectionately call ‘the Vagabond Bus.’

“It’s quite an adventure,” Dugal-Lacroix said. “Our RV is 40 feet long and we have a 27-foot trailer hooked to the back. Bumper to bumper we are 70 feet long. I can sculpt smaller pieces inside of the RV, but most of my work is done outside at campsites and other stops.”

Dugal-Lacroix is the featured artist for Thunderbird Artists Carefree Fine Art & Wine Festival, which takes place Friday, Saturday and Sunday, November 3, 4 and 5 along Ho Hum and Easy Streets in downtown Carefree. Now in its 24th year, the show features 150 renowned, juried artists who will showcase and sell their original work from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

Celebrating the Human Form’s
Energy and Movement
Dugal-Lacroix is best known for her evocative bronze sculptures which capture the energy and movement of the human form and express a tornado of emotions and a sensibility rarely seen. While she participated in the Arizona Fine Art EXPO last year—Thunderbird Artists’ 10-week fine art show in North Scottsdale—she will make her debut at the Carefree Fine Art & Wine Festival.

“We are thrilled to welcome Jacinthe to our Carefree show,” said Denise Colter, vice president of Thunderbird Artists. “Her work is magnificent and breathtaking. Not only are her sculptures correct in terms of composition; they capture mood and movement, which is not easy to do. Some sculptors excel at anatomy, but their pieces may look frozen. That’s not the case with Jacinthe’s work.”

Dugal-Lacroix grew up in Ottawa, Canada and started painting as a hobby. When her children grew older, she decided to attend the Ottawa School of Art in Ottawa, Ontario.

“When I first started classes, I tried to get out of taking a sculpting class, but I was told I needed to take it to graduate,” Dugal-Lacroix said. “I had no interest…I just wanted to paint. But, on the first day of the class, when I touched the clay, I realized what I was missing in my paintings, and I instantly fell in love with sculpting.”

After she earned her diploma, she apprenticed with sculptor Bruce Garner for a year. In 2006, she attended the Florence Academy of Art in Florence, Italy, for their summer figurative sculpture program. She also was fortunate enough to be accepted twice to a two-week workshop hosted by acclaimed contemporary figurative artist Richard MacDonald in his Monterey, California studio. Even though MacDonald required 10 years’ experience in order to apply, he accepted her after only two years of work.

“He explained that it was because I had movement in my sculptures, which he said is something that you either have or don’t. He wanted to guide me early in my career because of that movement,” she said.

Over the past two decades, Dugal-Lacroix’s work has evolved from classical to abstract.

“I’m old school in that I wanted to prove to myself that I could master the muscle and bone structures of the human body to the point where I could do it with my eyes closed,” she said of her traditional pieces. “Then, about two years ago, I started to experiment with a more expressive and raw way of sculpting to see where it took me. My new work features rough textures, gaps and imperfections to indicate emotions, and I’ve eliminated facial features so viewers can interact more freely in their interpretation.”

While her pieces range from life-size to tabletop, Dugal-Lacroix plans to exhibit a new “Dancer” series of smaller sculptures and paintings at the Carefree festival. The sculptures will range in size from 12 to 28 inches and will be priced moderately starting at $1,900. Patrons may choose to commission larger sculptures from the same series. The paintings will also depict dancers to compliment the sculptures.

Live Music and Wine Tastings
One of the highlights of the November Carefree festival will be the live music of violinist Teresa Joy all three days of the festival. Joy is the daughter of acclaimed classical guitarist Esteban.

The festival also combines fine art with an extensive collection of domestic and imported wines for tasting. For $10, patrons will receive an engraved souvenir wine glass with six tasting tickets, allowing them to walk the streets of downtown Carefree sipping samples, enjoying superb art and listening to live musical entertainment. Additional tasting tickets may be purchased for $1.

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