The Small Stones Festival of the Arts

The 2021 Small Stones Festival
Live again, and Bigger than Ever!

Art Auction Complete – Thank you!

Support the festival and enjoy the arts!  New this year, the Small Stones Festival is holding an art auction to benefit our growing event.  Featuring art donated by some of the leading artists and photographers in our region, the auction will benefit our annual Festival while providing you the opportunity to own fine art for your home or as gifts.

The auction closed on Friday, September 17 at 9:00 pm, and you can view the auction items and results by clicking the link below.

Visit the Art Auction

New Literary Track features Local Authors, Speaker, and Performance

New this year at the Small Stones Festival is a Literary Track organized by the Shakespeare Club of Grafton.  The Club has planned a diverse set of offerings, including:

  • A live performance of excerpts from the Spoon River Anthology* by the Radio Active Theater, which includes local members of the Shakespeare Club.
  • Presentations by renowned local author Nicholas A. Basbanes and his newly-published daughter, Barbara Basbanes Richter.  Nick will be discussing his most recent book, Cross of Snow, A Life of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Barbara will talk about her translation of Fanny Reybaud’s 19th century French novel, Mademoiselle de Malepeire.  Representatives of Tidepool Bookshop, a local independent bookseller, will be on hand offering copies of the books.
  • Dr. Daniel Mahoney, Political Science professor at Assumption University, will use George Orwell’s Animal Farm and 1984 to illuminate the totalitarian effect of the corruption and manipulation of language.

All of these events will be held in the newly-expanded Grafton Public Library.

Festival Locations around Grafton Common

Now in 3 Locations!

With the expansion of the Festival this year, we are moving to three locations, all centered around the scenic Grafton Common.  We are proud to announce that our new Literary Track (see separate announcement), organized by the Shakespeare Club of Grafton, will be held at the newly-expanded Grafton Public Library.

A special music program organized by Apple Tree Arts will be held this year at the Congregational Church of Grafton.

Our signature Art and Photography Exhibition remains at the beautiful Great Hall, One Grafton Common, courtesy of Apple Tree Arts.

We are delighted to have our return to in-person activity hosted at these three iconic locations around the common.  Please plan on attending the Festival events this year to show your support!

  • Sunday, August 15: Art Call opens (now closed).
  • Monday, September 13, 9:00 am through Friday, September 17, 9:00 pm: Online Art Auction live.
  • Friday, October 15, 7:00 pm (One Grafton Common): Opening Event.
  • Saturday, October 16 through Sunday, October 24 (One Grafton Common):
    • Saturday, October 16: Exhibition open 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
    • Sunday, October 17: Exhibition open 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
    • Wednesday, October 20: Exhibition open 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
    • Thursday, October 21: Exhibition open 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
    • Friday, October 22: Exhibition open 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
    • Saturday, October 23: Exhibition open 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
    • Sunday, October 24: Exhibition open 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
  • Saturday, October 16, 2:00 pm (Grafton Public Library):  Radio Active Theater presents Spoon River Anthology* radio drama.
  • Saturday, October 16, 7:00 pm (Grafton Public Library):  Repeat performance, Spoon River Anthology.
  • Sunday, October 17, 2:00 pm (One Grafton Common):  Artist Talks.
  • Sunday, October 17, 3:00 pm (One Grafton Common):  Juror Talks.
  • Wednesday, October 20, 6:00 pm (One Grafton Common): Tom Saupe on the Eclectic Eye: Collecting Art on a Limited Budget.
  • Friday, October 22, 7:00 pm (Grafton Public Library):  Nicholas Basbanes and Barbara Basbanes Richter discuss their books.
  • Saturday, October 23, 3:00 pm (Grafton Public Library):  Dr. Daniel Mahoney on Orwell and the corruption and manipulation of language.
  • Saturday, October 23, 7:00 pm (Congregational Church of Grafton):  Eras of Classical Music performance.

* Spoon River Anthology by Charles Aidmon. Conceived from Edgar Lee Masters’s Spoon River Anthology. “Spoon River Anthology” is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc.,

We gratefully acknowledge the support of our sponsors

Anytime Fitness
Gaudette Insurance
Grafton Cultural Council
Homefield Credit Union
Jubilee Chocolate
Millbury Cultural Council
Northbridge Cultural Council
Roney Funeral Home
Shrewsbury Cultural Council
Sotheby’s Real Estate
Theroux Dental Associates
Town House Tavern at One Grafton Common
Yesod Foundation, Inc.
Westborough Cultural CouncilMass Cultural Council

2021 Organizing Committee

Small Stones Festival of the Arts

2021 Organizing Committee

Alaina Calloway BoltonApple Tree Arts
Sue CardosiWorcester County Camera Club
Ken Crater (Chair)Worcester County Camera Club
Gary Cunningham (Exhibition Coordinator)Blackstone Valley Art Assoc.
Bonnie FredericoSellar Shop, BVAA
Carol Frieswick (Artist/Juror Liaison)Blackstone Valley Art Assoc.
Bob HassingerWorcester County Camera Club
James HuntFine Art and Environmental Photography
Carolyn Kinloch-Winkler – Grafton Artist
Sean Padgett – One Grafton Common LLC
Bennie ThorntonWorcester County Camera Club
Dana Wilson (Public Relations/Marketing)Apple Tree Arts


2021 Fine Art Photography Jurors

David DeMelim
David is founder and Managing Director of the Rhode Island Center for Photographic Arts in Providence also works as a commercial and fine art photographer. With training as both a printmaker and photographer, his 30 years of experience has spanned the transition to digital technologies, and his dual role has informed his work to develop new ways to create a visual narrative.

Jessica Roscio
Jessica serves as Director and Curator at the Danforth Art Museum. Selected exhibitions include Barbara Swan: Reflected Self, The Memory Palace: Domesticity, Objects, and the Interior, Beautiful Decay, and Lois Tarlow: Material Vocabulary. Jessica has held positions at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C., and the Museum of Fine Arts, and has taught courses at Emerson College and Suffolk University. Jessica has an MA in Art History from the University at Buffalo and a Ph.D. in American Studies, with a focus on the History of Photography, from Boston University.

Al Weems
For several decades, Al was a corporate and commercial photographer with a focus on environmental portraiture. He now concentrates on fine art portraiture with a practice that seeks to elevate the ordinary. Al’s work has been widely published, and displayed in numerous exhibitions including shows at the Providence Art Club, the Newport Art Museum, and the Art League, Rhode Island.

2021 Fine Art Painting Jurors

Carol Arnold
Carol has been a part of the Putney Painters group, mentored by Richard Schmid and Nancy Guzik, since 2006. She served as a faculty member at the Portrait Society of America’s annual conference in 2015 and 2016 with responsibilities including mentoring, portfolio critiques and a workshop.

Susan Swinand
Sue Swinand is primarily a painter with a preference for water media. Although her work is usually abstract, the structures and forms of nature are a big influence for her. Sue was graduated, magna cum laude, from Moore College of Art in Philadelphia with a BFA in Painting. She has taught extensively at the Worcester Art Museum, Clark University, and at Wellesley College Greenhouses. She has had one person shows at a variety of prestigious museums and galleries, and is a signature member of the American Watercolor Society.

Charlotte Wharton
Charlotte is a highly-accomplished portrait, plein-air and genre artist with over 600 pieces of artwork displayed in national and European collections. She is the author of The Language Of Energy In Art: Finding Your Vision, and has received over five dozen major awards including the Copley Society of Boston’s Gold Medal, the Award for Excellence in Portraiture and the Oil Painters of American Award for Excellence in Painting.

Apple Tree Arts
Worcester County Camera Club
Blackstone Valley Art Association
Shakespeare Club of Grafton
Small Stones Festival of the Arts

The Small Stones Festival of the Arts, held each autumn, is a collaboration of Apple Tree Arts, the Worcester County Camera Club, the Blackstone Valley Arts Association, and the Shakespeare Club of Grafton. The festival includes a juried exhibition of photography and painting, a musical program, and literary events.

Admission to the exhibit is free to the general public, although some performances may have admission fees. Some artists will also make their work available for sale at the exhibition.

For information about this year’s festival, including how to participate with your artwork, see our Current Festival page. You can also read about our previous festivals:

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