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Serving the Towns of Guilford, Branford and North Branford
Exhibition and Reception at Guilford Arts Center
Posted on September 1st, 2015

Mace Vitali
                                     Matthew Parkinson
 
Guilford Art Center will hold a reception and temporary display of works by its GAC blacksmith instructors and “Forged in Fire” winners, Mace Vitale and Matt Parkinson, on Thursday, September 17, 2015 from 5-7pm.  This event will celebrate their victories on the new History Channel series, as well as provide the public a chance to meet the winners, view a sampling of their craft and see the forge area.  This event is free and open to the public.
 
GAC instructor and forge manager Vitale won the series finale episode on August 10; Parkinson, a frequent visiting instructor, won the first episode. Each “win” brought with it a $10,000 prize. 
 
Mace Vitale has been teaching at Guilford Art Center, and leading its forge, since 2008. He offers a wide range of classes and workshops for all levels and abilities, including “Introduction to Blacksmithing” and workshops on hand-forged blades, paring knives, and bowie knives, as well as an “Open Forge” series for continuing students. He also runs a popular class in teen blacksmithing.  Vitale has a background in architectural pre-cast concrete and is a Journeyman smith with the American Bladesmith Society.  
 
Parkinson is a self-taught blacksmith and sword maker. He graduated from the manufacturing technologies program at Vinal R.V.T.S. where he learned forming, machining, fabricating metal, heat treating and metallurgy. His studio, Falling Hammer Productions, produces custom knives and swords, high-end railings, furniture, and hardware.  At Guilford Art Center he teaches such workshops as “Fireplace Tools” and “Kitchen Knives”. 
 
“All of us at Guilford Art Center are thrilled for Mace and Matt,” says Executive Director Maureen Belden. “They are consummate artisans and wonderful teachers, both dedicated to the perpetuation of their craft. We are so fortunate our students can work with them here at the Center and think it’s so cool that the History Channel put the spotlight on this form of artistry.”
 
Guilford Art Center is located at 411 Church Street, Guilford, Connecticut (exit 58 off I-95). For more information call 203-453-5947 or contact www.guilfordartcenter.org.
 
 
About Guilford Art Center
The Guilford Art Center is a non-profit school, shop and gallery established to nurture and support excellence in the arts.  Through classes for adults and children, gallery programs, a shop of contemporary crafts, and special events, the Center fulfills its mission to provide opportunities for the public to participate in the arts, to experience their cultural and historical diversity, and to appreciate the process and product of creative work.  It receives support from the Connecticut Dept. of Economic and Community Development.  Founded in 1967 (as the Guilford Handcraft Center), the Center evolved from the first Handcraft Expo, held on the Guilford Green in 1957.   It currently serves over 2,000 students in classes, presents juried and invitational exhibits of art in the Center’s gallery and operates a shop of fine, handmade American crafts year-round.  The Center also presents the Craft Expo, held on the Guilford Green each year in July, that features works by more than 180 of the country’s most distinguished artisans and is a much-anticipated annual event for the shoreline community.



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