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A sculpture by Robert Alan Hyde.
A sculpture by Robert Alan Hyde.Paradise City Arts Festivals/Robert Alan Hyde

What is it about the human face we find so utterly compelling? That’s at the heart of the special themed exhibit at this year’s Paradise City Arts Festival in Marlborough.

“Face to Face” explores the art of crafting faces, from complex portraits to ever-present selfies. The exhibit highlights the varied range of faces in the art and crafts — not just paintings and photography, but ceramics, quilts, jewelry, masks, and sculpture.

“Faces are as distinct as fingerprints, and the faces in these works engage, confront, entertain, and provoke,” says festival director Linda Post.

For example, metal sculptor Robert Allan Hyde crafts edgy masks that both obscure and redefine the face. Joanne DeLomba up-cycles vintage china into pop art adorned with selfies and playfully tweaked classics.

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This year’s festival includes 175 juried artists, many of them new exhibitors, from 24 states, with serious paintings and sculpture displayed alongside imaginative home decor, fashion, and jewelry. As Paradise City marks its 20th anniversary, “Face to Face” also offers a double-entendre.

“It’s a celebration of our two decades of bringing artists ‘face to face’ with the public,” Post says. “All the artists have stories, and when you come to a show like this, you find yourself getting into incredibly fascinating conversations about a piece, a story about how it was created, what inspired the artist. There’s a real sense of authenticity and narrative.”

“Ciao Bella” side chair by Linda Jacque.
“Ciao Bella” side chair by Linda Jacque.Paradise City Arts Festivals/Linda Jacque

Paradise City Arts Festival takes place Nov. 21-23. For details, visit www.paradisecityarts.com. Karen Campbell can be reached at karencampbell4@rcn.com.