Semibad Snowflakes at Mercy Tavern Creative Salem

An Early Snowfall comes to Mercy Tavern

By Chris Ricci

Although It may be a bit early to really start thinking about winter, a special show at Mercy Tavern this month has people excited for snowflakes. Paper snowflakes, that is. But, instead of diamonds and little squares, portraits of musicians and celebrities cover these wintery creations, and like real snowflakes, each is truly unique.

Local resident and now paper snowflake expert Brett Badolato started exploring the art of paper snowflakes in 2009 while working at an office. “Colleagues at an old job wanted to decorate the office for the holidays but had no budget, so I thought I’d cut some paper snowflakes,” Brett said. “Pretty quickly I realized that the magic was in the fold, and once I figured the fold out, the floodgates opened.” For the next eight years, Brett decorated the offices he worked at with snowflakes and, over time, he challenged himself even more when it came to style and design, but also changed the platform in which he presented them. “ A few years back I started a new job where I didn’t really have a place to hang snowflakes or anyone around who cared, so I started posting pictures of them on Facebook,” he said. “That opened up the conversation to my community.” But the major springboard that propelled him into truly finding his own stride snowflake-wise came in the form of an unlikely source.

“Two years ago I was deeply committed to Bernie Sanders’ presidential run,” He explains, “and someone suggested I should make a Bernie flake. I accepted the challenge and attempted to make a portrait snowflake. It turned out pretty good, and when I posted it people just went crazy! After that I was pretty committed to portrait snowflakes and more challenging designs.”

Brett has since graduated from the standard one-tone paper snowflake, and the results have been astounding. “This year I decided to add color layers, experiment with different shading ideas, and they’re coming out better than I ever anticipated,” he said. “So what’s keeping me going is the question of how far I can push this medium.” Of course, Brett has his favorites, but this isn’t keeping him from branching out and trying brand-new things. “The John Lennon one has a special place in my heart, it was my first experimental coloring with other snowflake designs utilized in the background and it came out better than my wildest dreams could have anticipated,” he said. “And the Chuck Berry one was a real pain in the ass, it was a very delicate cut that I had to re-cut multiple times to get a finished product.” He recalls. “And after I finally did get it where I wanted, it didn’t look strong enough to call it done so I experimented with some contrasting color star-shaped flake designs in the background which made it pop in such a surprising way. I never expected it to become one of my favorites but boy did it ever!”

One of his particular favorites, however, is one that’s rather close to home. “The one of my wife Sarah Seminski is of course near and dear to my heart, but it also pushed me to experiment with different types of paper like glitter paper and to push the background colors outside of the flake itself to create a framing spectrum.”

When asked what the future holds for the snowflakes, Brett made it clear he was pretty fluid. “For starters I intend to continue cutting snowflakes in the winter, and now I’m working toward creating pieces of art that people will hopefully want to have for their own,” he said. “ I’m looking forward to exhibiting my pieces in more art shows and venues as the collection grows, and with a little luck hopefully I’ll be building an Etsy shop, website, and maybe this can blossom into a nice side business.” Beyond that, Brett said that he wants to not only share his pieces, but also share something else. “Also I’d love to get involved teaching and hosting workshops for kids and anyone who’s interested in learning to further develop how versatile this classic art form can become,” he said. “ Ultimately it’s my aspiration that people may gain something from seeing my techniques and fuel their own creativity to create works of art that are even more impressive than mine so that I can learn from them!”

Brett’s show, “Paper Snowflakes” runs through the month of November at Mercy Tavern, and an opening reception will take place on Sunday, November 12th at Mercy Tavern.

Why Small Business Saturday in Salem is the Real Cherpumple

November 21, 2017

by Joey Phoenix I can see them now. Shoppers all over the United States will be cramming their faces up against windows of major chains on Thanksgiving night, somebody’s elbow jabbing them in the ribs, a small child wailing because its mother brought it to Wal-Mart before it could have its third slice of cherpumple. […]

Master Storyteller Jonathan Kruk brings one-man show ‘A Christmas Carol’ to Salem

November 15, 2017

Performance one night only. When: Friday, December 15, 2017 Time: 8:00pm-9:00pm Tickets: $25 (in advance or at the door) Where: Grace Episcopal Church, 385 Essex Street, Salem, MA 01970 By David Jonathan Lavin Ebeneezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim and the ghost of Jacob Marley are soon to come alive in Salem, as the Hudson […]

An Early Snowfall comes to Mercy Tavern

November 9, 2017

“Paper Snowflakes” runs through the month of November at Mercy Tavern, and an opening reception will take place on Sunday, November 12th at Mercy Tavern.

5 facts about Christmas in Salem

November 21, 2017

Christmas in Salem, thought to be the nation’s longest running holiday house tour, invites visitors to tour historic homes in the Downtown and McIntire neighborhood from December 1–3, 2017. Homes will be beautifully decorated for the holiday season and will be open for tours throughout the weekend.

Road Trip Photo Gallery – Illuminus Boston

November 4, 2017

The ILLUMINUS Festival is Boston’s contribution to the global “Nuit Blanche” movement established in Paris and taking place in many cities around the world. Each year it has been held at a different location in the greater Boston area and is free to the public.

Legendary Folk Trio Maeve Set for Rare Concert in Salem

November 3, 2017

Beginning in 2001, the modern folk group Maeve has developed a huge following among music lovers who appreciate their exquisitely warm harmonies and thoughtful lyrics. Over the past few years, their live concerts have been rare.

Salem Photos – XYZT at Peabody Essex Museum

October 22, 2017

An incredible exhibit exploring the X Y Z and Time dimensions imagined by the French digital artists, Adrien Mondot and Claire Bardainne

The Write Space: Kevin Carey

October 20, 2017

The Write Space is a monthly Q&A series from Creative Salem covering a local writer and a Salem space(s) he associates with writing.

Taste of the Gables Highlights via SATV

October 20, 2017

Video by Salem Access TV The House of the Seven Gables hosts its annual fundraiser and THE event of the year.

Salem Photos – Mayor’s Night Out Salem 2017

October 11, 2017

Once a year, at the beginning of the Salem Haunted Happenings Celebrations Mayor Kimberly Driscoll joins hundreds of little revelers in costume for Mayor's Night Out. Dozens of local businesses offer special discounts and offers to residents and hand out treats for the little ones!

Salem Scene – Punto Urban Art Museum Block Party

October 3, 2017

Our vision is to create a world class urban arts district in Salem’s Point Neighborhood, one that embraces its rich immigrant and architectural history and present a dynamic opportunity for the neighborhood’s future.

Salem Scene – Taste the Space Fundraising Kick Off

September 30, 2017

The Salem YMCA GreenSpace is a public garden run by the Salem YMCA. The Y hires local teens that work with volunteers to create and maintain this garden and school gardens across the city. Through the support of our community volunteers, the City of Salem, and generous donors, GreenSpace is able to provide free weekly produce to it's neighbors.

HONOUR: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan comes to the Larcom Theatre

September 26, 2017

“Memoirs of Geisha” meets “Slumdog Millionaire” in this vibrant award-winning stage show with original music, colors of India and a riveting story that is sure to remind you of Bollywood

Salem Scene – Notch Oktoberfest

September 18, 2017

Oktoberfest celebrations in Salem kicked off this past weekend with an overwhelmingly successful event at Notch Brewing. Giant tents, delicious cuisine, communal tables, games, traditional music and merriment were all in abundance as a new tradition in Salem has come to life on the South Harbor.

The Trustees to Present first East Coast Production of TigerLion Art’s Acclaimed Outdoor Walking Play Nature

September 15, 2017

Boston and Concord, MA – August 2017 – The Trustees announces that it will present TigerLion Arts’ critically acclaimed outdoor walking play Nature at the Old Manse in Concord this fall.

Road Trip Photos – Bread and Puppet Theatre

September 11, 2017

The Bread and Puppet Theater was founded in 1963 by Peter Schumann on New York City’s Lower East Side. Besides rod-puppet and hand puppet shows for children, the concerns of the first productions were rents, rats, police, and other problems of the neighborhood.

We’re All Mad Here – A Photo Series by Joey Phoenix

September 6, 2017

Creative Photo Series by Joey Phoenix Media creates a wonderful and magical take on Alice in Wonderland.

Christmas in Salem Video Screensaver

November 21, 2017

Christmas in Salem, thought to be the nation’s longest running holiday house tour, invites visitors to tour historic homes in the Downtown and McIntire neighborhood from December 1–3, 2017. Homes will be beautifully decorated for the holiday season and will be open for tours throughout the weekend.