There are plenty of ways to tell we’re on the cusp of summer in the Valley. There are the many shades of green, the blooms bursting into view, and the green clouds of marauding pollen. Among the most reliable ways to note that Memorial Day is about to arrive to welcome the heat is the Paradise City Arts Festival. It happens more than once a year, and in more than one place. But it always shows up in Northampton this time of year, bringing a slew of good things: food, music, and a vast lineup of artwork for sale.

Among the new exhibitors this year you’ll find North Carolina’s Nancy Kubale, whose harlequin-esque ceramic and mixed-media figures (one of which is pictured) seem to exist in their own unusual universe. “Within the figures there is the visual message and the deeper meaning,” says Kubale. “The use of metaphors such as windows, wings, or ladders express ambiguity, determination, and aspiration.”

May 23-25, Three County Fairgrounds, 54 Old Ferry Rd., Northampton, (800) 511-9725,

— James Heflin