From the Print
Villager Dinah Anderson, shown displaying her original jewelry, was one of several local artists selling their wares at the 2011 Art on the Lawn. This year’s event, sponsored by the Village Artisans, will take place this Saturday, Aug. 11, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the lawn in front of Mills Lawn School. (photo by Diane Chiddister)

Villager Dinah Anderson, shown displaying her original jewelry, was one of several local artists selling their wares at the 2011 Art on the Lawn. This year’s event, sponsored by the Village Artisans, will take place this Saturday, Aug. 11, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the lawn in front of Mills Lawn School. (photo by Diane Chiddister)

Celebrate art at Art on the Lawn

A Columbus artist who crafts bracelets and necklaces from copper and sterling silver. A Cincinnati potter who creates whimsical yet functional ceramics. A Springfield artist who fashions tables and windows from stained glass. A Columbus artist who creates yard sculptures from recycled cut glass.

These are only a few of the artists and artwork on display this Saturday, Aug. 11, at the 29th annual Art on the Lawn. The free event, sponsored by Village Artisans, will feature almost 100 artists of all varieties, and will take place on the lawn of Mills Lawn School from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Other artwork on display will include oil and acrylic paintings, fiber art, Native American flutes, a wide variety of handmade jewelry and original hats and purses, among other creations. Local artists and Village Artisan members in the show include painter Kathy Moulton, glass artist Theresa Mayer, fiber artist Pam Geisel, bookmaker Bill Felker, photographer Scott Kissell, oil painter Leah Grommen, acrylic painter Jennifer Float, woodcarver Rob Litak, African doll maker Hajar Davis and gourd artist Cynthia McDonald. And the featured artist this year is Village Artisans member Mary Kleismit of Springfield, who creates original jewelry from stones she collects in travels across the nation.

“I think it’s a special thing to be able to go under one roof and see so many artists, and all these handmade creations,” Village Artisans member Sue Brezine said in an interview last week. “We’re excited about our show.”

Almost three decades old, Art on the Lawn was begun by local artist Anna Arbor, according to Brezine, with the goal of helping the co-operative sustain its downtown store during slow winter months. And it’s done so, providing a cushion of several thousand dollars each year to tide the group over during slow times following the Christmas season.

“This show is a necessity for the Village Artisans to exist as a co-op,” said member Nancy Mellon.

Regional and local artists pay about $75 for a booth, which is less than at many shows, and for that they receive not only a regional audience for their work — people come from Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton, Indiana, Kentucky and Michigan for the show — but lots of individual attention for their needs during the show, according to Mellon.

“We take them water, coffee and doughnuts,” Mellon said. “We make sure our artists are comfortable.”

So perhaps it’s not surprising that many of the artists return year after year. It’s good for artists to have the opportunity to talk about their creations that an art fair provides, Mellon said, and it’s good for everyone to have the fellowship with other artists.

“To me, the most important part of the show is the camaraderie between members of Village Artisans, and also with the artists who come here,” Mellon said.

Soon after Mellon moved to town nine years ago, she joined Village Artisans as a way to meet other artists in the community. And it worked, she said.

“We’re a real community of artists,” she said. “We’re artists who get along well.”

The group displays members’ artwork in their Corry Street shop, and members spend about a day a month tending to the shop. For Mellon, the shop commitment is “a joy. I love sitting behind the desk and meeting people.”

She encourages anyone interested in art, or who just wants to enjoy Yellow Springs, to come to the show on Saturday.

“It’s a sweet kind of slow-paced event,” she said. “There’s time to meander.”

 

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