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Original art, outside on summer’s day

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The annual fine arts show held in Yellow Springs during the dog days of August will feature a Great Dane this year who paints with his paws. To organizer Sue Brezine, advertising a four-legged participant at the Village Artisans arts and crafts festival, Art on the Lawn, was a little silly, but she said the canine artist will add to the fun of this year’s juried show, which draws about 100 fine artists and 2,000 patrons from across the state.

“It’s fun, charitable and there’s something for everyone,” Brezine said of the participation of dog artist Mozart Dane of Bethel, Ohio, whose paintings benefit a Great Dane rescue organization.

The 28th annual Art on the Lawn takes place on Saturday, Aug. 13, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the grounds of Mills Lawn Elementary School.

Also new this year is a full line-up of musicians, more food vendors and several new artists, such as Hajar Davis of Huber Heights who will showcase African dolls. Returning is last year’s best of show winner, John Two-Hawks, a Grammy and Emmy award-nominated musician who crafts handmade wooden Native American flutes.

Acoustic music will be provided throughout the day by Daniel Taylor, Jade McDaniel and various buskers.

The array of artwork only continues to grow at Art on the Lawn. This year pottery, gourds, jewelry, blown-glass ornaments, inlaid wood, handmade paper, sand painting, silkscreen t-shirts, bags, calligraphy, leather, fabric hair barrettes, nature photos on tiles, wrought iron yard ornaments, painted piano keys, stained glass, yo-yos, photography, mandalas, silk scarves, and more will be available to admire and purchase.

Village Artisans, a local artist co-op with a Dayton Street gallery and shop, organizes Art on the Lawn as a fundraiser to help it weather slow sales during winter months. There are currently 20 artist members producing local art.

“We’re unique because of the quality of our work,” Brezine said of Village Artisans. “There’s nothing in here that comes from China.”

As an art festival, Art on the Lawn is unique since it requires jury approval to participate and only allows original artwork, not artwork for re-sale. Also enticing to artists are the festival’s relatively low cost to participate and shady grounds under the mature trees at Mills Lawn.

“It’s a wonderful space for new artists because of the cost,” Brezine said.

Mozart Dane will demonstrate his painting technique at the festival, as long he’s in the mood, Brezine said. According to his Web site, Mozart chooses the colors in which to dip his paws before spreading it on stretched canvas. His owners only intervene to turn the canvas. Canine artwork with names like “Op-Paw-tunity Knocks” and “It’s not A Mo-rage,” will be for sale at the event, with most of the proceeds going towards Harlequin Haven Great Dane Rescue and a small portion to Village Artisans. Mozart, who was rescued from a dog pound, paints to “help him overcome the pain of his early days in a puppy mill,” according to a brochure. Canine-themed art is currently showing in the Village Artisans gallery.

“It is beautiful the layer work and the color work he does,” Nancy Mellon of Village Artisans said of Mozart’s paintings. “And like any artist he knows when it’s a finished product.”

Visit http://www.shopvillageartisans.com for more information.


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