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From the Print
The fourth annual Art&Soul art fair takes place this Saturday, Nov. 21, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Mills Lawn gym. Thirty artists from Ohio and Indiana will show their creations, including, at top, ceramics from Kate and David Chesar of Oakwood; center left, handbags of natural fiber from Lucy Chapman; and right, handmade boxes from Tattoo Dreams of Bloomington, Ind.; and bottom, art quilt by local artist Pam Geisel. (submitted photos)

The fourth annual Art&Soul art fair takes place this Saturday, Nov. 21, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Mills Lawn gym. Thirty artists from Ohio and Indiana will show their creations, including, at top, ceramics from Kate and David Chesar of Oakwood; center left, handbags of natural fiber from Lucy Chapman; and right, handmade boxes from Tattoo Dreams of Bloomington, Ind.; and bottom, art quilt by local artist Pam Geisel. (submitted photos)

Art & Soul’s holiday fair fare

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Normally when one retires from organizing a popular artist studio tour, organizing another art fair isn’t the first task one might hope to undertake. But in the case of Yellow Springs resident Lisa Goldberg, the promotion of art is something “intimately tied to her being.”

And so, with help from her contingent of volunteers, Goldberg is continuing her work as an art advocate with the fourth annual Art & Soul: a YS Art Fair, so named in reference to the level of investment artists have in their crafts.

On Saturday, Nov. 21 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 30 artists from Ohio and Indiana will exhibit their wares at Mills Lawn Elementary School Gym. Art & Soul will feature art in countless mediums, from birdhouses to handmade journals to clothing to pottery to photography. Seven of the featured artists are totally new to the show this year, and seven are currently Yellow Springs residents, including Yellow Springs High School senior and photographer Lake Miller, quiltist Pam Geisel, and jewelry maker Alice Young-Basora.

Admission is $3, with part of the proceeds going to the Yellow Springs Police Coat Fund and part going to a scholarship fund Goldberg started for graduating high school students who plan continue their education in the arts. Patrons under six are admitted for free.

The art fair is juried, which means that a few fellow artists helped Goldberg go over the submissions and select participants for the show. The somewhat exclusive nature of Art & Soul ensures a high quality of art, but its exclusivity doesn’t mean the show is for highfalutin’ art collectors only: Art & Soul is designed to appeal to a broad spectrum of tastes, Goldberg said. The variety of mediums will be available at a range of prices, she said, from “not inexpensive” to totally affordable.

Goldberg feels good about putting the community in touch with its artists because of the powerful role art can play in daily life. Art isn’t just about marketable possessions, she said, but feeling inspired by or connected to someone’s creativity. Seeing the soul of an artist’s craft imbues the piece with meaning, she said. Coffee simply tastes better when drinking out of a handmade mug, Goldberg said, and a piece of handmade jewelry adds that much more personality to the wearer’s ensemble.

A greater appreciation can also be fostered when patrons have a chance to mingle with the artists behind pieces they love. Art & Soul is an “intimate” fair at only 30 participants, Goldberg said, but this means that curious fairgoers will have more opportunities to speak with artists about what they do and why they do it.

One aspect of the fair that may be of particular interest to Yellow Springs residents is the “upcycling” — or using old goods in new ways — done by many of the exhibiting artists, Goldberg said. People recognize that we live in a “throw away” society, she said, so when artists give bits of human detritus new life, a statement is being made about disposability and how one might counteract profligate waste. At least eight of the artists at Art & Soul use upcycled goods. Upwear Urban Art Clothing uses reclaimed and repurposed fabrics in their handmade clothing, BJ and Greg Jordan use found objects in their jewelry, and Nicci Seibert will present her clothing, blankets and accessories made from recycled clothing.

And regardless of the process or materials an artist uses, art appreciators can rest assured that they are buying directly from a piece’s creator instead of an industry, Goldberg said. She added that the fair is an ideal place for holiday shopping, though she also noted that for every piece she buys as a gift, she typically buys a piece for herself.

For more information on the Art & Soul: http://www.ysarts.org/artSoul.html or call 937-767-7285.

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Art & Soul’s holiday fair fare

by Dylan Taylor-Lehman