34 artists to participate in 2016 Art & Soul
- Published: November 24, 2016
A wide range of original arts and crafts creations—both decorative and functional—will be featured this weekend in the fifth annual Art & Soul fair, which spotlights the work of area artists and artisans in the indoor setting of the gymnasium at Mills Lawn School.
Thirty-four artists are scheduled to participate in this year’s juried event, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19. The work on display and for sale will include hand-made jewelry, photographs, leatherwork, sculpture, pottery, glass, furniture, drawings, beadwork, clothing and accessories. A third of this year’s participants are new to the event, said Lisa Goldberg, a local artist who founded and organizes the show.
Two of those are a Yellow Springs mother-daughter duo. Colette Palamar and her 9-year-old daughter, Zazu Metcalf, will share a booth. Palamar is the founder and proprietor of Urban Baby Bonnets, which creates fun and functional sun and winter hats for babies, children and adults. Zazu designs and colors handmade cards and other paper creations.
The pair had a booth at this year’s Art on the Lawn fair in August, and the experience was so successful, they wanted to do some more shows together, Palamar said. In fact, Zazu’s cards sold out there, Palamar said. The cards are partially a collaborative venture in that after Zazu has made the drawing—animals are her primary subject—Palamar inks the line. Zazu then adds color with Prismacolor pencils, and they package the finished cards together.
Zazu, a third-grader at Mills Lawn, said she has always liked to draw, especially animals. She said she mostly draws from memory, but will sometimes look at a picture to remind her of various features.
“She constantly surprises me,” said Palamar, who has a master’s degree in fine art and previously taught at Antioch College. “She’s really got a neat eye for putting color together,” she said of her daughter.
Palamar said she started making bonnets and hats when Zazu was a baby. “When my daughter was born, I was really anti-pink,” she said. Knowing this, Zazu’s great-grandmother made her a bonnet with nontraditional coloring. Sadly, the bonnet didn’t fit, but Palamar was inspired to make a new hat out of some fabric she had on hand for another art project. The result earned so many comments—and questions about where to find others like it—a new business venture was launched. Palamar said she started out selling online through the Etsy website. She eventually moved into a shop on Xenia Avenue above The Winds that is open mostly by appointment, as a majority of her business continues to be conducted online. She also now works with at-home seamstresses who help sew the hats she designs.
Goldberg said she is thrilled to have the mother-daughter team and really happy that the fair will be a multi-age event. She said high schoolers have participated in past years, but Zazu will be the youngest artist to take part.
Participants are selected through a blind jury process in which three jurors select work that meets the goals of the event—to feature high quality work, a wide range of media and reasonable prices that are at the same time comparable to other exhibitors, Goldberg said. She noted that if an artist’s prices are too high, the artist likely won’t be successful in making sales; and if they’re too low, other artists won’t be.
Goldberg, a ceramicist, said she is invested in helping each artist have a successful experience. “I used to do art fairs, so I know how difficult it is,” she said. “I take it very personally when an artist doesn’t do well.” The name of the show, Art & Soul, reflects Goldberg’s understanding that artists put their souls into making their work.
All of the 2016 Art & Soul exhibitors are from Ohio and Indiana, Goldberg said. “Word is getting out that it’s a good show.”
Yellow Springs-based artists include Beth Holyoke, whose whimsical clay work is well known around town, taking part for the first time; Alice Young-Basora, showing beaded work, jewelry and clothing; Pam Geisel, who makes art quilts; Holly Underwood, also new to the show, with art quilts, bags, rugs and ornaments; Sara Gray, whose recent work focuses on glass fusion; and Theresa Mayer, who creates and fires beads, jewelry and other objects.
Goldberg said that she started Art & Soul not only to help artists exhibit and sell their work, but also as an event that could benefit the community. Held each year on the third Saturday in November, it is meant to help the village kick off its holiday celebrations, and to bring people to town who will “eat in our restaurants, shop in our stores, hike in the Glen and stay in our hotel and bed and breakfasts.”
What’s more, a portion of the $4 admission cost (children six and younger are admitted free) goes to the Yellow Springs Police Coat Fund and a scholarship fund for high school students to continue their education in the arts. “I really had a strong desire to show everyone that there’s a way we can all give back,” Goldberg said of the donations. The police coat fund is near and dear to her heart, she said, noting that providing not only coats, but also hats, gloves, shoes and socks, to community children in need is a quiet effort that deserves wider recognition. She hopes Art & Soul helps raise awareness.
“When you’re organizing an event, there’s no reason” it can’t have a purpose bigger than itself, she said.