Miamisburg Art Gallery celebrates holiday art


The Miamisburg Art Gallery’s Artist of the Month, Patsy Weidner, with her Santas.

By Megan Garrison

The Miamisburg Art Gallery has been promoting and displaying art for over 50 years. Through those years the gallery has relied on the community to support local artists and keep the lights on. So, for this holiday season it’s no surprise that they have opened their doors to celebrate not only art but also the season of mistletoe and jingle bells for their 10th year.

The gallery space itself is not large. A small, cozy room lined with artwork on the outer walls and a center display crowded with pieces is flushed with soft lighting and a sense of contemplative ambiance. Each piece is adorned with a price or a “not for sale” identifier to help potential buyers.

With a recent surge in numbers, 50 exhibiting members and 35 associate members, the gallery is home to a variety of characters.

“Associate members can either be artists or not,” explained Bonnie Milligan, treasurer for the Miamisburg Art Guild. “They are people who support the arts and they are invited to all of the gallery’s functions.”

The featured artists of December are Sandy Fry and Patsy Weidner, each one with a collection of holiday themed work that adorns the center display. The Artist(s) of the Month is on a rotation, where each member can get their moment in the spotlight. And while each month does have a themed exhibit and the Artists of the Month usually find pieces to match, they are not required to display theme-specific work.

“It’s the artist’s choice about what gets displayed,” said Milligan. “Artists are very free-thinking people.”

However, if you are still thirsty for yuletide spirit the gallery holds more than enough wintery themed works alongside portraits and stylized landscapes. And the featured artists are no exception.

“Patsy Weidner donates an oil painting of Santa Claus every year,” said Milligan. “We auction it off as part of our only fundraiser. She makes prints from the originals and sells them.”

And while the art certainly is impressive, it’s the working artists that are all the more eye-catching. Unlike most galleries, Miamisburg brings in a sense of exhibitionism. Artists perch on stools in front of a line of easels. From the front door, and through the modest display room, a visitor can watch as a scene comes to life under the capable hands of the many members of the Miamisburg Art Guild that call this gallery their home.

“We initially designed it this way so that people could see a classroom session, see artists working,” said Milligan.

Thanks to this design anyone can meet artists like Coe Lyons, who was working diligently on a small painting she planned to use as a Christmas gift. A board member of the gallery with a degree in art and a long history of teaching art in the community, Lyons sports a number of pieces along the walls. One of which is a gorgeous scene of a house.

“Almost all of our artists work on commission, too,” said Milligan. “A lot of them do scenery and say you have a photo of an old family farm, they can replicate that.”

The art itself is as varied as it is unique. The individual touch of each member of the gallery is intrinsically tied to their mediums. And the mediums at the Miamisburg Art Gallery range from acrylic and oil paintings, to pencil and ink to jewelry and pottery, and not to mention origami. The subjects include landscapes, animals, portraits, and building. 

Like most of Dayton’s inhabitants looking forward to a new year its commonplace for the gallery as well. The years haven’t always been easy, especially 1999’s electrical fire, but the rebuilding has led to a new style of gallery that aims to explore art mediums in new ways.

If you’re feeling particularly festive and have the time to support the arts visit the Miamisburg Art Gallery to take in all the holiday joy.

The Miamisburg Art Gallery is located at 16 N. Main Street in Miamisburg. The holiday exhibit “Art Celebration” is on display until January 13th. For more information please visit MiamisburgArtGallery.com or call 937.866.3891.

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Megan Garrison grew up in the small town of Lampasas, Texas, spending her time immersed in Ernest Hemingway novels and dreaming of being a journalist one day. Now she attends the University of Dayton and is hard at work studying to be a war-time correspondent. Though she is very goal oriented and works hard to achieve her dreams she also loves to have a little fun. She DJs her own radio show on Flyer Radio and makes it a point to attend great movies and local concerts. But her greatest love will always be books.

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