Art On The Commons

Art by: Karen Benedetti Art by: Karen Benedetti

Uncommon Experiences In Art

By Deborrah Adams

Art by: Karen Benedetti

Colors, textures, tastes and sounds will infuse Kettering’s Lincoln Park Civic Commons once again when the 21st annual Art on the Commons (AOTC) Festival of Fine Arts and Fine Crafts opens

Sunday, August 8.

A collaborative effort administrated by the Rosewood Arts Centre with support from the Kettering Arts Council and financial support from the Ohio Arts Council, AOTC continues to be recognized as one of the top regional art shows. Connie Campbell, cultural arts super-intendent and co-chair for AOTC, credits the jurors for much of their success: “We select good jurors who know what they’re looking at; the jurors select the artists to be presented.”

She went on to say that there is “a commitment to the artists; that they will be among the best, exhibiting the best. It’s why they are returning every year; why they want to return…The artists make the show, we just administrate it.” (And the community) can count on us; it knows what to expect, that we will be offering them the finest.”

But AOTC is more than just a fine art show and sale; it’s interactive – organic – like a progressive colloquium. Art on the Commons has become the interactive experience for which it is famous in part because the artists man their own booths. Within the setting of parkways and fountains, music and food, the passions of artists and public converge at these touch-points called art. Through these connecting points visitors get to know longtime artists and exhibitors as well as newcomers and second-career artists, and how their experience and ideas create the work they do.

For example, one of the married couples exhibiting will be longtime AOTC participants Susan Picciano-Brand (Silver Blossom) and David Brand (Metalmorphics) of Dayton, the husband and wife team behind Mythic Silver. While they have missed a few years they enjoy AOTC since “it’s a nice, well-run show…it’s gotten larger and (has) more works but it is consistently good work.”

Susan, who participated in the inaugural Art on the Commons, was influenced in jewelry-making by her stepfather’s jewelry store in Mt. Vernon, Ohio. Her own start came through classes she took after work at the downtown Chicago YMCA in the 1970s. David retired as a director of flight test engineering from Wright-Patterson AFB. He started taking classes in metal art and lost wax casting as a hobby but the hobby evolved into a full-time second career. He also applies his skills to other
media including the custom display cases he designed and built for their booth. The Brands work and teach in their studio in the Front Street Industrial Complex and also teach at the
Rosewood Arts Centre.

There will be newer artists to meet as well, such as recent repeat participant KS (Kathy) Funderburg, a painter in acrylics focusing on the subtleties of light and color play on her subjects. Originally a graphic artist, Funderburg, who hails from Bryan, Ohio, is returning for her third year after missing last year’s AOTC to prepare for her exhibit in the Visceral Gallery in Centerville last August.

First introduced to the area when her daughter was a University of Cincinnati co-op student working for the city of Kettering, Funderburg credits her friend and colleague Douglas Fiely, a longtime exhibitor at AOTC, for encouraging her to apply. She said “AOTC helps get my name and artwork out and viewable in an area where I would like to be better represented. I love this area.”

Of course what is an art event without a musical backdrop? AOTC will have two high caliber jazz bands providing daylong entertainment. Puzzle of Light with Michael Bashaw will bring a world jazz mix with flutes and harmonica, guitars and bass, and percussion and drums. Columbus-based band Charged Particles with Jon Krosnic will feature a contemporary progressive style of jazz combining electric and acoustic instruments.

In addition, there will be plenty of food to enjoy from vendors like the Fraze’s own Ernie’s offering hot dogs, frozen treats, soft drinks and more, not to mention crepes at
Crepe Boheme.

Art on the Commons will be held rain or shine from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Sunday, August 8 at the Kettering Civic Commons on Lincoln Park Boulevard between Stroop Road and Dorothy Lane. Parking is within walking distance and handicapped parking is available on the southbound lanes of Lincoln Park Boulevard. For more information, contact Rosewood Arts Centre, 2655 Olson Drive, Kettering, at (937) 296-0294 or send an e-mail to:

Reach DCP freelance
writer Deborrah
Adams at contactus@

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