Art & Soul

Yellow Springs’ art fair connects art to community

By Tara Pettit

Photo: The Art & Soul Fair takes place from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Nov. 21 in Yellow Springs

Sometimes we miss seeing the forest for its trees. Similarly with art, sometimes we miss seeing its expansive, communal nature when we make it into something hyper-personalized, individualized or completely separate in and of its existence as a stand-alone piece of work. However, as one Yellow Springs artist has recognized, art is something to be shared.

This inspiration to connect and collaborate bore the Yellow Springs Art & Soul Fair.

Communal Art

Lisa Goldberg is well known in the Yellow Springs arts community, not only for her involvement with and establishment of large-scale community arts events, but, more importantly, as a key link to collaborative community partnership in Yellow Springs.

Back in 2000, she was inspired to provide opportunities for collaborative community in ways that allowed people to form lifetime connections through the power of art. Her communal art ideas turned into concrete plans for the establishment of a local arts tour, which eventually evolved into the Yellow Springs Artist Studio Tour, a 15-year running event that invites the public into the studios of local artists to view and buy their work.

What followed the establishment of Yellow Springs Artist Studio Tour was the launch of Yellow Springs Art & Soul Fair. She felt this event, functioning as a one-day marketplace for local artists to showcase their work and interact with other artists and community members, offered that shared experience between the artists themselves, the community and art-lovers—the transformative piece in tapping into the power of communal art.

“Coordinating the Yellow Springs Artist Studio Tour allowed me to see that there are a lot more opportunities out there and ways to support not just the artists in the community, but the entire village itself,” Goldberg said. “I have gotten to know a lot of artists and want to find new ways to support them and for the community to get to know them, as well.”

One of the ways the event has integrated into the Yellow Springs community is by partnering with Yellow Springs schools to not only support student artists by displaying their artwork at the fair, but to select some high school students to become participating artists in the event and to provide them the opportunity to share and sell their work.

Additionally, in the marketing of the event, Goldberg has consciously made the effort to get the word out about other Yellow Springs events and activities occurring on the same day as the Art & Soul Fair.

“The nonprofits and I have a goal to promote the village as a whole because I love it,” Goldberg said.

There are many ways the Art & Soul Fair has extended its roots into the Yellow Springs community, including partnering with local nonprofits to raise proceeds for local organizations, but its strongest community asset is the artists it works with.

Alice Young-Basora, a local jewelry artist participating in this year’s fourth fair, has been involved  since the beginning, experiencing the event’s evolution. Part of that evolution has been the development of deeper relationships between the Yellow Springs community and surrounding areas.

“Yellow Springs is a wonderfully unique community, rich in creativity and artists,” Young-Basora said. “We are lucky to have this show in a town that brings in people from all over to enjoy Yellow Springs and find something unique.”

Accessible Art

Yellow Springs Art & Soul has become cultivating grounds for artist and art-lover interactions, a mixed marketplace of work that is not only the highest of quality but ranges in affordable pricing, genre and media from both established and emerging artists.

Goldberg has remained dedicated to presenting a myriad of options for visitors. She has also remained dedicated to working with one or two high school-aged artists to give them the opportunity to experience the fair.

Lake Miller, a high-school student at Yellow Springs schools, will be selling his photography for the second time in this year’s fair and is excited to once again be part of an event he says “makes him feel as though he is part of a community of artists.”

Miller has seen firsthand the footprint that an event like Art & Soul can leave on a community. He has learned how the nature of this event has the power to “pull communities together, introduce artists to brand new opportunities and work as a bridge to organizations in the community who need artists.”

“It’s brought us in to the community of art in a far more intimate way,” Miller said. “We get to know the artists who work in our community everyday.”

The event also invites artists from other areas to draw new talent and interest in the arts community Yellow Springs boasts.

“Its reputation is growing,” Goldberg said. “Lots of our visitors are new to Yellow Springs. Then, lots of them come back. It allows the chance for many to get to know the village in a new way or for the first time.”

Art & Soul takes place Saturday, Nov. 21 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. in Mills Lawn School Gym, 200 S. Walnut St. in Yellow Springs. For more information or to apply for next year’s fair, please visit ysarts.ord/artSoul.

 

Reach DCP freelance writer Tara Pettit at TaraPettit@DaytonCityPaper.com.

 

 

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Tara Pettit is a regional journalist and communications specialist with a focus on the arts, social/environmental justice issues, and community activism. She is passionate about cultivating intentional community and engaging in collaborative creative projects that make healthy community possible. Reach her at TaraPettit@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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