Local artists’ showcase expands

Photo: A throw-off competition will be held for potters to make the tallest pot

By Tim Walker

Dayton-area artists too often labor in obscurity, their work unseen and underappreciated, their names unrecognized. This week, however, local artists have a chance to showcase their work, find a larger audience, and connect with their community—and possibly even win a prize or two—when the second annual ArtFest of the Miami Valley takes place in Beavercreek on Sunday, Sept. 17.

“The festival will be held at Community Park in Beavercreek,” says Tabitha Peters-Guidone, co-chair and co-founder of ArtFest. “The park is located at the corner of Factory Road and State Route 35, right along the Creekside Reserve bike path, which is part of the bike path that runs all the way through the area. There’s a nice big pond that sits right beside the bike path there, so we have this glorious area that’s never used for events like this—it’s usually used for Girl Scout events—but for the ArtFest we’ll be filling it up with vendors and booths and art activities and interactive art. It’s a big space with lots of entertainment, food trucks, and everything.”

With last year’s first ArtFest such a resounding success, there was never a question that a second one would be held. And with the enthusiastic response from vendors, artists, food trucks, and sponsors such as Soin Medical Center and Greene Memorial Hospital, this year’s ArtFest promises to be even bigger and better than last year’s. “It’s going to be from 11 a.m. till 5 p.m. on Sunday, September 17th,” continues Peters-Guidone. “And the festival is run by Infusion Art, which is an endowment underneath Greene Giving or the Greene County Community Foundation. I am also the director of Infusion Art, so I play two different roles in all of this.”

ArtFest is a nonprofit event that is run entirely by volunteers, and all the proceeds raised from the event will be used to help fund Infusion Art for the next year. Fees for booth space are kept low to encourage local artists to participate. In addition to the opportunity to showcase their work to the public, Artist Awards will be handed out in the following categories: Best Craft, Best Fine Art, Best Experience, Best Booth, and People’s Choice. There is also a People’s Choice for a Chalk Art competition, which will be going on live during the event. Michael Roediger from the Dayton Art Institute, Lisa Seibert with DaytonLocal.com, and the Dayton City Paper’s own “Epicurean Empress,” Paula Johnson, will serve as the judges for the festival.

“Honestly, what’s different about this year’s ArtFest is it’s a combination of things,” continues Peters-Guidone. “There will be styles and genres of all kinds, mixed media of many different sorts, and a lot of it will be interactive. If you go to a festival, people are usually doing things, so we try to incorporate a lot of that too. We think that’s a twist, when you compare ArtFest to a lot of the other arts festivals here in the area. There will be lots of local artists there—our featured artist for 2017, Shon Walters, as well as Jason Goad, Amy Kollar Anderson, Mike Guidone of Monkey Bones Tattoos, and David Brand and Sandra Picciano-Brand of Mythic Silver Studio. Cornell Studio Supplies is a sponsor this year, and they’ll be hosting a throw-off—potters will get 5 pounds and five minutes on a wheel to see who can throw the tallest pot. The winner will be announced there, and will take home the Tallest Pot Award and a gift card from Cornell.”

ArtFest promises to host more than 70 creative vendors whose booths will feature original works of art from a variety of disciplines during the festival. In addition to meeting the many artists and viewing their exhibits, there will also be a number of hands-on booths where members of the public will be invited to create projects of their own. Interactive booths, sewing, painting, soap making, fiber arts, and sculpture will all be featured, offering the public a perfect chance to learn more about art and local artists.

Celebrating the beauty of artistic expression… regardless of what forms of art you’re interested in, the 2017 ArtFest will have something on hand to pique your interest, excite your senses, and perhaps, inspire your own creative energy. It will be a show you won’t want to miss.

The second annual ArtFest will be in Beavercreek at Community Park, located at the corner of Factory Road and State Route 35, on Sunday, Sept. 17 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. For more information, please visit Infusion-Art.org or call 937.306.7277..

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Tim Walker is 51 and a writer, DJ, and local musician. He lives with his wife and their two children in Dayton, where he enjoys pizza, jazz, and black T-shirts. Reach DCP freelance writer Tim Walker at TimWalker@DaytonCityPaper.com

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