Dayzed and infused

Infusion ArtFest in Beavercreek

By Tim Smith

Photo: Jesy Anderson will feature her sewed works along with about 69 other artists at ArtFest Sept. 18; photos: Jesy Anderson

Miami Valley communities have long supported homegrown artists in a variety of venues. Beavercreek joins the lineup Sept. 18 when the city showcases some new and emerging artists at the Infusion ArtFest in Community Park. This is the inaugural year for ArtFest, but according to co-founder Tabitha Guidone, it has been in the works for some time.

“My co-chair, Danielle Deramo and I wanted a way for our hometown to celebrate creativity from the region through interactions and by supporting local artists and organizations,” she says. “Details are coming together so nicely that we have already started planning for 2017!”

The inspiration for ArtFest included a focus on education, as well as exposure for local craftspeople in a variety of genres.

“Too many children have inadequate materials or learning processes in their schools and our young adults lose connection to it, which can help them instill pride in themselves and their community,” she says. “We want to be that glue that brings it back together. From there, it is a ripple effect. The students are helping themselves, giving back to their neighborhoods, learning about the processes of working with the city and professionals to make things happen, and then the residents not only give a very positive reaction by enjoying these projects but they become supporters and cheerleaders for the student artists.”

Guidone’s goal is to help encourage the arts within the community, which she has done through her Decoy Art Studio, using it to help people connect with their creativity.

“It’s very easy to buy a mug at Target, but do you know how much work goes into making a handmade mug or how many years an artist worked on their skill to be a professional?” she asks. “ArtFest is a way for people to watch, learn, and support their local arts. To find out more and get involved. To be inquisitive and want to learn. To appreciate and want to support.”

She hopes that visitors will take away an appreciation for the many types of artwork on display, as well as some of the actual pieces that will be for sale.

“We want all the guests to remember this experience and connect with the creative process in some form or fashion while they are there so that they may continue connecting for the next 364 days until the next ArtFest,” she says.

Approximately 70 artists will showcase their unique works, including Erin Lambers, founder of the Cornell Studio, a supplier of sculpture equipment, tools, and materials.

“My work is slower paced,” she says. “I hand-build most pots, and add a lot of depth in the color and texture before the initial firing. It’s inspired by toddler doodles, of which I have two at the moment. When I was very young, I fell in love with an antique pot that my grandmother had a 50-year-old fern in. I knew that I wanted to make something as useful and beautiful. I started while still in high school and haven’t stopped since.”

Lambers notes that some of her pieces are actually decorated with the help of her 3-year-old son. She cites a particularly memorable experience at one of her shows.

“In my earlier years, I had someone who was getting married turn a piece of my work over at a show, and they instantly exclaimed they had to have it because it said ‘Going to the Chapel’ on the back. I still get chills when I think about it.”

Another artist who operates on the other end of the scale is Jesy Anderson of Needle, Ink and Thread.

“The work that I do is mostly sewn,” she says. “I love making useful and practical items. My pieces are fun and will make you smile. I got started with sewing in 2010. I wanted clothing that fit and was age appropriate for my stepdaughter. So I bought a $99 machine and taught myself how to use it and make clothing!”

Anderson is opening Needle, Ink and Thread in Beavercreek in September. She also has some clothing pieces for sale at Clash in the Oregon District. Like most artists, she has found that her work touches people on different levels.

“The most memorable experience was making a T-shirt quilt for a friend’s father that played with Ray Charles,” she recalls. “I was so nervous to cut the shirts up because they are a part of music history! But I did it, and he was so taken aback by the gift from his wife. They sent me photos of him opening his gift, and he cried. It still touches my heart that I could do that for someone!”

Anderson hopes visitors will develop a new interest and appreciation for things that many take for granted.

“I want them to be energized, to be curious about sewing,” she says. “I would love for them to see the creative and practical reasons to want to sew. Hopefully, they’ll book a lesson with me at my studio that is opening in September!”

Infusion ArtFest will be held Sept. 18 at Community Park, Factory Road and Route 35 in Beavercreek. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, please call 937.306.7277, or visit For more of Tabitha Guidone’s work, please visit For more of Erin Lamber’s work, please find “Erin at Cornellstudiosupply” on Facebook. For more of Jesy Anderson’s work, please visit

Tim Smith is an award-winning, bestselling author. Reach DCP freelance writer Tim Smith at

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Tim Smith is an award-winning, bestselling author. Reach DCP freelance writer Tim Smith at

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