Receive a neighbor’s welcome at the Art House Hop

‘Toucan Island,’ featured at this year’s Art House Hop June 25; photo: Doug McLarty

By Megan Constable

The Yellow Springs Arts Council (YSAC) knows the only thing better than an art museum is viewing art in the comfort of a welcoming home. The fifth-annual Art House Hop will take art lovers through six homes and three gardens filled with everything from paintings to sculptures.

Art collector and homeowner Pamela Vonmathiessen, along with her husband Malte, collect art from their travels. This is their first year hosting and attending, since they are usually traveling at this time of the year.

“Every single piece that we have has meaning to us,” Vonmathiessen says.

Some of their pieces include wind sculptures from Santa Fe and ironwork from a Dayton artist. Vonmathiessen considers her home a piece as well, since a Daytonian designed and built it four years ago. They will also have their garden on display.

“We feel very strongly that anything we can do to help with art and the community, we have a responsibility [to do],” Vonmathiessen says. “The best places to live are strong communities that support each other. Art helps build community.”

Vonmathiessen believes art is a necessary addition to any home. She is excited to share her love of art with the visitors during the Art House Hop.

“It’s important to walk around the house and look at something beautiful,” Vonmathiessen says. “It gives you a lot of joy.”

Another stop along the Hop is a home owned by artist Libby Rudolf. Rudolf has created art professionally for about 20 years, but has had an interest since childhood. Her home features paintings, tapestries, stained glass, pottery, sculptures, and wood and metalwork. She will display her own art as well as her workroom, so visitors can see where she creates her art.

Their home also features a garden with perennials, a butterfly bush, fruit trees, a vegetable garden, a water garden, and stone walls, built by her husband Dan.

As an artist and YSAC member, Rudolf believes art is an essential part of life.

“[The Art House Hop] raises awareness about the importance of the arts in our lives,” Rudolf says. “Creativity in many forms is supported by the YSAC.”

Although this is her first year hosting, Rudolf has attended past Art House Hops.

“I always enjoy seeing how people display their art collections in their home,” Rudolf says. “There is such a variety of art in Yellow Springs.”

Her husband, Dan, is an engineer who designs computer hardware. They have metal templates of his computer board designs available to view. He also worked on the construction of their garden room. They have a 22-foot high solar array on the side yard that revolves with the sun and generates 7.68 kilowatts of energy.

“It is fun to have people come through our house to see the variety of artwork we have collected,” she says.

Homeowners Jo Wilson and her husband David Wishart will also display their love for art. Their collection includes oil and acrylic paintings, prints, ceramic art, and weavings. Like Rudolf, Wilson was involved with the YSAC for many years. This is also the couple’s first year hosting.

“This is a great chance for the greater Miami Valley community to see original artwork that is not available for viewing in local art museums,” Wilson says. “I have a couple of well-known prints by R.C. Gorman that people only see in books. They can come to my house and see them close up.”

Wilson attended past Art House Hops and loved seeing pieces she couldn’t see anywhere else.

“To me, art speaks to something unspoken about the human condition,” Wilson says. “It is a window into how others perceive the world.”

According to YSAC Gallery Coordinator Nancy Mellon, the Art House Hop usually draws between 150 and 200 attendants. The proceeds go to the YSAC.

“[YSAC] supports local artists by providing opportunities to show their work… and hold art events and partner with other groups to bring art and cultural experiences for the surrounding community,” Mellon says.

Mellon loves the Hops because of the stories each host shares about their art.

“It’s different seeing art in someone’s home,” Mellon says. “It is a warm, very human experience.”

The Art House Hop takes place Sunday, June 25, from noon to 5 p.m. Tickets are $15 for ages 13 and up; 12 and under are free. Each ticket comes with a brochure with descriptions of the collections and a map with the addresses. For tickets or more information, please visit YSArtCouncil.org or the YSAC Gallery, the Farmer’s Market in King’s Yard parking lot, or Village Artisans.

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Megan Constable
Reach DCP freelance writer Megan Constable at MeganConstable@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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