Art and Soul fair returns with more to tell

By Katie Fender

Photo: Andrea Starkey’s nature-inspired prints decorate Art and Soul fair Nov. 19

A piece of art can speak on its own, but at the annual Art and Soul Fair, artists help share those stories.

The event returns to Yellow Springs on Saturday, Nov. 19 at the Mills Lawn Elementary School. Participants will be able to admire and buy handmade work from the artists themselves. This year, there will be pottery, sculptors, photographs, prints, paintings, jewelry of all kinds, glasswork, fiber, leather, and mixed media.

Lisa Goldberg, the creator and promotor of the fair, is just as passionate about the artists chosen as she is about the art. “The artists are the soul of the fair,” she says. Goldberg explains that every year the show attracts more applicants, and the applicants improve each year. The applicant’s art is judged by three to four arts professionals in a blind jury, so the jury does not know whose art they are looking at. The jury then decides who will be invited to show. Artists they believe will have the most interest and success selling their work are the ones chosen. The jury also gives feedback to the artists not chosen or those waitlisted, encouraging them to improve and reapply. There are 30 artists participating in the show this year, with 20 artists who have participated before, and 10 brand new artists. The new artists include a unique art team: a mother and her 10-year-old daughter.

Susie Brand is a jeweler participating in her first year at the fair. She appreciates the personal aspect of the fair. “Everything in this show is completely handmade by the artist and sold to the individual, and the reason people like coming to the show is because they like to meet the artists and see the story behind the artist and the art at the same time. They like to hear, ‘How did you make this?’ and ‘Why did you make this?’” Brand says. She also explains that she loves to talk about her passion and love of art, in addition to selling her pieces. Brand makes fine handcrafted jewelry with semi-precious stones, gold, and brass she describes as “wearable art.” The forms and shapes of nature, as well as the “heirloom quality that jewelry has told through generations” inspire her. In addition to participating in the Art and Soul Fair, Brand also features her work on Etsy and Facebook.

First time Art and Soul artist, Andrea Starkey, is excited to bring her prints to the show. “I’m a printmaker, so I have everything from small mounted prints to large framed prints with a broad spectrum of prices,” she says. Goldberg describes Starkey’s work as newer end: “Some of her prints are on boxes, wooden boxes that come out from the walls and they look beautiful, especially when you hang more than one together.” Starkey’s prints are all nature inspired, featuring trees, forests, and landscapes, much of which is inspired by her backyard. However, Starkey explains she also does Japanese style woodblock printmaking: “I get that influence from that style with the technique and the imaging.” Starkey also has work available on Etsy and at Gallery 510 in the Oregon District.

Beth Holyoke is also a first timer to the fair and is bringing her beautiful ceramic pieces. “I do sculptural and figurative. Mostly faces, sometimes full bodied, whimsical and expressive really sum up the style, and they vary in sizes,” she says. One of Holyoke’s more popular pieces is a ceramic head planter that she will bring with her to the show. “I have a couple different kinds of themed pieces that I’ll bring. Last winter, I started working on Syrian refugee platters and bowls, some are functional, but not all of them,” she says. Holyoke has won a lot of awards and gained recognition from tile installations that she does with Kaethi Seidl. She has a clay tile installation at Southdale Park in Kettering. She also builds rehab houses with her husband.

Goldberg and the artists look forward to the new additions to the show. “This year, we have a lot of firsts,” Goldberg says. “We don’t have a lot of 2D work usually, and this year, we have Andrea [Starkey], a photographer, Jeremy Nickoson, whose work is really incredible, we have a painter, Jennifer Float, whose work is unlike anything we’ve ever had—it’s pretty bold and colorful and exciting so that you’ll be able to see it from far away.”

Unlike a store, Goldberg explains, shoppers can buy a piece to keep or give as a gift, and tell others a background story about the artist and their inspiration. All the pieces have a story to tell.

The Art and Soul fair takes place Saturday, Nov. 19 from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. at Mills Lawn Elementary, 200 Walnut St. in Yellow Springs. The event costs $3, and children under 6 are free. For Susie Brand’s work, please visit or find ‘Susie Brand Jewelry’ on Facebook. For Andrea Starkey’s work, please visit For more of Beth Holyoke’s work, please visit For more information, please visit


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Reach DCP freelance writer Katie Fender at

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