The (he)Art of the community

Yellow Springs Art Stroll celebrates local artists

By Katie Christoff

Photo: Yellow Springs Art Stroll, a chance to explore the galleries and meet Yellow Springs artists, begins at 6 p.m. June 19; photo: Karen Wintrow

Yellow Springs is a town full of artists, and on June 19, neighbors and visitors will be able to view the creative fruits of their labor during this summer’s Yellow Springs Art Stroll. The event, which has taken place in the community for well over 20 years, has become a well-established tradition that marks every June and October.

“It really doesn’t have an organizer. It just sort of happens,” says Nancy Mellon, gallery coordinator at Yellow Springs Arts Council (YSAC).

During the Art Stroll, local artists display their work in stores, galleries and even restaurants throughout the area. Many of the locations offer wine, cheese and other hors d’oeuvres while patrons stroll—as the name suggests—through town, socialize and check out the artwork of their Yellow Springs neighbors.

Some venues will also have live music. Ohio Brass & Electric will play the Emporium, and Scott Randall Lindberg and Amy Blue will play the Spirited Goat.

“The whole thing is a gallery,” Mellon says of Yellow Springs. “Art is everywhere. There are always a lot of receptions going on. A lot of stores and restaurants have art that changes once a month. It’s cool because it’s everywhere. It’s part of life here.

“I always like to say every third person I meet here is an artist,” she continues. “When I moved into town, I was just amazed. As soon as I walked out my door, I was meeting artists on my block. When someone new moved in, I walked by before they had put curtains up yet, and there was a person painting [in the window].”

Although this art is on display year-round at many local venues, Mellon says she looks forward to Art Stroll as a time for the entire community to get together and appreciate the creativity of its residents.

Some of the artists who will be on display include Dianne Collinson, Dennie Eagleson and Kit Crawford. These three Yellow Springs artists collaborated on Botanical, an exhibit featuring impressions in clay, glass and photography. Botanical will be on view at the Yellow Springs Arts Council through July 12, and its opening reception will take place during the Art Stroll.

For the exhibit, the artists looked to the natural world for inspiration, each utilizing a unique medium. Collinson hand-built ceramics, Crawford made stained-glass work and Eagleson used alternative photographic techniques to create photograms and lumen prints.

“While working on our Botanical exhibit, Dennie, Kit and I all found ourselves stretching to work in new ways and try new techniques,” Collinson says. “Through our collaboration, our ideas and our work evolved in exciting ways. It has been a very stimulating and creative process.”

The nature of community and collaboration in Yellow Springs helped bring these artists together, something Collinson says was beneficial in the creation of their new exhibit.

“Yellow Springs is a community that has drawn a lot of artists and one which has a great appreciation for the arts,” she says. “One of the best things about being part of an arts community is the opportunity to be inspired and challenged by the work of the other artists in this creative group.”

Collinson says that over the years, she’s had art exhibited and also joined in the stroll and appreciates receiving compliments on her work during the festivities.

“It is fun to go from gallery to gallery, see the art, meet and greet the artists and interact with community members,” she says.

Mellon agrees, calling it an enjoyable event, especially since it allows the vendors to relax after preparations for the annual Yellow Springs Street Fair, which usually takes place the week before.

“Art stroll is one of my favorite events of the year,” Mellon says. “It always seems like it’s about making friends and seeing friends. People are feeling really good, and it’s a time for the town—and for anyone—to visit and enjoy all the good things. [We] enjoy the beauty and richness of having artists, enjoy good food and drink … it’s just a fun time to be here.”

The Yellow Springs Art Stroll will take place Friday June 19, from 6-9 p.m. Many shops and restaurants on Corry Street and Xenia Avenue will participate. For more information, please visit yellowspringsohio.org. For more information on Botanical, please visit ysartscouncil.org.

Reach DCP freelance writer Katie Christoff at KatieChristoff@DaytonCityPaper.com.

 

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