Due to what is unfortunately happening around the community, the state, the nation, and the world, 2020 has been a year of things not happening. Concerts are canceled, theaters are dark, museums are closed, and most recently our own Greenville Municipal Band announced that their highly anticipated season of shows in Greenville City Park will not take place this summer. Sigh!
Therefore, it gives me great pleasure to write about a planned upcoming arts event that actually will happen; Main Street Greenville’s First Friday will return in August with the Artisan Stroll! Broadway sidewalks will be overflowing with the work of local artists and crafters whose impressive output will be available for perusal and/or purchase by appreciative arts lovers. The artists may also compete for cash prizes in an art contest celebrating “Shades of Summer,” with $100 going to the eight pieces judged best in their category and $200 awarded to the work determined to be “Best of Show.”
Artisan Stroll attendees can demonstrate their artistic skills by participating in “Chalk the Block,”sponsored by Jafe Decorating, to decorate the sidewalk between Chillz and Final Bow Center for Performing Arts with their own imaginative creations. What fun!
Main Street Greenville Executive Director Ryan Berry says that he is working with Darke County Department of Health to assure that all current safety standards are met, so that Artisan Walk artists and attendees are protected from unnecessary exposure to COVID-19. Susan Fowble, chair of the event planning committee which also includes Patty Jetter, Mary Saintignon, and Debbie Niekamp, acknowledges the generous assistance of Greenville’s Street Department and Fire Department, without whose cooperation she says that the Artisan Stroll could not take place. Both Ryan and Susan also expressed deep appreciation to Jordan Insurance Agency, which is sponsoring the whole affair.
Returning attractions to Artisan Stroll include chainsaw carver Dayle Lewis, the Richmond, Indiana, artist who has left his mark across the country creating art from tree stumps and logs, and will amaze and astound local onlookers as he brings to life the images found in logs provided by local resident Kip Cline. Also, last year’s youthful singing sensation will return when Mora Menzie takes up her position outside of Bach to Rock to demonstrate her impressive vocal pipes. Vendors from the downtown Farmers Market can be found at their usual spot outside the Darke County Court House, providing yummy fudge, handmade soaps and lotions, and more.
Greenville Art Guild, an organization which has for many years promoted visual art in our community, will be represented by two outstanding artists, Jennifer Overholser and Kay Cress. Jennifer’s work transports viewers to lovely places, many of which are familiar sights the artist skillfully and joyfully captures with her brush. Kay’s realistic paintings and drawings include amazingly lifelike portraits and evocative studies of light and shadow that can tell a story or spark a memory.
One-of-a-kind wood sculptures and home accents by Bradford-area resident Steve Burelison should also attract attention; his relationship with found wood transforms a discarded artifact of nature into a thing of beauty expressing wonder and emotion. Steve finds inspiration in the fact that he takes a once-living, now dead thing, and “helps what is still in there to get out and give it a new forever life.”
A new attraction will be provided by Darke County Makers, a co-op intended to make art accessible for all, located at 311 South Broadway; in addition to displaying their diverse work, four artists will provide make-and-take projects for those wanting to display their own artistic abilities. But this is only a small portion of the wonders that await strollers in downtown Greenville on August 7 from 6 to 9 p.m.
Other Artisan Stroll offerings include watercolors by John Buell, woodworking by Lynn Trump, ceramics from Stephanie’s Studio, wind spinners and more by Lester Tobe, loom knitting by Gina, doll clothes and crocheted and embroidered products from Jessie’s Creations, knit and crocheted items by Jill Etzler, multimedia homemade art by sisters Nicole and Mikala Berry, and artwork by Jean Selanders.
Something is happening here; I can hardly wait!
Marilyn Delk is the former executive director of the Darke County Center for the Arts and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.