PIQUA — Downtown Piqua was keeping warm with food and fun at Mainstreet Piqua’s 25th annual Taste of the Arts on Friday evening, holding artist demonstrations inside local businesses while offering a variety of food and entertainment along Main Street.
“We’re really happy with the crowd,” Mainstreet Piqua Executive Director Lorna Swisher said on Friday. “The kids zone is packed. Everything is great.”
The kids zone featured crafts and games for families to do together in addition to nearby entertainment from children’s entertainer and comedian Mike Hemmelgarn and a Tumble U Acrobatics demonstration.
Over on the main stage, Dean Simms and the Funky Gurus performed in Piqua for the first time during the Taste of the Arts, and they quickly became a new crowd favorite.
“The crowd is really enjoying their performance,” Swisher said.
Mainstreet Piqua also added food trucks to this year’s Taste of the Arts, Swisher said. Those included Susie’s Big Dipper and the Tin Roof food trucks.
“That’s going great,” she said. “Overall, I am extremely pleased with it.”
Artists were found throughout the downtown businesses, both inside and out.
Artist Marilyn Knobe was working on a mixed media piece inside the Second Story Gallery, adding collage pieces on top of watercolor. Knobe said that she mostly cuts instead of tears paper for her collage pieces as torn pieces create an additional design element.
“I’ve been doing art all my adult life,” Knobe said. She first started with just watercolor, but then she gravitated toward collage pieces in order to incorporate the bright colors found in magazine and other print pictures.
“I just want it to be out there and bright,” Knobe said.
The piece she was working on at the Taste of the Arts featured several koi fish, which she first outlined with watercolor. She said that she usually has a general idea of what direction she wants her art piece to go, but that it can change a little over the course of working on it.
“I just love paper,” Knobe said.
Artist Sonnie Woodworth showed another way that watercolor can bring art to life inside Readmore’s Hallmark. Woodworth worked on a small red-winged blackbird, explaining that she paints multiple layers on her pieces to add detail to the focus of her paintings.
Woodworth said that she painted years ago and then became interested in painting again around eight years ago after another artist encouraged her to attend a drawing class. Woodworth then became interested in trying painting when she found she enjoyed her process in painting with watercolor.
“I’m hooked on watercolor,” Woodworth said.
A number of her finished paintings were on display at Readmore’s Hallmark during the Taste of the Arts, including a variety of flowers and even a painting of her family pet, an American Bulldog named Chloe. The painting of her dog took about eight hours to do, with other larger paintings take upwards of 18 hours to complete and smaller paintings taking about three hours to complete.
“It’s something I really enjoyed since I retired,” Woodworth said.
Woodworth continues to work on her art locally, including painting with a group of artists weekly at Rusty Harden Studio.
Outside of the Apple Tree Gallery, artist Pat Klopfenstein held a pottery demonstration on hand-built pottery pieces that do not require a pottery wheel. Klopfenstein has been working with pottery for nearly 30 years. She first explored it as a hobby at the Riverbend Art Center in Dayton and then soon began entering her pieces in juried craft shows.
“I was hooked,” Klopfenstein said about pottery.
When asked about her favorite thing about pottery, she said that she enjoyed how every pottery artist does something different with their pieces.
“My stuff is very nature-themed,” Klopfenstein said. Her theme connected with her other interests and her previous career teaching science, particularly biology, for 30 years at Edison State Community College.
Other artists with demonstrations at Taste of the Arts included Michael Glass, who created a window painting on the 400 block of North Main Street; Nancy Fourman, who painted with watercolors inside of Can’t Stop Running; Gerald Born, who held a stained glass demonstration inside of Barclay’s Men’s-Women’s Clothier; Cheryl and Tom Gustafson, who had an inlaid wood demonstration at the Mercantile; and Dustin Fessler, who had a furniture reclaiming demostration inside the K&A Inspired Boutique.
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org. © 2019 Miami Valley Today, all rights reserved.