TROY — The arts of many media were proudly celebrated at Troy-Hayner Cultural Center on Saturday, as it hosted its first-ever “Art’s Alive” community event on the grounds and surrounding streets. The event was free to the public.
According to exhibit coordinator Leona Sargent, organization of the event was largely a team effort built by extensive networking.
“We had a pretty incredible committee of volunteers who came together with all kinds of ideas,” Sargent said. “Some of us knew some artists for the invitational exhibit, so we reached out to them. Others were artists whose work we saw online. This is about experiencing the arts — not just visual arts, but performing arts as well.”
The exhibition now on display features a diversity of media in the collective works of thirteen contemporary artists, including Ron Anderson, Tim Bowers, Heather Bullach, Bing Davis, Jack Early, Benjamin Goens, Gary Hovey, Colleen McCulla, James Mellick, Christina Pereyma, Michelle Stitzlein, Tall James, Gary Ward, and numerous community art competition winners.
“I’ve had the pleasure of visiting some of the artists’ studios while having the opportunity to get to know each of them,” Sargent said. “Some of these works have had a cathartic effect on the artist, while others are an expression of creativity that had no other choice but to emerge in the form you see here. The time, talent, and skill that goes into the creation of each piece is a gift to the world.”
“I work at Massillon Museum in Massillon, Ohio, and I coordinate our traveling exhibits,” said exhibiting artist Heather Bullach. “One of our exhibits came to Troy two years ago, and that’s how I was connected with the staff at Hayner.
“I think it’s awesome to bring different artists from different areas together. This is an area I’ve not been connected in yet as an artist, so it’s great to see all of the community out and connect with arts of all varieties.”
Along with the art exhibition, the event hosted numerous indoor and outdoor activities, including a children’s art tent with numerous arts and crafts projects, extreme face painting, an interactive graffiti wall, live artist presentations in the third-floor ballroom, an improv workshop for teens and adults, a magic workshop with Aleksander the Great, and art instructor demonstrations in the center’s art studio.
The front lawn stage hosted a variety of live performances, including comedian/ventriloquist Mike Hemmelgarn, jazz musician Edde Osborne, an improv show by Black Box Theater, and Puzzle of Light.
Also on site were representatives from the Mosaic Institute of Greater Dayton, the Ohio Chalk Art Guild, Rock on Ice, and Southern Ohio Forge and Anvil, who presented live demonstrations relevant to their respective medium.
Food truck services from Smokin’ BBQ and Susie’s Big Dipper were on site to provide meals and refreshments, and breakfast was provided in the morning hours by Troy Kiwanis Club.
“To have the opportunity to enjoy so much art and so many creative people in one day is really a treat,” said Executive Director Linda Lee Jolly, who is enjoying her final exhibition as director for the center. “The whole concept of the exhibit was to present artists whose work is above the norm. Whether their work is extremely large or extremely small, all the work is creative in such a way that sets each artist apart. Most of them are award-winning artists, and to have so many of this caliber come together at one time is really special.”
Based on the success of “Art’s Alive,” the staff at Hayner hope to reprise the event in the future.
“Potentially, this will be an every-other-year event,” Sargent confirmed. “People can look for ‘Art’s Alive’ again in 2020.”
The “Art’s Alive” exhibit will be on display at Hayner through Sunday, Sept. 30.
“Art’s Alive” was made possible by the Miami County Foundation, Alvetro Orthodontics, Troy Noon Optimist Club, Royal Crest Agency, and the generous donations of individuals throughout the community.
For more information, visit www.troyhayner.org.