1st Loveland Art Gallery Crawl labeled a success

By Chuck Gibson

LOVELAND, OH (June 25, 2021) – They were never really gone, but the 1st Annual Loveland Art Gallery Crawl held last Saturday, June 19, sure seemed like a triumphant return for the arts community of Loveland

Art Gallerry Crawl Co-chair Debby Combs with Polymer artist Mackenzie Mettery (Provided)

Loveland area artists displaying multiple art mediums in multiple venues from the Loveland Studios on Main, to the William Schickel Gallery, Art House II Gallery, Whistle Stop Clay Works and many in between enjoyed visits from an enthusiastic crowd of patrons throughout the three-hour crawl. There were stops all around town with local businesses like Gina Dubell-Smith’s Designed 2 Sell eXp office, Paxton’s Grill, Loveland Museum Center and others displaying the works of local artists. Jan Beller of the Loveland Museum Center was bubbling with excitement over the flow of patrons who stopped in during the crawl.

“We had more than 50 people come through,” said Beller. “It was wonderful. They were not only interested in the photo display of Nancy Ford Cones, but showed interest in coming back to see more of the museum’s historical displays.”

Jan Beller, Loveland Museum Center at the Nancy Ford Cones exhibit there. (Provided)

The event grew from the efforts of a group of local artists organizing to help bring attention to the rich history of arts in Loveland along with the thriving art community throughout Loveland today. Local artist Johanna Kremer presented her vision along with fellow local artist Debby Combs to the City of Loveland Arts Commission members in recent months. Both Kremer and Combs then put a call out to local artists to meet and discuss how to revive the vibrant art community that is Loveland.

 In just five short weeks, the group met multiple times and somehow organized the art crawl which took place Saturday evening from 6-9 p.m. While they had hopes for a good turnout, numbers estimated to be as high as 90 people coming through the venues far exceeded their expectations.

“On May 12, it was conceived at the end of our art organizational meeting,” said Kremer. “It just turned out great. It just exceeded our expectations. We are really happy with the outcome.”

Artist-Nancy-Kanienberg-by-Her-Silk-Scarves-Display (Provided)

Part of the planning included organizing a shuttle bus and driver to encourage and assist participants in getting from the Loveland Studios on Main to the Whistle Stop Clay Works. Kremer says the people could not say enough good things about how much they enjoyed the driver of the shuttle. The man decked out in what could easily have passed for Key West party attire with cargo shorts and a turquoise shirt. Who was that mystery man anyway? Short answer: He wishes to stay anonymous to keep the focus on the great arts community and Loveland Beacon sure ain’t telling. That said, the driver did talk to this journalist and admitted it was as much a ball for him seeing the participants enjoying Loveland’s Art District defined. By the way, the Key West style attire was not planned.

“I never made it home before, so I was wearing cargo shorts and a turquoise shirt,” said the driver. “I told you at the beginning, I am who I am.”

He was impressed by the fact the people who rode the shuttle came from communities outside Loveland for the 1st annual Loveland Art Gallery Crawl. Seeing their eyes opened to the talented, but somewhat well-kept secret artists was striking to the shuttle driver.

“The best part is we have a hidden gem in the city,” he said. “That’s what the artists are doing, even if the artists kept it to just the Art Studios on Main, it opened people’s eyes to the amount of talent we have here in Loveland.”  

The mystery driver believes the majority of the people he drove around town were not from Loveland.

“They were from OTR, Anderson, Union, Kentucky; not to mention Montgomery and Liberty Township, West Chester and Mason,” said the driver. “So, pretty much draw a semi-circle going around I-275, pretty much everyone on that side. Offering this, especially for people who didn’t know where they were going, that to me was one of the biggest benefits. That’s what the driver enjoyed. It was taking a whole bunch of people from outside Loveland and really highlighting and showcasing everything we have.”

Loveland Artist Deridre Dyson outside her Art House II Gallery. (Provided)

We know the mystery shuttle driver was excited. He also did the math figuring the 15 passenger vehicle and the number of trips he made transporting patrons added up to more than 70 – maybe closer to the 90 people crawling their way through multiple art venues and businesses to see the talent of Loveland artists on display. Another huge benefit noted by event co-chair Johanna Kremer was seeing people actually walk across the bridge to get to and from the heart of the Historic district to the Loveland Museum Center and other art venues.

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Several of the organizing artists committee were gathered together Thursday, June 24, for a “wrap-up” meeting. They met to review what happened and plan how to make it even better next year. Yes, next year. They are definitely excited about how well it went and the prospect of many more Art Gallery Crawls to come.

Members of the Art Crawl committee gathered for the wrap-up celebration Front row l-r Gina Dubell-Smith, Deirdre Dyson, Johanna Kremer (not pictured Debby Combs) Back row l-r Claire Long, Gayle Hixson, Nancy Kanienberg, Teresa Nieberding (Photo Chuck Gibson)

There was some business to tend to as well. They had to draw the winners of the Art Crawl Raffle. Patrons had to visit a minimum of eight (8) venues and get their raffle ticket punched to be eligible for a $100 voucher toward the purchase of art from any of the participating artists. The three lucky winners drawn were: Vince Front, Ryan Paulson, and Karen & Tom Riley. Congratulations to them and to all for a triumphant return to the Art Community of Loveland.

 

NOTE: Do you know who the mystery shuttle driver is? Comment on Facebook to share your answer.

The winning Raffle Tickets (Photo Chuck Gibson)

Next up: Arts & Crafts Supply Sale at Loveland Art Studios on Main

July 16 & 17

10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Saturday.

The Arts & Crafts Sale will take place inside the Loveland Art Studios. The goal is to sell arts and crafts supplies that will inspire people to be creative and have fun.

Any questions: email or call Teresa Nieberding at: nieberding@gmail.com or phone (513) 722-6719.