By: Chuck Gibson
A sunny Sunday along the Scenic Little Miami River in Loveland set the scene for the return of the Loveland Art Show. The popular art exhibition, as much a part of Loveland’s fall landscape as the turning of leaves more than 20 years, was missing from the autumn scenery for two years.
“It’s great to be back,” said Loveland area artist Deirdre Dyson.
Dyson is one of the original organizers of the art show which reached its pinnacle with over 80 artists showing their creative talents two years ago in September 2016. She was one of 27 juried artists exhibiting in the 2019 return of the Loveland Art Show. An enthusiastic response by patrons was encouraging to her.
“It’s been steady,” she said of the crowd during the show. “It started a little early actually. People were here about 9:30. People are interested, not many just strollers; they stop to look at the art work.”
The return of the art show was only enhanced by the presence warm sunshine and comfortable breezes. Mixing in with the crowd was Loveland Mayor Kathy Bailey who made a purchase of her own ensuring she would not leave emptyhanded. Observing the crowd and the work of the artists exhibiting left her happy about all Loveland has to offer.
“Seeing people enjoying the art show, it’s just another facet of something we offer to our residents and the greater community that was missing,” said Bailey. “We’re just very honored and happy to have it back.”
Whatever happened to cause the two-year hiatus, the fact is an influx of new artists in residence at the Loveland Art Studios on Main came together with key people in the city to resurrect the Loveland Art Show. It started with artist Johanna Kremer having a conversation with fellow artist Teresa Schmid about if they could bring back the art show. That led to a conversation with Cee Cee Collins which led to an introduction to Loveland Symmes Fire Department Chief Ott Huber.
“I met Ott Huber for the first time,” said Kremer. “He was very fired up about it. His vision was to bring it back big, bigger than ever. It was a great idea.”
Huber’s enthusiastic let’s do it set the wheels in motion. Kremer already had the support of Schmid and other artists Tom Post, Kim Wannamaker and Mary Beth Thompson Dowlin.
“They brought a lot of energy and excitement to doing this,” Kremer said.
Along the way, they connected with the city through Misty Brents, assistant to city manager and clerk of council. Kremer and the artists combined the work of their committee with Brents and a couple members of the fire department. With no money, the artist group relied on the city to provide infrastructure and approval for use of Nisbet Park. Add the support of key sponsors and it evolved into what the people saw.
What the people saw was a variety of quality artwork exhibited by nearly 30 artists. They saw awards handed out for “Best of Show”, first, second, third place and honorable mention. The award presentation combined judges from the art community, Tom Post, Cee Cee Collins from the Little Miami River Chamber Alliance and Loveland City Council member Kent Blair.
“I was thrilled, it meant so much to the people in the art community,” said Kremer. “Our goal was to bring the art show back to honor what the Loveland Arts Council did before.”
It was not bigger than ever before. Kremer realizes some things could have been done differently. Lessons were learned and helpful advice was shared to make improvements for next year.
“It took an army of volunteers, one person can’t do it alone,” Kremer said. We’ll do it again same time next year. I envision a wonderful collaboration with the chamber, the city and the artists with the artists leading the way.”
Best of Show – Mother/Daughter combination of Jill and Sharon Tent
First Place – Kathryn Dyche
Second Place – Julie Christman
Third Place – Bob Shelton
Honorable mention went to Robin Moro
Find more Loveland events at: www.lovelandoh.gov