PIQUA — Those who thought rain and thunderstorm warnings could stop Mainstreet Piqua’s Taste of the Arts on Friday evening were quickly mistaken.
“We had to delay because of the really severe weather,” Lorna Swisher, executive director of Mainstreet Piqua, said. “As is traditional, Piqua comes out for this event, and we appreciate their support.”
The start of the event was postponed one hour, but even with the slow start, Taste of the Arts picked up steam as community members and visitors ventured into the downtown once the severe weather warnings were over and the weather had settled into a cool evening.
“I’m pleased with the crowd that’s here and the number of kids in the kids’ tent, ” Cheryl Stiefel-Francis, chair of the Taste of the Arts committee, said. “We do thank everyone that’s come out and coming out to support it.”
The Piqua Arts Council was also open and supporting Mainstreet Piqua’s Taste of the Arts.
“It’s such a great event,” Jordan Knepper, executive director of the Piqua Arts Council, said.
There were six art demonstrations going on in downtown shops, including Pat Klopfenstein creating hand-built pottery in front of the Apple Tree Gallery.
“There’s wheel-thrown and hand-made,” Klopfenstein said about pottery pieces. “My demo is on hand-built.”
Klopfenstein’s display included some wheel-thrown bowls next to hand-built clay vases, baskets, and plates to show the variety of pottery that can be done.
Anyone can get involved in pottery, said Klopfenstein, a retired biology teacher from Edison State Community College who is continuing to learn more about pottery through classes at Edison.
“I want to keep learning,” Klopfenstein said.
At Readmore’s Hallmark, Shirley DeLaet was creating an oil painting of a small parrot sitting on a paintbrush.
“Painting creates stories for me, so I try to create a story with every painting I do,” DeLaet said. “It’s a lot of fun.”
For this piece in particular, DeLaet painted the small parrot leaning toward the side of the painting as if to say something. She said, “He’s leaning over and telling me to ‘paint me pretty.’”
DeLaet also likes viewers to come up with their own stories when looking at her art, even if it doesn’t match her own story for that painting.
“Everybody views art differently,” DeLaet said.
DeLaet has been painting almost all of her life since she was around 4 years old. She is largely self-taught and still continues to learn.
“I’m always trying to learn something new,” DeLaet said.
Also downtown at the Piqua Arts Council, Dan Knepper was working on a small oil painting of Old Man’s Cave at Hocking Hills. Other painting demonstrations included Peter Frederick at the Second Story Gallery and Logan Rogers at Barclay’s Men’s-Women’s Clothier. Aaron Lindeman was also demonstrating illustrations at Can’t Stop Running Co.
Live entertainment came in the form of environmental children’s entertainer Chris Rowlands in the Piqua Public Library and music from Red Hot Rhythm Review in the downtown. A stilt walker and juggler from the Cincinnati Circus Company were also found strolling around the kids’ tent.
A variety of food was housed underneath two large tents, including selections from the Piqua Country Club, the Best Bite Grill, Mulligan’s Pub, Heritage Events, 311 Drafthouse, Montage Cafe, East of Chicago Pizza, the Spot Restaurant, Hickory River Smokehouse, and Lee’s Famous Chicken Recipe. Other treats were also provided by Dobo’s Delights, Turntable Cafe, Winans Chocolates and Coffees, Ulbrich’s Hometown Market, and the Cupcake Gallery.
Reach Sam Wildow at [email protected] or (937) 451-3336