News Column

The Arts on Bridge Street finishes strong

July 21, 2014

By Dave Deluca, Star Beacon, Ashtabula, Ohio

July 21--ASHTABULA -- It was a great day for The Arts on Bridge Street in Ashtabula Harbor. After a soggy Saturday, the festival finished strong on a balmy Sunday afternoon.

Hundreds of visitors flocked to watch and participate in the annual arts showcase. Artists and crafters in kiosks sold their wares and gave demonstrations, musicians played and the gallery spaces had a constant flow of viewers.

TABS' featured art show, Then and Now Gallery, was held in the old Marine Bank building. Gallery curator Julene Schwarz said she was pleased with the turnout.

"We've had steady traffic all afternoon," she said. "I was happy people had a chance to view this show, which is about the legacy of Ashtabula area artists from the late 20th century to the early 21st century."

Schwarz said the show spotlighted Ashtabula County artists' work from 1940 until now. The visual creations of about 15 area artists were on display.

"My goal was to educate the community about both local artists from the past who made waves in the international art world, and local artists who are contemporary right now."

Schwarz said all of the artists on display were notable, but some were famous in the 1940s and 1950s.

"Ray Koski died a few years ago," she said. "In his early days he was an army illustrator in the Pacific Theater in World War II. Some of his work is now in the Smithsonian Institute."

Schwarz also included a piece by local artist Paul Tikkanen, who was a contemporary of Jackson Pollock and other abstract expressionists of the 1950s New York scene.

"All of these people have contributed to the arts, and they're all from this area," she said.

The Then and Now Show will continue running at the old Marine Bank throughout the week, from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m.

There was also an art show upstairs at Take 5, a new Bridge Street eatery, featuring the work of local artists Donny Taylor.

Taylor was also pleased with Sunday's crowd.

"I hope the TABS show continues every year," he said.

Local artist Michelline Guerriero had a booth, and said she was pleased with this year's TABS.

"I sold one piece, but mostly there were just interested art lovers taking it all in," she said. "It was a nice event."

Ashtabula resident Rick Eames said he thought it was wonderful not to have to drive to Cleveland to be part of such an event.

"When you get perfect weather like this and so many great artists showing their work on Bridge Street, it's the only place to be."


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Source: Star Beacon (Ashtabula, OH)

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