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First Bath Art Festival set for June 19

6/9/2016 - West Side Leader
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By Pam Lifke

Organizers expect more than 30 juried artisans, some of whose work is shown, to exhibit and sell their wares at the first Bath Art Festival June 19 at Bath Community Park.
Photo: Renee Flynn
BATH — No one can say Renee Flynn doesn’t like a challenge.

When the Bath resident took the idea for an art festival to township trustees in March, she felt comfortable organizing the inaugural event for 2017, she said. But the trustees were so taken with the proposal, they asked if she could get the festival off the ground this summer.

With bravado akin to accepting a dare, Flynn said she told trustees, “Sure, I can do that.”

The inaugural Bath Art Festival is set for June 19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Bath Community Park, 1615 N. Cleveland-Massillon Road. Flynn expects 30 juried artisans exhibiting and selling a wide variety of fine art and handcrafts, including fine art photographs, water color and acrylic paintings, stained and blown glass, fiber arts, pottery, woodcrafts, jewelry and handmade soaps and lotions. Admission and parking are free.

With less than three months between her meeting with Bath trustees and the festival date, the first thing she did was lasso food vendors, she said.

“That’s where I started,” she said, voicing her belief that food is the basis of all good festivals.

Flynn began with vendors she already knew from her work with Hale Farm & Village’s Made in Ohio Festival. D’s Ultimate Dogs and D’s Macho Tacos, of Columbus; Café Arnone Espresso food truck, of Copley, serving specialty coffee drinks and flatbread sandwiches; Schloneger’s Home-Made Ice Cream; and Buckeye Kettle Corn all are expected, Flynn said.

Flynn said she then turned her attention to exhibitors.

“I put out a press release and started getting a lot of calls,” she said. “I wanted to highlight some Bath artists. I tried to invite as many as I was aware of.” 

Flynn, who has been on the festival circuit for 14 years with FireStone Candles, selling oil lamps crafted from river stones and Brazilian agate, already had relationships with many potential vendors.

“I’ve been to a lot of shows and made a lot of friends,” she said.

Flynn said she sees the Bath Art Festival as more than just an arts-and-crafts fair.

“I wanted to encourage gatherings of neighbors and friends,” she said.

Flynn also has lined up hand-thrown pottery demonstrations by Sarah Costic, of the Richfield Art Studio. Costic will demonstrate her craft from 11 a.m. to noon, 1 to 2 p.m. and 3 to 4 p.m. at her booth, Flynn said.

Colorful Canvas, a Bath business that hosts paint parties for adults and children, will have a class in the Bath Community Park pavilion from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. For $15, participants will be coached as they create a colorful sun painting. All materials are included. As June 19 is Father’s Day, owner Hillary Ash said painters may add a quotation to customize the painting as a gift for Dad. To register, go to www.colorfulcanvasevents.com. Flynn said registration will be accepted the day of the event only if seats remain.

A Touch of Spring will present musical entertainment from 12:30 to 5 p.m.

“What’s really cool about A Touch of Spring is they encourage audience members to play along,” Flynn said. “They’ll give you an instrument and a lesson and have you play with them.”

Organizing the festival has been a family affair for Flynn, whose husband, David Flynn, designed the festival website and its logo, along with posters and road signs, Flynn said. Additional support for the festival will come from the Bath Parks Department, which will provide parking assistance and portable toilets.

If the first year goes well, Flynn said she hopes the festival will become an annual event.

“As long as we have the excitement with not only the vendors, but by the public, I’d like to continue it,” she said.

Flynn said she thinks she will be able to cover the festival’s expenses this first year. If it continues and grows, she said she hopes proceeds from the festival could be used to support arts in the community.

“I get so excited when I’m thinking of it,” she said. “I’m excited to see what happens.”

For more information about the festival, visit www.bathartfestival.com or contact Flynn at bathartfestival@gmail.com.

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