Art Affair on the Square, a multi-arts festival featuring multiple creative mediums, including visual, performing, children’s, literary and landscape arts, will return to downtown Urbana from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, July 16. The event is free to the public.
Art Affair on the Square is a cultural event hosted by the Monument Square District Inc., a non-profit organization that works to maintain and beautify Urbana’s central business and historic district. The juried, invitational festival showcases the original work of over 70 artists from Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and other surrounding areas. A variety of mediums will be on display, including original artwork, prints, jewelry, photography, tapestries and clothing, soaps, paper art, sculpture, metalwork, blown and melted glass, and more.
The 2016 Art Affair on the Square will again feature the traditional white-canopied artists’ market, a children’s art area, a literary tent (chaired by Addie King), an up-and-coming artists’ tent (chaired by Robin Henry), architectural tours, horse-drawn carriage tours and live music and entertainment. Multiple food vendors will be on site throughout the day, including Stevens and Sons Concessions, Oakview Farm Meats, the Buckeye Pig Rig, Bourbon Chicken (a family business local to Yellow Springs), Spotted Cow Coffee House, Candi’s Concessions, and the Court Street Cafe at the First Presbyterian Church (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.).
Pamela Bowshier and Sarah Thornton, who manage stores in the Monument Square District, volunteered their time to chair the event for the third year in a row.
Bowshier, who owns Cosmic Charlie’s Bread and Threads and has partnership in Hippie and the Farmer LLC, is an artisan bread baker for both Champaign and Clark counties. She manages two area farmers markets and is active in the Champaign County Local Foods Council.
Thornton is the production manager and primary graphic designer at Main Graphics in Urbana. A native of Champaign County and graduate of Graham High School, she is involved in many local programs, including the Champaign County Arts Council and the Urbana Community ParkFest!
This year’s Art Affair on the Square is set under the theme “When I Paint My Masterpiece,” a nod to a popular song written and recorded by Bob Dylan.
According to Bowshier, everyone has a masterpiece of some sort to share with the world.
“Don’t we all wish to make a difference, to make things a bit better, wherever we are? Through painting, drawing, sketching, sculpting, singing, dancing, writing, producing, whatever it is, artists each tell the story of their own masterpieces and give others a glimpse into the colorful, imaginative world of those who love creating,” she said.
The 2016 spotlight artist, Daniel A. Knepper, represents the theme well. Originally from Amherst, he taught elementary, middle and high school art for 26 years in Jackson Center and Botkins. Today, he is a full-time artist living in Jackson Center.
Inspired by artist friends Jane Paul Angelhart and Christopher Leeper, and having studied with Mary Whyte and James Toogood, Knepper, whose work has won many local, regional and state competitions, is known for his watercolors. He has also studied oils with friends and mentors Steven Walker and Peter Fiore.
Knepper, represented by the Carteret Gallery in Morehead City, North Carolina, the Greenwich House Gallery in Cincinnati, and the Atelier Gallery in Charleston, South Carolina, recently finished a 32-foot mural for a new school building in Botkins and a five-panel pictorial history of Ferguson Construction in Sidney. His work was included in the Airstream Fine Art Invitational, a show of the greatest living landscape painters in the United States. held in early June.
On his website, Knepper describes the way in which he hopes people will share in the masterpieces he creates:
“It sounds cliché, but the more I’ve painted in oil or watercolor, the more I realized it was the atmosphere of light I was trying to capture. And so, when I paint landscapes, it’s the light, and its effects, the illumination of leaves and grasses, the glowing shadows, the dance of the sunset on the water, and those amazing moments when the air itself has color that I try to capture and pass on.
“I hope (people will) step into the moments. Feel the rocking of the waves, hear the wind through the grass, feel the sunlight, explore the barns, and take the path beyond that next hill.”
For more information on Art Affair on the Square, contact Thornton or Bowshier at 937-653-3334. The event also has a published Facebook page.
Cassaundra Dietrich is secretary and publicist for the 12th annual Art Affair on the Square event to be held Saturday, July 16, in downtown Urbana.