GNH Lumber-Outdoor Living-JUNE 2024

Inaugural Arts in the Park brings arts and community together

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By Melanie Lekocevic

Capital Region Independent Media

An artist creates a painting “en plein air” — onsite. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

GREENVILLE — Local artists took their trade to the park last weekend for the first-ever Arts in the Park event.

Hosted by Arts Around Greenville, the event showcased local talent at Vanderbilt Town Park. Some of the artists actually created artwork on site for the community to view their creative process.

“We have 32 artists registered and interesting featured artists like Tom, who does chainsaw art, and Andy Golub, who is painting three-dimensional abstract cars, and then we have a variety of art on display, from metal tooling to leather to jewelry to pottery to paintings,” event organizer Natalie Boburka said. “We also have a plein air station where artists are painting on site.”

For the past two years, Arts Around Greenville hosted Studio Tours, where everyone was invited to visit artists in their studios to see their creative process, but this year moved the event outdoors to the park.

“We wanted to try something different,” Boburka said. “The studio tour was great and we had really good responses, but it is a lot of work for the artists and everybody involved. And it meant a lot of artists couldn’t be a part of it because only some of them have studios and we ran out of space.”

No chance of that happening at Vanderbilt Town Park — artists were set up everywhere, showing off their talents.

Kayla Speed of KS Design Studio shows off one of the “burned hats” she created. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

Kayla Speed of KS Design Studio, from Acra, creates all kinds of creative pieces.

“I do a little bit of everything,” Speed said. “I started with pet portraits, watercolors, acrylics and graphite, and I segued into burning hats. I use a soldering iron to burn them. I also paint them, and I just got into leatherwork as well.”

The mother-daughter team of Jean Loughmiller and Jennifer Cardinal, from Westerlo, operate Drops of Paint together.

“We just joined Arts Around Greenville,” Cardinal said. “This is really nice — it’s great to network with other artists.”

Mother-daughter team Jean Loughmiller, right, and Jennifer Cardinal operate Westerlo-based Drops of Paint together. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

Ellen Blumenthal of The 3 Mudmakers, who creates functional pottery that is designed to be used daily, got into art by happenstance.

“When I was in my mid 40s, my daughter wanted to do something special — one of her friends was a swimmer, one was an ice skater — so we went to take pottery classes for her to be something special,” Blumenthal said. “The teacher at the pottery studio said she could take the class only if I took it with her because they didn’t take kids. We took the class together — she quit but I kept at it. That was about 30 years ago.”

The 3 Mudmakers have been creating pottery together for years. Pictured, left to right, are Carolyn Egas, Ellen Blumenthal and Mace Burr. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

Artist Tom Morrissey of Catskills Carver Chainsaw Carving has a unique artistic medium — he works with wooden logs and a chainsaw.

“I like the fact that you can do this fast —you go from the raw materials to blocking it out, texturing it, coloring it. It’s a big process but you can get it done in a short period of time. I like that.”

Tom Morrissey demonstrates how he creates chainsaw art. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

Andy Golub repurposes old car parts to create his artwork. He was painting a car door on site during the event.

“My wife had a car that we retired,” Golub said. “Originally, she just wanted a black and white picture but now that the car is retired, I am coloring it in.”

Even the kids got into the act. Volunteer Christine Mickelsen staffed a chalk art station for Greenville’s youngest artists.

“I am encouraging the kids to make pictures out of chalk and be artists themselves,” Mickelsen said. “They just have fun with it, and to equate art with fun — that is perfect.”

Layla Rose Carmichael-Wilson, 3, and her brother, Richard Diana, 9, show off their chalk art. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media
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