This Friday, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., Fort Thomas will kick off Art Around Towne: a free, family friendly art and cultural event held every third Friday on June 17, July 15, and August 19. The event will be on the corner of North Fort Thomas Avenue and Highland Avenue as well as the surrounding area.
Each month there will be new artists and the art is always changing. Art booths feature original art, photography, unique woodworking, handcrafted soaps, candles, lotions, jewelry, and gifts of every kind. The Art House has been apart of the transformation of the business district and has sold the work of more than 215 artists.
|Handmade jewelry from Designs by Lynnea. Photo provided.|
|Handmade wooden bowls and art by Jerry Warner. Photo provided.|
|Colin Shadwell with his handmade pottery. Photo provided.|
While Art Around Towne is focused on an art walk of over 35 professional local artists and artisans, it also includes live music in two different areas, as well as multiple food trucks such as Marty’s Waffle Truck, local restaurants such as 15 North Pizza and Subway restaurant, beer from West Sixth, wine from Stonebrook Winery, and over 20 local small business services and products. Fort Thomas Coffee will have paintings on display by Colin Shadwell as well as their usual great drinks and pastries.
|Crigger Farm and their delicious honey. Photo provided.|
|Jo Green handmade soap. Photo provided.|
Tracy Davis, who is also on the committee that helps plan the event, will be sponsoring a large food pavilion tent through State Farm near the clock tower so you can relax in the shade while enjoying the large selection of food.
Children have fun participating in some crafts and everyone will enjoy the artist demonstrations, live music, and even a fitness demo by FIT Philosophie in the patio area of 15 North Pizza restaurant.
|Pottery demo by Colin Shadwell attracts lots of fans. Photo provided.|
In 2014, Barb Thomas, owner of Fort Thomas Central, created an artisan market in the parking lot of her shop at 3 N. Fort Thomas Avenue as a way to showcase the work of the many talented artists and artisans whose work is sold in her shop. Her parking lot was filled with booths from local artists and artisans.
When The Art House opened later that year, Sharahn Monk approached Renaissance Manager, Debbie Buckley with a broader idea to help celebrate the arts further to help create a cultural arts district in the central business district. The idea was presented to the city's Renaissance Board, chaired by Brian Sand, and the rest is history.
Now officially in its second year, Art Around Towne, has become a big success.
Thomas said, “I feel the support from the community has been very important. This free event is a great way to wind down your week and start your weekend. There is truly something for everyone at this event and it’s fun to see your neighbors and enjoy your community.”
Although The Art House has since moved from Fort Thomas to Covington, Monk and her husband Parrish are still playing an integral role in this year's event.
"The long term goal was to support community vibrancy while building a sustainable cultural arts community that will attract like businesses to the central business district, all which will drive economic strength that supports small local businesses through the arts," said Monk. "As a byproduct, an aspirational goal was to inspire creativity in our community. All of the activities and events we plan was designed to drive the vision to life in a subtle yet intentional manner."
Some new things this year include the food pavilion tent mentioned above, Top This Donut Bar, Colonel De Gourmet Herbs and Spices, Fit Philosophie, and Mint Yoga Studio. There will be chair massages and Trouvaille Traveling Fashion Boutique will have a mobile fashion boutique trailer set up in the parking lot of Fort Thomas Central Gift Shop.
Other community participants include Commonwealth Artists Summer Theatre (C.A.S.T.) which will be doing an outdoor rehearsal performance along the art walk route, and Schone Kitchen Design which will offer a raffle for prizes inside their beautiful showroom. Quality custom framing at Bowman’s Framing, Monera Chic Boutique, and The Village Players of Fort Thomas will also be participating.
Top This Donut will be opening their doors for the first time this Friday at 5:45 p.m. right before the Art Around Towne event. Jennifer Renfro and her husband are co-own the shop with the Shelton family. When asked why they decided to open their doors for the first time during the event this Friday she said, “As we were working on the store so many great people stopped by and told us about the Art Around Towne event . We wanted to be part of the community and the event!”
Weather reports predict the perfect summer evening this Friday so come out and support some local artists while visiting with your neighbors at Art Around Towne.
The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls. — Pablo Picasso