Holmes Art Festival

Holmes Art Festival

Image Credit: File

It’s time for area artists to get their art on.

On Saturday, Sept. 10 in Historic Downtown Millersburg, members of the Ohio Plein Air Society will line the streets of Millersburg, showcasing their artwork as part of the Holmes Art Festival.

The event will be centered around the OPAS members, but the idea was to invite local artists to join the painting fun.

“We scheduled the whole event around their being here in Holmes County,” said Judy Lamp, Historic Downtown Millersburg executive director. “From what we’ve heard, they are extremely talented painters, but one of the other reasons we wanted to promote this event was to invite local artists to chat with them and to learn from them. We invite anyone who loves to paint to join us for the day.”

Lamp said Millersburg needs to perpetuate more of these types of painting and artistic events because they go together with the antique theme of HDM.

En plein air is a French expression that means in the open air. It is used by artists to describe the art of outdoor painting, capturing landscapes, sunsets, bodies of water and majestic views. Amish Country and the building architecture of Holmes County should provide them with plenty of opportunities to let their creative juices flow.

The OPAS group will come to Holmes County on Friday, Sept. 9, where a slate of possible painting venues were set up by the festival committee.

OPAS was invited to paint during the Holmes County Arts Festival, where Historic Downtown Millersburg is providing access to several locations on Friday and Saturday.

On Friday, OPAS members will choose from a variety of locations including the Holmes County Home, a sweeping vista from atop a ridge in Amish Country, a family farm and barns, Amish horse and buggy at the Holmes County Rail Trail, the Inn at Honey Run, and two vineyards.

On Saturday they will have the option of painting the historic buildings of downtown Millersburg including the Holmes County Courthouse, the Victorian Museum, the Old Jail, and many main street shops and buildings including Hotel Millersburg. OPAS artists can set up on the courthouse grounds and display and sell their artwork.

Any art created during the Paint Out or any work they wish to display and sell can be presented on Saturday.

According to Mark Miller, owner of New Towne Gallery in HDM, this event is an exciting one for anyone who finds joy in the art of painting outdoor scenery.

“We are very excited to bring this opportunity to Millersburg,” Miller said. “Saturday should be a very enjoyable, active day because we have some big plans for the day.”

Those plans include live music, food trucks, pastries, coffee and plenty of interaction with the society members, who also will present a wet paint sale, which means people can buy their newly crafted paintings. Some members also may have tables set up to sell prior work.

In addition, several local artists have already committed to joining the event including close to a dozen members of The Wilderness Center Carver’s Guild, as well as artists who focus on jewelry, painting and many more art mediums.

“This is our inaugural effort to promote this event, so we aren’t sure what to expect, but we do know the OPAS has a huge following,” Miller said.

Miller said he has been trying to entice the OPAS to come to Holmes County for several years. The group conducts an annual Paint Out event that travels all over Ohio, tabbing a small town or community that is ideal for outdoor painting.

“We were quite thrilled that they chose Millersburg as their destination this year,” Miller said. “We believe we have so many beautiful possibilities when it comes to outdoor painting. Plus, we truly want to make this a wonderful experience for our local artists, who can interact with the OPAS members and share their own experiences together.”

Miller said they expect anywhere from three dozen to 50 OPAS artists to attend the event, and HDM should be swarming with artistic flavor throughout the Saturday event.

He said the hope is to start from year one and grow this event into something special that gets local artists heavily involved. He said it is an event filled with tons of potential.

If any local artists would like to join the event, they can do so by requesting a form from Lamp by calling 330-674-2412, by visiting the Historic Downtown Millersburg Facebook page or by emailing Miller at newtownegallery@gmail.