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Featured Artist – David Lackey

15 Aug

David Lackey – Because my earliest memories are from our farm on Lackey Road in Delaware, Ohio. Named after my great-grandfather. Old gray barns, dairy cows, maples too big to wrap your arms around, chickens, wheat and soy bean fields, hay pastures and pond – the backdrop for my dad and grandfather’s farming, my mom’s pie baking, my grandmother Lackey’s homemade noodles and cinnamon buns.

Seemed like something was always cooking and something was always breaking down – Allis Chalmers WD tractor, GMC pickup, shed roof, board fence, coal furnace. Some machine or building or apparatus always needing attention. And tools everywhere, never where you needed them.

Long before reuse, recycle and repurposing, my farmer grandfathers where making do with twine and barn wood and wire. Long before eBay and Amazon, there was Sears, the local hardware store, the lumber yard. You could fix anything with pliers and a hammer – use your tools to wield a little leverage over your material, make something new out of whatever’s laying around.

I’ve inherited several tendencies from those Lackey Road farmers:
– the desire to make something useful with your hands
– the knowledge that liking what you do is enough of a reason to do it
– the acceptance that you’ll be lucky if you break even
– belief in ground truth and tool truth – things made out of wood and steel
– and the need to work standing up

I farmed part-time with my dad on my way through Ohio University, hung out with my farmer relatives summers, and shoveled enough sheep excrement to figure I’d never make it as a full-time farmer, so I became a teacher and taught my way through thirty years of Thoreau and Emerson, Whitman and Frost.

I started teaching the same year Muddy Waters died. Always looked forward to teaching Langston Hughes’ “Syncopated Blues” so we could talk about the twelve bar blues, bring in guitars and have my students perform lyrics they’d written. Or Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues” – “The pump don’t work ‘cause the vandals took the handle” – what’s that about? When we read Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath, I’d bring out the Woody Guthrie song sheets.

One summer on a trip south to see Faulkner’s Mississippi, Linda (my wife and Etsy mentor) and I “went down to the Crossroads” – where highways 61 and 49 intersect in Clarksdale. We hunted for Robert Johnson’s grave, found Muddy Waters’ cabin site, hung out at Ground Zero, tracked down Po’ Monkey’s juke joint, stayed in a sharecroppers shack at Hopson Plantation, got ourselves on the King Biscuit Hour radio show across the river in Helena, Arkansas.

On our way through Alabama we explored the roots of the Civil Rights movement – Birmingham and Selma, where I found my first cigar box guitar – a three-string with no frets and a pickup. Talk about cool! I brought it home and showed my friend John, who immediately set about to make one, and then another, and then another one after that. My first CBG was a six-string. I bolted a Strat neck to a black Punch cigar box, wired up a Telecaster bridge and pickup, plugged it in and was hooked.

So, five or six guitars later – three and four-string CBGs, six-strings, all electric – Linda says if I want to keep making ‘em I need to start selling.

I make guitars because I’m into tools and wood and music. I use my hands, heart and head all at once (same reason I ride motorcycles, but that’s a whole ‘nother story). And like my Lackey Road ancestors, I get to work standing up.


Featured Artist – Nancy Notarianni

14 Aug

Nancy Notarianni is a watercolorist, graphic designer and watercolor painting instructor living in the Middleburg Heights/Berea, Ohio area. Her decades of experience in graphic design are rooted in a BFA in advertising and fashion illustration from the University of Kansas.

Nancy is a Signature Member of the Ohio Watercolor Society. Nancy is also serves as newsletter editor for the Ohio Watercolor Society. She enjoys teaching watercolor and recently opened her own studio/gallery in Berea for watercolor classes.  Nancy has also been invited to many of the Cuyahoga County, Ohio branch libraries (Fairview Park, Parma South, Bedford, Olmsted Falls, Mayfield to name a few) to present watercolor programs.

She exhibits in many juried shows throughout Northeast Ohio. Six of Nancy’s watercolor paintings have been accepted into the 2018 Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) “Wet Paint” Temporary Art Exhibtion from February 16- July 31, 2018.. In 2015, eight of of her watercolor paintings were accepted into the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) Temporary Art Exhibtion in the airport concoursesThe tv show, Hawaii Five-O, purchased one of her paintings for use on the show set. And the Center for Education in Tel Aviv, Israel purchased the rights to use one of Nancy’s paintings in a textbook. She has twice attended painting workshops with Charles Reid, one of the foremost watercolorists of today, as well as Alvaro Castagnet, Ted Nuttall, and Mary Whyte workshops.

Nancy describes her affinity to watercolor by saying that it is her “…favorite medium because of the transparent quality and the unpredictability of the combination of water and paint.”.

Featured Artist -Ashley Ross

10 Aug

Ashley Ross – (AKA The Cuddle Cult) is a badass momma, talented tattoo artist, and entrepreneur.  She runs on Starbucks coffee and sass.  She draws each plush design and late at night when she’s supposed to be sleeping, her House Elves turn her drawings into fabric.  No one knows how and she knows not to ask questions.  Once the fabric is printed, Ashley cuts out each doll by hand, stuffs with magic and stitches it up.  When she’s not making plush dolls she’s tattooing while watching Bob’s Burgers on her iPad, attending Wizard Con dressed as Rose Quartz or playing with her Boston Terriers.

Featured Artists – Shari & Cathy Strauss

9 Aug



Sharie & Cathy Strauss – Paper Cutz began as a “craft therapy night” and just kept growing. Artist, Shari Escott, has always had a love for art and design. Her first image was an owl and she didn’t stop there. After our first show at the Cleveland FLEA, we knew we had something special. Here we are four years later, still going strong and loving every minute of it. Our favorite part of doing what we do is working shows and meeting our customers. Everyone is so kind, warm and complimentary. Thank you for enjoying and appreciating what we do. We appreciate you and hope you will keep checking back for new prints and note cards.

Free Art for Kids!

30 Jul

The Kids Kreation Station is the epicenter for kid friendly make and take projects!  This year they include these 4 wacky and fun projects for all ages.

Hand print fish puppets (ages 3 and up)
Trace your hand and make an exotic fish! There are no limits to the finished project!
Construction paper animals (ages 3 and up)
Just a couple of pieces of construction paper and some imagination and you have a cat or a dog. How about a lion or an elephant? Easy shapes that can be put together to make an animal of your choice!
Sunflowers (ages 6 and up)
Brighten your day (and the day of those around you) with these festive sunflowers.  Not into flowers?  Supplies will be on hand to make monsters or animals too!
Creative Clipboards (ages 8 and up)
It’s a blank canvas!  Turn a boring clipboard into a work of art! We’ll supply the decorations, you supply the imagination!

Get Your Art On! But do it by Aug. 15th!

23 Jul

Volunteer at the Berea Arts Fest

Summer is here and the Berea Arts Fest is looking to celebrate its twenty-eighth anniversary. This year’s event will be held on Sunday, September 9th, 2018. In order for the event to be a continued success, we need the assistance of trusted volunteers such as yourself to aid in this years activities.

As a volunteer, you will play a key role in organizing, implementing and making the Berea Arts Fest a great event. To volunteer, please email or call the Berea Arts Fest.

Volunteer Chair, Lisa Bridenbaker:
Office Phone: 440.891.1102

2018 Berea Arts Fest Scholarship Winner: Eliza Karp

19 Jul
The Berea Arts Fest would like to congratulate Eliza Karp on being our 2018 Scholarship winner. A 2018 graduate of Berea-Midpark High School, Eliza will be attending The Cleveland Institute of Art this fall. Eliza accomplishments include: Member of the National Honor Society, varsity letters in Cross Country, Swimming, Track and captain of the Varsity Girls Cross Country Team, and graduated with honors diploma, Cum Laude. Eliza’s wide range of artistic ability is reflected in her impressive portfolio of work which has also been recognized by the Berea Fine Arts Club Scholarship, and BMHS Art Department Outstanding Student Award. Eliza has also a Girl Scout, camp counselor and devoted volunteer at the Berea Arts Fest. We wish Eliza the very best and look forward to seeing her future success.