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Art series adds color in Miamisburg–It’s one big C-O-L-L-A-B-O-R-A-T-I-O-N

Art series adds color in Miamisburg–It’s one big C-O-L-L-A-B-O-R-A-T-I-O-N by Pamela Dillon for The Dayton Daily News, Saturday September 8, 2012, Photos by Pamela Dillon

The City of Miamisburg was injected with a new shot of energy this past summer with a series of art exhibits at the Pop-up Gallery in Miamisburg. Let’s see how everyone came together to make this COL-L-A-B-O-R-A-T-I-O-N happen:

COL: (Color of Energy owner/artist Mike Elsass) The original “idea man” never seems to slow down. One of his new projects began last November.

“We were walking by Taste of Wine with Katie Frank, Doug Sorrell and Deb McLaughlin from the Parks, and we were talking about art downtown, and someone spotted a space at 79 S. Main. The next week I talked to Joe [Harrison] about the concept of pop-up galleries,” said Elsass, who is presenting works in the exhibit. “A week later during the Turkey Trot we were in. A month later they sold the building so we had to pop out.” Fortunately, 43 S. Main became available shortly after that.

L: Larry Faulkner, a Dayton police major who is featuring his urban photography in the current show.

A: American Health and Fitness, a historic building owned by Joe Harrison. Most recently this building housed JC Penney, and provides 9,000 square feet of space.

The second level is yet to be developed, and Elsass occupies the third level studio with a wall of east-facing windows.

“He has graciously opened up the doors for us. He’s not charging us any rent and is paying all the electrical bills,” said Bonnie Nolan, president of the Miamisburg Merchants Association for the past three years.

That leads us to the next letter … .

B: Bonnie Nolan. The MMA has provided some of the funds, equipment and volunteers for this project.

“One of the things to revitalize the downtown is to bring in the arts,” said Nolan, who co-owns The Taste of Wine with Kim Broomhall. “The design committee had done the bike racks last year, so we were looking for something else to do. Mike came in, and gave us the pop-up gallery idea, so we started looking for a building,” said Nolan.

O: Opening. The gallery had its first opening on June 15. That featured the art of Elsass, Ron Rollins and Larry Faulkner for 30 days. Faulkner is a police major in Miamisburg who is also a photographer. Rollins is associate editor of the Dayton Daily News and has begun to show abstract paintings.

R: Ron Rollins, associate editor of Dayton Daily News, will be showing his abstract expressionist works this week. He also had paintings in the first show.

“It’s good energy,” Elsass said. “We’ve showcased new artists like Ron and Larry Faulkner. We hope to bring in Dan Gehres at some point. He’s a municipal court judge in downtown Dayton who sketches with crayons during trials. A place like this helps artists in terms of communication, publicizing and staffing, so they can concentrate on making art.”

A: “Arts in Downtown Miamisburg,” a documentary video by Jeremy Dempe, is one of the features of the current exhibit.

T: Town & Country Fine Art Gallery members. Seventeen Town & Country artists featured their works at the gallery for the Summer Arts second show that ran from Aug. 10-31.

I: Intern for Elsass: Wil Granson

“I’m lucky enough to help collaborate with some of his work, and help keep things moving for the past 6 months,” said Granson, a Pratt Institute graduate and Centerville resident. “Mike was friends with my parents when I was growing up. I’ve always tried to get involved with what’s he’s doing. Mike likes to keep moving and it generates lots of energy. That’s why I enjoy it.”

O: O’Neal, as in Carol O’Neal, the Centerville artist who is featuring her “Grandmothers and Granddaughters” photography at the gallery for the end of the Summer Arts Series. More artists will participate, but have not been confirmed as of this writing.

N: New ideas: The Pop-Up Gallery is just one of many new ideas that the Miamisburg Merchants Association and the City of Miamisburg are using to revitalize downtown. Last year, they collaborated with Gary Hartman and Kurt Hopkins for decorative bike racks along downtown streets. The new motto is: “Eat, Dine and Shop.”

“Our focus on downtown is to explore Miamisburg through the river, the bike paths and on the streets. We want visitors for our shops and the restaurants,” said Nolan.