The new president of the Canal Winchester Art Guild says she wants to build on the success of the city's first Art Stroll in 2012 and make it an even bigger event.
Local artist Linda Henry Boving was named president of the Art Guild for 2013 and brings with her a wealth of professional experience as an artist and emissary of the arts. She was one of the founding members of the Art Guild.
"We started the Art Guild around 1998 and I was an original member but dropped out for a little while because of my work and traveling, then I returned to it a couple years ago," Boving said.
Boving said she has been an artist for 25 years. She sculpts porcelain dolls and designs fully articulated teddy bears made of mohair for lines put out by Disney, Marie Osmond, Annette Funicello and the Middleton Doll Co.
Boving's work for Osmond is available through QVC, the home shopping network, which led her to connect with a similar program on Japan's Fuji TV, where, she said, she was invited to participate in an American designer special alongside Jack Nicklaus and Mariah Carey.
"The three of us were invited to participate and the bears I designed for the show were a limited edition of 200, selling at about $950 each. I didn't think we'd sell any but after 15 minutes, they'd already oversold the edition," Boving said. "Since then, I've begun designing handbags and jewelry for Japan and I illustrate children's books."
Boving is busy, and she said her work with the Art Guild is a very important part of that.
"The Art Stroll studio tour was started last year by Carolyn Sitter who has a studio downtown, like a number of artists, so she really wanted to highlight those studios on the tour," Boving said. "But we were so amazed by the turnout -- because Carolyn was such a marketing force and made it successful -- that we have even bigger plans for this year."
The mission of the Art Guild, she said, is to promote local artists and provide opportunities for members to continue developing artistically, while stimulating interest in the arts in the community.
"I think we're doing a good job of that right now. Following last year's Art Stroll, our membership almost doubled," Boving said. "This year, we're looking at expanding with giving the high school students their own show, holding workshops and adding more venues for artists to show and sell their work."
This year's Art Stroll is scheduled from 2 to 8 p.m. Saturday, May 11, in downtown Canal Winchester. Boving said the Art Guild is looking for volunteers, artists and sponsors for the event.
For more information, including how to join the Art Guild, visit www.cwartguild.org.