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Garage-sale serendipity begets art show

Clintonville Art Guild's Ohio-themed work on display this weekend at Weiland's

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PAUL VERNON/THISWEEKNEWS
Clintonville Arts Guild members who will participate in an Ohio-themed art show Saturday, June 21, at Weiland's Market are (from left): Inga Smith, Jim Siemer, Jackie Barr, Ann Stringer, Brenda Churchill and Laura Stith. The group is pictured at Churchill's Clintonville residence last Thursday, June 12.
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It all started with a garage sale.

Jennifer Williams, who took over as owner of Weiland's Market from her father in 2011, goes to them all the time, often stopping at sales in Clintonville on her way to work Saturday mornings.

"My mother's a longtime garage-saler, so I come by it honestly," Williams said last week. "Clintonville has the best ones. You never know what you're going to find."

Just before Mother's Day this year, Williams chanced to stop at a sale hosted by Brenda Churchill, a member of the Clintonville Arts Guild.

"I was having my annual garage sale, and I always put my art in the garage sale because it draws so much attention," Churchill said.

The artist recognized the grocery-store owner because her picture had appeared in ThisWeek Booster, and Williams was drawn to Churchill's paintings of cardinals.

"I didn't have all my Mother's Day presents for Mom that I wanted to get," Williams said. "Cardinals are my mother's favorite bird."

"She ended up purchasing my cardinal birds, which was a Mother's Day present," Churchill said. "She loved the birds and her mother loved the birds. She wrote a thank-you note, emailed me and invited me to come to her store and bring my art.

"I told her I was a little bit shy about that."

Instead, Churchill proposed that several members of the arts guild might show their artwork at the store.

The result of Churchill's shyness and Williams being willing to try something new is that several artists will set up tables in and around the wine, beer and spirits section at Weiland's Market, 3600 Indianola Ave., from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 21.

"I think it's going to be a beautiful show, very interesting," Churchill said.

Williams and Churchill settled on the idea of making it an Ohio-themed art show and sale, which caused some guild members to scramble when the event was announced at the organization's annual potluck get-together.

"We had nine members sign up immediately, but they were apprehensive because they didn't really have the Ohio theme totally in their inventory, so some of them would have to make their art," Churchill said.

Participating artists will include Jim Siemer, who specializes in paintings of Ohio wineries; Inga Smith, who creates photography and digital art; Laura Stith, who makes fabric bowls; Sue Wartell, who offers jewelry and mixed media; Jackie Barr, who creates fused-glass works; Ann Stringer, who makes greeting cards; and Churchill's paintings and cards featuring Ohio birds.

If all goes well, Williams said, the art show might become a regular event.

"It's certainly not food-related, but it ties in Ohio and people love local stuff -- and it's the Clintonville Arts Guild," Williams said. "If it becomes a series, that would be great ... but we have limited space.

"We may do it quarterly. We may do it around holidays. I'm the kind of person (who says), 'Hey, let's try it, see what the artists think, see what the customers think.'

"I'm not doing it to make money. I'm doing it for something I think the customers would like and to give the arts guild some exposure."

"I think it's an outstanding opportunity and I'm really appreciative of it," guild member Inga Smith said. "I know Weiland's is really, really, really busy on Saturdays, so it's a good venue."

"My mom loved the cardinals, by the way," Williams said. "She was very happy."

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