Piqua Arts Council, helping artists in numerous ways


PIQUA — The Piqua Arts Council (PAC) offers a variety of events throughout the year. Some of those events are large and splashy – Rock Piqua, for example, the day-long car show and entertainment spectacle that takes over downtown on a midsummer day – or Dancing with the Piqua Stars, showcasing local dancing talent while raising needed funds for PAC. PAC’s goal, though, is not only to entertain the through arts-related events, but also to assist artists in perfecting their craft and gaining wider recognition. Rock Piqua, for example, presents local musical groups who may not be well known in an effort to help them gain a wider audience. One of this year’s vocalists, Marielle Kraft, is a young woman who is already making an impact on the contemporary music scene. If you heard her at Rock Piqua this year, you can say that you saw her first right here in your own community.

Another example is the annual Fine Art Exhibition that has been presented by Piqua Arts Council for over 30 years. Creatives working with visual art in all categories – watercolor, photography, oil, acrylic, drawing and three-dimensional – are able to exhibit their craft to the public in this non-juried show for an entire month. With over 200 works of art displayed, it is one of the largest art shows in the entire Miami Valley and offers creatives a way to reach members of the public who would otherwise never see their work.

In addition, three times a year, PAC sponsors affordable week-long workshops to help visual artists improve their craft, no matter what their skill level. This year, three workshops are being offered by nationally-recognize artists: watercolors by Tim Saternow, pastels by Jill Stefani Wagner and oil painting by Ken Yaris. Amateur artists benefit from tutorials by professionals while both make connections that may last a lifetime.

Theatrical performers like to say that the audience never knows what goes on behind the scenes. That is equally true where the arts are concerned. Behind a finished product are always hours of education, preparation and work. The new Art Spark Awards are designed to help with some of that behind-the-scenes activity. Art Spark Awards are small grants meant to assist creatives with the financial hurdles of creating art. Education and materials aren’t free; and these awards are meant to help defray those costs. The awards range from $250-$500 and are available to anyone residing in the 45356 area code who needs financial help to attend a workshop, finish a project or further their skills. There is no age restriction and artists may work in any area of the arts: visual, culinary, performing or literary. Prospective applicants can go to www.PiquaArtsCouncil.org/art-spark-awards for an application or more information.

Finally, the arts often involve more than “just” creating a work of art. Artists frequently work on commission with clients who want specific items, or a business wants to be connected with an artist that can fulfill its needs. That involves contracts that are frequently highly technical. Again, PAC can help artists who may be new to the business area of the arts. PAC is able to match businesses with appropriate artists and can assist artists in writing contracts when they want to sell their work. A lot goes on behind the scenes that the audience never sees and Piqua Arts Council is involved in the “backstage” aspects of production and business as well as displaying the finished work of creatives. If you are an artist who needs a little bit of help, don’t hesitate to contact Piqua Arts Council at 938-773-9630 or www.piquaartscouncil.org. They will be delighted to assist you.

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