Bellefontaine Examiner

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One small hop for downtown

Art event draws fair crowd but organizers look to future


ABOVE: Julian Labro plays accordion as Shawn Conley lays down the bass during the Hot Club of Detroit’s performance at the Holland Theatre to cap off Thursday’s Art Hop event in downtown Bellefontaine. To see a video of the jazz musicians in action, SEE VIDEO BELOW

FRONT PAGE PHOTO: Pat Rinehart-Irwin, right, explains the technique she uses to paint to Betsy Woodruff and her daughter, Thessaly, 5, at her Artistic Treasures store during Thursday’s Art Hop event. (EXAMINER PHOTOS | REUBEN MEES)

Thursday evening’s Art Hop in downtown Bellefontaine drew a fair crowd, but organizers, artists and visitors hope it might be the springboard to a larger event that draws more foot traffic to the historic heart of the city.

“The parking lots were full and there were people walking up and down the street, which is unusual for a week night, but if I had a suggestion for next time, maybe make it 5 to 8 to give more people time to get home from work and get out,” photographer Perry Hodies III, who had a display in Smith’s Jewelers, said after the event.

The Thursday event ran from 4 to 7 p.m. and some art aficionados who did not make the scene until after 6 p.m. felt rushed to see the works of the 14 Logan County Art League members who showed up to demonstrate their artistic techniques.

From 4 to 5:30 p.m., the event was slow moving but more art lovers showed up as the work day faded into evening hours.

“I think it’s a great idea if it keeps brining people downtown,” art league member Georgia Byers said as she painted a colorful outdoor scene from Iceland from a photo inside the Edward D. Jones Investments office. “If we can continue to do it on a regular basis and get people interested in downtown, it’s a good idea.”

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