Historic Springfield neighborhood to host first art event

The historic South Fountain Avenue neighborhood will become an artists’ colony for a day during the first Art SoFo event on Saturday. CONTRIBUTED

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The historic South Fountain Avenue neighborhood will become an artists’ colony for a day during the first Art SoFo event on Saturday. CONTRIBUTED

A historic Springfield neighborhood where the homes could pass for architectural art will become an arts community for a day.

Art SoFo will debut Saturday in the South Fountain Historic District in the 600-800 block, where a variety of artwork will be on display and for sale. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission is free.

South Fountain Neighborhood resident Mandie Fleming wanted a way to let the community meet a variety of artists at once and couldn’t have found a better area, already known for the biennial South Fountain Tour of Homes, which is in an off-year in 2019.

“The artist community is almost like a subculture. We want to bring the outsiders in,” said Fleming.

The work of 15 artists will be showcased in a variety of fine art mediums including sculptures, ceramics, paintings, 2-D, mixed media, watercolors, acrylics and even jewelry.

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Fleming said these are not starving artist pieces, but works from artists with refined skills whose training, time and experience are reflected into each piece.

Mandie Fleming and spouse, Nate, own Velorossa Design, which creates unique artistic lighting fixtures, chandeliers and furnishings. The pair lived in the artsy community of Eugene, Ore., and were looking east and found Springfield the perfect fit for their artistic sensibilities. Art SoFo is a way to raise the profile.

“I’m constantly astounded by the creativity here,” Fleming said. “One of Springfield’s biggest assets is its arts community. It’s really a hidden gem and some people don’t notice.”

Artist awards will be presented at 1 p.m. There will be a food truck and a 50/50 auction for artists’ pieces, ending at 4:30. Fleming stressed that some of the auction proceeds will go to the artists and to help fund further art shows.

She can imagine Art SoFo continuing in alternate years of the Tour of South Fountain.

“This is a small start we hope grows into something special that honors artists,” she said.

There will be plenty of free parking at the Rocking Horse Center’s lots located between South Fountain Avenue and Spring Street off Clark Street and Miller Street.

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Art SoFo is part of an Art & Design Weekend sponsored by the Westcott House of Architecture and Design. Friday at 6 p.m. will be Art for Wright, an auction at the Westcott House with more than 100 original and limited-edition mixed media works. The American Landscape will perform and admission is free.

Friday will also see the opening of the Ohio Designer Craftsmen: The Best of 2019 juried members exhibition of 88 works at the Springfield Museum of Art. A Happy Hour Tour of the Westcott House will take place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and other events will also offered.

For more information on Art & Design Weekend, go to www.westcotthouse.org.


What: Art SoFo

Where: South Fountain Historic District, 600-800 block, Springfield

When: Saturday, Sept. 21, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission: Free

More info: www.artsofo.com

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