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Middletown Arts Center marks 60 years with collaborative art

The organization has been fostering art appreciation in Middletown for 720 months, 3,120 weeks, and 21,900 days. Any way you figure it, 60 years is a long time.

Middletown Arts Center is celebrating this milestone with a collaborative auction on June 3. MAC art instructors have been paired up with non-artist community members to create one-of-a-kind works.

“I like collaborative work. My husband and I have done a lot of them,” said MAC executive director Hilary Nauman. “It’s exciting to see what these non-artists do. We are an art education center, so this is our thing. The stuff that I’ve seen so far has been great.”

One of the collaborative teams is Middletown Community Foundation executive director Duane Gordon and painting instructor Karen Ng.

“I don’t draw; I have trouble drawing stick figures. But she sketched the outline, showed me how to mix paints, and what brushes to use,” said Gordon. “We finished our painting on Friday, one week before deadline. I was actually extremely surprised that it looks like an actual real painting.”

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Another pairing was City of Middletown health commissioner/MAC board president Jackie Phillips and ceramics instructor Adriana DePalma.

“I’ve admired her work for a long time, and I have a couple of her pieces. She is very creative and patient,” said Phillips. “We did a decorative, odd-shaped bowl that’s ready to be fired. I don’t want to be embarrassed during the auction, so I’m prepared to purchase it if I have to.”

Watercolor instructor Peggy Trimble is working on a painting with City of Middletown Fire Chief Paul Lolli.

“We’re halfway through the piece, and it’s been fun,” said Trimble. “The painting’s going to be a surprise. Let’s just say it’s full of color with lots of action and excitement.”

Downtown Middletown, Inc. vice president Richard Isroff is working with glass instructor Jan Holladay Scheuber. Instead of a glass piece, however, they are collaborating on a watercolor.

“Out of this swirl of color and creativity, she saw Fandango dancers,” said Isroff. “I was OK slapping a paint roller against a wall, but this was my first attempt at something like this. Jan was so encouraging and creative; she made the experience very rewarding.”

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Remaining partnerships: City of Middletown Police Chief Rodney Mutterspaw and painting instructor Shelley Sizemore, Premier Health Atrium Medical Center site/PR manager Chelsey Levingston and jewelry instructor Joy Dysart, and Middletown Young Professionals representative Mallory Greenham with ceramics instructor Jean Ann Bolliger.

Fine art will be available for the serious collector. Works include art by Chris Walden, Bruce Peters and Jack Howard. The auction will also feature art by the late Homer Hacker and the late Patsy Myers.

The host will be John Lomax of WKRC TV Local 12 Cincinnati, and the auctioneer will be Steve South. The auction will feature vacation rentals and unique experiences in addition to the art. In honor of the 60th year, some art will be offered at $60.

MAC has always been a gathering place for the community,” said Nauman. “Everyone looks forward to having a fabulous time at this triennial fundraiser. We can’t wait to unveil these one-of-a-kind pieces at our celebration.”

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