Arts Council and Artists’ Club paint the town red on Saturday

Jun 14, 2023 | Featured, Around Ottawa County | 0 comments

More than 60 vendors sold art at the 30th annual Arts and Crafts Festival hosted by the Greater Port Clinton Area Arts Council on Saturday. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)


When Lynne Smith’s mother died 45 years ago, Smith packed up the beads and fabric and other supplies her mother sold at her arts and crafts shop and stored them away. Today, Smith uses those vintage pieces to create unique mixed media portraits of octopuses, elephants and other creatures.

On Saturday, June 10, three of her pieces were on display at the Sutton Center in Port Clinton as part of the Hidden Gems art reception hosted by the Port Clinton Artists’ Club.

The reception featured the art of over 25 local artists.

Gayle Mehling holds the “Sunset” painting she purchased from artist Barbara Radebaugh at the Hidden Gems art reception on Saturday. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

“We have all these wonderful artists here, and not many people know about it,” said event chair Judy Maher. “We encouraged people to have lunch at Bistro 163 and have dessert with us. Between the Bistro and the art show, there are two hidden gems here at the Sutton Center.”

Down the road at Waterworks Park, the Greater Port Clinton Area Arts Council (GPCAAC) held its 30th annual Arts and Crafts Festival. The event featured a variety of art, including glassware, woodworking, paintings and jewelry.

“We have over 60 vendors from Ohio and the surrounding states,” said GPCAAC Press Secretary Jessica Denton. “We have a great variety of artists.”

Lynne Smith stands next to one of the mixed media portraits she created using vintage materials from the art shop her mother owned nearly 50 years ago. Smith was among the artists displaying their work at the Hidden Gems Art Reception hosted by the Port Clinton Artists’ Club. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

Among the vendors was longtime Port Clinton toymaker Armando Castillo who brought dozens of his handmade wooden toys. Castillo attends the GPCAAC Arts and Crafts Festival every year, and he plans to sell his toys at the downtown Port Clinton Sunday Farmers Markets this summer.

“I’ve been making toys for about 40 years,” he said. “I made one toy for the kids, and the next thing, I was making toys to sell.”

Merry Birmelin of Cobblestone Confections in Mansfield is another faithful Arts and Crafts Festival vendor. She has been selling her homemade baked goods at the festival for several years.

Scarlet Castillo, 8, checks out one of the handmade trucks her grandfather, Armando Castillo, sold at the Arts and Crafts Festival at Waterworks Park. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

Birmelin is a former traveling sales rep who left the business world for the slower pace of running a bakery in 2005. She started in her home and then purchased a commercial bakery in Mansfield where she made cookies, pies, breads and pastries that were also sold in Marblehead shops. She closed her commercial bakery and returned to home baking during the COVID shutdowns, but she still likes to return to the area to sell her baked goods at the Arts and Crafts Festival each year.

“I do well here. That’s why I keep coming back. My baked goods used to be at Fort Firelands and in a shop in downtown Marblehead, so people here know my name,” she said. “And I’m always happy to come back to the lake.”

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December 2023

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