BY SHERI TRUSTY
Artist Ashley Smith of Atlas & Aether returned to Arts in the Park at Lakeview Park last weekend, but this time she didn’t have to pay for her booth. She set up her handcrafted jewelry stand in a prime location for free because she was named Best of Show at last year’s event.
Port Clinton Artists’ Club hosted the 65th Annual Arts in the Park on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 5-6.
Smith drew from Greek mythology when she named her business Atlas and Aether.
“Atlas is earth, and Aether is everything beyond the earth. In my mind, it’s very inspirational,” Smith said. “I’m inspired by everything in the earth, and the part beyond the earth is the little bit of myself that I put into it.”
Dena Kopchak stopped by Smith’s booth a second time and regretted that she didn’t purchase a bracelet that had caught her eye earlier. Someone else had purchased it.
“Her work is beautiful. This is art. It’s the best thing at the show,” Kopchak said.
Artist Keith Fleming was one of the judges, along with Nike Mendenhall and David Peltier, looking for this year’s Best of Show. The 2023 winner was Marsha Gray Carrington
“What do we look for? Just creativity, and there’s a lot of it here,” Fleming said. “This is an impressive group.”
Arts in the Park Show Director, Joan Patthoff, said 109 artists and eight food trucks participated in this year’s event. Food options included perch, macaroni and cheese bowls, and Ohio-grown beef. CR Juices from Fremont offered healthy options like smoothies.
“We have so many different artists here, and we have a DJ – that’s new,” Patthoff said.
Lakeview Park was packed with people within the first few moments of opening on Saturday.
“I think it’s popular because it’s consistent. We have it every year. A lot of vendors return each year, and many of them have a following that comes, too,” Patthoff said. “I want to thank the community for supporting us.”