Behind the Muse: with Ruthie Hogan

Ruthie Hogan signed up for Art Lotto last year and at the Luck of the Draw event, she randomly selected the name of local wood artist Bruce Rosenwasser. She challenged herself to make Bruce into a muppet…and she succeeded. Muppet Bruce was a hit at the Lotto openings. Artists took him off the wall, passed him around, disguised their hands as ball-capped-flannel-wearing-Bruce and entertained each other. Ruthie brought lots of smiles with her muppet creation. This year, Ruthie selected the name of photographer Misti Yoder. Misti has local roots but currently resides in Indiana. The distance could easily be a challenge but Misti and Ruthie made it work last week when they met up for coffee.

Misti and Ruthie at The Artful Dodger
Misti and Ruthie at The Artful Dodger

“I met Misti and her daughter at the Artful Dodger on Monday. This year’s process is pretty different from last year for me because I knew what I was going to do last year (whether or not I was sure I could do it was another story). This year, I wanted to do something different and had a couple of ideas running around my head. Meeting Misti and getting to know a little but about her was really inspiring; it finalized in my mind what I want to do. I went out and bought my materials immediately after our meeting. Hopefully it works.” ~Ruthie

Art Lotto, First Friday

Art Lotto held it’s public art opening on First Friday at the Artful Dodger in downtown Harrisonburg, VA. With Thursday being a private celebration for artists, sponsors and judges, Friday was geared towards a fun-filled evening for families and children. In front of the Dodger we had a circus of activities including face painting, sidewalk chalk, a mini-manicure station and a coloring table with each of our top-level sponsors drawn up in coloring-book-form! Art Lotto portraits will be up on the Dodger walls through the month of August. Head on down and check it out!

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We still have tshirts available at the low low price of $7!
We still have tshirts available at the low low price of $7!

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Mirra Zirkle, winner of the KIDS' CHOICE AWARD, is sporting one of her prizes: earrings from MINT.
Mirra Zirkle, winner of the KIDS’ CHOICE AWARD, is sporting one of her prizes: earrings from MINT.

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Face painters: April Sedeen, Sarah Murphy & Esther King
Mini-manicure-ers: Danielle Campbell & Brook Burner
Coloring Experts: Emily Casey, Carl Yoder & Jenny Jones

Private P-art-y!

Thank you Rachel Herr (see pg 30 on link!) for capturing these candid moments last evening at Art Lotto’s artists/judges/sponsors Private Party. What a fun evening of looking and admiring and chatting and fun. It was a great sight to see all eyes glued to the walls of the Artful Dodger in admiration of the diverse talent that surrounds us. Portraits will be up through the month of August.IMG_2077web IMG_2084web IMG_2037webIMG_2035web IMG_2028bwweb IMG_2030bwwebIMG_2044bwweb IMG_2031web IMG_2049web IMG_2042webIMG_2050web IMG_2056web IMG_2052web IMG_2054web IMG_2060webIMG_2051web IMG_2055web IMG_2058bwweb IMG_2061bwwebIMG_2065web IMG_2067webIMG_2066webIMG_2074bwweb IMG_2062bwweb IMG_2073bwwebIMG_2082web IMG_2085web IMG_2088web IMG_2086web IMG_2081webIMG_2092web IMG_2098web IMG_2090web IMG_2093web IMG_2089bwwebIMG_2099web IMG_2100web IMG_2107web IMG_2103web IMG_2108bwweb IMG_2110web

Trophies?!!

This evening, local artist Ben Fraits delivered the Art Lotto trophies to me! They work great alongside our other lotto designs with their bright colors and use of paper planes. In this case, they’re aluminum planes made from discarded beverage cans. In fact, all the supplies used in making the trophies is recycled material found right here in Harrisonburg! Here’s a sneak at one of the three awards that will be handed out on Thursday evening at our Private Party. Be sure to join us for the First Friday Public Opening this Friday from 5-7 at The Artful Dodger! There will be lots of kid-friendly activities happening out front including face painting, sidewalk art, a mini-manicure station and a coloring table! Woo art!

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Behind the Muse: with Renee Somers

I’ve known Renee Somers for nearly 15 years. She is an artist in every sense of the word. She lives it, preaches it, breathes it, studies it, does it, loves it and just can’t get away from it. It bleeds from her. It is her. She currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee but is no stranger to the Valley. Renee’s son, Paul, is a go-to for artful adventures in Harrisonburg, carrying on her passions and giving her ample reasons to visit: film festivals, poetry readings, art shows and…oh yeah, her amazingly sweet grandchildren. This is Renee’s second Art Lotto go-round. Last year she took home the prize for Best Hair with her painting of Matt Sedeen. This year, she’ll be all tangled up in the locks of Matt Hall. Fellow art educator/artist John Bell will be portraying Renee. After meeting with Matt for the first time, Renee sent me the following quick-sketch and thoughts:

Renee Somers Sketch of Matt Hall
Renee’s sketch of Matt Hall after meeting him for the first time.

“I wondered who was the artist I would paint for Art Lotto. I came, I looked, I wondered. I was plopped down on a stool at the Artful Dodger thinking each person I saw might be him. I asked first one and then another. I looked for someone looking for someone. Then about the time I settled in and just decided to relax, I ordered a coffee and told the bartender I was “just waiting for Matt Hall” and he said, “Why he’s right there,” and called him over. He resembled the images I had seen painted through the centuries of the Christ. I was thrilled at the fun hair I would get to paint and my immediate response was to do a Christ look-alike. But who knows where the spirit will take me as I handle this young artists face with my paintbrush and follow the contours of a well-chiseled firm face and curly feathery hair. 

You know, when it comes to Art Lotto, it is about surprise, anticipation, and visual resurrections of our perceptions coupled with the images of the artists we have selected to portray. I took some pictures of Matt and my son, Paul, took some pictures for me. If you want to find out the outcome of this fabulous opportunity, meet me at the Art Lotto opening at the Artful Dodger. Last year and to-date, it was the best art show I had seen in years. The diversity, the talent, and the ambiance of the whole concept, of artists painting artists, was just inspiring. Top that off with the Super Gr8 Film Festival and you have music, passion and art all wrapped up in a artful heartful community.” ~Renee