By Joseph Pratt
Local Ian Bush is encouraging Portsmouth artists to represent their trade and creative sides through a public event he is organizing, which is geared towards showcasing artists of all mediums. Bush has coined the event “Portsmouth Renaissance Festival.” The first of its kind was held last Friday and had a constant flow of visitors.
Bush has wanted to see a reoccurring outlet for the increasing amount of art he sees produced in the area, but was unsure of what an outcome would look like. After the success of Friday’s event, he has decided to pursue the opportunity and organize it as a quarterly showcase.
Three festivals a year will be held in Tracy Park and the fourth is currently on the table. Bush said he would like to see the winter festival held at the Portsmouth Area Jaycees. A meeting later this week will confirm if it will be held in the building or not.
Bush impressively filled blocks of time that stretched the entire day and evening, which consisted of performing and visual art. A segment for writers was even scheduled, where readings were performed. Bush, himself, being a writer by hobby, read some of his own original work.
Bush carefully broke the day down so each showcase artist had enough time to perform. Bush said some of these artists fell through, which gave his event a rocky start, but the impromptu changes made the event better than he actually planned and hoped for.
“Everything worked out very well. A lot of people got showcased and a lot of really good local artists and crafters were able to make a little money. I don’t think anyone left without breaking even. Everyone there was very skillful.”
Bush said that the bands drew in the most attention, such as Jason Whisman, the Grave Diggers, Commercial Television and many more individual performing artists. Bush stated that Richard Moon’s performance probably gathered the most attention.
The event welcomed local organizations to display tables, which many took advantage of.
The local Operation Christmas Child organization was one to set up a table and sale merchandise. The organization said they were able to raise a bit of funds from the event and is deciding where the funding will go.
Tiffany Pistole, of the organization, said that the money raised is enough for them to do various things, from buying contents for 25 gift boxes, purchasing 900 pairs of flip-flops or 1,000 notebooks. Pistole expressed a lot of gratitude towards Bush and the local artists for allowing her to set up a booth that attracted her local chapter so much attention.
Other organizations and people to attend included members of the Guardians of Society, the Portsmouth Public Library, Madame Rose Rosier of Roseanne’s Enchantments and more.
Local Tyler Bradford showcased his artwork and made a decent commission from his few hours of greeting the public. The local artist attends Shawnee State University and focuses on ceramics as his leading medium, but also draws and paints. Bradford said he will be pursuing ceramics and hopes to become a professor one day.
“The Renaissance is really awesome. My cousin is the one who put it on and I feel like he did such an amazing job at getting it together,” Bradford said. “I enjoy coming here, getting my name out there and letting people see what I do. It is really cool to see people take such an interest in what I do.”
Other visual artists included names like Charlie Haskins and Zach Craft.
“We had a very good turnout and people seemed very excited about it. Anytime someone would say something to me, it was very positive. People said it gave them a sense of hope,” Bush said. “I feel the community really responded well to it and I feel like the more we have these events, the more the Renaissance will grow and so will the community’s appreciation of it.”
Joseph Pratt can be reached at the Portsmouth Daily Times 740-353-3101, EXT 1932, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.