June 2021 – Art in the Alley committee members and the Ashtabula Downtown Development Association agreed to cancel the popular Art in the Alley Festival another year, due to unforeseen Covid developments at the time.

 Fortunately, Covid restrictions have since lifted and the city’s fast-tracking of vaccines have allowed Ashtabula to return to social gathering and summer fun. 

Although there will not be a Festival as we know it this year, Downtown Ashtabula merchants, committee members and the talented artists committed in the event over the past five years continue to offer creative solutions keeping the heart of the art alive. 

The Art in the Alley Festival has been a flourishing event since 2015, occurring in early September on Main Avenue.  Art Director Molly T. Taylor comments, “The last two years of committee planning has been challenging to say the least.  This Festival is a big one, and takes months of advance planning to pull together a well-organized event.  During shut down it was nearly impossible to plan to the scale of event our community expects from year’s past.  We have continued the best we can in the interim and happy to offer few smaller scale events to keep the brand of Art in the Alley moving forward and to prepare for 2022.” 

One example of such smaller event is “The Gallery” at Dublin Down, launched in the Fall of 2020, to celebrate what would have been Art in the Alley’s fifth year.  “The Gallery” at Dublin Down (4618 Main Avenue, Downtown Ashtabula) an ongoing art show fundraiser supporting Art in the Alley. The venue features art for sale by rotating artists throughout the year. Proceeds from sales will benefit the artists and the Art in the Alley Festival. The ultimate goal is to keep the Art in the Alley ember burning and at the same time nurture ongoing artist relationships to welcome the return of the Festival in 2022. 

“The Gallery” current featured artist is Chris Davis. Chris has been a devoted art teacher for the Conneaut Arts Center since 2014 and has also been on the Conneaut Arts Center’s Board of Directors since 2016.  He currently holds office as the President of the Board for his third consecutive term since 2019.  Check out Chris’ full bio and photos on AshtabulaArt.com.  To see Chris’ upcoming art classes, visit ConneautArtsCenter.com/classes. 

Other events expected include “Free Art”, also hosted at Dublin Down.  Be sure to follow Art in the Alley on Facebook and Instagram where spontaneous “Free Art” dates are posted.  Then, it is as simple as it sounds.  Show up at the Pub for some good food, great spirits, and friendly friends and free art is available to take home.  Donations are accepted but not required.   

Additionally, Chris Davis will be hosting a Paint and Pizza Party (a fun twist on the traditional Paint and Sip) in late summer at the outdoor tented area behind Dublin Down featuring Dublin Down’s famous wood fired pizza. Details to follow including date, time and ticket prices so stay tuned! 

Supporting Art in the Alley.  Committee members are taking advantage of this down time to focus on the 2022 season and the best Art in the Alley Festival to come.  Sponsorship opportunities are available and there is always room on the growing talented artist roster.  For more information, please contact Molly T. Taylor or Larry Fargo at ashtabulaartcommittee@gmail.com or visit www.AshtabulaArt.com