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Hundreds of shoppers and art lovers strolled three blocks of Washington Street, taking in the creations of more than 75 artists Saturday during the opening hours of Saturday’s ArtFest.
From jewelry to framed art and copper fountains, there was much to enjoy between Fourth and Sixth Streets, on display beneath large white tents.
To some returning ArtFest artists, this year’s crowd seemed much larger than in previous years. With sunny skies and temperatures in the low 80s, weather made a perfect backdrop.
At Ron Arnold’s “Photo to Art” booth, a steady stream of shoppers stopped to look at Arnold’s unique photographs of Columbus. By 11 a.m., he had already sold three.
Just down from Arnold sat visual artist Anya Pany of Fishers, painting a 19- by 20-inch illustration titled “Maiden” with Gouache, an opaque watercolor.
“I love sharing my experience and past and present discoveries in art,” said Pany, a first-time ArtFest participant. “It’s a beautiful day. And this is a beautiful town.”
As shoppers made their way down Washington and back up to Fourth Street, they had a pleasant surprise around the corner. In a metal corral stood Justin the Artistic Horse with his easel before him and paints at his side.
Justin’s owner, Adonna Combs, would place a paint brush in his teeth and Justin would paint the canvas before him by moving his head up and down, side to side.
A little distracted by the growing crowd of people, Justin would paint a stroke and drop the brush to gaze at the spectators.
“He’s being a little contrary since this is his first time here,” Combs said.
But within minutes, Justin was back to painting.
Columbus resident Susan Faatz was one of dozens of people who gathered to watch Justin.
“I think he’s fabulous,” Faatz said. “I have one of his original paintings.”
Faatz reached into the bag on her arm and pulled out two greeting cards designed by Justin and a horseshoe decorated with drops of brightly-colored paint.
The ArtFest show wasn’t just for humans. Several dachsunds, terriers and collies wandered along Washington Street with their owners checking out the merchandise.
Melinda Clark, of Columbus, shopped with her husband, Roger, and their two dogs Reese and Toby.
“There’s so much beautiful art and lots of ideas for Christmas,” Melinda Clark said. “It’s great to see downtown so alive.”
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