MILL CREEK PARK The inspiration for an art festival

Works from about 30 artists will be displayed.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Mill Creek Park is home to fond memories for many local residents. Memories of picnics in the spring, bicycling in the summer and hikes through the bright reds, oranges and yellows of the leaves in the fall.
Artist Laurie Wayne, who grew up next to the park on Youngstown's West Side, has tried to capture some of those memories on paper. She says her efforts have brought tears from some.
"I've had reactions where people have actually cried because it brought back a wonderful memory for them," said Wayne, a watercolor artist from Mineral Ridge.
Wayne has painted scenes that include four Mill Creek Park landmarks -- the Old Log Cabin, the suspension bridge, Lanterman's Mill and East Cohasset Trail. Her works will be among those on display from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday during the Art in the Park festival at the Davis Center in Fellows Riverside Gardens.
Art in the Park will include entertainment, demonstrations, workshops, and a display of nature-related work from about 30 artists. This will be the eighth year for the festival.
A long relationship
Keith Kaiser, the assistant horticulture director for Mill Creek Park, noted that the relationship between art and the park dates back to park founder Volney Rogers. Kaiser said that's because Rogers hired notable landscape architects to design the park and make sure it was pleasing to the eye.
Over the years, numerous artists have used the park as the subject of their paintings, drawings and photographs, Kaiser said.
"People use the gardens and the park as a place to inspire them," he said.
Loretta Tipton, an artist from Green Township who has work in the festival, said she is inspired by some of the plants in Fellows Riverside Gardens. She noted that the gardens includes rare plants that grow in shade.
"I think it's a treasure-trove of different fauna to be able to paint and see," she said. "Not everyone has the shaded gardens that you find."
Artist Mary Kay D'Isa of Youngstown added that she enjoys the artistic quality of the architecture of the Davis Center. D'Isa teaches a watercolor class at the center and has work in Art in the Park.
"It has been so wonderful to be teaching and surrounded by that," she said.
D'Isa and Tipton both noted that they also have been inspired by the colors of the different plants at the park.
"It gives one an idea of the possibility of what colors can be accomplished," Tipton said. D'Isa added, "It's something new every season."

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