Looking at Ohio’s Regional Art Scene in Hocking Hills

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art

The close-knit community of Hocking Hills is very sustainable, with restaurants promoting local ingredients, naturalist guides teaching the importance of ecology, accommodations made of recycled materials and tasty, organic beers. Locals in Hocking Hills work together to promote an ethical lifestyle, believing in quality over quantity. This is also true when it comes to art, with the area’s local artisans coming together at Scenic Way.

Open since 2000, Scenic Way owner Audrey Martin has been working with glass since the 1970s, creating custom stained glass pieces for anyone who asked her to.

“I have always had a love of glass, fascinated with how light moves through the colors bringing my glass alive,” she explains. “You can almost see movement within their panels. In 2005, I started fusing glass and mixed the two art forms in many of my projects.”

To help promote not just her work but the work of others, Audrey created a space within her studio to share with local artisans and collectively showcase quality handmade items. After experiencing the space myself, I can say not only are are the pieces themselves moving, but so is palpable feeling of community closeness. These people realize it takes the whole community to be successful, not just one person. While Hocking Hills’ lush and diverse natural areas attract people from all walks of life, they all share a common goal of being sustainable. And, this is why the community is so strong and successful.

I have always had a love of glass, fascinated with how light moves through the colors bringing my glass alive. You can almost see movement within their panels.

“With the popularity of our free state parks, our talented group of artists and craftsmen that are willing to share their passions and our visitors that are truly excited to experience the area, it is a win win for all,” says Audrey. “It takes the whole community supporting each other to have a successful area.”

Fused glass wren house

Inspiration Is Everywhere

When creating her pieces, Audrey finds inspiration in everything from nature to everyday life. While most of her commissioned pieces are designed for her clients, Audrey’s fused glass pieces include a variety of table tops, flowers and glass wren houses, bird feeders and more. In-line with Hocking Hills’ ethical philosophy, she’s also begun creating yard art from glass and recycled instruments.

“I am most proud of coming up with an idea and figuring out how to make it work,” she says.

flowers

Goals For The Future

So, what goals does this small business have for the future?

“In the short-term I would like to work with other artists to create a series of mixed medium projects,” Audrey explains. “In the long-term I am always looking for ways to enhance my art work and each layer of my small business.”

We have no doubt there will be positive changes as this small business grows along with the strength of the community.

glass top table

Become An Artist

While Scenic Way is an excellent space to visit and learn about local art, it’s also worthwhile for those who want to tap into their own creativity. Audrey teaches stained glass twice per week, and sometimes offers workshops in other mediums like painting and writing. If interested in attending, call (740) 596-1913 or send an e-mail to [email protected]

Images via Audrey Martin

Jessica Festa
Jessica Festa is the editor of the travel sites Jessie on a Journey (http://jessieonajourney.com) and Epicure & Culture (http://epicureandculture.com). Along with blogging at We Blog The World, her byline has appeared in publications like Huffington Post, Gadling, Fodor's, Travel + Escape, Matador, Viator, The Culture-Ist and many others. After getting her BA/MA in Communication from the State University of New York at Albany, she realized she wasn't really to stop backpacking and made travel her full time job. Some of her most memorable experiences include studying abroad in Sydney, teaching English in Thailand, doing orphanage work in Ghana, hiking her way through South America and traveling solo through Europe. She has a passion for backpacking, adventure, hiking, wine and getting off the beaten path.
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