Fishing on Broadway
Lorain: On June 22, 2013, from 12 noon to 8:00 pm, the Waterfront District in Lorain, Ohio was in full regalia. Many shops had tables and chairs on the sidewalk as kids made chalk drawings as part of the Artshop Trail.
The Charleston Coffee House, 630 Broadway Avenue, offered live music, edibles, and art. There were many buildings being used by the local artists to display and sell their respective art. All of Broadway was buzzing with activity from José Ramirez's Club Copa, with their great boriqua rolls and live DJ, to the 530 Shop full of curiosities and vintage posters—the residents of Lorain were given a taste of what this new surge in art had to offer.
The Lorain Arts Council pioneered this art district, which also involved several local authors—Robert Moore and Dr. Hilarie Tavenner; the evening was spent with local Latino actor/producer Kenny Santiago Marrero who screened many short films he had been working on both in Lorain and in California where he studied acting. Marrero has actively brought in many short films to be produced in Lorain in his role as executive director of the Lorain County Film Commission.
Antonio Barrios, president of Lorain Arts Council, expressed his excitement with the new energy being developed for art in the Broadway Corridor. He mentioned that the Lorain Arts Council was also planning its 2nd Annual Black River Art Walk on Aug. 30 & 31at the 737 Gallery. The event will have live entertainment, music, food, and many artists and crafts venued on its back lot with the back drop of giant murals.
The Artshop Trail was organized by a group of local business people, artists, and residents that are involved in the push for using the arts as an economic engine to bump-start Lorain into a new direction. Paul Biber and his wife Joan Perch were the lead organizers in the three-part adventure.
When asked how this came about, Joan stated that it was not an original idea but a composite of many ideas that was transformed and adapted to fit the situation in Lorain. Both Perch and Biber have opened their own art gallery called: Follow the Fish, at 642 Broadway Ave.
They have wooden/metal fish that are painted by local artists with the support of local business and then place them in selected location as beacons/markers of sort then have visitors/tourists follow the fish to discover business, parks, and recreational areas.
Ms. Perch stated that her conversations on the idea started with the Lorain County Visitors Bureau who has helped developed the added adventure trail aspect of the event. She mentioned that Jim Gundlach was the first artist to come up with the moving fish that could be painted and then place in different locations to mark the spot. It is somewhat reminiscent of the famous giant guitars that the City of Cleveland had used to attract visitors.
Mr Paul Biber & Joan Perch leaders of
organizing team Follow the Fish
Fish coffee: Musical group play at
Charleston Coffee House
Mr. & Mrs. Crum, artist that displayed work
at Palace theater
The Lorain County Port Authority is a big sponsor of the fish-marker and has the first of many painted fish at the Black River Landing. There is one that is about 16 feet long.
Other businesses/businesspeople that are a part of the Artshop include: local designer Jevon Terrance, Faroh’s Candies, Lorain Palace Theater, Sun Novelty, and Nielsen’s Jewelry. Broadway was alive from the corner of 8th street to 5th street, with people, kids, and musician Jaime Flores playing Latin Jazz in front of the Palace Theater.
Barrios stated, “There is a lot of hope and expectation that the residents, the people of Lorain embrace this new direction and come down to the Waterfront District to get involved in what could possibly be the turning point in Lorain’s future.”Editor’s Note: The Artshop Trail will be back on July 13th and August 24, 2013, from noon till 7:00 p.m.