Art enthusiasts flock to Summer Jam West

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Messenger photos by Dedra Cordle
After two years of cancellations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the art and music festival known as Summer Jam West has finally returned. On July 9, hundreds of people throughout the region came out to Westgate Park to shop at the dozens of artisan booths on hand, enjoy live performances, and generally have a great time. “It is so wonderful to have this festival back,” said Danny Peterson, board president of the Hilltop Arts Collective, the local non-profit which hosts the festival and other arts-related programs around the westside. “We’re just so excited to see so many smiling faces and to see so many people enjoying themselves.” Assisting in that endeavor is Carole Walker of Carole Walker and The Bittertones, a folky and funk band who got the crowd moving during their afternoon set. Also performing at the festival were Folquinox, Carly Fratianne, The Broken Relics, Paisha Thomas and Red Healer.
Artist Sheryl Lazenby is nearly done with this chihuahua wearing a sombrero chalk creation.
Jenna Coomer and her son Silas, 8, work on adding color to this design-your-own t-shirt at the Kids’ Art Zone.
Heather Corson, an employee with the Columbus Recreation and Parks department, designed this large mural for the community to work on at the event. Upon completion, she said it will be hosted at one of the community centers on the Hilltop.
Grove City resident Thomas Harper has a positive interaction with Mickey, a 26-year-old Hyacinth macaw at the festival. He said the last time he had a close encounter with a large bird at a pet store, it came close to attacking his face. “This was a much nicer experience,” he said. The well-behaved bird and his friends were at the festival courtesy of owners Jan and Will.
Artist Zac Ros puts the finishing touches on his tiger among the peonies creation.
Balloon artist Diana Copeland, of Miss Dee and Friends, ties up a few loose ends.
Summer Jam West volunteer Brenton Semplak is all smiles as he shows off his sno cone creation. The local resident said he had never served sno cones before this event but found it to be quite fun. “It’s not too hard to make so I’m having a great time,” he said.
Corey Vaspasiano showcases his rock clock creations which are made from repurposed vinyl records. He said it can take anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours to cut a design from a record. “It all depends on how intricate you want it to be.”

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