Art on the lawn

Messenger photos by Theresa Hennis
London Visual Arts Guild members and others gather under a tree on the lawn of the new London Arts Center to enjoy creating art and visiting with each other during the June 27 Open Studio on the Lawn event. The events take place every Saturday morning, weather permitting.

(Posted July 6, 2020)

By Theresa Hennis, Staff Writer

Aristotle said, “Art takes nature as its model.” The London Visual Arts Guild (LVAG) welcomes the public to enjoy nature and art during Open Studio on the Lawn events, held 10 a.m.-noon every Saturday, weather permitting, at the new London Arts Center, 121 E. First St.

The events are a chance for area artists to work on their art–no matter what form it takes–while getting to know other artists.

“This was an idea to get our group back together and reach out to the community, even if we’re just under a tree,” said Kimberly Burkette, LVAG treasurer. “As we each sit together creating something very different, we’re feeding each other, artistically and socially.”

Burkette began creating art as a stress release 12 years ago. She realizes a lot of people today are experiencing stress. The benefits of creating art are numerous, she said.

Self-taught, Burkette emphasizes that everyone is welcome, from beginners to intermediates to professionals.

“Even if you think you aren’t artistic, there is a therapy element to it, and creating art helps rewire the brain which reduces stress,” she said.

LVAG President Liz Lassel has been in the group for more than seven years.

“This group is a little hidden gem people should take advantage of,” she said.

Tim and Penny Young and their grandsons, Aiden and Tyler from Zenia, have been active with the arts guild for several years.

Pam Stanforth of London (left) and Kimberly Burkette, both London Visual Arts Guild members, work on their paintings and chat during the June 27 Open Studio on the Lawn event.

Tim works in oils, and he enjoys sketching.

“I come here because I like fellowshipping with people,” he said. “There’s too much technology and not enough being with people.”

Aiden and Tyler both agreed on why they like to come to the event.

“We like being with the people. It’s peaceful.”

During the June 27 studio on the lawn meetup, Penny worked on a cross-stitch piece she inherited from her mother-in-law.

“I like being with the people here. There’s a twofold reason to come here—to fellowship and to be encouraged in your pursuit of art,” she said.

To become a member of LVAG or to find out about upcoming classes, events and gallery shows when the studio reopens, visit

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