Empowering the community through art and culture

Messenger photos by Dedra Cordle
On July 8, hundreds of art and music lovers across the state came out to Westgate Park to listen to good tunes, see colorful creations, and generally have a great time during the annual arts and music festival known as Summer Jam West. Hosted by the Hilltop Arts Collective, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to empowering the westside community through art and culture, the day-long festival featured more than 45 artists vendors offering unique, handmade items, six local bands performing original music to entertain the crowds, multiple children’s art zones to spark their creativity, and half-a-dozen professional chalk artists who were unafraid to showcase their talents despite the threat of inclement weather. Shown here working on a portrait of an anglerfish near the pond is Miranda Gray of Grandview Heights. Gray has been a chalk artist for close to three years and says she likes to showcase the more unusual looking animals of the world through her art.
Diana Copeland (a.k.a. Silly Dee) puts the finishing touches on a unicorn balloon.
Summer Jam West is not just for humans to enjoy. Here, Brownie, a 13-year-old dachshund soaks up the festive atmosphere.
Josslyn Carroll, 7, creates tunes at the handmade pipe organ.
Columbus artist Mikar Em works on the background of his soon-to-be rhinoceros art piece.
John Larkin of the Cedars Brothers jams during their set.
Josh Burton, lead singer and guitarist of the Cedars Brothers, entertains the crowd.
The children’s community mural fills up with artwork.
Jessica Thompson and her granddaughter, Charlotte Thompson, color a festival themed t-shirt at the Children’s Art Zone.
Westside residents Jan Smith and Jasper, a 7-year-old Citron crested cockatoo, browse through a bin of records. Smith said all of her birds love to listen to music.
Jordan Freeze hangs a new piece of art on the display wall at the Up & Beyond Art Studio booth. All of the artwork that was on display at this booth was created by adults with disabilities.
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