Mike Elsass still expanding exhibit space He has vision for special events.

November 24th, 2013 - Arizona, Dayton Community, In the News, In the Studio, Local Artists, Mike Elsass

Mike Elsass still expanding exhibit space He has vision for special events by Pamela Dillion for the Dayton Daily News, October 26, 2013

Nationally known local artist Mike Elsass is very good at what he does. Not only as an artist but also as a manager of his art career. He’s been busy opening up new exhibit space at Front Street, and he has a new gallery in Centerville.

“The Color of Energy is repositioning. It’s still there, but we’re sharing space with Hicks’ Barber Shop and Spiced Paradise that has exotic spices from all over the world,” said Elsass. “They staff the Color of Energy when I’m not there, which is most of the time.”

He already had a 1,200 square foot studio space in the Front Street warehouse, but he doubled that area with a new space to show off his works.

“I’ve got my big painting space, but I always wanted to have a white box, an all-white room, where I could just sit and meditate and look at the art. This spot became open on Sept. 1, and I could not turn it down,” said Elsass. “We’ll have a variety of things here with music, church speakers and a furniture staging show one weekend.”

In the meantime, he is busy as ever working on commissions for local residents.

He recently finished two large-scale works for homes in Centerville and Oakwood.

“My work is evolving, where it’s much more organic with more of the original elements like the steel and the rust,” said Elsass. “The patterns of the pieces have a sense of a former life. We don’t know what that is, but there is a little mystique there.”

The newer works have a more weathered patina with soft, subtle colors that blend with the earth and the steel. He incorporated steel shavings and sand to add texture to one of his recent works.

The new site in Centerville is known as the Pop Up Gallery, at the corner of Spring Valley Pike and Ohio 48. It features his works and the art of Bob Rhoads, who lives in Sugarcreek Twp. and owns R.A. Rhoads Custom Homes and does contemporary etchings in wood.

“This gallery allows for more accessibility for people who live south of town,” said Rhoads, who is currently busy overseeing the construction of several houses. “I’ve had no time to work on my art, but I continue to sell from my inventory.”

The gallery also features the works of guest artists. Shon Walters is a Dayton artist who specializes in unique wood sculptures and wood furniture. His art was shown in the gallery this past spring, and he sold an Osage wood coffeetable with a walnut base. Diane Bowling, a West Carrollton artist who works in watercolor and acrylic, manages the gallery on the weekends.

According to Elsass, there are several events planned. Ginny Strausburg, president of the Centerville Arts Commission, will be at the Pop Up Gallery on Nov. 8 painting with members of the Centerville City Council. They will be working on a piece of art that will be auctioned on Feb. 9 at “Art at the Trace.”

He will also be showcasing his art at Centerville Home Fireplace & Patio on Nov. 10. He is opening up his new Front Street exhibit space for the U.D. Senior Art Show from Nov. 15-22. It is at 1001 E. Second St.

“The opening is the same day as ‘Fall Into the Arts’ from 6 to 9 that evening,” said Elsass. “They’ll open the Front Street artists’ studios with food trucks and live theater.”

If all this isn’t enough to keep Elsass busy, he still flies out to the Miraval Spa in Tucson, Ariz., during March, May and October. The spa showcases his art, and he holds “Brush Before the Brain” art classes with spa guests 40 days a year.

“It’s a tough gig. I have to paint with beautiful women from all over the world all day,” said Elsass.

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