In with the Outsiders

For the past week we have had our show on the road and have been hard at work at the Judith Racht gallery’s Outsiders Art Fair in Michigan.

I had a lot of help making our exhibit a success and I’d like to thank everyone who had a hand in making it happen.

Creating the paintings for the show was only half of the work that went into this trip. I had so much help from my wife and son that this show wouldn’t have been possible without them. Milo and Crystal helped me set up our booth and run it too. Milo even greeted our customers with a big smile and a wave.

At the show we meet lots of people and saw a lot of amazing art objects. Like the ones made by our new friend Heavy. He gave us a lot of tips and kept us laughing with his great art!

Here he is with Milo and a painting he calls the “Center of the Universe”. As he held Milo up in front of his sun painting for a photo Heavy said “look it’s an eclipse!”

Even our “cell mate” Patrick Mcardle shared some advice and cool stories with us about seeing Chuck Berry perform at a high school gym. Patrick brought such a vast collection of art I was able to show my work right next to some wonderful Howard Finster pieces.

It was an incredible experience being able to have all of this support and love for the artwork I make. I am so grateful for my family, friends, and the community that made this opportunity happen. It’s something I’ll always remember.

Thank you!

20 Under 40

Each year the Portsmouth Daily Times creates a Progress edition to showcase how far our town has come each year. These editions also center around those in the community who strive to make a difference. The theme this year focuses on community leaders under the age of 40, who dedicate their time to making Portsmouth a better place. Selections were made based on nominations and community suggestions.

Charlie and the Haskins House crew are honored to be included in this year’s Portsmouth Daily Times 20 Under 40! 

Q & A

How are you involved in the community?

My name is Charlie Haskins. I grew up in Scioto County and live in Portsmouth. I come from a large family of craftsmen, artists, poets, musicians, and … eccentrics! I wanted to be an artist at a very early age and worked along side my artist dad to fufill that dream. I earned a B.F.A. in painting at Shawnee State and later moved away to Tennessee to get my master’s degree. Afterwards I returned to the area to teach art and open my own gallery. Generally the artwork I make is whimsical and full of stories, bright colors, jokes, puzzles, and puns. Within the past few years I’ve been painting scenes of Scioto County and I am currently enjoying making art with my 4-month-old son, Milo.

What achievement are you most proud?

Since about 2003 I have been showing art in Portsmouth. I first showed my work in antique stores like Urban Ore and Pack Rats and later in places like the Boneyfiddle Arts Center and the Southern Ohio Art Museum, until I ultimately opened my own gallery and store called Haskins House.

Which person has influenced you the most and why?

Upon opening my own store, I was introduced to a large number of Portsmouth’s creative community. Almost every week I met an artist, writer, or musician that I had never heard of before. I met folks from all walks of life and all different skill levels, who devoted their existence to making and sharing their creative endeavors.

What was your proudest professional moment?

I saw a passion for technique, craft, and a desire for expression in these people. As a result, my brother Travis Haskins and I began to host open mics, local art exhibits, and collaborate with programs like Main Street Portsmouth to create events such as Street Art Saturday that offered these artists a chance to share their talents. Helping to give artists a voice at theses events helped me find my own, as I have often revisited these events in my paintings. Seeing the crowds at a show, laughing, smiling, sharing ideas is truly a great feeling.
I am exceedingly grateful for the support we have seen at Haskins House.

What gives you reason for optimism in your community?

People have continued to commission portraits and murals and attend our events. It is an encouraging thing to see 2nd Street filled with creativity, business, and most importantly people.

Tracy Park

I’ve been working on more and more Plein Aire paintings this summer. This past week, my wife and I had a picnic lunch at Tracy Park and we painted there together. The park was full of happy children running all over the playground and there was a show taking place on the Park’s gazebo. We set out lunch and our art materials on a nearby picnic table and enjoyed the scenery. The air was cool and the sky showed the slightest signs of rain, but the cheerful sounds of birds and children at play filled the park so pleasantly that we decided to stay and eat and paint.For my painting I wanted to concentrate on the Park’s stage. It is located in the center of the park and I thought our view offered an interesting composition. As I sat there with my wife, a flood of memories began to wash over me.

I had several flash backs to different art shows, concerts, fundraisers, and gatherings that took place at the Park. I recalled being fresh out of high school and displaying my work there. I remembered my band (the Rain Dogs) playing our first gig there and my performing my first live painting demonstration (accompanied by local legend Rich Moon). I remembered collaborating with artists like, Johnny Whisman, Pepper Fandango, and Vivian Shooter. I also thought about organizations like Shawnee’s Silhouette Magazine and the Portsmouth Renaissance group and the concerts we co hosted. More recently I recalled the Rock A Billy concert, art show, and poetry reading fest that was my wedding reception.

As I continued to paint, I realized Tracy Park has alway been particularly important for me. Whether it was through  concerts or community projects, the park exposed me to an atmosphere that was and is a place that’s all about learning and sharing. It introduced me to much of Portsmouth’s artistic community and gave me a venue to celebrate my own creative expression. Its influence has inspired many of the projects we do at Haskins House and am I very pleased that Tracy Park continues to be a place of positive energy and a great space for the community to come together.

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