Rust Belt Market Artists Showcase Local Talent | News, Sports, Jobs


YOUNGSTOWN – You could say that Jerry Grgurich shed further light on the popularity of Debbie Boone’s 1977 single, “You light up my life.”

“I get a lot of wood from the Amish”, said Grgurich, who operates Rustic Lamps in Hermitage, Pa.

The pine, pallet, Amish barn, and other types of wood he has available are essential to his business, which is mainly to create unique wood lamps with attached water faucets that have been converted to light switches. They also contain Edison incandescent bulbs, the same type that Thomas Edison designed, Grgurich explained.

His light-up creations are among the attractions of the annual Rust Belt Artists’ Last Minute Market at B&O Station Banquet Hall, 530 Mahoning Ave.

The six-hour show continues today from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the B&O station. Admission is $ 1 per adult.

Proceeds, including a basket raffle, will be donated to Buster’s Brigade, an Austintown-based organization that provides financial and material assistance for the basic and emergency needs of cats and dogs in Mahoning County and surroundings. The organization also provides medical care and food for community members for their pets during difficult times, its website says.

Grgurich, who retired as chief information officer, said the homemade lamps he designs in his basement are very practical and can fit most tables and tables in bedside.

His wife, Cindy, helped Grgurich on Saturday, whose artistic talents include sewing and making crafts, as well as chair covers and clothing, in the couple’s basement.

“When I paint, it’s like a meditation” Noreen Yazvac of North Lima said, referring to the watercolors she creates.

Yazvac, who retired in June 2020 as an administrative assistant at Youngstown State University’s Center for Student Progress, explained that she frequently uses another medium called alcohol inks. The technique relies on combining inks commonly found in small bottles with isopropyl alcohol, which makes them flow more freely, she said.

Isopropyl alcohol is often mixed with water for use as an antiseptic, and is also used in a variety of cosmetic products such as aftershave and hand lotions.

Yazvac had exhibited several paintings with this combination on Saturday, which gave them an ethereal look, as well as sharper watercolor paintings on whiteboards and pieces of square tile.

Two of those alcohol and ink paintings she titled, “Amethyst smoke” and “Splash.”

“This is what I love to do; this is my passion,” said Yazvac, who developed an interest in painting as a child and earned a degree in art history from YSU.

After that, her interest in painting accelerated, she continued.

Thirty-three local and regional artists, artisans and artisans are the sellers of this year’s show. Many of them have also maintained a longevity of 10 years or more as part of the rust belt artists, noted Lauren Potts, administrator of the event.

Artists of the Rust Belt, which she called “Very community oriented”, Also plans to team up with Friends of the Mahoning River for an event in June called River Fest, Potts noted.

Those interested in joining Artists of the Rust Belt are encouraged to visit their website, www.artistsoftherustbelt.com.

Musical entertainment on Saturday was the Classical Strings Quartet, which performed a variety of classic and popular Christmas carols.

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