Article: Renowned Local Artist to Display Works at Bellbrook High School

Renowned Local Artist to Display Works at Bellbrook High School

Posted Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Local artist Mike Elsass has a saying he likes to use.

“Unexpected outcomes from improbable pairings.”

It explains his work, and his next endeavor, displaying his rusted steel paintings at Bellbrook High School.

“Who ever thought of an artist showing at a school?" he asked.

Apparently, it was Bellbrook High School principal Dave Hann.

This partnership began when Hann saw Elsass’s work displayed in the Fairfield Mall in January. After making a call, Hann and Elsass connected and a plan began formulating. That plan will continue to develop as the partnership does, but Elsass – who has grandchildren in the district – said his interest lies not in selling his work, but in inspiring and working with students and the district and bringing notoriety to the school.

Elsass is recognized internationally for his contemporary abstract art crafted on weathered and rusted steel. His work features rich textures and beautiful color combinations. A number of those works are already at the high school, and the display is being planned. Once the layout is created, there will be an opening for the community.

“We are excited about this opportunity to enhance the aesthetic appeal of our school through this collaboration while also raising awareness about the artistic opportunities available to our students and the impact of the arts in the Dayton area and beyond,” Hann said.  

The call from Hann to Elsass was just the start. Elsass will be making an appearance at STEAM night at the Middle School March 14, a visit with art students this week, and those same art students will be visiting his studio in the near future.

“This has opened a lot of opportunity,” Elsass said. “I am open to do just about anything. It’s not all figured out yet, but I think it is a unique opportunity – and if it can help the youth and inspire – I really like the idea of where it all might lead.”

One place it will definitely lead is a gallery opening when all the work is finished and hung at the high school. While a date is not yet set for that event, make sure to watch social media and our newsletters for more!

To learn more about Mike Elsass and his art, 
check out his website. 

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