Warren County may be synonymous with sky-scraping coasters and wild water parks, but in the quieter niches of town, another longstanding tradition thrives: a love for the arts. Home to awe-inspiring murals, applause-worthy plays and aisles upon aisles of handcrafted treasures, Warren County boasts an art scene sure to impress even the most well-traveled of art lovers.
Here’s your guide to the artsier side of Ohio’s Largest Playground.
While Southwest Ohio boasts an impressive array of traditional art museums, some of the region’s most intriguing artwork can be found in a less customary setting–the walls of Warren County. Affectionately known as the City of Murals, Franklin, Ohio is home to 10 beautiful outdoor murals, each painted upon the exterior walls of downtown buildings. The murals, which depict various scenes from the city’s history, are all original works from nationally known and locally born muralist Eric Henn.
Not far from Franklin, Mason’s Fleck Flower Quilt Barn proudly displays an original design from local artist and sculptor Denny Means. The flower-inspired artwork, created exclusively for the historic Fleckenstein Park structure, measures in at 8′ x 8′ and flaunts more than 14 vibrant colors.
Widely recognized as two of the Midwest’s premier antiquing destinations, the charming towns of Waynesville and Lebanon are also home to a number of unique art shops and galleries. Popular stops for novice collectors and art connoisseurs alike, these Warren County storefronts feature work from both nationally-renowned and local artists. Waynesville’s Canada Goose Gallery, in fact, is the only gallery in Ohio to offer exclusive P. Buckley Moss prints.
Song & Dance
Art isn’t all about paintings and pottery. The performing arts also have a terrific foothold in the Warren County art scene, as numerous longstanding music and theater establishments remain popular draws among locals and visitors alike. One of the nation’s largest professional dinner theaters, Springboro’s La Comedia casts talented singers, dancers and actors from near and far for its award-winning, broadway-style productions, while the Lebanon Grand Opry and Lebanon Theatre Company draw rave reviews with their own unique brands of live entertainment.
Every year, numerous Warren County festivals feature incredible collections of handmade arts and crafts, masterfully created by local and out-of-town artisans. The Ohio Sauerkraut Festival, Ohio Renaissance Festival, and Country Applefest are just a handful of the region’s art-savvy gatherings.
Art of Your Own
Why let the professional artists have all the fun? Unique do-it-yourself studios like Paintbrush Pottery, Painting with a Twist, and Studio B let Warren County visitors create and take home their very own artistic masterpieces under the tutelage of expert instructors.