The Fitton Center for Creative Arts has much more to offer the community than just its beautiful galleries, thought-provoking exhibits and resident drama group, The Mad Anthony Theatre Company. Rather, the Fitton Center prides itself on a mission to build community excellence through the arts and culture.

The center, located on 101 S. Monument Ave. in downtown Hamilton, was a gift to the community from the bicentennial commission to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the founding of the city of Hamilton. It opened in 1993 and soon after, the Carruthers Center for Arts and Technology was opened in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Fitton Center.

As a not-for-profit community arts center, there are also a wide range of programs offered there, including visual and performing arts classes, exhibitions, entertainment and theatre productions for all ages to express their creative side. Take your pick from awe-inspiring art exhibits to theatre performances and informative luncheons.

Exhibitions, Galore

The Fitton Center's galleries feature continually changing exhibitions in an informal, family-friendly atmosphere. There's the ~*CReaTioN STaTioN*~, where visitors can create and display their own artwork.

The Fitton Center also features a student gallery, which allows budding artists of all ages to display their pieces. And guests are even allowed to bring home an original piece of art, as most pieces displayed are available for purchase.

The best thing about exhibitions, though? Admission is free, and openings include a wine and beer reception, while student musicians provide entertainment.

This summer, be sure to check out the "Treeline" exhibition, running from June 24-Aug. 26, which will showcase works by three Ohio artists, including photos by Robert Mullenix, and paintings by Robert Robbins and Kent Krugh. "Treeline" centers on experiencing mood changes in landscapes.

Be wonderstruck by Kent Krugh's timeless black and white photos of the massive ancient Angel Oak on South Carolina's John's Island. Become lost in the eerie stillness and filtered light of Rober Mullenix' forest scenes that capture a tension between media technology and the handmade object. Feel pleasantly overwhelmed by the buzz and hum of Robert Robbins' large energetic paintings of thriving underbrush.

Beginning Aug. 22 and running until Sept. 22 is the "undercurrents" exhibit, which is a recycled, site-specific, collaborative installation with work by artist Jennifer Van Winkle. The exhibition's intent is to express dreams, hopes, actions, and even fears and doubts which move below the surface of the everyday experience.

Finding Your Inner Artist

In addition to their many exhibitions, the Fitton Center also has an arts education program called "Learn," which helps guests discover their artistic side through community arts education classes, designed for every age, skill level and background. Whether it's simply an interest in the arts or an attempt to master your talents, there's truly something for everyone.

Led by professional artists and musicians, the classes, workshops and camps offer an ideal artistic learning experience. This summer, enjoy affordable classes in three different sessions (May 14-June 23, July 9-Aug. 18 or June 18-Aug. 3), ranging from youth art classes such as Cartoons & Comics and Wearable Art, to teen art classes including Pop Culture and Art and Teen Digital Photography. There are also guitar camps, creative camps, yoga classes, pottery and henna design. - 

For more information, visit www.fittoncenter.org or call (513) 863-8873, ext. 1110 to register.