New exhibition combines visual arts and the written word

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One page of the comic strip “Big Hero 101” by the open door artist JD Hirst, whose works of art can be seen in the exhibition at the Carnegie Gallery. Photo credit: Courtesy of JD Hirst

Bright colors, intricate narratives and detailed drawings characterize “THE WRITING IS ON THE WALL”, the latest art exhibition in the Carnegie Gallery of the Columbus Metropolitan Library.

The exhibition, which opened on September 2 and will run through October 28, is a combination of the written word and visual art that made the exhibition a great one, according to Claire Smith, Program Director at Open Door Art Studio & Gallery The library makes the choice. The gallery is a Columbus-based not-for-profit organization that provides creative support services and representation to artists with intellectual and developmental disabilities website.

“A lot of our artists use words in a slightly unconventional way so that you can have a little more meaning between words,” said Smith.

Smith said the studio had given its artists full creative control over how the exhibition theme was interpreted. She said that some of the artwork has individual words or slogans in it, while others are more narrative or even inspired by comics.

Smith said one of the featured artists, JD Hirst, who is on the autism spectrum, has a comic he has been working on since his first visit to the studio included in the exhibition. He created hundreds of pages of the “Big Hero 101” comic that you will use for the exhibition.

“He has so much background regarding these characters, their personalities, their strengths or weaknesses,” said Smith. “He integrates his own narrative, as well as Viking mythology and the Bible, and he somehow created this complicated world.”

The exhibition is free to the public and underscores Open Door Art Studio & Gallery’s commitment to art accessibility, said Smith.

“It’s a great moment for kids to just walk in and see, ‘Oh, hey, you know I can,'” said Smith. “I firmly believe that art should and should be accessible to everyone. I really believe that everyone is an artist. “

Melissa Combs, the gallery’s development director, said accessibility is important not only when showing art, but also when it comes to helping her own artists create it.

“Many of them have no place in their home. Some of them may live in other care facilities where they share a room with someone else, or they may live in their family home with no access to studio space, ”Combs said.

Since many of the artists do not have the financial resources necessary for the projects, the gallery is providing ceramics, a complete kiln and photographic equipment, according to Combs.

Combs said the exhibition is a great opportunity to introduce the public to the work that artists are creating with Open Door Art Studio & Gallery on a daily basis.

“The artists we support have something to say,” said Combs. “They all do that, no matter what type of medium they work with, and that’s why we definitely want the community to see that and appreciate their contributions.”

“THE WRITING IS ON THE WALL” can be seen in the Carnegie Gallery of the Columbus Metropolitan Library at 96 S. Grant Ave. Please see the gallery for more information website.


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