Location: The Scioto Mile, Rich and Main Street bridges and in front of COSI (Center of Science and Industry).
Written and Photographed by Doreen Dawkins
Sidebar: Warning! Warning! This is a LONG article. I probably should have broken this article into several smaller articles. Pace yourself….
Tell me about the painting I just admired and tell me what inspired the piece.
The painting you were admiring was called Hydrangea. I’m not super original on the titles. That piece was inspired from my trip to New England for an art show. They have natural blue hydrangeas out there. I thought what a beautiful thing to paint. I love portraits. I thought I had to get someone in there with those flowers, so I thought who better than a beautiful African woman with natural curls that showed that same shape as the flowers. Just to repeat that nice motif.
Do you primarily paint women? What is your preferred medium?
I do like to paint women. I can get nice whimsical with their hair and their clothes. I could do men. I just find them a little boring. I would love to draw a wrinkly old man though. People don’t want to hang a wrinkly old guy on their wall.
What are you doing?
Wood Churning demonstrations. She is creating a natural edge vase out of cherry wood. She is shaping and contouring the inside. After she is finished with that she will shape and contour the outside.
How long would the vase take to make it look good?
About an hour and a half.
How long would it take a person who doesn’t know what they are doing?
With the right instruction, a couple of hours.
What is he doing?
He is turning his own slim line pen. People can make their own wood turn pen for about $25. It takes about 20 minutes. Or you can turn a wand in the style of Harry Potter.
Sidebar: If I wasn’t carrying all my gear, I would have paid $25 to make my own pen. Regrets!
How long does it take to complete a piece?
It depends on what I am doing. Some pieces take a few minutes. Others take a few days.
How much do you sell a big piece for?
A thousand to a couple of thousand. It depends on the surface, the form and how good a piece it is.
Anything low budget?
The smaller functional pieces. The larger pieces are considered art. You are not going to take a Picasso and throw it on the ground.
I started at age 11 and now I’m 46. I am a professional wrestler for the Art Wrestling League. I have a studio at 400 E Rich.
Tell me about your group.
We are an eclectic group. We do a variety of music genres from old jazz age to modern tunes. We do music in Spanish, Italian, French and so on. We pretty much sing whatever sounds good to us. We have done some covers. We respect the original song; then, we bring our feel to it.
How many languages do you speak?
Don’t be misguided, I only speak two fluently. I love learning different languages. There is beauty in diversity and that is one of my ways to express that.
How long have you been a group?
Do you have a CD?
We are working on a CD release that will be done; hopefully, by the end of the summer. If not, watch out for us sometime later this year.
Thanks for showing support for local artists and local music.
Where do you primarily perform?
Various places around town and out of town. For example, Rambling House Soda, Java Central Café, Roastery in Westerville, and the Columbus Arts Festival (the one we always look forward to every year).
Tell me about your background and what you are doing.
I am a mixed media artist. Primarily a graphic designer. I enjoy painting on everything. This car is themed Columbus neighborhoods. I chose that because I am born and raised in Columbus. This is a great opportunity for local artists. We have the city scape on one side and the neighborhoods on the other. We have done some street sign highlights on there.
Why the Columbus Arts Festival?
I’ll take any chance to spin to music.
What are you doing?
These are called poi. You can spin them around. You can light them on fire.
Once you light them on fire, do you throw them away or can you reuse them?
You can reuse them, they are made out of Kevlar. You soak them and relight them.
How do you avoid catching yourself on fire?
Lot’s and lot’s of practice.
Have you ever caught yourself on fire?
Jay wasn’t the only one enjoying the music…
Tell me about your work.
I am a multimedia artist. I use a little bit of this and a little bit of that. It is usually an acrylic base. I like to use semi precious stones and incorporate texture and fabric. It’s like a fashion fly girl rocking a jacket, hat, or fabulous jewelry that I create myself. How would you describe my work?
Sidebar: Most people don’t ask me questions….
I wouldn’t describe myself as an art person but the thing I am drawn to is the women in your work seem to have one eye lash going on.
The one eye is becoming a signature thing. The one eye is about introspection. It is about closing your eye to physical distractions of life and getting to know your true self outside of this vessel, outside of your body, race, sex, social standing and how much money you make. Who are you? What unique gift do you have to offer the world.?
Support black artists and artists in general, locally and around the world.
The front lawn of COSI was filled with children participating in hands on activities.
I have been a woodworker for 15 years. I have always had a passion for music. I had a friend ask me to make him a Cajon. I thought that it was an amazing thing that I could make an all wood drum. I ran with it. I stumbled upon some different ideas that weren’t out there like changing the drums a little bit that made them dynamic in another way.
Does anyone use your art in live performances?
For sure. A lot of bands play them. Anywhere from your local region to Phil Collins. There are a couple of professional musicians who play my drum. Anywhere from the camp fire all the way to the studio.
What is the price range?
$80 on up. We can get exotic and domestic wood. We can fit anybody’s need.
Do you play the drums?
I am learning, since I have been making them
Tell me about your art.
What I do is a lot of fun because I can do whatever I want. Sometimes, it is hard to convince shows that what you are doing is your own work. I have worked in a lot of different disciplines of different mediums. The best part for me is to mix them up and get them to work together. I say I graduated in the dark ages with a degree in painting. Then, I was a print maker, paper maker, then, I got into glass about 20 years ago. Now, I am trying to combine glass and canvas. The reason I get into all these different mediums is because I want an outdoor sculpture or table. I say, “I’m not going to pay money, I’ll make one.” I make one then I think “Gee that was a lot of fun.” I have a 10 year rule. It takes me 4 years to get it right. Then, I do it for another 4 years, and then I’m sick of it. Then, I move onto something else. I have not ran out of decades yet.
People in Columbus are a lot of fun. You can kid around with them and make jokes. The response to my work has been very strong. I love you Columbus.
Tell me about your form of art.
I do leatherworking. It is a varied art form. Anything from purses, utilitarian items like wallets and belts, all the way to full art pieces.
What is the price range for your work?
I try to keep myself at around $20 per hour.
I want people to learn. This is a dying art form. Not many people are doing this anymore. Things are being made in factories, not by hand. The men I learned from are in their nineties. I am looking for a new generation to pick the ball up.
Do you offer classes?
Yes. We offer classes at COSM (Central Ohio School of Metalwork). I teach classes for kids, boy scouts, and through the Ohio Craft Museum.
What about older people?
We have classes for all ages at COSM.
What does a blacksmith do?
I play with fire and I hit stuff with a hammer. We can make anything you can think of out of metal. It is like hot angry clay.
We will do just about anything from functional, art, knives, and swords. We like to teach people to do what we do. We think that we should grow the craft and have more people do what we do.
Tell me about the classes. How often? How much?
They average $150 for a 3 to 4 hour class. Everything from knife making to Introductory to Blacksmith to making hooks, coat hangers, and beer bottle openers. Most of our classes are age 16 and up. We can also do private instruction for age 14. Under age 18 a parent has to be present.
It is a lot of fun. You must try it yourself.
Tell me about your work.
I do graphite pencil drawings. They are photo realistic. Most of them take me from 4 to 10 weeks to create. I create about 3 or 4 a year.
What is the average cost of your work?
$4,000 to $18,000 for the originals. The reproductions are from $50 to $100.
What are the sizes of the reproductions?
From small, up to 6 feet wide.
How long have you been producing drawings?
For 36 years. I have been at this show about 20 times over the last 36 years. This is one of the better shows. This weekend, the weather is perfect. People are coming out and I am doing well.
Pets and owners who attended the Columbus Arts Festival 2019:
Prior to attending the event, I went to the festival website (https://www.columbusartsfestival.org/ ) to determine what art I wanted to view. If I had not done that, I would have been on festival overload. Be prepared to walk, as festival was most of the riverfront (the Scioto mile, COSI, both Main Street and Rich Street Bridges, all the way to 400 W Rich Street, etc). I visited 4 ((Bicentennial Park Stage, Big Local Music Stage, Acoustic Lounge, and Dance and Theater Stage (COSI), out of the 5 stages the festival offered. I didn’t make it to the Ohio Magazine Word is Art Stage. I decided to leave that for next year. This years highlight for me was the Big local Arts Village. That was the location to see a local band performing live and to view the hands on demonstrations.