Recently we saw some eye-catching rack cards and postcards come off of our presses. We wanted to learn a little bit more about the artisans behind the creative beauties and were pleasantly surprised on what we learned. The organization that printed the cards is a non-profit called Open Door Art Studio. When we found out more about the organization and the artists involved we thought it was a piece worth sharing. Below is a Q&A session with Allison Buenger, Art Facilitator, at Open Door Art Studio.
Give us the scoop! Can you tell us about Open Door Art Studio?
Established in 2007, Open Door Art Studio is an accessible public art gallery, as well as a working studio space. We are dedicated to:
Empowering artists with disabilities to develop unique, artistic voices and to experience opportunities afforded through the arts. We believe that creativity knows no boundaries and that all individuals deserve an environment for “expression without limitation”.
Open Door Art Studio is a division of a larger organization, Columbus Center for Human Services, Inc
Where are you located and who does Open Door serve?
We are located in Grandview Heights, Ohio, just outside of Columbus, in a converted warehouse space. We are both a creative space for over 60 artists with disabilities and a dedicated gallery with a variety of curated exhibits that showcase outsider art. Our studio artists span seven decades in age, create with multiple mediums, and each have a unique outlook about art and life. Our main function as an organization is to provide an accessible working studio and expand the opportunities afforded to artists with disabilities.
How did you get involved with Open Door?
I studied fine art at Ohio State University. I did not know that this particular career existed, but had always been interested in making and learning about art. Shortly after graduation, I found a job posting for an Art Facilitator position and applied. I was honored and thrilled when I was offered the position. I have now been at Open Door for over two years and have seen the program mature and expand.
How do you plan on using the postcards and rack cards you ordered from Next Day Flyers?
The postcards are a promotion for an upcoming exhibit that will feature three Open Door Artists who work with abstracted figure forms. One of the artists is participating in the Columbus Arts Festival this year, so he will be able to use the postcards to promote the exhibit while he is at the festival. They will also be mailed to the community to advertise the exhibit and the opening reception.
The rack cards will be distributed to share our exhibition schedule for the rest of 2012. One of Open Door’s major goals is to have a steady schedule of curated exhibits. Each exhibit features a unique collection of artworks that expands the definition of how “outsider” art can be viewed.
What benefits do you anticipate receiving from your printing?
The high quality of the printed materials lends legitimacy to the events at Open Door. They also aid us in sharing what we do with a wider audience. Personally, I love keeping cards from art openings, my own and from friends. Art exhibitions and events are temporal, but the printed materials act as fun souvenirs and reminders of the hard work and accomplishments of the Open Door community.
The images you chose to be on your rack card are really cool. Were those created by Open Door artists? And if so, how did you select those images?
The images on the rack card are predominantly created by Open Door artists. A few of the images were created outside of Open Door. One figure was painted by a local Columbus artist, Sharon Dorsey, and the OUTSIDE/IN exhibit image is from a painting by Antonio Adams, an artist from Cincinnati that works at Thundersky, Inc. The images were selected because they correlate with Open Door’s curated exhibitions for 2012. Many of the exhibitions include partnerships and collaborations with other artists and art organizations.
Being a non-profit, what types of support and donations are most preferred? Supplies? Money? Time from volunteers? What is the preferred method of contact for those who want to help?
Is all of the above an answer? We are very grateful for any support provided to us by the community. Of course we never turn away money, but we are so fortunate for the supply donations we routinely receive. These donations allow for a steady stream of art production and without it, we would truly be at a loss. We feel very much embraced by the community of Grandview and Columbus at large. If you are interested in learning more about Open Door please visit us at www.opendoorartstudio.org.