An Otterbein University exhibition showcases the work of the former Lost Boy of Sudan.

Bol Aweng’s harrowing journey to Central Ohio—the subject of an August 2009 Columbus Monthly cover story—inspired a new Otterbein University art exhibition. The Journey of Hope: Stories from Sudan to Columbus features the paintings of Aweng, who along with his cousin Jok Dau fled civil war in their native land, spent four years in a refugee camp in Kenya and eventually landed in Columbus, where both graduated from Ohio State University.

Though he now lives in Columbus with his wife and four children, Aweng, one of the thousands of so-called Lost Boys of Sudan, has never forgotten his homeland. He and Dau, with help from the Scioto Ridge United Methodist Church in Hilliard, founded the Buckeye Clinic in their small Christian village of Piol in South Sudan, providing critical health care services in the war-torn region. Now, Aweng, an Ohio State fine arts graduate, is using his creativity to bring attention to his experiences and the plight of South Sudan. “The reason I’m here is to share my story with people,” Aweng told Columbus Alive recently about the Otterbein University exhibition.  “I’m here. I’m part of it. I witnessed it. I faced all the challenges that go with it.”

Aweng’s exhibition is on display through Nov. 21 at Otterbein’s Miller Gallery, 33 Collegeview Road in Westerville.