Preview: Linda Langhorst at Sharon Weiss Gallery

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Linda Langhorst took piano lessons for 12 years. She played some banjo, too, and plans to pick that up again. Her father, a musician, would tune in to his favorite songs in the car, encouraging her to sing along and enjoy.

Over the years, though, music remained a hobby. Art became a career.

"When you paint something and hang it on the wall, it's like standing naked in the library," joked Langhorst, who lives in Upper Arlington. "That's the art form where I'm willing to be exposed."

Yet painting and playing aren't so different, she found. They require rhythm and harmony, improvisation and dissonance. They're about feel and beauty - and fashioning language from tools.

In the end, Langhorst got to enjoy both worlds through a series of paintings that depicts the intricate process of playing music, repairing instruments and jamming among friends.

"Making Music" opens with a reception at 6 p.m. Friday, May 6, at Sharon Weiss Gallery in the Short North. The show runs through May 29.

"I'm not a musician in the real sense," she explained. "I think I'm enjoying it vicariously."

To do so, she traveled to cities like New Orleans and Kansas City to hear the tunes that made those towns famous. She created "Doorway of the Phoenix" to capture the smoky allure of a Southern jazz club and crafted "Swing" to rejoice in the brassy sounds of a street-side big band.

Back in Columbus, Langhorst immersed herself in Grandview's Guitar House Workshop to watch luthiers repair guitars and hear impromptu sessions among resident instructors.

She would stand, watch and listen. She described sights and sounds in a journal and took photos of each moment.

One became "Jacob at Work," a quiet scene in which a man rethreads an acoustic six-string by lamplight. Another transformed into the warm and intimate camaraderie of "House Concert II."

Neither silent nor still, each painting bears an energetic, almost pointillist style. You can witness whole scenes from a distance or be mesmerized by the texture of the paint up close.

"There's something freeing using strokes of color," she said. "Music has rhythm and flow, and I want to use the brushstroke to help me say that."

Feel the rhythm:

Sharon Weiss Gallery

May 6-29

20 E. Lincoln St., Short North