Studio Proof: Cultural Arts Center

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

The Cultural Arts Center, located downtown near the Main Street Bridge, holds exhibitions, classes, workshops, discussions and more, plus often showcases exciting local artists. The current exhibit, “Creating Legacies,” is one of those exhibits; a group show of 10 visual and performance artists for January. (The upcoming exhibits in February and March are even more enticing, but that’s a story for later.)

There are a number of components to “Creating Legacies” — and the CAC itself — so I’m going to focus on the visual-art portion in the Main Gallery. Notable local creators Joey Monsoon, Stephanie Rond, Lisa McLymont, Amandda Tirey, Ryan Agnew and Eric Rausch are participating in the exhibition with multiple pieces.

“Creating Legacies” is conceived as a group show from a group of artists who once worked together at the beginning of their careers, and are now showing how their art has evolved since then. The result is pieces I’ve seen before, next to others I haven’t.

There’s a bunch of stellar work here, so I’ll dive in by starting with the piece that most affected me. I’ve seen a number of McLymont’s beautiful pieces (multi-media paintings), but her “The Quiet Mind is Richer” (pictured) — a wonderfully poignant and stunningly intertwined copper creation resting upon a subtly washed canvas — is masterful. I’ve always enjoyed the artist’s work, but this piece was particularly powerful.

Some other standouts include well-recognized locals Monsoon and Rond. A large painting by Monsoon greets visitors at the front door, and again, despite seeing much of his work, this was new to me. Monsoon usually captures fragile solo figures in his portraits, and occasionally portrays two figures — here a man and a woman. It’s surprisingly uplifting, as Monsoon’s portraits can display the frailty of humanity.

Lastly, Rond also had a couple pieces that were new. These could’ve been pieces in Rond’s “Dangerous Impermanence” series (a solo exhibit at Fort Hayes Shot Tower Gallery last September), but I believe there was only one from that exhibit. Her “Then and Now” painting examines — appropriately scathingly — how women are portrayed in advertising, and how this hasn’t changed over the decades.

“Creating Legacies” opening reception is 6-8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 9.