Arts preview: Second Sight features Faces, residents

Jim Fischer
Max Adrian

When Mona Gazala started her Second Sight Project art residencies in Franklinton in 2012, she may have been starting a personal residency as well.

"The neighborhood really stuck on me," she said while standing on the front porch of 735 Sullivant Ave., half of a duplex which she calls Sign House 735 and Sign House 737. "Those who have lived here a long time call themselves 'lifers.' I may have become one."

Gazala's affection for Franklinton began before Second Sight, taking root when she acquired her first property in the neighborhood at 730 Bellows Ave. Second Sight now includes the Sullivant Avenue property and hosts a variety of short- and long-term residencies.

This month, Second Sight will host exhibitions by two of its three current residents. William Holbert will show a new series of solvent transfer work at Sign House 737, and Max Adrian will exhibit new textile art at the original Second Sight Studio.

"The subject matter is mostly language around sexual identity and violence against queer people," said Holbert, a Columbus artist and one of Second Sight's first long-term residents. "The collages include images of found items and pieces of borrowed text."

Adrian's interconnected 3-D shapes are sewn from repurposed fabric and filled with air to create a large, inflated installation.

"I'm drawn to using lots of materials, to play with texture and play with color," he said.

Adrian noted he's also interested in the "push and pull." "Because they look like toys, people want to touch them. But because they're in an art space they don't know if they should," he said.

During these exhibits, Gazala will host a silent auction to support Second Sight at Sign House 735, splitting the proceeds with the artists who donated their work. You'll know you've found the location when you spot the Faces of Franklinton installation on the front porch.

The assembly of painted self-portraits of (primarily) young people from the neighborhood is a labor of love for Gazala, feeding on her passion for the people of her adopted neighborhood. She has held open houses and attended community events, offering Franklinton residents the chance to share their "face" as part of the project.

"Boys and girls from across the street will see it and say 'I made that,'" Gazala said. "The people in the neighborhood are the owners of the art. The point is not only to give ownership in the creative community, but to show that people have been here, these long-time residents who aren't just stopping in to make or look at art."

Second Sight Project

7-10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10

Second Sight Studio, 730 Bellows Ave.

Sign House 737,737 Sullivant Ave.

Sign House 735, 735 Sullivant Ave.,