Meet Four of the Columbus Art Festival's Emerging Artists

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

The Columbus Arts Festival's Emerging Artists program showcases 10 up-and-coming local painters, photographers and sculptors. Below are four to look for at the event, held June 12 to 14, Downtown on the riverfront.

Todd Camp

Camp created his first artwork at age 7. In need of some play scenery, he set non-washable marker to bedsheet. Soon, though, he felt his mother watching him. "I thought I would only live to be 7," he jokes, "but instead of her yelling and scolding, she said, 'That is beautiful.' From then on, I knew I would have a life connected to the arts." That encouragement has proven hereditary (he's an art teacher for the Greater Columbus Arts Council and Columbus Cultural Arts Center assistant director), and he now creates lovely abstract work on wood panels and canvases instead of bedsheets.

Rick Braveheart

This amazing nature photographer is coming out of the woods for the fest. Literally. Braveheart is an artist in residence for a national parks and forests program; he lives deep within the parks and photographs landscapes around the country for up to six weeks at a time (check out his blog, Braveheart will be selling modern and traditional color photography, encaustic works, hand-transferred images and black-and-white photos captured on a wooden camera from 1907.

Erica Ott

A realist with a touch of contemporary flavor, Ott employs a tedious oil glazing technique to bring her poppy, bright paintings on wood to life. "The colors, textures and subjects of the natural world inspire me every day," she says. "It's the little things, like a robin happily hopping along the sidewalk as I pass by gets me excited for my next piece."

Mary Ann Crago

"I collect things, and I make art," Crago says. "And at some point, the two came together." Found objects, antique photographs and hand-sculpted adornments transform into dreamy 3-D art pieces in Crago's thoughtful hands. "Experiencing the freedom that comes with making good, heartfelt art that people respect and want to own is what drives me to be better and to continually evolve."