Ashley Pauley of Open Door Art Studio

Melissa Kossler Dutton

At the Open Door Art Studio, artists with disabilities create original works in a variety of mediums.

"The only criteria is an interest in art," said program director Ashley Pauley. "Whether they've experienced that before or it's new to them."

In addition to the studio, Open Door has a gallery where artists display and sell their work.

Coming to the creative space is a "priceless" opportunity, said Brandon Boggs of Columbus.

"For me, it's such an emotional and mental outlet," Boggs said. "If something sells, that's a bonus."

How doartists decide what to work on?

It's all completely individual. We don't, say, work on a still life. Everyone has different talent and different challeges.

How do artists get works displayed in Open Door's art shows?

There's always a theme. If the individual is interested in participating in a particular show, we work with them to come up with a piece. The November show is our open house and everyone has something in that.

Tell me about yourApril show, "ThisInspiredThat," where artists from theCreative Arts of Woman selectedartwork made by an Open Door artist that inspired them to makea companion piece.

We did a similar show last year and it was so much fun. It builds a bridge from the artists we serve and the local arts community. It's also nice to be active in the arts scene. The population we serve doesn't have access to that.

What role do volunteers play in the studio?

It depends on the volunteer. Some do housekeeping tasks. Others go around and talk with the artists. There are only five of us that work here. It's difficult for us to do that one-on-one talking and visiting.

What's the best way to learn aboutwhat's happening at the studio?

We put out a newsletter every month. It's a way to get a look into what's happening. It tells about our upcoming shows.