Columbus, Ohio has become a pretty artsy community over the last several years. We are fortunate enough to have the Columbus College of Arts and design, an art museum, many galleries, Chihuly glass at our nature conservatory, and my favorite, the Columbus Cultural Arts Center.
The building that houses the Cultural Arts Center is art itself. The site was originally used as a state penitentiary that was built in 1814. The penitentiary outgrew the building in 1834 and it was demolished. A new building was built in 1861, and it became a state arsenal. It became the oldest operating arsenal in the state until the 1970’s. In 1976, the city negotiated a lease with the National Guard for $1 a year for 99 years. The building was renovated with grant money and became the Columbus Cultural Arts Center. It is operated through Columbus Parks and Recreation. Fortunately, they preserved the historical integrity of the building. Original brickwork, large windows, and four gunnery turrets add to the beauty of the building.
While I have always appreciated art, I never aspired to be an artist myself. Early retirement changed my perspective a bit. The brain needs stimulation, people, even when it is using energy to fight cancer! So, at the urging of my mom, I started taking art classes. The price itself makes it a no brainer. 70 bucks for 8 weeks of classes? Taught by amazingly talented artists? Yes, please.
So last year, I attempted two sessions of metal making jewelry. I loved the challenge and the stimulation. Who doesn’t like fire, sawing through metal, and cool stamping and buffing machines? While my jewelry is not ever going to be ready to go on the open market, I met some cool people and had a blast. This year, I am working on acrylic painting. I am not sure if I am much better at it, I find it relaxing and can work at home. My instructor, Michael, is an incredible teacher and an amazing artist. I have grown a ton in the eight weeks, and just began my second session. Check out Michael’s website here: http://www.michaelguinane.com.
Overall, it is not about the art. The community at the Cultural Arts Center is supportive and inspiring. I love looking at the progress the artists make over time, meeting new people, and expanding my brain! Life is a party. https://www.culturalartscenteronline.org/