People to Watch: Adam Brouillette

By Columbus Alive
From the People to Watch: Adam Brouillette edition

Adam Brouillette's motto is "Talk less, do more." But I don't know if it's physically possible for him to do much more.

Brouillette is an accomplished artist and designer. He's a teacher and mentor to CCAD students. He's a member of the Ohio Art League and Couchfire Collective.

Managing Junctionview Studios, Brouillette has become a pillar in the Columbus arts scene. And recently he's become part of the braintrust behind the burgeoning Wonderland project. Whew.

Through all of these projects he combats the starving artist label with a "you can do anything" spirit. There's really nothing in the arts community Brouillette isn't a part of - and that's the way he likes it.

"I want people from the arts community to recognize me as somebody who is helping them achieve," Brouillette said. "If somebody says, 'I don't think you're a good representative,' they are the first people I want to ask how I could better help."

What's the best way to help artists in Columbus? Bring Columbus into the national spotlight by doing something that's never been done before - like Wonderland, where the possibilities are endless.

The rehabbed Wonder Bread factory in Italian Village will house art, music, performance, retail and office space. It seems like a logical and natural bastion for Columbus' emerging culture of hip.

"It's like taking all the cool things happening in Columbus and putting them in a blender in one building - this creative entrepreneurial spirit. We as a city have this great ecosystem," Brouillette said, adding that Wonderland is set to open Jan. 1, 2012.

Ultimately, he hopes Wonderland will become a national - or possibly international - model, making people take notice of Columbus and breaking down the "cow town" stereotype.

Even though he's got big ideas, it's Brouillette's blue-collar nature that makes them all seem possible. Never afraid to get his hands dirty, he believes being an effective leader involves doing grunt work and listening as much as you talk.

But Brouillette is quick to point out that none of his achievements would be possible without the others who've worked alongside him.

"There's an overwhelming amount of that DIY spirit here," he said.

Take it from Brouillette - he knows DIY.